There was a time, many years ago, when a Shakespeare rod was the very object of my dreams! I remember as a young 11-year-old walking by the tackle shop on my way to school and looking longingly at the purple blank on the Shakespeare Quo 12ft feeder rod. Of course, the rod was way out of my price range and no matter how hard I saved my pocket money I could never quite get there.
That all changed, though, when one Christmas my dad bought me the very rod I had dreamed of, and it is a rod I still own to this day! Every angler in my town used Shakespeare gear and it was the stuff to be seen using.
However, it has now been a long time since I have fished with a rod from Shakespeare, so when editor Alex Bones gave me the new Agility 12ft Feeder rod and matching 40FD reel I couldn’t wait to see what they were like.
First out of the supplied tube was the rod. Now this model retails at a penny under £60 so I was expecting something decent, as rods in this price range are usually excellent these days… and I wasn’t disappointed!
This isn’t a namby-pamby feeder rod, only useful on a small, narrow commercial. It is a powerhouse of a rod that can comfortably cast even the largest feeder. It would be well at home launching a Method feeder, but also perfect for a river angler wanting a versatile tool. I can imagine using this rod for river breaming but it certainly wouldn’t look out of place with a big barbel attached!
This rod has wider appeal, though. Yes, it has plenty of power through the middle and butt sections but the action is through and plenty soft enough for targeting smaller fish. I would be more than happy to use it at my regular summer haunt of Barston Lakes, but I know full well that it would be equally at home on a variety of venues and it certainly wouldn’t be overgunned.
You can tell that this rod has been designed with the serious feeder angler in mind. The big line guides allow effortless distance casting and they also help when shockleaders are used. The rod is supplied with three tips – a 2oz glass, a 2oz carbon and a 3oz carbon – which gives the user a few options, but in my opinion the rod performs best with the glass tip fitted, although that is only my personal preference.
As far as the Agility 40FD reel is concerned, it matches the rod perfectly! It is a size that makes it ideal for feeder work, and for its modest £44.99 price tag I was suitably impressed with what it had to offer. It comes with one spare spool and is supplied with both a single and a double handle. The reel is nice and smooth and there can be few arguments about its power, thanks to the 6+1 ball-bearing system. The front drag performs well, which is important for an angler like me who relies solely on the drag when playing fish.
It really is a great reel for the money and when combined with the Agility 12ft Feeder Rod you have a setup that can do anything!
RRP: Agility 12ft Feeder Rod – £59.99. Agility 40FD Reel – £44.99