As a bit of a connoisseur when it comes to feeder rods, trying to find something that performs well and doesn’t break the bank can be a bit of a minefield. Finding a feeder rod that offers good performance and durability below the £100 barrier can every now and then throw up one or two pleasant surprises if you do your research. One rod that has made its way to the offices of UKMA in 2013 was the AGILITY 12’’ FEEDER that has been released by SHAKESPEARE. After having a good look at the latest offering, were decided that the best way of assessing its usability was to take it out on the bank on several sessions to see how well it would perform in an angling environment. So over the past few months we have took it out on the bank and had a proper play around to see just how well it would perform, read on to find out how this latest offering in the feeder department from SHAKESPEARE got on!



Vital Statistics

The AGILITY 12’’ FEEDER rod has been built on a 30 ton, slim carbon mat black finished blank, that has been selected to produce a flawless, progressive action that is ideally suited to casting all types of leads, open end feeders and method feeders at medium to distance range (60yds plus with ease) with superb accuracy achievable even at 80yds.This two piece blank weighs in at 281g and is fitted with Zirconium Oxide Guides (ZOG), these guides have been selected to maximise casting distance and allow larger diameter shock-leaders to be used when long distance casting is required. There are in total eight ZOG guides on the rod, you have two three legged ZOG guides on the butt section and three on the top section, these stand off of the blank to allow minimal line slap when casting. The final four ZOG guides are of a single legged design and these sit close to the blank to increase the fish playing action of the rod.


Other key features found on this feeder rod include a stylish split AA Cork/EVA handle that houses the very comfortable to hold, ergonomically designed reel seat.

The handle is finished off with a rubber butt cap that sits in the palm of your hand perfectly when casting out, helping to improve the accuracy achievable from the AGILITY 12’’ FEEDER. You get supplied as standard three quiver tips and each one is clearly labelled and colour coded for instant recognition: you have an orange tip (2oz glass), yellow tip (2oz carbon) and white (3oz carbon), and these are supplied in a clear plastic protective tube. All whipping is finished in black with red trim and you also have a hook up eye, situated on the underside of the rod just in front of the handle. When broken down this two piece feeder rod measures in at 1.88m and will fit perfectly in the majority of hard case made up rod sleeves. To complete the package the rod is supplied in a functional, cloth storage bag and this fits perfectly into the oval tube supplied as standard.



The Test

Over a three month period we took the AGILITY 12’’ FEEDER out on the bank and tested it by using a small method feeder and a straight lead to see how it would handle all the methods and tactics it has been designed to perform. On the first outing we fish a 28g method feeder tight to an island of bull rushes at approximately 50 yards out. As we need to be tight to the feature, I cast out 1.75oz lead and once I was as close to the feature as possible, I then clipped up ready for my first cast. I loaded the method feeder with mixed pellets, to accompany my 8mm boilie hookbait and cast out to the feature. Once the line stopped at the clip, the AGILITY 12’’ FEEDER perfectly cushion the weight of the loaded method feeder and it landed right on the spot, tight to the feature. I only had to wait a few minutes and the tip flew round, fish on! Now this was when I was going to find out exactly what this rod had to offer as I had to get the rod into a full curve and prevent the fish charging off into the bull rushes. The more pressure I exerted to the rod, the rod coped admirably and diverted the fish away from the feature with minimal fuss. After a controlled battle, a tidy 6lbs mirror slid over the rim of the landing net.


This was one of many carp and bream that had been diverted away from the hazard of the bull rush island during this first session and with over 60lbs in the net, it had performed excellently. On my next visit to the fishery I chose another spot to try the straight lead approach as the temperature had dropped dramatically, yet again fishing close to an island feature. I cast out a 1oz lead to the feature and yet again set my line clip. I then cast out a single grain of corn over to the island, hitting my chosen spot perfectly and put my hands in my pockets waiting for the tip to show signs of life. The first indication I had, turned out to be a 7oz roach but the 2oz glass tip bounced round and showed a perfect indication. On my next cast I started getting constant line bites but no takes, so I cast out putting the rod higher above my head to cushion the line hitting the clip and drop my lead and baited rig about 1.5m short of the island. Within a minute the tip flew round and after a pleasing confrontation under the rod tip, a plump 7lb mirror wearing its winter colours was my reward, which turned out to be one of 4 reasonable carp landed in just over 3 hours on a bitterly cold autumnal afternoon.




Final Thoughts

If you’re in the market for a new feeder rod for commercial fishery and natural venues work, that offers excellent all round performance but you’re on a bit of a tight budget, then this could be the rod you are looking for. It has top quality fixtures and fittings, a stunning through action with no flat spots and plenty of guts when you need it the most. It has the ability to cast far distances without ever feeling like it was punching above its weight. As a bit of a feeder rod tart I have handled some of the best rods ever made for feeder work and if I had this given to me for review say around ten years ago, I would have expected to pay well over the £100 pound mark for it but this is where you’ll be surprised.

The AGILITY 12’’ FEEDER rod is available from most leading SHAKESPEARE retailers for the shockingly cheap price of just £59.99, which is exceptional value for money by any standards. After using it during several sessions now, it is now a permanent fixture in my rod sleeve and won’t be going anywhere for a very long time.

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