Trilogy XS Match 14ft


Tri-Cast are without question one of the best rod makers in the United Kingdom. They have built a massive reputation over the years for outstanding build quality and all round product performance. Earlier this year we spoke to their marketing manager Steve Hopkinson to find out what they had in the pipeline for 2011 and excitedly he informed us about the imminent release of the new Trilogy range of rods. He went on to explained that this mew concept in big river rods have been on the Tri-Cast design table now for over 12 months, and have been designed and built to accommodate the demands of the ever growing number of dedicated anglers river fishing. With ever increasing numbers attending River Matches on the Wye, Avon, Seven and Trent. With rivers such as the Wye throwing up big weights of quality Roach and Dace. When anglers start catching these big weights the fish come thick and fast and they need a rod that can cope with these shoals. So UKMA had a bit of a chat with Steve who kindly offered to send down the power option in the range, enter the Trilogy XS Match 14ft.


Vital Statistics

Model Trilogy XS Match
Length 14 feet (4.2m)
Weight 154g
Casting weight 0 - 20g
Recommended Reel Lines 0 - 8lbs
RRP £269.99
SSP £239.99


The Blank

The 14ft Trilogy XS Match rod is a three section rod manufactured in the United Kingdom and made from a very high M Series modular Carbon, with low resin content. This strong yet very lightweight carbon has made it possible to produce a rod that has a very slim diameter and ultra light in weight. You would normally expect a rod that weighs in at only 154g at 14’ to be minimal in its power and fish playing performance but this blank offers both these attributes in abundance. Tri-Cast has been able to achieve this by using a slightly higher density of materials in the Trilogy XS Match 14ft to give it the extra stiffness and power. This has made the rod firmer and stiffer which in turn produces a little more backbone to enable the angler to cast further and strike harder at a longer distance. The Trilogy XS Match is ideal for bigger fish such as chub and barbel on the big rivers and also allows the angler to exert more power when playing fish in snaggy swims.




To accompany the rods superb three piece blank, Tri-Cast has fitted the Trilogy XS Match with fixtures and fittings that compliment and work with the blank perfectly. Starting at the butt section you have a split cork/duplon handle that incorporates a screw down style reel seat for add rigidity and strength. Following the blank up and you have two double legged hi-tec custom guides, then the strengthened male spigot. The middle section has a female spigot at the base and this has been re-enforced with whipping thread for strength and finish. This section houses a further five double legged hi-tec custom guides and at the top of the section is the second male spigot.
The top section houses the last strengthened female spigot and is home to 8 guides that include 1 double legged guide just above the spigot, six single legged guides and the tip guide. The single legged guides on the tip section are used to allow the blank to move without restriction because of the minimal whippings and surface contact with the blank.




We took the Trilogy XS Match 14ft to the ideal environment to test its full potentials and we were not disappointed. We loaded her up with the new Team Daiwa 4012 reel that is also designed for this style of river angling. With the reel in place you still have a rod that feels short that it actually is. Once the reel is fitted, the Trilogy XS becomes an incredible well balance tool that you can comfortably fish with for 5 hours plus which is an important factor when looking for a rod designed for fishing on big rivers for large numbers of fish of all sizes. UKMA used both the stick float and wagglers when field testing this superb tool and the line pick up and the line control that can be achieved when using it will make it a definite favourite amongst the ever growing numbers of anglers who have made controlled trotting an essential part of there day to day angling. Unfortunately we only landed small roach to 5oz when testing but the rods highly responsive tip cushioned every lung and dive giving total confidence in my choice of a size 18 hook and 0.10( 2lbs) hooklengths.

Note - Unfortunately when we arrived at the Tidal Trent is lashed it down all day, so we were unable to get any images of the rod at work on the river.

Our next field testing session took the Trilogy to Rookery Waters in Cambridgeshire, a venue that would well and truly test the rods strength and all round endurance. So on arrival we set the rod up and loaded it with 4.5lbs reel line which is well within the recommended reel lines set by the manufacturer. Loaded with a 10g waggler and 0.12 (3lbs) hooklength, we fed a line down the shelf to see how the Trilogy XS 14ft would perform under real pressure. First fish on was a small mirror about 2lbs and the rod simply responded with a floorless, progressive curve that responded to every charge and lung the small carp made attempting to through the hook but after about a minute the fish slid in to the landing net, now for a big un!! To get a second opinion, I asked Steve Potter from team Tubertini/Bag’em who has a reputation for being a bit of a waggler expert to give this fine rod a try and instantly he hit into a proper fish which run him a bit of a merry dance but even on the light gear we had set up, the rod more than comfortably handled and landed a 7lbs ghosty.


Final Thoughts

After taking the Tri-Cast Trilogy XS Match 14ft out for field testing on the tidal Trent trotting maggots under a stick float and waggler and fell in love with the rods all round performance and total ability to control line and rig movement. It casts superbly and has a playing action even on small roach that makes every fish feel like something very special with every flick of the tail responding as a definite movement of the highly responsive tip section. We then went to one of our local commercial fisheries, it crunched its way through numerous match sized carp to 7lbs with a total controlled authority that you would expect from a rod of this high quality but because of the outrageously responsive blank I was able to use very light terminal tackle with no fear of breaking off when playing even the biggest fish.

UKMA have well and truly given the Tri-Cast Trilogy XS Match 14ft a proper going over and I have to say it is one of the best long float rods I have personally ever had the privilege to use. Even when we took it away from the river and out of its comfort zone and used it on bagging carp water it still proved its worth as a responsive fish playing tool of the highest quality. If fishing the big rivers is your pleasure then you must have a look at what this superb float rod has to offer, it is that good. If commercial fisheries are you pleasure the Trilogy XS 14ft would not be my first choice for warm weather waggler work as it is slightly under-gunned for this type of work. However, in winter when you have to scale your terminal tackle right down and use small hooks when fishing the waggler at ranges in access of 30yds and you are looking for a rod that can offer total control and finesse, this is when the Tri-Cast Trilogy XS Match 14ft will truly come into its own.


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