Catching silver fish on the MAP Parabolix 10ft Feeder Black Edition
I have used several feeder rods over the years and some very good ones at that. I got hold of a new MAP Parabolic Black Edition and could not wait to try it out. I set off to fish Partridge lakes in Culcheth, Warrington where I quickly opted to fish Holbar lake which has an assortment of different pegs around the lake. This would be a good test for my new rod as it would give me a good idea of what the rod was capable of as the fishery holds a good stock of large siler fish and also a lot of carp and F1s.
I opted to buy the 10ft version as this would be more versatile when it comes to fishing pegs with overhanging trees or pegs with limited space due to bank side vegetation. I also wanted to see how the rod handled larger fighting fish such as F1s and carp.
I set up the parabolix with my trusty Diawa 3012 TDR reel with 6lb Diawa sensor mainline. To this I added a small Drennan Grip mesh cage feeder on a 3inch feeder link. This was finished off with a 2ft length of 0.11 Guru N-Gauge line and a size 16 GURU Kaizen hook.
I started the session by choosing to fish between 2 islands in open water at about 30m. A small bomb was added to the end of the tackle and a gentle lob with the rod had me feathering the line to slow the bomb down to where I wanted to fish, a few casts later gave me an idea of the depth and bottom contours of the lake. The bomb was then exchanged for a feeder to carry some ground bait as I was going to fish for everything.
My ground bait mix for the feeder was 40% Silver X Roach, 40% Milled expander and 20% frenzied Hempseed, these ground baits are all made by Dynamite baits. This mix was made on the dry side as I wanted a mix that would explode on the way down to the bottom. This would hopefully give instant silver fish activity near the bottom with a possibility of catching on the drop over the drier slower falling particles. To this I added a good hand full of casters and a sprinkling of red maggotts. On the hook I am keeping it simple with just maggots or casters. Starting with a long hook length I will be carefully watching for any indications on the 0.5oz tip just after the feeder hits the bottom and as the hook bait settles near the bottom.
As the 10ft MAP Parabolic has a nice soft through action it was easy to tell exactly where the feeder was behind me when casting, a gentle lob saw the feeder fly exactly to where I was looking. When feathering the line to slow the feeder down it was good to feel the rod tighten slightly at the tip and I could feel the weight of the feeder in flight before hitting the water. I gently followed the feeder down with the rod to the splash on the surface. It was easy to keep a tight line with the fine 0.5oz tip and I could tell exactly when the feeder hit the silt.
After the feeder hit the water the rod tip was sunk just below the surface and the reel was slowly turned to keep some tension on the line to take out any bow. This took a few seconds which also allowed the ground bait in the feeder to start to break down. As I have started on a 2ft hook length, I tightened up to the feeder then drew the rod back from the rest about 18inches. This would leave a trail of bait with my hook bait in the firing line. When drawing the feeder back I could feel the gentle pull along the bottom through the silt.
The speed of this could be controlled easily with the amount of tension on the tip with the rod action. With a lot of other rods you build the tension up against the feeder then they suddenly spring jerking the feeder across the bottom. This could become a problem when fishing in clear water when the fish are wary of feeder presence. The idea today is to slowly remove the feeder from the catching zone with minimal disturbance and leave a slow falling bait on a tight line. The bait may only rise a few inches off bottom when drawing back but this gives enough time for a quick bite before the bait settles again.
After about 2 minutes the feeder was reeled in to find a smashed maggot on the hook with no visible bite indication on the tip. Another cast to the same spot was made, keeping tension in the line at all times, the feeder was slowly dragged back about 18 inches. Within a few seconds there was a small twitch on the rod tip but no pull round. Two minutes later I reeled in again to see another smashed maggot!
Shorten the hook length
As I didnt see the first two bites, the next adjustment was to shorten the hook length. This would give me more chance of seeing the bite quicker and give the fish less movement with the line before moving the tip on the rod. Eight inches was removed from the hook length as a starting point to see if the bites could be seen more clearly.
The cast was repeated, feeder drawn back to empty the contents and after a second or so the tip slowly moved about half an inch. I lifted gently into the bite and reeled in. A small roach of about two ounces was hooked perfectly in the top lip.
Its not the size of the fish on the first bite that got me excited, it was the speed of the bite after moving the feeder and that the fish was hooked smack bang in the centre of the top lip. This meant that the hook length was just about the right length to see the bite effectively but not to allow the fish enough line to smash the bait again.
Fish after fish
For the next two hours it was a fish a chuck with each fish getting bigger as the session went on. I carefully checked each fish to make sure of the hook position in the fishes mouth. The rod was definitely put through its paces from a 2oz roach right up to some fighting fit F1 carp to about 3lb which showed up later in the day.
With the through action and soft tip action in the rod, the different sizes of fish could be seen very easily within the bend of the rod. A large F1 carp fight bent the rod double in a semi circular shape which kept a constant but even pressure on the fish. When catching the larger 12oz to a pound roach, the fish bent the tip section and a small amount of the rod, if the roach suddenly set off on an angry run then the lower backbone of the rod would come into play to quickly subdue its fight. On the smaller fish and skimmers the soft tip action was mainly used and by gently reeling in the soft tip was perfect for keeping a gentle hook hold in the fishes soft mouths.
Most of the bites were a gentle tightening of the rod tip, each time the rod was drawn back slightly and if the fish was not hooked then the rod was replaced on the rest and the line tightened to give the slightest of tension in the tip once more. This approach leaves the bait in the swim for a second chance of a bite without recasting.
The rod is extremely lightweight giving the angler a good feel for what is actually going on at the end of the line. The weight of the feeder can be felt through the tip when feathering the line to gain casting accuracy, when using the lightest 0.5oz tip the type of bottom can be easily distinguished both through the tip and the feel through the rod.
The action of the rod is very soft and it was good to try to guess the size of fish before netting it. With a little practice the size of fish could be guessed which would speed up the landing process of each fish. During the session the bait was twitched along the bottom if a bite was not gained within a few seconds after emptying the feeder. This twitching entailed moving the empty feeder about 4 inches just to try to catch the attention of a nearby fish and by moving the bait slightly. With the soft tip the feeder could be moved gently and not jerked along the bottom.
Rod bent double
My only concern with the rod was that when I started to catch some big harder fighting 2-3lb F1s later in the session the rod was bent right round. This was excellent from keeping a good hook hold and a constant pressure on the fish and not one F1 was lost, but when trying to lift the fish vertically and land it quickly when near the net the rod seemed to lack the power required to control the fight and lift the weight of the fish.
This is not a problem at all as there are another 8 rods in the range with some SUV (stepped up version) rods. These rods have more backbone and can be used for bigger F1s and Carp or for casting further on bigger waters.
I’m definitely happy with my purchase and now know its capabilities and limits. It will always be part of my armoury, especially in the winter months where delicate bites will be easily spotted on the lightest tip, or where the average stamp of fish is generally smaller than on other waters.
Good luck all and tight lines