(as reviewed by Total Coarse Fishing)
When Hardy launched its Marksman range back in 2007, one of the best rods of the bunch was the 11ft feeder model. There was an issue with the tips, though, as they seemed a bit too stiff, but that was rectified when the company introduced a set of universal glass tips, making the shorter feeder models better for fishing with lighter lines.
The Marksman collection of rods are all super to fish with, but they do come with a price tag that for many is a little out of reach. To counter this, Hardy has introduced a new Marksman XT range of feeder rods; the Marksman XT Feeder 11ft with ¾oz, 1oz and 1½oz quivertips, the Marksman XT Feeder 12ft with 1oz, 1½oz and 2oz quivertips, and the Marksman XT Feeder 13ft with 1½oz, 2oz and 3oz quivertips The tips for each of the rods in the range are hollow carbon, which the company states “provide better performance, combined with more progressive power.”
I spent the day at Woodland View in Worcestershire on the venue’s Front Deans Lake on one of the milder days of the winter. I fished with the Marksman XT 11ft model with the lightest, ¾oz tip fitted as the water was still cold after a heavy cold snap, and fished corn over pellets – a good winter tactic, casting out just beyond the middle, where I’d seen a few fish top early in the day.
In the hand, with the reel fitted, right from the start I found the rod spot-on for casting the light bomb the 25 yards or so. As you would expect, the action was slow, but I did manage to catch some quality F1s and unseasonal tench, which, although they didn’t put the rod through a really stern test, enabled me to get an idea of the playing action. With the ¾oz tip, this was very much in the top third of the rod. The hollow tip was extremely soft – not what you would expect from carbon. However, it did cushion the last-minute attempts from the feisty F1s to bolt off as they neared the net.
There is certainly plenty left in the tank to cope with a real commercial specimen, and it would not be out of place on small rivers.
Although I’ve not had a chance to fish with the other two tips on board, I have played around in the office to see how the other tips perform under pressure, and would recommend these for most of your feeder fishing sessions with this rod. Well worth a look!
Hardy Marksman XT 11ft Feeder rod