Why am I looking at this catapult? Simple. Mine is broken and I need a new one. There are literally hundreds of different ‘pults on the market today, all promising to drop baits on a sixpence at 100 metres with ease, but is that really the case? Most anglers have at least a couple of cattys in their armoury, for groundbait, for particles, for maggots or for boilies. I already have a groundbait chucker, but the pouch has a solid plastic circle sitting in it that makes it completely unusable for anything else. Being tight with my money, I wanted something that will throw particles, maggots, mixers or whatever else I’m using all in the same product.
The first thing I looked at was the pouch; would I be able to put smaller baits into it without them just flying everywhere, or, worse still, whacking the frame and just exploding all over me! On this item, the pouch has enough depth and is wide enough to accommodate quite a bit of bait and there is no way that particles such as corn can just fall out when the elastic is stretched before firing. Because the pouch is soft, it closes over the bait to prevent ‘drop out’ when pulled back. The addition of the finger loop gives even more options when it comes to choosing between a gentle lob, or a full blooded ‘twanger’!
Personally, I’m not a big fan of elastics that are attached to the frame using any swivels, loops or rings as I think it just makes them more prone to tangles or wrapping around the frame. If the elastic is slipped over the arms of the catapult, I know which side it should be when I’m firing it, and it’s easy to straighten everything out for the next shot. The Drennan catty advertises ‘long life elastic’ on the packaging; I’m not sure what counts as ‘long life’, but I’ve had this for a couple of months now and there is no sign of splitting on the angle where it meets the frame which is normally the first place to fail. The pouch and latex elastic are also soft enough to limit the amount of ‘finger whack’ when you get it wrong and pelt your own fingers! (...or is that just me who does that?!)
The frame is extremely strong; with a comfortable plastic grip which has no sharp edges to damage hands. The thumb guide is also plenty big enough for those of us with fat fingers. When the ‘pult is stretched back to its maximum, there is no flexing or bending of the frame, so no danger of it snapping like some of the cheaper options.
It’s accurate, too. I managed to drop single baits consistently within a small area at about 60 metres, and pouches of particles at 30 metres. Drennan state that it is possible to fire 20mm baits out to 100 metres and maintain precision, but I think you would have to be realistic and say that it would depend on weather conditions and the amount of practice you are prepared to put in. I know I’d be fairly confident of bouncing a single 20mm of my bivvied up brother at 50 metres, but I’m not sure I could do it further out! (..not that I would obviously!)
Fifty dog biscuits? No problem!
Price? It comes in fairly mid range at £7.29, which I was happy to pay for a sturdy, adaptable bit of kit. It does all that I expect it to, and allows me to use different baits at good distance, so I’ll recommend it to anyone who needs something with flexibility that will stand up to rigorous use. Available from most good stockists, I got mine from Pickerings of Burslem. (www.pickeringsfishingtackle.co.uk or contact 01782 814941).