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Richard N

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  1. Hi Both,

    I've been following your blog for a while Chris as I'm trying to learn about and access the Kennet. Really enjoy your reports.

    On rods, I have two Drennan Acolyte float rods, a 15' and a 17'. Both are wonderful rods and so far I have had no trouble with them despite much tangling with shrubbery.   I have also heard of top section breakages, but for me, so far so good after two years.  They have a wonderful combination of finesse and power. Despite their featherweight and ultra slim profile they seem to have "muscle" and speed in the tip section, which allows you to hit the most delicate bite. The 17' was bought for my particular style locally on the Thames, where I often stret peg. It has enough length to get just over the drop off into the main stream. If they were fly rods they would be up there with Sage and probably cost £700+.

    On reels Bayleaf I am a recent convert to the "pin". It certainly takes time and I still haven't perfected the casting, but my advice would be that once you get one leave the fixed spool reel at home and force yourself to persevere.  My own confidence grew when I bought and Aerial style with a line guard, which stops the line blowing around in windy conditions. I've spoken to several in the know and was consistently pointed to the JW Young Purist II as good general purpose trotting reel.  There are usually decent used ones on Ebay, from about £250 upwards but buyer beware. I am certain one I saw was a fake.  I bought my most recent pin from Thomas Turner Fishing Antiques and John Stephenson there was really helpful. I would recommend them without hesitation.

    Hope that helps.

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