Since starting here at Match Fishing a lot of my tackle testing has revolved around poles, so when features editor Matt Godfrey tasked me with testing the latest bite-size rods from Browning, I welcomed the opportunity with open arms. The Commercial King Carp Tickler and lighter F1 Tickler are 7ft rods, with the construction being one main section and an interchangeable tip section, with the choice of either a 0.5oz or 1oz tip provided as standard. This allows for a quick and easy setup, with storage in a ready rod bag or the provided rod sleeve made simple. Slide your hook into the ‘keeper tube’, which keeps the hook point unexposed, then pull out the tip section and wind tight, helping to reduce the chance of tangles or damage during transport. The length and casting weight of the rods see that they are perfectly suited to short-range casting, chucking over your pole line or up to islands on canal-style lakes.
I am faced with an open-water swim at the lovely Makins Fishery in Wolvey, so I’ve decided to rig the F1 Tickler up to fish at around 16 metres using a small pellet feeder. I have actually teamed the rod up with the new Commercial King CK 2-430 reel that Browning has released, which certainly looks and feels the part. On the Carp Tickler I have opted for a straight bomb setup that I will be casting around my peg at distances up to 30 metres. I have opted for the lighter of the two available tips for both setups. Starting with the F1 Tickler, chucking over the ‘pole line’ I don’t have to wait long before I get a positive wrap round of the rod and I hook the first fish of the day, falling to a white Band’um pellet. The soft action of the F1 Tickler is impressive and really allows you to feel any lunges the fish makes. I am using a relatively light 0.14mm-diameter hooklength (in line with the rod’s 2lb to 4lb suggested line rating) but the rod seems to absorb any pressure with its nice through action, meaning I don’t have to worry about back winding or having my clutch set too light.
Following a spirited battle a pristine common carp of just over 6lb pops up just under my feet and I am able to slip my net under it with ease. This is soon followed by four or five skimmers then a tench of 2lb that all fall for the same hook bait. I must say that playing these fish on such a short rod is brilliant fun! Eager to get among a few more carp I decide to pick up the Carp Tickler bomb setup and proceed to cast into some likely looking areas of my peg, with two hair-rigged pieces of corn the tempter. It takes a couple of casts but I manage to locate what must be a ball of fish just off to the right of my peg. The Carp Tickler certainly has extra backbone; in fact, it has a casting weight of up to 50g and a line rating of between 3lb to 8lb, so shouldn’t struggle in the strength department!
To confirm this I feel in total control, winding in each and every carp I hook with fish up to 7lb finding their way into my net. The action of the Carp Tickler is much pokier than the F1. I can see it being a popular choice in the summer months for carp, while the F1 Tickler seems to have more finesse and suits targeting smaller fish during summer or carp during the colder months, with the soft action reducing the chance of hook-pulls. The day progresses well and by rotating between the pellet-feeder line and chucking the bomb I am able to keep a few fish coming, although it is noticeable that those caught where I have introduced bait via the pellet feeder are considerably smaller than those caught on the straight bomb. Although that works well with the rods I have chosen to use on each line, I felt the F1 Tickler coped really well with the carp I hooked and landed on my first drop-in. Wanting another, it doesn’t take long before my wishes are answered and I’m soon back to playing another carp on the F1 Tickler. Bites on this rod seem to be really exaggerated, almost like Method-feeder bites of old. After sliding my net under another nice common carp it is time to pack up after a thoroughly enjoyable session. There you have it, the best things really do come in the smallest packages; two brilliant, fun rods brought to you by Browning!
Commercial King Carp Tickler • Length: 7ft • Casting weight: 50g/3lb to 8lb • Provided tips: 0.5oz, 1oz RRP: £79.95 Commercial King F1 Tickler • Length: 7ft • Casting weight: 35g/2lb to 4lb • Provided tips: 0.5oz, 1oz RRP: £79.95 Commercial King 2-430 reel • Carbon graphite rotor • Graphite body • Finely adjustable front drag • Folding aluminium handle • Thick bail arm for optimal balance • Powerful gears • Aluminium long-stroke spool • Spare spool • S-Curve line distribution • Continuous anti-reverse
Can't Find It?
Don't forget - subscribers to the magazine get 5% OFF at Angling Direct. Subscribe here