Daiwa Matchman Pellet Waggler Rod Review

Last Updated on 25 March 2024 by James Bevan

Overall Rating

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Score derived from the average of these ratings:

Build Quality - 7.0

Casting Ability - 7.5

Playing Fish - 7.0

Value For Money - 9.0

Quote Marks

The Daiwa Matchman Pellet Waggler Rods offers the fundamental features needed in a pellet waggler rod at an insanely low price

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4 new from £43.99
as of 16 April 2024 19:21

Obviously, we know that Daiwa and rods in the same sentence basically mean quality assured. But is this always the case with their more budget products on the market. 

I can tell you now that the Airity Pellet Waggler Rod is one of the best out there. But at a price point that is 10 times cheaper, how does the Matchman compare? Let’s find out.

The Rods Build Quality & Features

Build Quality
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What Does This Mean?

When rating the build quality of a rod,
consideration has been given to the basic components.

These include the materials used in the blank,
handle, reel seat and line guides.

We also take into account any additional features
that make life on the bank easier for anglers.

To start off, Daiwa has gone with a hybrid approach on the handle of the Matchman with a blend of EVA and Cork material.

Despite not being a fan of mixing materials on the handle it actually does look and feel the part and you would be forgiven for thinking the handle is part of a rod that is 5 times the price.

Similar to the Preston Ignition, the handle uses the ‘armlock feature’ which basically means the cork has been shaped to fit your forearm comfortably. And, to be fair, it does.

This sort of thought and minor design features do really set apart the decent rods from the inferior ones.

Daiwa Matchman Pellet Waggler Rod Review - Handle (1)
The stylish handle on the Daiwa Matchman Pellet Waggler Rod

The rod is equipped with a downlocking DPS reel seat, which, in my experience is known for its reliability and ability to securely lock any reel in place.

It’s also the style that you often see in more premium models. In testing, I used a 320-sized reel and experienced no movement during casting or retrieval for the whole session.

Daiwa Matchman Pellet Waggler Rod Review - Reel Seat
The Matchmans DPS Reel Seat

The blank of the Daiwa Matchman Pellet Waggler Rod is constructed from High Modulus Carbon (HMC), providing a nice balance of strength and sensitivity which is needed for pellet waggler fishing.

This material choice is pretty standard in fishing rods but it does the job and certainly keeps the price down.

The guides on the rod are stainless steel, which again keeps the price down and they appear to be made and secured well.

They certainly didn’t make me feel that I would have any problems with them with continued use which you sometimes see in the more budget-type rods with these guides on them.

Finally, a nice little touch to the rod is the keeper ring at the base which is always a handy addition.

Features & Specs List

  • High Modulus Carbon (HMC) blanks
  • Stainless steel guides with ceramic linings
  • Cork/EVA hybrid handle
  • Downlocking DPS reel seat
  • Available in lengths: 10′, 11′, 12′, and a 3-piece 13′ model
  • Hook holder for convenience

Casting Performance

Casting Ability
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What Does This Mean?

How a rod casts is one of the key fundamentals
that determine a great rod from a mediocre one.

Easy, frictionless casting that provides accuracy
and distance is all rated in this category.

In terms of casting, the soft action on the rod helped and I was easily hitting a feeding spot at about 10 metres with an 8g float.

I used the 10-foot rod in testing but with 11 and 12-foot variations available, more casting distance could be achieved with these models.

The specs say that the rod is capable of handling casting weights up to 15g which is about right in my opinion.

If you need a pellet waggler rod to handle longer distances with heavier floats then a more ‘beefed up’ rod may be more suitable for you like the Shimano Aero X5 which has a fantastic tip action or the Guru N-Gauge which features large Seaguide rings that helps when a few more yards on the cast is needed.

Daiwa Matchman Pellet Waggler Rod Review - Guides
The stainless steel guides on the Daiwa Matchman range of rods

Playing Fish

Playing Fish
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What Does This Mean?

The ability to play fish effectively is an
important feature of any fishing rod.

Fishing is a sport, and as part of
this sport, feeling the pulls, lunges and the
fight of a fish is an exhilarating feeling
that adds to the overall experience and enjoyment
of angling.

As such, this is all taken into account
when rating fishing rods.

In testing, I caught mostly F1s and silvers with the odd Carp to 6lbs. At no point did I feel the rod wasn’t adequate to play these fish and indeed bigger fish. It was well-balanced and soft enough to play ‘splashy’ F1s without pulling the hook.

Okay, it doesn’t feel as powerful and/or sensitive as the more premium models, but it does do a decent job nonetheless.

Daiwa Matchman Pellet Waggler Rod Review - Blank
The Matchmans blank in action

Value For Money

Value For Money
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What Does This Mean?

How much any fishing rod costs is always
going to be a key factor in an
angler’s final choice.

A rod can have all the bells and
whistles under the sun but if you have
to re-mortgage your house to purchase it then
all of a sudden it isn’t the best
choice for some.

When rating how much value for money a
rod brings, consideration has been given to how
the rod performs in all the other categories
vs its price point.

Value for money is the Daiwa Matchmans strength. For around the £40 mark, you get a decent rod that is made by a reputable brand that performs the basics of a pellet waggler rod amicably.

I love the fact that the price point is pitched as an entry-level rod for those new to the sport as beginners will absolutely benefit from the rod’s good all-round performance.

It is also available in 12 and 13-foot versions as well which is well-suited for anglers who may want a rod that can equally be used as a conventional float rod.

This versatility in the range is one of the main reasons it features in our guide on top pellet waggler rods.

4 new from £43.99
as of 16 April 2024 19:21

Other Expert Reviews

One of our trusted expert reviewers has also put the Daiwa Matchman Pellet Waggler Rod through its paces. A summary of the Match Fishing Magazines review is as follows…

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The review by Tom Scholey highlights the Daiwa Matchman’s exceptional value for money, offering quality well beyond their cost.

The rods are praised for their construction, featuring HMC carbon blanks that provide a forgiving fish-playing experience, stainless steel guides with ceramic linings, and a classy cork fore grip with a secure DPS reel seat.

The review notes the rods’ excellent performance in various fishing conditions, with special mention of their softness and sensitivity.

Source: https://matchfishingmagazine.com/close-daiwa-matchman-rods/

The Pros & Cons Of The Daiwa Matchman Pellet Waggler Rod

Here is a list of advantages and drawbacks I found with the Preston Ignition Pellet Waggler Rod when reviewing it:



How The Rod Compares To Its Competitors

Here’s how the Daiwa Matchman compared to other pellet waggler rods we have reviewed:

Final Thoughts

In summary, the Daiwa Matchman Pellet Waggler Rod is an excellent choice for anglers looking for a dependable, affordable rod that does all the things you need a pellet waggler rod to do.

While it may not rival the top-tier rods, it offers an exceptional balance of quality, functionality, and value.

Ideal for both novice and casual anglers, this rod is particularly suited to those who appreciate the essence of pellet waggler fishing without the need for extravagant features.

Thanks for reading

Tight lines!

Hopefully, you have found this review of the Preston Ignition Pellet Waggler Rod useful. If you would like to see more fishing tackle reviews you can do so here.

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