I expect most keen coarse anglers own a rod or two dedicated to fairly specialist tasks – perhaps a crisp, fast action float rod, designed solely with long trotting pacy rivers in mind; an ultra-light lure rod that brings to life the most tiny little jigs; or even one of the legendary Drennan Tench Float rods, designed for, erm…
However, it’s usually the most versatile kit that’s first in the bag. I’ve used the same Shimano Aero 2 ¼ lbs test curve rods for years – mainly for barbel fishing on the Wye, using the ubiquitous feeder and pellet approach, but also for light carp and pike fishing, distance bream fishing with alarms, and even for lobbing ragworms into the sea!
But for the heavier aspects of carp fishing that I find myself more and more engaged with – PVA bags, snag fishing and distance casting on larger waters – I have found myself under-gunned on more than one occasion.
So I was really excited to receive three brand-new, Fox Warrior + rods, together with a Warrior + S&M (Spod & Marker) rod and Warrior + net and handle from the great guys at Tackle Fanatics a couple of weeks ago. These models are exclusive to Tackle Fanatics and are a brilliant, modern update on the all-time classic Fox Warrior range of rods.
The 3 ¼ lbs test curve and 12ft length means distance work is a doddle and chucking a 3oz lead a long way or big PVA bag is no hassle. The rods feature full cork handles and lovely slim, low-profile blanks. I knew straight away the rods would be up to the tasks mentioned, but I was still keen to make sure they’d be subtle enough to deal with lively, double figure carp close-in.
Being able to nip out after dinner for a couple of hours carp fishing really is a lovely thing to do at this time of year. I tend to travel light at the best of times, but for these super-short sessions I just have the rods, net, and everything else is tucked away inside a zip up sling mat. I tend to move around a lot and sometimes even do away with the buzzers and fish slack lines with the rods on the floor.
What I really like about my favourite local pool is the variety of carp that live there – I’ve had dark, scaly mirrors, chunky commons and even some ancient looking carp – they’re all characters. One lean mirror carp I hooked close-in on a little white pop-up gave an explosive take and quickly took line from a tightly set clutch, making it quite far under some dense trees that weave extensively into the water. But by applying some hefty pressure and dunking the tip of the rod right down into the water, I turned the fish and eventually got it in the net. The rod was right up to the job, showing lovely progressive power and in that instance and I’m convinced I’d have lost that fish with the lighter rod.
I’ve been really impressed with the Warrior + 42 inch net too. I brought a pricier net made by another well-known brand and while the net itself was fine, the handle was poor with the thread loose and poorly attached to the handle.
The Warrior + net is really strong, but subtle and light too, perfect for moving around easily. I’ve used it to push into a really tight, snaggy swim to net a long, angry common and its deep profile means it’s perfect to rest a fish quickly in the margins after a tiring scrap. The handle is as lovely and solid too and with a properly attached, sturdy thread. It’s a bargain at under £40 and, again, they’re exclusive to Tackle Fanatics.
I’m really looking forward to testing the rods on a larger water I’ll be trying soon that requires a serious chuck and heavy baiting at range. They also look perfect for some of the heavier Wye tactics that come into play when there’s a bit of extra water on – conditions I love!
Tackle Fanatics currently have a top deal on three Fox Warrior +, full cork handle rods for just £209.99 down from the RRP of £519.99 – absolutely brilliant value for what is a superb, high-spec rod. Get them here!