This rod is currently only available in the UK from Seaton Tackle (Chris Chapple 01297625511). The ‘Onliner’ series of rods from the German manufacturer D.A.M. is probably best described as ‘entry level’ when it comes to projected ownership and price range; retailing at around £30, this is a relatively inexpensive way to get into river barbel fishing.
The rod I used was the 11’6” 1.5lbs test curve, 2 piece ‘Barbel Avon Quiver’ which I took for a day on the River Severn near Shrewsbury. If you know the river at this point, it’s up to 70 yards wide in places and has plenty of flow through it; enough to challenge any rod.
Designed for use with main lines probably between 5-10lbs, the ‘Onliner’ comes supplied with the heavier Avon style top or a quiver top for use with the 3 push in quiver tips, unfortunately none of which are marked with a test curve, so selecting the correct one for the prevailing conditions may come down to trial and error which takes up valuable fishing time! Each one has a brightly coloured vision tip which extends for about 4” down the shaft, which may not suit those anglers who prefer an all white sight tip. I guessed that the tips supplied range between 1.5-3.0ozs which would cover reasonably close range fishing with light ledger or feeder set ups. The glass fibre rod blank is not the slimmest I’ve ever come across, lacking the finesse of more expensive carbon rods, but the ‘onliner’ series does feature a full length EVA/duplon handle and graphite reel seat with stainless steel caps. The rod eyes are all neatly whipped with aluminium oxide guides which will accept braided mainlines. The overall finish of the blank is in an attractive shiny blue featuring the D.A.M. logo.
I twinned the rod with a 5000 series baitrunner loaded with 8lb mainline, a 2oz feeder rig and a meaty hook bait which was cast out straight in front of me about 30 yards across the river to allow it to settle just downstream of my chosen peg. The first thing I noticed was quite a bit of friction from the tip eye which resulted in the cast falling short. I wasn’t sure if I had caught the hook on the surrounding undergrowth, so a quick recast resulted in the same thing happening. Thinner lines or braid will be required rather than the proposed 10lb maximum to prevent excessive friction which affects the cast or may damage the rod. Once the rig had settled, the push in tip displayed every little twitch or tap quite adequately and left me in no doubt that fish were on the bait.
Playing fish was quite a pleasant experience using the ‘onliner’; no flat spots and a progressive through action meant I was in full control until the fish was in the net. I had no problems close in, and never felt that the hook would ‘pull’ as a result of the rod action in spite of the power in the blank.
The Avon top supplied is suited to fishing with heavier leads at greater range, or trotting a chubber float downstream. It’s still supple enough to register fairly sensitive bite indications, but on a low river it was seriously over gunned although it was far easier to cast with, due to a much enlarged tip eye.
The Onliner Barbel Avon Quiver is not a rod aimed at the serious barbel expert, but it does fit nicely in the armoury of the younger angler or the fisherman on a tighter budget. It had no problem handling hefty chub and smaller barbel on a big river at close range, casting was inhibited somewhat when using thicker mainlines, but reducing the breaking strain would alleviate this. The shiny varnish on the rod blank may not be to everyone’s taste, but it was finished tidily with no sharp or rough edges. The reel seat held my baitrunner securely and it was well balanced and comfortable to handle all day. I would like to see test curve information on the push in tips, but overall the rod dealt with what was required on the day.
Clint Walker, August 2010