When it comes to float rods I know I must sound like a broken record! Every time there's a question on the AnglersNet Coarse Fishing Forum asking for recommendations for a good float rod – I wade in with a plug for the Harrison 15' GTi (Hollow Tip).
I've used one of these rods for 9 seasons after a hearty recommendation from my angling friend Alan Tomkins. My original purchase is still going strong though has now been re-ringed twice – which is some indication as to how much use it's got through in that time. ( A LOT!) This spring I splashed out on another – and both rods are now made up in my quiver for my winter fishing campaign. One is set up with 8lb main line for heavier fish – barbel, chub and perch in particular, the other has lighter end gear – for roach, dace and grayling. And it is this versatility which makes the this rod such a great acquisition. It can handle lines down to 2.5lb and is equally capable of being used with much heavier lines for barbel, chub and tench fishing.
My rods get used extensively for trotting – where I appreciate the extra length in controlling the float and is especially useful on wider rivers. I guess 15' may be too long for some small stream work – though I can honestly say there are few waters where I find it cumbersome – though this may be that many streams and carriers that I fish in the winter are well manicured in deference to the spring time fly fisher. The extra length here can be a positive advantage as it allows you to stay well back from the water's edge. I occasionally use it for free lining and know of other anglers who use theirs for legering as well as trundling meat.
The Gti has a great through action – with enough power to master bigger fish. (I've had tench to 7.10, chub to 6.5, carp to 15 (when tenching) and barbel to 8lb). It can also handle the more sensitive requirements of roach and dace (both my PB's have been caught with it). I even landed a double figure pike recently – whilst out perching! A great all round rod.
You may struggle to find these rods in your local tackle shops. Both mine were custom built; my first one by 'Bob the Rod' at http://www.fostersofbirmingham.co.uk/ the second by Ian Tucker of http://www.customfishingrods.co.uk/ . Both did an excellent job (Ian will put your name on it for free). Expect to pay around £170.
A nice 5lb 15oz chub