When Dave Havers of Tacklebargains.co.uk called me to say he'd got a batch of carp rods in for reduced clearance, I must say, I was over to see him in a shot. Don't get me wrong, I'm more than happy with the Sportex rods I had built around four years ago, but just lately there have been just one or two occasions where I have felt the need for something a touch bigger.
In a word, my 2.25TC Sportex rods are fantastic. However, they were built to fulfil two main requirements at the time; as the vast majority of my carp angling is done on old estate lakes and I'm rarely chucking more than 50 yards I wanted a low test curve. Secondly, as I like to feel the fish I'm playing, I also wanted a proper â€˜all-through' action.
Built as such, I've had some fantastic tussles using the rods and won't have a word said against them, but over the last year when fishing the Top Pool or whilst on Birch Grove, there have been occasions where they have been slightly outdone in the heat of battle.
In the main the problems are down to big fish weeding me in the Top Pool where I could do with just a little bit more power to try and get them up and moving again. On Birch Grove the problem is that you can be fishing at big distances close up to snags and you really need a little more â€˜beef' to get the upper hand quickly at the beginning of the battle, before they reach the snags.
Of course the problem is money, I can't afford to go out and get another four rods made up, so I've not really done anything about itâ€¦ until now! On seeing the rods Dave had to offer I knew they were just what I was looking for, and at around half the retail price, I was able to jiggle finances in order to get four of them sorted - just in time for my week on Birch Grove next month!
First impressions are impressive. The rods are the new 2003/4 version of the Masterline Super Specialist, and as far as I'm aware, they aren't even out on the market yet! The rod builders made up the rods with rather large stickers on the blanks, so they are being sold off as cosmetic seconds â€¢ amazing really as all you have to do is peel the stickers off!
The blanks have a really nice woven graphite finish, with lined three-legged guides in gunsmoke finish and jet black whippings. The reel seat and but protector are also finished in black. The rods are 2 piece 12ft.
Although I've not hooked a biggie with them yet, initial sessions have shown them to be exactly what I was hoping for. I've had a play with them up at the little club water I'm involved with, taking a couple of nice doubles with ease - I'm also getting that little extra â€˜poke' I was after for distance work, which of course is also helping on the cast. In fact, my first cast up on the Top Pool resulted in me casting a fully loaded PVA bag right over the water and into the marginal undergrowth on the far sideâ€¦ Doh!
I can't put across just what a bargain these rods are for the money involved. Let's just say that I've purchased four of them, and since seeing mine, my friends have bought a further ten between them!
As far as I'm aware the rods will retail somewhere between Â£90.00 - Â£100.00 each. You can purchase these cosmetic seconds from Tacklebargains.co.uk for just Â£49.95 each, or a pair for just Â£89.95!
If you are in the market for some rods â€¢ I'd snap up some of these before they disappear for good! Visit Tacklebargains.co.uk to buy online (and support Anglers' Net!). The link below will take you straight to the right section of the site.