Exclusive! On the bank with Free Spirit’s new Hi S Carp Feeder rod

New 11ft Hi S Carp Feeder is more than a bit spe­cial, and a real plea­sure to use

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

F FISH­ING rods came with a pedi­gree, Free Spirit’s new Hi S Match rods would be pin­na­cles of the tackle trade aris­toc­racy.

The com­pany’s equally well-con­nected Hi S Carp rods have long been con­sid­ered be the best that money can buy.

Free Spirit en­tered the match, plea­sure, and spe­cial­ist arena around three years ago with its mid-priced CTX range. But it was surely only a mat­ter of time be­fore match rods with the same top­spec build and qual­ity car­bon as the Hi S Carp rods en­tered the fray.

The com­pre­hen­sive 16-rod Match range first saw the light at last year’s The Big One show, where those that saw them – me in­cluded – were wowed by their mod­ern looks, qual­ity fit­tings and al­most fright­en­ing trans­mis­sion of ‘feel’ through the blanks.

All are con­structed from ul­tra-low-resin 40t car­bon with wo­ven butt sec­tions. This makes them ex­tremely light to hold, yet ex­tremely strong.

The unique ‘Per­durable’ fin­ish does away with paint or lac­quer – it’s just the car­bon, which is made to be ul­tra-re­sis­tant to dam­age and helps the rods to re­tain their show­room looks.

Hi S Carp Feeder rods (the 11ft ver­sion of which was on live test duty) are all fit­ted with high-end Ki­gan Z guides along the blanks them­selves, while the quiv­er­tips bear anti-frap MZ rings that re­duce the chances of the reel line or shockleader catch­ing in them and caus­ing a crack-off.

Some­thing else that makes th­ese rods that lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent is their unique hol­low quiv­er­tips. Th­ese elim­i­nate any flat spots, since there is no abrupt tran­si­tion from solid tip through to hol­low blank – in­stead you get a seam­less, pro­gres­sive ac­tion.

To that lot you can add Fuji skele­tal-style reel seats with a cut-away for­ward fin­ger area, giv­ing added feel and con­trol when play­ing fish. Carp rod-style ab­bre­vi­ated han­dles al­low easy di­rec­tional changes when play­ing a hard-fight­ing fish close to the net, and ‘fold-friendly’ guide spac­ing al­lows you to break down a rod with reel and rig in situ.

Add all that up and you have to agree that Hi S Carp Feeder rods are a bit spe­cial.

Not only do they look class­ily dif­fer­ent, they also feel and be­have dif­fer­ently in the hand.

This was in­stantly ap­par­ent on the live test. The two-piece 11ft

Carp Feeder rod is so slim in the butt sec­tion just above the han­dle – just 150mm in cir­cum­fer­ence – that it doesn’t look ca­pa­ble of cast­ing a small float, never mind a feeder. How wrong can you be!

Not only will it chuck 3oz (85g) feed­ers with some ease, but it will pro­pel them an aw­fully long way, cer­tainly far enough to cope with most com­mer­cial venues.

The rod’s pro­gres­sive ac­tion is equally ad­mirable – the hol­low quiv­er­tip gives it a seam­less cur­va­ture, and it has enough power in its locker to cope with ev­ery­thing from F1s on light gear, through to big girls on heavy Method tac­tics.

The cut-away reel seat al­lows you to feel ev­ery move­ment of a hooked fish, and while the ab­bre­vi­ated han­dle may not be to every­one’s taste, it bal­ances per­fectly with the blank and is just the ticket for winding up a cast or pil­ing on the pres­sure when it’s needed. Price: £280 (ab­bre­vi­ated han­dle) £300 (full cork han­dle)

The smile says it all, re­ally – what a su­perb rod!

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