THIS MONTH: South Coast Rods, Wy­ch­wood, Banana Rods, Shi­mano, JRC

Carpworld - - CONTENTS - -Carp­world

This month’s stand­out launch has got to be the new Aero Tech­nium reels from Shi­mano. We also check out the up­dated Wy­ch­wood MHR Brolly MKII, JRC Slim Kurve in­di­ca­tors, and new com­pany South Coast Rods who are of­fer­ing cus­tom Free Spirit rods

Um­brel­las were the orig­i­nal choice of the dis­cern­ing carp an­gler way back when the pas­time was founded. The hum­ble shel­ter has come a long way since then and de­spite the in­ven­tion of bivvies in all man­ner of styles, many an­glers still pre­fer the old school quirks of a brolly. Wy­ch­wood have pro­duced a range of brol­lies for a num­ber of years now, many of which have de­vel­oped some­thing of a cult fol­low­ing. The com­pany is renowned for its at­ten­tion to de­tail and qual­ity, how­ever their prod­ucts of­ten come in sig­nif­i­cantly cheaper than other prod­ucts of a sim­i­lar qual­ity.

The orig­i­nal Wy­ch­wood MHR Brolly MKI was a real hit with both ses­sion an­glers and overnight en­thu­si­asts alike. Due to this, Wy­ch­wood were care­ful not to up­date the new ver­sion too much and in­stead lis­tened to the thoughts of the cus­tomers who bought them. On that note, the new brol­lies are made us­ing the ex­act same, 10,000mm hy­dro­static head ma­te­rial. This su­per thick, yet light­weight ma­te­rial won the hearts of many carp an­glers for its in­cred­i­ble dura­bil­ity, and so there re­ally was no need to al­ter it. How­ever, there have been a few up­dates to the de­sign of both the stan­dard brolly and the full sys­tem to help meet the needs of the mod­ern an­gler.

A pair of large rear vents have been added to im­prove air­flow on warm days. The front mos­quito pan­els on the full sys­tem have also been in­creased to per­mit a bet­ter view of the lake. A new flex­i­ble door has been fit­ted to the zip-in front of the new MKII Sys­tem, al­low­ing you to utilise the pan­els in a mul­ti­tude of dif­fer­ent for­mats, giv­ing full shel­ter cus­tomi­sa­tion. A new wa­ter­tight, pro­tec­tive bell cap now fea­tures on the stan­dard brolly as well as the sys­tem, while both still ben­e­fit from mul­ti­ple peg­ging points. Fi­nally, Wy­ch­wood have fit­ted a unique cen­tral vent which will help elim­i­nate con­den­sa­tion.

As be­fore the MHR MKII is avail­able as just a stand­alone brolly, or as a full sys­tem with a zip-in front and heavy duty ground­sheet. Both of the brol­lies come with five-year war­ranties, which is tes­ta­ment to the qual­ity of Wy­ch­wood’s prod­ucts. The stan­dard MHR Brolly MKII is priced at £199.99, and is sup­plied with a set of 24inch storm poles. The MHR Brolly MKII Sys­tem, which can be con­verted to a long ses­sion shel­ter with the zip-in front and ground­sheet, is priced at £299.99.

The new Aero Tech­nium has to be the most highly-an­tic­i­pated launch from Shi­mano in a num­ber of years. There is a rea­son for that too, the new Aero Tech­ni­ums take carp fish­ing reels to an en­tirely new level.

As the name sug­gests, Shi­mano have utilised mag­ne­sium through­out the con­struc­tion of what can only be de­scribed as the Rolls Royce of reels. Util­is­ing this ma­te­rial means the new Aero Tech­ni­ums are in­cred­i­bly light, weigh­ing in at a mea­gre 485g.

Of course, be­ing a flag­ship reel, the Aero Tech­nium ben­e­fits from the full Ha­gane treat­ment, in­clud­ing the gear­ing. The cold-forged gears are in­sanely strong and are sure to cope with even the most de­mand­ing of sit­u­a­tions. All the in­ner work­ings are shielded by Shi­mano’s amaz­ing Xpro­tect too, which en­sures no wa­ter, sand or grit can get in­side the reel what­so­ever.

Shi­mano have lis­tened to their cus­tomers too, fit­ting a Hi Speed Drag. The knob now takes just a half turn to go from a Baitrun­ner type sys­tem, to fully locked up, giv­ing in­stant con­trol. Although some would find it hard to be­lieve, they have even man­aged to im­prove on the os­cil­la­tion, the new reels be­ing fit­ted with Su­per Slow Os­cil­la­tion 10, which gives the per­fect line lay.

All in all, the new Aero Tech­ni­ums are a mas­ter­piece and as close to reel per­fec­tion as you are likely to see for the fore­see­able fu­ture. There are two dif­fer­ent mod­els in the range: XTC and XSC. The XTC is fin­ished in a lovely matte and gloss black combo. The XSC model is very dif­fer­ent, fea­tur­ing a pearl­ef­fect fin­ish, which will cer­tainly turns heads and is bound to prove an­other pop­u­lar choice.

Both colour op­tions are ex­actly the same size, with Shi­mano’s 14000 spool and fea­ture the same in­ner work­ings, as well as a spare spool.

Fol­low­ing on from our re­cent re­views of their range of be­spoke, hand-built fish­ing rods, this month sees us tak­ing a look at the match­ing net that’s now avail­able to com­pli­ment them. Avail­able in two sizes, ei­ther a 42inch or 50-inch and with the op­tion of a one or two-piece han­dle, the lat­ter be­ing 8 feet in length and com­pris­ing two equal lengths, as op­posed to the con­ven­tional 6 feet of the one-piece.

While many won’t see the ap­peal of a han­dle that is only marginally longer than stan­dard, for those of you who fish from boats on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, or quite like stalk­ing fish in the edge, be­ing able to use just one half of it will be a god­send, mak­ing it far more ma­noeu­vrable when out on the wa­ter or in the con­fines of a small space.

The net is very light in the hand, yet re­tains a very stiff and strong han­dle due to its con­struc­tion from the same process as the rods them­selves. As ex­pected it is once again fin­ished to an in­cred­i­bly high stan­dard, with a dis­creet matte-look to the pole while fea­tur­ing Banana’s sig­na­ture Easy Power grip at the base, with a ma­chined, stain­less steel spreader block.

This com­pany is a ded­i­cated Free Spirit sup­plier run by Carp Team Eng­land’s Gra­ham Mabey. South Coast Rods is unique in that it only sells one brand, the world renowned Free Spirit range.

Their at­ti­tude and ap­proach to busi­ness is re­fresh­ing in a day and age of face­less, on­line shop­ping. Although South Coast Rods has a stylish, mod­ern and easy to nav­i­gate web­site, they pre­fer to deal with their cus­tomers in an old school man­ner, wel­com­ing phone calls and invit­ing po­ten­tial buy­ers to come and visit for a free, no obli­ga­tion con­sul­ta­tion where you ac­tu­ally get to try out the rods be­fore you buy.

Gra­ham had this to say about South Coast Rods, “I switched to Free Spirit rods about 10 years ago and hon­estly would never look to an­other brand now. When we go away to com­pe­ti­tions around the world, the rod of choice for most na­tional teams is Free Spirit and that’s be­cause the build qual­ity and ma­te­ri­als used are ab­so­lutely world class.

We only sell Free Spirit be­cause we wanted to spe­cial­ize in what we do. We have a show­room with over 40 rods avail­able to view and test, sit­ting along­side a com­pre­hen­sive stock of the most pop­u­lar mod­els.

Our vi­sion is a sim­ple one; we want ev­ery sin­gle cus­tomer to walk away from South Coast Rods with the per­fect rod for their fish­ing. Ev­ery an­gler will have dif­fer­ent needs from their rods and we take the time and ef­fort to al­low each cus­tomer to find the right rod to suit them.

I would say that around 75% of cus­tomers walk away with a dif­fer­ent rod to the orig­i­nal they came to view af­ter test­ing out oth­ers in the range. It is all well and good see­ing the lat­est ad­vert pro­mot­ing a rod, or watch­ing some­one on Youtube harp on about a rod be­ing the best ever made, but rod choice needs to be a per­sonal af­fair. We al­low our cus­tomers the time to come to their own con­clu­sions”.

South Coast Rods also pro­vide their own SCR Shorty rod, which re­ally is in a class of its own, of­fer­ing an­glers who pre­fer to use a shorter 10ft rod a top of the range, head-turn­ing op­tion. Built on a HI-S 10ft 3¼lb TC blank, with 40mm Min­ima guides, a black Fuji real seat, on a full cork han­dle and with unique black whip­pings and line clips, the SCR Shorty re­ally is a ‘go any­where’ rod. It has been specif­i­cally de­signed for catch­ing large carp from weedy, es­tab­lished pits and is equally at home play­ing fish away from mar­ginal bushes as it is whip­ping a 4oz lead 120 yards into the open wa­ter.

If you are think­ing of buy­ing a set of new rods then we strongly rec­om­mend giv­ing Gra­ham and his team a call. They are full of en­thu­si­asm and knowl­edge, and se­ri­ously care about mak­ing sure you walk away sat­is­fied. Let’s face it, you wouldn’t buy a car on­line without a test drive would you, so why do it with a set of rods?

Af­ter the suc­cess of their orig­i­nal Kurve in­di­ca­tor, JRC have now launched the Slim Kurve In­di­ca­tor. Fea­tur­ing a very smart, slim, hing­ing body, they are avail­able in a range of five dif­fer­ent colours to suit the an­gler’s taste.

They were de­signed and man­u­fac­tured in the UK and have a host of clever, key fea­tures, in­clud­ing a dual line clip for fixed or slid­ing use, which is suit­able for ei­ther braided or monofil­a­ment main­line. This, along with the ar­tic­u­lat­ing head, al­lows them to reg­is­ter even the slight­est of move­ments, or to be fixed in po­si­tion to min­imise any false in­di­ca­tions caused by wind.

The in­di­ca­tors them­selves are sup­plied as a com­plete kit with ev­ery­thing you need. There is a black ball-chain, a stiff arm, two ad­di­tional weights for windy con­di­tions or fish­ing at range, and the five dif­fer­ent coloured heads which are neon yel­low, neon green, neon or­ange, white or black and have an in­ter­nal iso­tope slot. These, along with the line clips are in­ter­change­able via JRC’S sim­ple Easy Turn and Fix sys­tem.

Wy­ch­wood MHR Brolly MKII and Brolly Sys­tem RRP: £199.99 and £299.99On­line: www.wych­wood­carp.co.uk

Shi­mano Aero Tech­nium MGS XTC/XSC RRP: £699 eachOn­line: www.fish.shi­mano-eu.com

Banana Rods Land­ing Net RRP: From £315On­line: www.ba­na­nar­ods.com

South Coast Rods Free Spirit rod range Con­tact: 07463 905390On­line: www.south­coas­trods.com

JRC Slim Kurve In­di­ca­torsRRP: £12.99 in­di­vid­u­ally, or £36.99 On­line: www.jrc-fish­ing.co.uk

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