Tested by Duncan Charman

MAVER ABYSS

£45
A basic carp rod, designed with the beginner with a tight budget, rung for distance with ‘put-over’ matt grey blank. This rod needs a re-think: very basic build; not sure about the bronze whippings; not much thought has gone into the looks of the rod and it doesn’t compete with the other rods in the group. The Abyss lacks any real backbone, with a floppy action. Casting a 3 oz lead with this rod made me nervous. But it is the cheapest in the group.
SCORE: 21/30


FOX WARRIOR

£59
Slim matt grey blank, SiC guides, non-slip handle, line clip, with nice understated minimalist looks. Competitive entry-level rod from tackle legends Fox. Minimalist, modern looks complete with line clip and non-slip Duplon/shrink tube handle. Slightly tip heavy, so better suited to pit reels. Pleasing soft tip action makes for a forgiving playing curve with bags of power in the butt when you need it. Looks are not as cutting edge as some in the group, but saying that it’s a very classy product. Well worth a try.
SCORE: 25/30


GRAUVELL SC CARP FX 360

£59.99
Made with 100 per cent high modulus carbon. Sexy looks, nice through action rod, whippings could have been neater, but overall build quality is very good. Stainless steel spigot reinforcer rings, SiC guides and good non-slip, slim-line handle are a nice touch. A lovely players’ rod, with a nice forgiving action, not the best casting rod in the group, but certainly not the worst and will cast a
3 oz lead, Method feeder or PVA bag a good distance. Slightly tip heavy, would suit big pit reels over standard free-spools. A strong contender with modern looks and performance to match.
SCORE: 26/30


TFG MAX POWER

£49.99
Matt black carbon blank, balanced action SiC guides, Duplon abbreviated handle. Despite its dated looks, which really need to be addressed, it’s a really pleasant rod to use. Boasting a super slim blank, great playing curve and forgiving tip, it isn’t a casting rod, but for the occasional carper who isn’t fussed about the latest trends and fashions, this is a great choice. Priced at under 50 quid, and with a lifetime guarantee it’s a cracking rod none the less. If TFG sort out the rather dated appearance, they have a potential class leader on their hands.
SCORE: 26/30


JRC J4

£50
Features a slim, matt finished blank, SiC guides, custom-made handle and put-over joint. This is one for you Tackle Tarts out there. Jaw dropping looks, with a very flash reel seat that even features leatherette! It performs very well but not the greatest casting rod in the group as it lacks a bit of backbone when compressed compared to the Daiwa or the ProLogic. It plays fish very well close-in though. Balance is very good, not too heavy and rung for distance with quality SiC guides. I think this will be a top seller, looking the part and handling like a rod twice its price.
SCORE: 27/30


CORMORAN PRO CARP ELIMINATOR

£54.99
Slim carbon blank, spigot joint, minimal and stylish looks, SiC guides, non-slip handle. Very high quality spigotted rod with expensive looks. The Kevlar style seat is eye catching and adds a touch of class. Understated and subtle graphics. Great balance with pit reels makes this rod a serious contender in this group. A joy to use and a true players’ rod with a very pleasing through action. It’s not the ultimate casting rod as there is a slight softness in the backbone, but this is not a bad thing, because what it does, it does very well. Superb for the price.
SCORE: 28/30


DAIWA REGAL X

£54.99
Medium to fast taper gloss carbon blank, Aluminium Oxide guides, low profile soft touch grips, half hood Fuji FPS reel seat. This rod is superb, with all the feel and quality of top-flight Daiwa offerings. A pleasure to use. You can feel the quality the moment you pick it up. The balance is perfect with a pit reel but it still feels balanced with a medium model. A great casting rod too, as the blank is quite tippy with a rather stiff backbone, but not overly. It’s nice to see a quality fast taper rod in this price bracket. A cracking players rod too.
SCORE: 29/30


BEST BUY

PROLOGIC CLASSIC CARP

£49.99
Lightweight and slim high modulus carbon blank, SiC guides, Fuji reel seat, put-over joint. What a stunner! Simply amazing value. Super slim blank, superb gloss finish reminiscent of the early Sportex and Harrison rods. Drop dead looks, perfect whippings, great non-slip handle that looks the biz. Has the appearance of a much more expensive rod, punches well above its weight. Very responsive with great recovery when casting, but still having a soft enough tip for delicate fish playing. This rod is an obvious choice for a budget long distance rod or one to buy for the occasional foreign trip.
SCORE: 30/30

NOTE: All products tested May 2009. All prices correct at the time of going to Press. Angler’s Mail do not take responsibility for price or product changes or current availability.

 

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