A CARP brand that's already got a strong following across Europe is launching 1,000 quality products in the UK this year. It's an exciting prospect and Angler's Mail tackle guru Richard Howard found out more...
Carp Spirit is owned by global company Rapala, and distributed by Normark UK. It’s clear to me that the design team have clearly invested a lot of time to ensure that the new releases are perfect for UK anglers.
I visited the Carp Society HQ, Horseshoe Lakes, on the eve of the Carp Spirit-sponsored 2019 World Carp Classic UK Qualifier, to have a sneak preview of some of their standout items.
Carp Spirit quality rods suit all budgets
The beauty about being owned by a heavyweight, global company is that your buying power is huge, allowing you to source the best deals on materials such as carbon.
This is reflected across five new Carp Spirit rod ranges, from the ‘big-hitting’ 13 ft, 3.75 lb t.c Magnum XLR rods (RRP £329.99), which have been designed to enable you to punch a baited rig well over 200 yards, right through to the quality Magnum X5, X3 and X1 ranges.
There’s also a BLAX rod range, described as “the best in their class.” With RRPs from just £39.99-£59.99, it would take a brave man to challenge their claim.
The top three Magnum rods in the range feature high-modulus, Nano Matrix carbon blanks, anti-scratch finishes and anti-frap tip guides, to prevent the line from tangling when casting.
They haven’t held back on the quality of the reel seats or the guides.
I can see that they haven’t held back on the quality of the reel seats (Alps and Fuji) or the guides (Sea-Guide).
The X5 range (£199.99-£219.99) and X3 range (£159.99-£179.99) consist of 12 ft (3 lb and 3.5 lb) and 13 ft (3.5 lb) rods.
Featuring the same trademark semi-fast action as their higher-spec brothers, the Magnum X1s include 10 ft (3 lb), 12 ft (2.75 lb and 3 lb) and 13 ft (3 lb and 3.5 lb) rods, covering all carping requirements.
Built on blended 36- and 30-ton high-modulus carbon blanks with a 3K weave, they are serious rods for the money, starting at a very affordable £74.99.
The BLAX series of rods is built on a 30-ton carbon blank. There are 10 ft (3 lb), 12 ft (2.75 lb, 3 lb and 3.5 lb) and 13 ft (3 lb and 3.5 lb) models to chose from.
The understated BLAX Series also include a 12 ft (3.75 lb) marker rod (£54.99) that features a glow-in-the-dark tip and depth markers, helping you to ‘feel’ the substrate on the bottom.
There are also 12 ft 4.5 lb and 5 lb spod rods in the range, both with ‘high-power’ progressive blanks.
Carp Spirit reveal top value HD3 Alarms
This compact, three-rod alarm set and receiver is packed with features, and looks like great value, retailing for under £110.
Carp Spirit describe the new HD3s as “small, stealthy and silent”, and are preparing to sell them by the caseload.
By taking the speakers out of the alarm heads, and just relying on the speaker in the receiver, they have managed to appeal to the current demand for more compact alarms.
These models have a list of features as long as your arm:
- six adjustable LEDs
- adjustable sensitivity
- 20-second latching LED on the alarm and receiver
- forward and drop-back bite differentiation
- built-in Night Light function on the alarm heads
- vibration or sound alert options on the receiver, and volume and tone controls.
You can match your alarm and receiver LED colours and positions, and a digital Rolling Code system allows extra alarms to be tuned in.
The receiver even comes with a table support and a belt clip.
They boast a good battery life, and I know some people would expect to pay £200 for these, not the £109.99 price tag.
4 other Carp Spirit products that caught my eye…
INOX Rod Pod
I couldn’t fail to be impressed by this rod pod. Made from ultra-high-grade stainless steel, reflected in its £349.99 price tag, it is a pod for life.
Folding flat, for easy storage, it simply swivels and clicks into position when you want to use it.
If you store your alarms and back rests on the buzzer bars, you can set this pod up in under 50 seconds. In fact, I timed it at 47 seconds.
You can fish your rods in a multitude of positions without feeling as if you’re having to set up a Meccano model.
Arma Skin SCS Super Compact Shelter
The Arma Skin SCS looks as if it is perfect for urban anglers. Based on Carp Spirit’s 10,000 mm waterproof-rated Arma-Skin fabric, it’s a serious, little shelter.
It has a quick-fold, pop-up portable frame, and clips to the outside of your bedchair, which means you do away with the need to peg it down.
Perfect on canals, riverside towpaths and even boats, inside pockets offer extra storage.
You can sit on a bedchair and still have clearance above your head, the peak on the shelter helping to protect you from the elements.
There’s even a vent at the back, and a groundsheet. Good for overnighters in tight spots. RRP £144.99.
Razor Point Hooks
If you’ve been struggling to get your favourite Razor Point hooks, let me be the bearer of good news…
Carp Spirit have brought them back, all seven patterns: Long Shank, Boilie Beak, Medium Curve Shank, Stiff Rig/Chod, Continental Xtra Strong, Short Curve Shank, and Zig Floater.
There’s also a complete range of Razor Point Rigs, so you don’t have the worry or hassle of trying to tie a Chod, 360 or KD rig.
The super-sharp hooks are made from top-quality Japanese carbon steel, and have a non-glare, PTFE finish. RRP is £4.49 a pack.
Several new 42 in. landing nets really caught my eye, and not just for the fact that you can buy them to match the Magnum X1 and BLAX rods, though I reckon some anglers will love that.
I like the Multi-Net designs, which come with 3, 6 or 9 ft handles, as they suit lots of situations.
They look just the job for netting a fish from a boat, when a short handle is useful, to landing fish from a steep bank, when a long handle makes things easier.
Other features include rounded inserts on the arms, to help you locate them in the spreader block, EVA handle end-caps, and mesh clip magnets, to prevent your mesh from snagging when netting a fish.
Landing nets are priced from £59.99. Multi-Net options from £99.99.