Posts Tagged ‘tamer x wrap’


Review: Free Spirit Hi’S Special BW Barbel rods

May 14, 2014

Just thought I’d do a brief review of the Free Spirit Hi’S BW Barbel rods. I’ve had these now since the end of January and fortunately with the mild Winter and Spring we’ve had, I’ve had ample opportunity to put them through their paces.


Hi’S Special BW rods ready for action

I gave my first impressions of the rods in my previous post so I won’t bore you with that aspect again. See: Hi’S Special BW:First Impressions

I was though too impatient to wait for the rivers to abate as so I first tried them out on a small gravel pit near where I live, which was a pity, as I’d have liked to have had a barbel as my first fish on them. Instead though, it had to be a small carp.

They initially seemed quite stiff compared to the Fox Warrior S rods I had used the previous season, but this made them nice and crisp for casting and when I got the feel for them I was able to drop my method feeder on the same spot each cast. Read the rest of this entry ?


Free Spirit Hi-‘S’ Specialist 12′ Big Water rods – First impressions.

February 5, 2014

Ifs_logo just received a pair of Free Spirit Hi-‘S’ Specialist 12′ Big Water barbel rods in the post this week. As always I’m excited about new fishing rods; despite the fact I’ve probably about 40 odd rods in my garage. I’m particularly pleased to get these rods, as I spend most of my fishing time these days on the rivers after barbel & chub.  Although Free Spirit has primarily been associated with carp rods they have also been producing Barbel and Specialist rods for many years now.
These have not been promoted heavily in the past due to bottlenecks in their production capacity – the priority has generally been given to keeping up with the demand for the carp rod ranges. But the do a wide variety of rods including these specialist tools. Here is the catalogue description:


Utilising our ultra high modulus (40t) Low Resin Carbon the Hi-‘S’ Specialist range are incredibly slim and light for their given power. Designed to cope with the demanding needs of the modern specialist angler these rods can be held all day if necessary. The material used helps ‘transmit’ more feeling through the blank and the addition of our Clone seat, made of the same material as the rod, further aids this sensation. These rods are also finished with our ‘Perdurable’ blank technology. Read the rest of this entry ?


Croix Blanche Brochure 2013

November 27, 2012

I posted this on my Croix Blanche Blog too. I’ll no doubt be targetting the carp again  this Winter, and several oterh species next summer. I’ve still to break the 9lb Tench barrier.
Here with a relooked brochure for 2013.

It is available as a PDF file : Download Croix Blanche Brochure 2013

Or as an Interactive Flipbook brochure

Read the rest of this entry ?


Diary: November 26th 2012

November 26, 2012

Out on the river Marne again today.  The weather, which had been forecast rainy, turned out fine, with only the odd drop during the day, and mild overcast conditions prevailing… perfect fishing weather it would seem. Air temp was around 12°C, and the river was 9°C.
I changed sectors from my last trip, just for a change of scenery really. It is a sector where I’ve had fish in the past, and where I filmed the Free Spirit clip I did.
First swim looked promising and within a few minutes of casting out the Quest Baits boilie/paste combo I was getting knocks on the rod top.
Bites were however slow in coming and after a couple of hours only one bream on the pellet/paste bait had been taken.
Just as my mate Laurent called the right hand rod nodded and tightened up as a fish took the bait. Striking I knew right away it wasn’t another bream as it felt heavish, but as it took no line I knew it wasn’t a barbel.  I netted a decent chub that tipped the scales at 5lb 4oz and is the second biggest I’ve landed this year.
The next couple of hours proved quiet so I moved downstream a few hundred yards to a new pitch. Read the rest of this entry ?


Pellets: If I could choose only one bait!

November 24, 2012

I guess I’ve always known that fish pellets of all descriptions are awesome fish catchers. I suppose it’s logical as these products were developed for fish farmers and therefore formulated to offer optimal growth and nutrition for fish. It’s hardly a surprise then that fish of all species love them. I myself have been using them in PVA bags and in method feeder mixes for over ten years, but it is more recently that I’ve come to regard pellets in the same way as boilies… just awesome fish catchers

The first time I realized just how effective pellets could be, when used as ground bait and hook baits, was a few years back on my first trip to Spain on the River Ebro. I travelled down with my son William to meet my, sadly departed, mate Big Ron Woodard for a week on the river after the giant catfish.

Instead of the live baits that I’d always associated with predator fishing the guys in Spain were ladling kilos of large halibut pellets into the river. Hook baits were drilled out 25mm pellets fished hair rig style. The effectiveness of this set up was nothing short of stunning and on the two trips I made to the Ebro I saw a large number of 100lb fish banked using this technique.

Move forward in time to this year, and I’ve been using pellets more and more for targeting several species of fish, from tench and bream to barbel and carp.  In fact I’ve caught all four species to specimen size on these baits this year. Read the rest of this entry ?


Free Spirit Tamer Special X Wrap SU – Review

November 23, 2012

I’ve had these rods now for more than a month and have been out several times on the local river Marne to test them out. The version I have is the 12ft 1.75lb test (Stepped Up).  Here is the description from the Free Spirit site.

This new specialist series are built on ultra slim, lightweight blanks that feature a very distinctive carbon X-Wrap along the length of the butt section. Finished with a matt look to prevent flash that could scare wary fish – a must for the serious specialist and barbel angler.

Included in the range are rods to suit all situations from the intimate side stream to the roaring flooded river to long-range bream and tench fishing. These rods are built with an Avon and a separate quiver top section with long push in quiver tip to suit a variety of winter and summer conditions and with natural full cork handles around a Fuji DPS-16 reel seat and Fuji Hardloy guides for durability.

I was looking for a pair of rods that I could use on the Rivers for barbel & chub, but would also allow me to target tench & crucian carp on my own venue, AND that would give me the best chance of landing a large carp should I hook one. During the last summer while quiver tipping on my lakes I’d hooked and landed around 11 carp to over 30lb on light gear, so I know that there was a very good chance I’d need a rod capable of handling such fish.
I was also looking for a rods that could handle the heavy feeder work that the rivers demand. A fair list of requirements.

First impressions:

These are a more budget model than the similar but higher spec Hi’ S rods by Free Spirit. So I was very pleasantly surprised by the elegance and quality of the rods I received. The blank is slim ans sobre with the X Wrap hatching up the bottom section and a full length cork handle. As I’ve previously stated I love cork handles for fishing rods. I guess it harks back to the days when I used to make up my own carp rods.I really like the sobre grey colour and the elegant markings on the blank. Very understated, which to me is the mark of the English designed rods, that sets them apart from some of the continental or far eastern brands like Shimano, Mitchell, Garbolino or Daiwa. Read the rest of this entry ?


French River Information

November 22, 2012

I wanted to point you to a link in France that is very useful if you fish the rivers. Its the site of  “Vigicrue“. It is basically an interactive map of the French river systems that lets you know virtually in real time their state at any given date. Very useful for planning a trip to a river!

Read the rest of this entry ?