PRODUCT REVIEW – FOX EOS BARBEL SPECIALIST ROD
In my last article I went into my approach to winter fishing, specifically using a feeder method and approach. To fish this method effectively you do require a few specialist items, the first being a good rod, that is not only capable of registering subtle bites at the tip end, but one that can also handle carp up to around 20lb’s in weight.
Over the last several years I have used a few different rods to achieve this, however, in truth these have been other rods I have had on hand that while useable were not really designed for the job. Around 18 months ago I started to look at rods that could match these needs and fortunately, around the same time period Fox International started to release a range of barbell rods which look perfect for the job.
I took a look at several of their offerings and as I typically use these rods in the winter, I wanted a rod that was up to the task, but also would not break the bank. I also wanted a rod that would offer a nice action to play carp on as well and not be overpowered on the small rivers. I settled on an 11 foot rod, with a test curve of 1.75lb’s and ordered them to arrive in the spring of 2020. Over the past 6 months I’ve used these rods several times and caught over 50 fish on them. They are exactly what I was looking for and at less than $75 per rod are also a great deal. Below is a short review of my experience of the rods.
Fox Website Description
- Designed to offer outstanding value for money
- Perfect for small river barbel
- Also ideal for specimen chub and small water tench/bream
- Lightweight low resin carbon construction
- Fox Slik guides throughout
- Top quality 17mm reel seat
- High grade cork handle
- Understated graphics
- Matt black finish with gunsmoke cappings
The rods while on the cheaper end of the spectrum are very pleasing to the eye. On inspection the reel seatings are solid and the guides are of a higher quality than I’d expect from a rod in this price range. I also love the cork handles which again, is of a much higher quality than I was expecting.
The tip section is colored white to stand out and has a nice soft action, ideal for registering bites. The rod is ideal for a small carp reel such as an EOS 7000 reel. As I had an old pair of Shimano 3500 bait-runners I put them on, and they have matched perfectly. The reels were spooled up with 10lb line and ready for action.
For most of my small river carping I am fishing fairly slow moving water and either using cage feeders or small leads. I am not typically casting more than 2-3 ounces of weight and while I’m sure these rods could ‘lob’ something bigger, the soft tip is not really designed to do this.
I have found the rods to be very accurate when casting both feeders and leads and I have also free-lined with them to good effect as well.
As these rods are designed for barbell fishing they are ideal for the type of fishing I am using them for. In the UK, most anglers are fishing for barbel between 5-15lb’s but the record is in excess of 20lb’s and these rods are more than capable of handling that strain.
I use the tip section for indication and while it is not super sensitive, again it is ideal for carp. It does register small knocks but does not bounce all over the place. A ‘proper’ bite will see the tip pull around and most times the fish will already be hooked.
So far I have caught around 50 fish on these rods and they have performed excellently. They are soft and forgiving under the tip but also have plenty of power in reserve when you double them over. I have caught carp to just under 20lb’s on these rods so far but I would guess they could handle bigger fish, as long as you’re using balanced tackle.
My initial 6 months use sees me very impressed, especially considering the price of the rods. They were exactly what I was looking for and are now a permanent fixture to my year round fishing tackle. I will primarily use these rods for feeder fishing but they will also be used for free-lining and most likely floater fishing as well. All in all excellent value for money and highly recommended.
The rods are also available in 12ft versions and higher test curves (2.25lb’s).
To purchase the rods from Big Carp Tackle, follow the link below:
To purchase the Specialist net from Big Carp Tackle, follow the link below: