PERHAPS the pinnacle of summer fishing is to catch a carp off the top.
Those nervous moments as a big mirror or common nudges your dog biscuit before slurping down the bait are among the most exhilarating in UK freshwater angling.
In the past most of us have delved into our holdalls and made do with all manner of rods to chuck out a controller float with…everything from feeder to barbel rods have been used for surface fishing.
But now ESP has realised the popularity of the summer tactic and produced a purpose-built floater rod.
At 12ft, with a 2.5lb test curve, the tool looks perfect for the job, but the proof of the pudding is in the casting and playing. So, armed with just a couple of controllers, a packet of hooks and a box of mixers, it was off for a few hours’ stalking on a local lake.
From the moment I attached the reel to the full-length 26ins Duplon handle it was obvious that the rod had been very well thought out and designed.
Lightweight and beautifully balanced, the ESP Floater could be held in the hand for long periods without feeling any discomfort, something that is of paramount importance if you are mobile and following the fish around a lake.
Also, by the very nature of surface fishing, you need to be ready to strike at a moment’s notice should a fish appear and slurp down your bait.
The soft tip and through action makes an excellent shock absorber, allowing for the use of the light hooklinks and small hooks that are often necessary when trying to tempt cagey fish off the top.
And the line pick-up speed is superb for a 12ft carp rod! I had no trouble whatsoever connecting with fish that were taking my floating bait more than 40m away.
On the day I managed to subdue carp to 15lb on a size 12 hook to a 0.18mm hooklink, and throughout the fight I was in total control, with the forgiving tip never once threatening to ‘pop’ the small hook.
So if you are a fan of floater-fishing and target carp over 20lb on medium-sized waters that require more than an underarm cast to get on the fish, this rod is well worth checking out.