RRP £75, shop-around price £49.99
This all-round Kodex Specimen SF rod from the 30Plus stable is one of six recent launches. The full series comprises a Twin-Tip DF Barbel rod complete with three tip options, an awesomely powerful two-piece 9ft, 2.75 lb test curve SF Stalky rated to 18lb line, two Kodex Carp CX rods with test curves of 2.75lb and 3lb, and a matching 3.5lb Spod rod.
All three Kodex rods feature top-end furnishings such as 50mm butt guides and Anti-Frap tip rings, and with price tags way under £100 they are sure to appeal to the novice carp angler.
But for the moment the live test will be focusing on just the new Kodex Specimen SF.
This 11ft 8ins two-piece graphite blank is pleasingly finished in an understated matt black with matching black satin double (butt only) and single-leg SiC lined guides, nicely complemented by high-gloss black whippings.
Adding to its good looks and practicality, the rod has a slim 65cm all-cork handle fitted with a screw-down style Gunsmoke reel seat, and a hook-retaining keeper ring. Tiny demure graphics and a metal 30Plus motif butt cap give the Kodex Specimen SF the look of a hand-built customised rod.
So far so good, but how does the blank perform? Does it live up to the maker’s claim of being an all-round specimen rod? With a test curve of between 1.75lb and 2.25lb things get slightly confusing, especially when the rod carries a line rating of 15lb. I’d say a line that heavy would be pushing things a bit far.
That said, there’s no denying that 30Plus has got this Kodex blank’s progressive through action spot-on. It manages to combine finesse with just enough backbone to be used with swimfeeders and straight leads of up to a couple of ounces, big floats and surface controllers. That, I suppose, does justify its all-rounder tag.
As it’s high summer, and all the big carp are basking lazily on the water’s surface, it seemed that a couple of hours’ floater fishing with the Kodex SF was called for. The fish-packed day-ticket Kingsland Reservoir, just outside Peterborough, always deals a nap hand of surface fish so, armed with little more than a bucket of mixers and a few controller floats, off I went.
First up – casting – and a variety of surface floats weighing up to 15g were ridiculously easy for the rod, which could have easily thrown double that weight. It also performed well enough when freelining with just the bait, line and hook.
Without doubt, though, this rod’s crowning glory is its fish-playing action. It has a flawless fighting curve, with plenty of feel and just the right amount of backbone. Best of all, it helped to make an afternoon’s surface fishing a hugely enjoyable experience.