£104.99 (1.5lb tc), £119.99 (2lb tc)
This is one of the best small-river barbel rods ever made. The two-piece 11ft blank is very light, and its shorter length makes it easy to manoeuvre in awkward, overgrown swims.
The Free Sprit brand has been synonymous with top-of-the-range carp rods for years. But the company produces classy barbel rods too, and its latest Barbel Tamer, in 1.5lb and 2lb test curves, offers outstanding quality at a very reasonable price.
The high modulus 30 and 40 tonne carbon X-wrapped blanks have a very low resin content, and being twin-tipped, they offer either a traditional Avon-style top or one with a 2.5oz push-in carbon quivertip.
A full-length cork handle, original Fuji DPS 16 reel seat and Free Spirit S-Lite guides all contribute to the rod’s natty looks.
Ideal for straight lead set-ups, freelining and smaller weighted feeders up to 3oz, the blank is wonderfully crisp and generates a seamless, almost through type of fish-playing action on smaller waters.