- Perdurable blank finish
- 40T carbon weave
- Free Spirit machine-cut aluminium reel seat ion-plated with a blue-grey finish and with a milled isotope slot available as a build option - please enquire
- S-Lite 3-leg rings
- Fuji DPS reel fitting
- Full EVA handle
- Ring sizes (mm): 30 to 8
- Custom build options
- S-Lite tip ring designed to minimise the chance of tangles (and crack-offs) on the cast.
- The Fuji DPS 18 reel seat is light, ergonomic and totally secure – reel seats don’t get much better than this.
- The test rod came with a full EVA handle, but there are cork and shrink tube options available as well.
Disappointing summer fishing weather is as British an institution as mother-in-law jokes – and has about as much grounding in fact.
More typically, the sun will put his hat on – and that’s when big carp show an interest in floating baits.
Surface fishing can be thrilling yet frustrating as every single bait (except the one with your hook in it) slips silently under the surface, seemingly drawn inexorably downwards by an unseen magnet.
Tricky and nerve-tingling, fishing with floating baits is stalking at its most primeval level – man pitting his wits against crafty fish that have seen it all before. It can drive you half mad. “Why won’t they take my bait?” you ask a passing moorhen as you strike far too late at yet another half-chance.
But when it all goes right, as it did when I live-tested the two-piece 11ft Free Spirit Surface Creeper ‘E’ on Mitre Pool at Bishops Bowl fishery in Warwickshire, all the earlier frustrations are quickly forgotten.
This specialist floater tool has a soft, sensitive tip suited to small controllers and light nylon hooklengths. It is also more than handy for margin stalking and freelining.
The classy chequered 40 tonne Perdurable (non-scratch) all-carbon blank is typical of the aspirational Free Spirit brand. With understated white graphics on the butt section, a Fuji DPS 18 reel seat and braid-friendly S-Lite guides throughout (starting with a 30mm butt guide), the rod on test had a full EVA handle, although full cork or full shrink tube options are available for a small additional charge.
In action, the Surface Creeper ‘E’ takes the biscuit – as indeed do the carp it snares. No, it doesn’t have the casting clout to belt out a weighty controller 100 yards, but it wasn’t built to do so. However, it will cast smaller floats up to 20g well over 50 yards with ease, making it an ideal choice for medium-sized lakes and pits. Its tippy action will flick out a freelined mixer a fair old way, as long as you’re using light reel line.
The live test went well, and the rod’s L plates were off in no time at all.
Feeding some freebies, then hiding away behind some reeds, gave the carp confidence, and soon one made the error of slurping down a mixer with a hook attached. Quick as you like the Surface Creeper took on its full fighting curve, best described as all-through but with steel running through the mid-section. This gives the soft-tipped blank enough poke to deal with hefty lumps without it feeling overgunned.
Soon a scale-perfectmid-double mirror was laid on the unhooking mat… don’t you just love it when a plan comes together!
What a month for live testing fishing rods it’s been! First came Browning’s awesome new 12ft Sphere Feeder, the ultimate bream rod. Then it was the 11ft Free Spirit, perfect for surface fishing with its soft, forgiving tip that allows it to be used for freelining mixers or controller work. It’s ideal for all but the very largest open-water venues.