The pursuit of specimen fish other than carp can be a heady affair. Picture an early-morning walk to the lake through dew-laden meadows painted with golden shafts of sunlight.
Your every step is softly placed, lest the grass underfoot snaps with thunderous disapproval. The dawn chorus quietens for a moment, then strikes up again – if the birds don’t know you’re here, no-one will.
Lily beds, bedecked with white and red flowers, are in stark contrast to the lake’s peat-stained water. Their stems twitch and bob, revealing tell-tale signs of fish movement below.
A deft cast places the float in the perfect position, and with a few grains of corn scattered around it tiny streams of bubbles emanate from the depths. To a time-served angler these are a sure sign of an impending bite.
Then, as if possessed, the float lifts fractionally before sliding away, and you’re in.
Romantic and dewy-eyed as such images may be, the plain truth is that most modern-day specialist angling is conducted on large open gravel pits.
All of which brings me nicely to the latest Neoteric FS rods from Korum. The original Neoterics appeared back in 2011, in fact I still use the superb 12ft twin top models for most of my barbel fishing. The new 12ft, 1.75lb Neoteric FS rods on test, though, are among four models with lengths from 11ft 6ins up to 12ft, test curves from 1.25lb to 2.25lb, and casting weights ranging from 15g to 120g.
The Neoteric carbon blanks are two-piece, and their fittings revolve around managing a comprehensive array of modern specimen tactics for a variety of species. Light, slimline carbon blanks with a powerfully progressive action are teamed with stabilised tips for accurate casting of feeders and leads.
On the bank the rods have the look of expensive custom-built models. Their non-reflective matt grey gunmetal finish contrasts attractively with the high-gloss 3k carbon weave area just above the handle, while the full cork handle and well-spaced, fully lined Seaguide rings add class and sophistication to what are very sensibly priced rods.
In keeping with my opening words, I choose to live-test the rods at a well-established old gravel pit with picture postcard reed and lily pad margins.
I’d be targeting the deep water’s tench and bream with corn, worm and maggot hookbaits over PVA mesh bags of micro pellets. Using 2oz leads and small bags I can happily report that the 12ft, 1.75lb rods on test can cast this sort of set-up with consummate ease, and could easily handle at least an ounce more casting weight.
The blanks are seriously powerful on the cast, while their progressive fish-playing actions are meaty and uncompromising, perfect for big fish in weedy waters, or where casting distance is of paramount importance.
I would, though, suggest that unless you are after longer casting distances or the use of heavier leads or feeders, the lighter 11ft 6ins, 1.25lb rods would better suit smaller venues where shorter casts are the order of the day.
Korum has thought long and hard about its latest Neoteric FS rods. They are designed for the specialist angler regardless of fish species or type of venue. Their heavy, progressive playing actions, especially the 1.75lb and 2.2lb test curve versions, make them ideal for weedy or snag-strewn waters.