A couple of weeks back I ran the rule over Angling Direct’s own brand Advanta Discovery SU Twin Tip Barbel rod on the River Trent.
Even though I’d been told by a friend just how good the Advanta RVS range was, I was still taken aback by this rod’s build quality and performance – especially at such a modest price.
So, when the 11ft Advanta RVS Twin Tip Lite arrived on my desk with a note extolling its virtues as one of the best small-river chub rods around, I was more than keen to get it out on the bank pronto.
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I’m sure many of you reading this can relate to my own angling career. I have spent much of my fishing life on small to medium-sized rivers in pursuit of chub.
In my case this started in my home county of Oxfordshire, biking to the banks of the Evenlode. Then, once I had passed my driving test, my horizons broadened to take in the Cherwell, Windrush and Upper Thames.
No wonder, then, that I have a journeyman’s penchant for small-river chub rods.
I have used everything from expensive hand-built wands to cut-down float rods with spliced-in quivertips. Materials have been as varied as tank aerials, split cane, fibreglass, carbon, boron, carbon composite, in fact Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all. I have fished with the lot at some time!
How many of these rods have I kept? Well, just the one, and it was built at Gloucester Angling Centre at around the turn of the century, or so it now seems.
Anyway, moving on, the build quality of the Advanta Lite is impeccable. This lightweight, highly responsive two-piece rod is made from 30T carbon, with a 1.25lb test curve carrier section that includes 0.5oz, 1oz and 2oz carbon quivertips. There’s also a 1.25lb Avon top that looks ideal for slightly heavier lead tactics or snag fishing.
Without a doubt, the Discovery has been designed by someone with a passion for small rivers, who knows exactly what they are doing. For my money it’s at its best with the carrier section and quivertips fitted.
There’s more than enough casting clout to propel 40g-plus (1.5oz) casting weights, and although it seems dainty, it’s by no means delicate. The blank itself has a through progressive-type action that allows it to be used confidently with hooklengths of around 0.16mm upwards, and hooks as small as a size 16.
I was hugely impressed by the power reserve the blank generates from the bottom of the butt. It certainly has more than enough in its locker to dissuade even the largest of chub from that last-gasp headlong dive into the nearest snag… something all chub have an annoying habit of doing when they are close to the net.
Despite my enthusiasm for the RVS Lite rod, my test session on the upper River Welland above Stamford proved to be a very frustrating few hours.
The gin-clear river was simply heaving with ravenous hordes of roach, pecking away at any bait that hit the water.
Every now and again I would connect with one, and to be fair they were nice fish – but old rubber lips never got so much as a look-in!
WELL, well – what a surprise Angling Direct’s Advanta RVS range is turning out to be!
Make no mistake, this rod is a proper keeper. Well designed, well thought out and well dressed in smart livery, it offers great value for money and is bound to become a sought-after small-river companion for many anglers this winter.