Bailey Payne Tackle Reviews

Advanta Discovery RVS Rod River Ambush 5.5ft – Review

After attempting to fish today in the -3c weather, with my rod tip freezing, made placing a bait very difficult, along with the freezing wind chill, I didn’t last very long. So today, I decided to have a look at the Advanta River Ambush rod, at 5.5ft its a tiny rod capable of getting in those overgrown swims in the summer, and it’s a rod I have had since the start of the River season, so I have had some use out of it, and the big question is, is it any good?

The first thing to note, this is an Angling Direct own product, and is priced at £24.99, making it a cheap option. For those just wanting a small rod to use occasionally for those specific swims and venues. It has a 1.5lb test curve, which for most of my Fishing, is stronger than I would usually use and is a two piece rod.

The first thing adapting to with this rod, is casting with such a small rod, and it really does change casting, however a few chucks and you are quickly adapted to it. I found this rod great in the summer, with the overgrowth, getting into tight swims, and catching small Chub of up to 1lb. It had more than enough power to bully them out, and the Fish weren’t bite sensitive at all, so kept trying to drag the rod in. It was great fun to use it catching these Fish.

However, I did also take this rod with me to a weir pool, catching Perch of around half a pound and other small Roach too, later in the season, and I found the rod was just to heavy, I think the strength of the tip made a lot of the Perch spit the hook and worm out.

I have also took this rod to my club lakes to give it a power test, dealing with Carp of up to 6/7lb, and they have some Barbel tight in the margins to see if the Rod was up to the challenge of bullying them out.

The rod dealt with this quite well, and did manage to land one of the Barbel (I know Barbel shouldn’t be in lakes too). Even had a nice bonus Tench.

Overall, the rod has got the power behind it, which I think can hinder it in certain situations, especially going after the smaller species when they aren’t just properly having it. It would be a great rod for a lump of cheese paste or meat, waiting in a swim you know will provide a good fish, the rod will be able to deal with handling them. I would also say this would be a nice rod for a kid looking to get into River Fishing, a nice small size, doesn’t break the bank and will definitely have a few Fish caught on it, but has the power to deal with bigger Fish too. It would be a nice addition and at the price not too noticeable, however I would not solely rely on this Rod on Rivers.

Link to the Rod:

Bailey Payne Tackle Reviews

Tackle Box Darent Valley 8ft Quiver Review

I have had this Rod for a little while now, and used it in a few different situations and venues, so have been building this Review for a while, one of the reasons it has took so long, as I really wanted to really give it a test. And I have to admit, I am very impressed, so much so, this Rod has dethroned by trusty Garbalino Rocket Picker as my main tip rod.

On un-boxing of the Rod, I was instantly impressed with the firm build quality. The rod comes with two tips, a lovely and soft 1oz tip, and another tip of 1.5oz, however the rings on this tip set it up for float fishing or even lure fishing with dropshots! However you can still use this as a quiver, for those areas you think you may have some bigger fish about! It comes in a nice rod bag too, nothing fancy but a nice initial bag to keep it in.

The first use of this Rod, was a very memorable day for myself. I started the day playing around with the heavier, float fishing tip, doing some waggler Fishing on a slow River/Canal. I was after the Roach held in this stretch, and was flicking in maggot and mashed bread with maggot and bread flake as hookbait. The Rod was lovely to play those small few oz Roach on and kept it a very fun day.

I decided to swap to the softer tip and fish a small bomb and bread flake, to see what Fish where mopping up the feed on the bottom. In 10 minutes, I had two great bites, strong indications on the tip, and set myself two new Roach PB’s, with a first of around 1lb, and then a warrior of 2lb!

The Rod dealt with both Fish great, and was just right, not over gunned, but still powerful enough to be confident playing bigger fish, while making these Fish put a nice bend in the Rod.

I next tested this Rod on small commercial size Carp averaging around 3-5lb. This was chucking out a method feeder of 20g filled with micros and watching the tip smash round. The small rod done well for itself to chuck this feeder out, and was very impressive how such a small soft rod dealt with this.

On the day, I managed 8 Carp of all around that type of size, and was great fun on the Rod with the softer tip, leaving me confident this Rod could deal with whatever is thrown its way.

What I leave you with is this, it’s a small soft Rod, however it packs a punch for it’s size, well built and strong, can survive a dog attempting to vault over it, and passer-by’s distracted by your catch and accidently tread on it! (Sadly, not tests I wanted to do, however the Rod was fine each time!), this Rod is priced at £46.99 currently on the Tackle Box, and for this price, it’s an absolute gem. A super rod which performs amazingly and it comes with their lifetime warranty, and their support is second to none! If you are in the market for a quiver, this Rod is a must.

Tackle Box Darent Valley 8ft Quiver:

Tackle Reviews Stuart Gardiner

Darent Valley 9ft 3lb TC Specimen Rod Review

I was very fortunate and humble to win one of these rods in a raffle in the summer and after seeing various reports on other models in the Darent Valley, Tacklebox range and was very keen to christen it with a suitable specimen fish fitting the rods description.

With work and the general covid chaos that’s thrown every ones schedules out this year it was not until October I had the chance to give this rod a go. So I ventured to Slough House Lake as there had been plenty of good reports of nice carp and few cats being caught, set up my 2 heavy cats rods as the cats were active on the surface etc when I arrived and the Darent Valley rod set up for the carp using a 15mm cell pop up with pva bags about 2 rod lengths out by a tree overhang that looked very inviting

The morning past without a sniff on any rod, so I changed tactic for the carp on the DV rod, casting with 2oz lead 3/4 way across the lake, the casting was a dream with little effort involved casting and very precise feel and handling, the slim cork handle was very comfortable to use with a nice secure reel seat, the rod finish and whippings have a very high quality, super quality guides with a 40mm butt ring. At present they are on offer for £48.99 which in my opinion for the money is fantastic value for a rod that would suit the vast majority of smaller venues or a great stalking / roving margin rod. Would I go and buy another ? most definitely the quality alone sells these rods in my opinion, the zip rod / reel cover too is very good considering most other rods come with the conventional 2 pocket style rod bag which for myself usually ends up consigned to a darkened corner of the garage never to be found again in todays age of rods being pre set up before each session.

I was able to christen the rod at Slough House, not by a carp but a 32lb Cat, which gave the rod a pretty extensive workout in its 15 minute battle to land, playing the fish the rod has a great through action and handled the hard fighting cat superbly. To sum up looking for a quality sub £50.00 versatile rod with a high quality finish and use, this gets my vote for sure

Joe Chappell Tackle Reviews

Tackle Review – Tackle Box CF-X 18m Telescopic Baiting Pole

If you’ve read my most recent blog, you would have already heard what I’m about to say. If not then keep reading!

When I say this piece of kit has doubled my catch rate, I’m not lying. I mentioned it above, yep that’s right, it’s my baiting pole from The Tackle Box. I absolutely love it. I’ve been using it for a few months now and in that time 90% of the carp I’ve caught have been while using it.

A recent victim of the baiting pole.

What I love about the baiting pole is how stealthy it is compared to a bait boat. With a bait boat, it may be half an hour or more before fish return to your spot after getting your bait back out. While using the baiting pole, if your careful you can drop your rig right on top of feeding fish without disturbing them at all, meaning you are fishing effectively for longer. Another advantage of a baiting pole is its reliability. A baiting pole doesn’t run out of charge like a bait boat. It doesn’t have lots of little parts which can be expensive to fix and replace and it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than a boat.

One obvious drawback of a baiting pole is its range. I have the extension kit which is fantastic and gives the pole an even greater range. It has been crucial to reaching those nooks and cranny’s just past the reach of the 18m telescopic section alone. You can add as many extensions as you like, meaning if you wanted to, you could reach distances of over 30 meters and drop the bait exactly where you want with good few hand fulls of free offerings around it. The baiting pole eliminates the need for a perfectly accurate cast which may end up snagging in a branch.

The baiting pole and extension kit fully extended in our 30m long garden

The baiting pole and extension kit fits perfectly on the side of my rod holdall, so I don’t need to haul around any extra luggage and its super light. If you’re thinking of buying a baiting pole, then stop thinking and go get one, you won’t regret it. If you are thinking of buying a bait boat, think again. Unless you’re going to be fishing at silly long distances like 100 yards plus then a baiting pole may be the better option. The Tackle Box are also offering £25 off their baiting pole and £10 off their extension kit. Check them out here: Baiting Pole Extension Kit

Here’s a few of the fish I’ve caught while using the baiting pole these past couple of months.

A fish caught my my friend jack when he borrowed my baiting pole.
Tackle Reviews Tom Baird

Tackle Box Darent Valley Specialist Rod


I was asked to test out this particular rod which is one of 10 in this range of Darent Valley. As an active angler I decided that I would test the rod with Carping and Float fishing. So, over the last four weeks that’s what I have done.

First let’s look at the design of the rod. When you first pick it up you notice it’s a very light rod. I like that its light, this makes it easier to carry if walking a River or equally a large Lake. The slim line length and the carbon black finish really sets the rod off in the sun. The Cork handle gives it a bit of class whilst fishing. I do like a cork handle. Its like fishing with history with you. Also, when you’re reeling in you have that soft but durable handle.

The eyes go from 25 near the handle to 8 at the tip. The line moves freely and smoothly through the eyes. Just before the cork handle is a hook keeper, which allows ease when moving swims or location depending where you’re fishing.

When transporting the rod, it folds well into two sections and comes with a rod sleeve, which has a Velcro strap near the reel area. I would like to see an extra strap at the top end of the sleeve to make it a bit more secure. 

The length is 11ft 9inches which is a good size for Carping and moving up and down a River. The 2.25lb test curve is powerful and still allows that amazing bend and play for the fish. The thought in the carbon technology in this rod really does show when landing that prize.

So, the first test was Carping on one of my club waters. I used a bolt rig with a 4oz weight. The cast was good and I felt comfortable in the flex of the rod. After an hour I was in with a 7lb Common. It was a great play and the bend was good. It took me back a few years to when I caught my first Carp.

Next was the float test. Out came my Guru 0.14oz torpedo float, which goes far. There was a good flick on the cast and was fishing at about 6ft depth. I was fishing for Roach and they were coming out thick and fast. Again, a good curve in the rod and a great play bringing them in. I had 42 in total and the rod performed well with every fish.

This rod is usually £74.99 on the Tackle Box website, but at the moment there is 20% off, making it just £59.99; an absolute bargain.

Tackle Reviews

Sonik Dominator X Rods – Review

During lockdown, I went on a bit of a spending spree and treated myself to some new kit, including a set of three Sonik Dominator X rods. I wanted to get some 10ft 3lb test curve rods and after some shopping around an offer came up on the Dominators that was just too good to turn down. Their RRP is £79.99 however I managed to find 3 for £140.

If your looking for some new rods, but are on a budget then I can say look no further than the Dominator X’s. For their price they are fantastic rods. They are lightweight and sleek and look perfect on the alarms.

I’ve managed to put a lead over 100 yards with these rods which is pretty impressive considering their size and the fact that I’m an average caster. When it comes to playing fish, they are great too. I’ve caught fish up to 24lb on them and it’s been great fun. Even smaller fish of a few pound have put up a fantastic fight.

The 10ft models are equipped with a 40mm butt ring. All the rods in the range are made from high modulus 1K woven carbon fibre and feature a DPS-18 reel seat as well as a line clip.

I haven’t got much else to say about them, I honestly can’t fault them and I’m really pleased with my purchase. After having a few casts with some friends Sonik Vader’s you can really tell the difference. The dominators really are that bit better, sleeker and lighter than their cheaper counterparts the Vader X’s.

Bailey Payne Tackle Reviews

Rigged & Ready – X5 Max Travel Rod Review

I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to review the X5 Max Travel Rod by Rigged & Ready. I am really interested in Travel Rod’s especially one which on the label says it can cover such a range of Fishing, it really sparked my interest, as a Mini driver, I don’t have the luxury of having loads of space in the car, so a Rod which can literally fit in a backpack covering a range of Fishing seems like a great fit, especially for those holidays away to the Lake District!

The important thing to remember when looking at a Travel Rod is it won’t compare up to your specialist rods, however there are a few which are great for the money and can give you a similar quality.

Speaking to the owner of Rigged & Ready about his Rods, the thing I noticed when using them was how strong and tough they were, almost unbreakable, which for a rod which breaks down so small in so many pieces you really don’t expect. I asked him what makes his Rods so strong, a bit technical and way over my head, he explained part of the blend for the Rod included Zylon. Which is 1.6 times stronger than Kevlar and has actually been used in some of the construction for the mars rover! Which is quite cool! When I asked him if the Rod was bulletproof because of this, he probably realised how small my scientific knowledge was! Although not bulletproof, it does make for a strong rod!

The different configurations of the Rod

You do get a helpful leaflet with the Rod on the different setups and what you can use them for as above, and gives you a lot of different combinations you can use this Rod for.

The many parts of the Rod!

I have used this Rod on a method feeder at a commercial fishery (Newland Hall Fishery) and also on Lure for some Pike on the River. Incredible you can use one Rod for two different types of Fishing, so far apart from each other in style!

So, looking at the quiver tip, initial thoughts were that it was going to be a bit stiff, however after building the Rod and then feeling it was a lot softer than I thought, it isn’t the most quivery of all quiver tips, however bite indication at the commercial was fine, and small 1lb Carp were still pulling the tip all the way round!

I will also add, I was a fan of the colour of the tip, made it quite nice to see, although the photo doesn’t full show that. It made good sport fighting these small Carp, wasn’t over gunning them and just dragging them back, however it wasn’t at the brink of its limits, I would feel comfortable having low doubles on this on the tip, of course you can use another one of the tips more suitable for bigger Carp.

Now, onto what I think everyone will more than likely use this Rod for mostly. Lure Fishing, you could use the quiver tip to do so light lure Fishing for Perch and even use it to dropshot, however I opted to use the normal spin setup as I was targeting Pike on this session. I had a small ish Roach imitation Lure on, hopefully would target all sizes of Pike.

The Rod along with the Lure of Choice

The thing you will notice when using this Rod, it is a bit heavier than normal all out Lure Rods, however as explained further up, its for the strength of the Rod. The tip of the Rod when Lure Fishing is lovely, small wrist movements you can really shake the tip and get some fantastic movement in the Lure, it really impressed me watching the Lure in the clear water and how much it moved.

Pike Caught on the Rigged & Ready Rod

And clearly, it also perked the Pike’s interest, resulting in landing this lovely jack of a few pound! And throughout the day I had several more takes, however the I ended up losing them.

Overall, this Rod is great for those traveling Anglers who don’t have a lot of space and want to do a variety of Fishing, it can fit in your hand luggage at an airport aswell, so it can even go on further abroad trips! I’d highly recommend this Rod to anyone.

Bongs Fishing Review of the X5:

Rigged & Ready Website: