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

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