We all have first impressions of a product, fishing tackle or books, and the old saying of “Never judge a book by its cover”, springs to mind. Often the wrapping (which is often the case in many bait manufacturers) are only really there to catch the angler and not the fish. I cannot say this about this rod however, the very soft, velvet rod bag supplied with this product is a lovely feel and looks the part with the words inscribed “TFGear 100% Blood, Sweat and Tears”, on the velvet.
My thoughts quickly turned to whether the rod could actually give you that, how many slogans are branded about to disappoint nowadays? I was immediately drawn to the fact that the rod was very light however and the pockets wide enough to fit the two sections inside no problem. A common problem having to force both sections through the pockets thus, potentially snapping a rod ring. No such problem existed within this rod cover however.
The rod was nicely snug in the rod cover and tied top and bottom to keep secure by nylon ties that exist on any normal rod bag you would buy, however the inclusion of a tie also at the bottom and not in the middle (Or at all on some rod bags) made for sturdier handling. On taking the sections out, my immediate thought was “WOW” the Fuji rings looked exceptional on the rod, a lovely finish. The Two rod ring sponge protectors on each section was a really nice touch also, the quality really felt evident here. Sometimes it’s the small personal touches that make a difference with things such as fishing rods and this rod felt that it had that.
The reel seating offered the conventional screw in effect through the plastic grooves; I don’t know what I thought about this, not something I particularly like. It is maybe just me and personal preference, but for me I don’t prefer this type of reel seating even though the Nan-Tec’s reel seating is custom made.
The handle is made from slim carbon itself and offers a duplon finish at the bottom half of the rod for grip when distance casting. This is then rounded off with a silver emblem at the foot. It all looks the part apart from maybe the reel seating, but again this could be personal preference.
The tip of the rod was very responsive and offered great sensitivity (A very balanced set-up) which led me to believe that the rod would do what it says on the tin. The blank felt very lightweight and I felt when holding the rod at 12ft that with a balanced reel, you could hold it for hours, perfect for stalking or floater fishing I would guess. Also going by the responsiveness of the blank, distance casting seemed to be achievable. “Combining distance with playing action”, as Dave says, which to be honest is one of the hardest things to achieve when building a rod, usually having to sacrifice one for the other.
My first impressions were very good. To test the rod further I set off for a day’s fishing with the rod to see whether my expectations lived up to the reality that this was a distance, responsive, accurate and balanced carp fishing rod.
The Test – The Test came at Bestwood Duck Ponds in Nottingham (Pond 2) it is home to many Carp over 20Lbs and is not a million miles away from home. The complex does in actual fact hold 5 Ponds, number 2 being quite challenging (especially at this time of year) but rewarding at the same time.
What I noticed very quickly was that the big pits I was using with the rods were balanced up perfectly. It felt comfortable to hold (although not for long periods) which I felt very pleased this was the case. I guess using a smaller reel for stalking or fishing on top for carp would be more appropriate. Although due to the fact I use this sort of test curve in France I wanted to know what the rod felt like using big pit reels, and like I say it didn’t feel half bad.
Once I was all clear and ready to cast I started off casting my artificial pop-up corn set-up out to the far side, I initially started by putting literally nothing into the cast which resulted into the weight going halfway across the pond, I was quite amazed by how little effort was needed to cast a weight of 2oz halfway across maybe 25 – 30 yds. The rod undoubtedly has built in power with the quick response of the blank returning to a straight position this is obviously designed for this purpose, greater distances of over 100 yds could definitely be achieved, even on this test curve. With minimal effort I re-casted to find it plum on the far side of the pond under a tree, exactly where i wanted.
I am really quite amazed how well these rods casted and how accurate they were, falling into my chosen areas/spots with no real effort at all! I casted the second one with virtually no effort and it reached under the tree, my chosen area no problem.
I felt completely in control with the rod and the fish, the fish was no match for the rod. As the fish came closer the worth of the rod really shone through with the responsiveness of a close quarters battle as the fish decided to wake up and make a mess of my other rod by swimming through the line, which was a pain. While all this was happening however I felt the rod really come into its own and showed why Dave has put so much work into trying to achieve the best in both distance casting and a great close control fighting carp rod.
I was very impressed by the way absorbed every lunge the carp made and the responsiveness of the blank, without knowing the price I could easily be fooled into thinking it was double the retail value. The rod was a joy to fight a fish on and I didn’t feel at one point that it would not respond to the demands of playing a fish at this size.
The fish then surfaced and the net was soon after for what was a great fight from a fish at this time of year and a great rod to play the fish on, nothing better in my opinion. For the purpose of the review I felt as though I had to come here and gamble on this water paying off for me.
Conclusion – There is no question here that Dave has produced these rods to the highest quality, the sleek design is nicely complimented by how the rod actually performs during casting and fish playing. The Nan-Tec Dave Lane carp rods oozes quality from the moment you receive it. From the lovely velvet rod bag to the superb playing action of the rod, it doesn’t underwhelm in any way. I love the rod, however the reel fitting is not my cup of tea but for others they may prefer it.
The rod itself feels a much more like a rod double the price. The blank of the rod is more than equipped to handle a cast to the distance and hold fish under your feet and play it with no hassle or fear of the hook pulling due to it’s responsive action. I would urge people who are looking to buy a carp rod and don’t want to break the bank to look no further because in regards of value for money and what this rod will give you for that price, is money well spent. The rod will give you years of worth and comes with a 12 month warranty should any situation arise. I will sure be using the rod now for my carp fishing and hope you will be too. Especially as it’s buy one get one free!
To check out the rod click here. DL Nan-Tec Carp Rod