The new range of Gardner Tackle carp fishing rods are the culmination of a long-standing development project. We sourced and tested numerous blanks in our quest to find the right rods, at the right price and with the right feel.

It’s easy to make a fishing rod that merely functions well but our goal was always to develop a small range of rods that went beyond that. We wanted the rods to have a crisp responsive action that means that they feel alive in your hand. This really is an essential attribute from a fishing perspective too. It means that the rod is nicer to use with a range lead sizes, and you maintain that positive connection whether your thumping out big leads or flicking out a small lead with a little bag on. Dead feeling blanks simply do not do this properly.

We also had to incorporate a tidy ‘minimalist’ build, without unnecessary ‘bling’ – and that meant no gawdy coloured whippings, silly rings or uncomfortable metal reel seats. A high gloss varnished finish helps to keep the rod blank in A1 condition and a matching machined 3K reel seats, Minima rings and black ring whippings means that the rod looks classy and understated.

Another key consideration was obviously cost!

After carefully scrutinising the rods available, assessing their performance and availability we decided that there was a glaring gap in the market for the right rods at the right cost. Rather than come back into the rod market with a range of ultra-high spec rods, that would potentially cost so much you would need to re-mortgage the house and sell you pets to the local laboratory!

Instead, we decided to target the upper middle price range. We wanted the rods to fit with the way we see the Gardner brand as a whole; which is to offer really good quality, reliable fishing tackle that customers could rely on, at a price that made them as good as they could be… and that is exactly what we have achieved.

The rods are made on a lightweight 36-ton prepreg blank with a 3K finish. Finishing the 3K wrap ends just above the overfit joint, which means that tip weight is reduced, and this means less inertia when you’re casting. Another way in which we kept the weight of the rods down is by using super slim ultra-lightweight Minima rings – and what a difference they make!

The finished rods offer a performance and feel that goes way beyond the price tag – and would realistically compete with rods sold at much higher price brackets. All of them fill a separate niche, so whether you choose the 10ft 3.25lb T/C Continental (GTC), the 12ft 3lb 6oz T/C ‘Distance’ (GTD), the 13ft 3.5 T/C ‘Distance +‘ (GTD+) or the 12ft 4.5 T/C Application rod (GTA) you’ll own a rod that will be a pleasure to use every time you’re out on the bankside.

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