The Stuff of Legends - Garbolino Essential Legend rods

Using 10ft and 11ft two-piece feeder rods covers a significant portion of my fishing these days. So when Garbolino England international Darren Cox asked if I fancied an afternoon on the bank testing a couple of their new rods my reply was a simple one: “Definitely!”

The only thing that could have potentially stopped us here was the minus, freezing temperature, which had caused most of the lakes at the fishery to freeze over! Luckily though, Lake 3 was half-free of ice so we set to work in the rapidly depleting winter sunlight for a chuck before the temperature dropped any more.

With both rods set up and the box located on the icy platform it was time to get the rig in the water. A simple, running setup with a ½oz bomb and four 10mm discs of bread popped up on an 18in hooklength – all we had to do was start the stopwatch and wait for an obliging carp! Easier said than done in these temperatures.The reason these two lengths of rods cover most of my fishing is because, firstly, I do all of my fishing on commercial waters these days and, secondly, modern 10ft and 11ft rods are just so damn versatile. You can pretty much do anything you like with them (within reason) and they’ll cover everything you need feeder-wise up to 60 or even 70 metres. From underarming a Method feeder on a 5m line to fishing tight to an island, or in open water, up to 50 metres the 10-footer has you covered. For fishing longer, or if you just prefer an 11ft over a 10ft rod, then the longer of these two models we’re testing here today will do it all for you.

These are top of the range, two-piece rods made using high modulus carbon blanks with what Garbolino describes as “a perfect semi-parabolic action.” They’ve been purpose-designed for commercial waters and targeting both carp and F1s of all sizes. The rods feature a lovely thin cork handle with a flat EVA base to provide a nice lock against your forearm when you’re playing fish.

These rods have been developed by Darren to combine the perfect blend of power to play all sizes of fish without the risk of hook-pulls, whilst maintaining the backbone required for consistent and accurate casting at short to medium distances. Perfect not only for Method feeders (as the name suggests), but also for other styles of feeder fishing on commercials when carp and F1s are the main target species. The rings are also a bit special too and are teamed up with the rods to offer the best friction-free performance and to help with getting those extra metres on your cast.

With 12 minutes on the stopwatch the rod pulls round and carp number one is locking the rod into a lovely shape. You can really see and feel that semi-parabolic action cushioning the lunges and hook-hold. Playing the fish like a bar of gold (after all, it could be the only bite we get), it soon nears and is safely nestled in the bottom of the landing net. Phew! Pressure off.Glinting in the winter sunlight the carp looks stunning as we take a couple of quick photos before getting it back in the lake. With four fresh 10mm discs of bread loaded on the hair the rig is cast out to the same spot, just short of where the ice starts, around midway across the lake. With the stopwatch restarted the tip pulls round again after 10 minutes and another carp ends up in the net, with the size 12 hook doing its job magnificently. And after catching a couple of carp on the rods I’d have to say the actions are lovely.

It seems that two carp on the new rods is my limit though, as Darren promptly sits himself on the my seatbox for a quick go himself – he just can’t resist it!

We’ve teamed the rod up with a Garbolino Blue Match FDM reel. Garbolino describes this as a versatile, front drag float or lighter feeder reel. Perfect for UK styles of fishing and beautifully smooth thanks to the nine ball bearing design. The micrometrical drag system is perfect for playing fish and sensitive enough to make minute adjustments. A recovery rate of 5.1:1 means you have enough winding speed, but it's not overly aggressive, again ideal for playing hard-fighting carp. They feature an ultra-light body, are available in both 4500 and 5500 sizes and are packed with all the other features you’d expect from Garbolino.Back to the fishing and Darren’s into a carp after another 12 minutes tick by on the stopwatch. A lovely common heads into the net after a very spirited fight and it was actually really nice to watch the rod in action while Darren played that one. These two top of the range rods will absolutely, unquestionably find favour with plenty of you guys. They feature a beautiful finish, come with three ‘New Generation’ 2.2mm Superflex quivertips (½oz, ¾oz and 1oz) and offer literally everything you could want! And the best bit – they’re very reasonably priced for the level of finish, quality features and spec you’re getting. 

There are several other rods available in the Essential Legend range including some very clever X-Tend feeder and float models. These have a retractable 1ft section at the butt, meaning you can use them at two different lengths while fishing, without having to rethread the rod or re-set your rigs up. Ingenious. Hopefully we’ll get the chance to check those out in more detail in a future issue. But you can head to Garbolino’s website and social media for more info on all of these rods in the meantime.

• 10ft (3m) Essential Legend Method Feeder £199.99
• 11ft (3.3m) Essential Legend Method Feeder £209.99

Max Casting Weights
• 10ft & 11ft models: 60g