When Tackle Fanatics got in touch to see if I was interested in trying out their Warrior Plus range, it was the prompt I needed so I jumped at the chance.
As an avid fan of the budget Fox Warrior range, a ‘pimped up’ version using the same blank but with full cork handles and a 50mm butt ring sounded like a big plus (no pun intended of course…) I also had the chance to try the 4.5lb TC Spod & Marker rod and the Warrior+ net which are both part of the same range.
Here’s a quick video I put together highlighting some of the features of the fishing rod:
My old Warrior S rods are 3lb TC. At the time of buying them I was debating whether to go for the 2.75lb or the 3lb TC. I soon found that heavier leads and PVA bags were becoming more prominent in my fishing and I was glad I didn’t go for the 2.75lb version as I’d have felt rather undergunned.
The 3lb rods just about managed to deliver what I was asking of them but I did consider buying a new set of 3.5lb TC rods. In the end I didn’t bother as the Warrior S 3.5lb rods only came in a 13′ version which for a start wouldn’t have fit in my rod bag! My other issue with a 3.5lb TC rod is the feel when playing a fish, I worried that I wouldn’t feel in contact and the rod would be too stiff.
When I received The Warrior Plus rods, I was really pleased to see that they were 12′ long with a test curve of 3.25lb. For me, this is absolutely perfect and ticks multiple boxes for my fishing.
Being a fly fisherman before I got into carp fishing, I was used to rods with cork handles. I found it strange that cork seemed to be a luxury on carp rods as opposed to a standard feature. It never caused me any issues with my Warrior S rods but the feel of cork on a rod is much nicer and the quality of cork used on the Warrior+ rods is good.
Yes, some filler seems to have been used but this is pretty standard practise and a lot of my fly rods (I have far too many of course) are the same – you only really find limited use of filler on really expensive rods. I think for the money, the guys at Fox and Tackle Fanatics have done a fantastic job of the handles, they feel great.
Another difference with the Plus rods is the 50mm butt ring. For those big caster’s (unfortunately I’m not in that club…), a 50mm ring will give you a bit more distance everything else being equal. They do look nice too. I’m not a big caster but I am a tackle tart!
Some of the other features of the rod:
- Fox Warrior S blank
- 12′ long
- 3.25lb TC
- Low rein carbon composition matt black blank with gloss whippings
- Anti frap tip ring
- 50mm butt ring
- Full cork handles
- Butt cap with fox logo
- Line friendly line clip
So, how did the rod perform out in the wild? Remarkably. I mentioned above that I’m not a big caster but was able to use the powerful backbone of this rod to punch my leads a pleasing distance. The recovery of the blank was good and there was still plenty of feel when playing fish.
For the price (£209.99 for a set of 3 at the time of writing), these rods are amazing value. They are exclusive to Tackle Fanatics and you can buy from their website.
I mentioned above that I also had the chance to test out what Tackle Fanatics have called the Spod & Marker Duo or S&M rod. I think this is good idea to combine the two – although I own both a spod and a marker rod, the marker rod is barely used as I do everything with my spod rod.
The S&M rod performed well with good vibration transmission through the blank for feature finding and an action perfectly suited to casting out a loaded Spomb or Impact Spod.
The rod is 12′ in length with a 4.5lb TC blank. It features a 50mm butt ring and a full shrink wrap handle. The only addition I’d like to have seen is a 12″ mark on the blank for measuring water depth but if I really felt like I needed one, I’d add my own mark to it and as mentioned above, I do all my marker work with my spod rod anyway which doesn’t have a 12″ mark and I get on fine so I really am nit picking here!
Like the fishing rods, this is a fantastic tool and represents great value for money at £74.99 at the time of writing. You can buy one here.
The last item I tried out was the Warrior+ net.
The first thing I tend to look at when assessing the usability of a net is the weight of the handle. When I first started carp fishing, I made the mistake of buying a cheap net and the handle was so heavy that it made the process of playing a netting a fish a complete nightmare.
The handle of the Warrior+ net weighs in at just 274g. That’s nice and light which meant picking up and using the net whilst playing a fish nice and straight forward.
The net its self is soft and fish friendly which is really important and it’s 95cm deep which is reassuring for when a fish is in it.
The arms are 42″ long which is a really nice balance between fitting in decent sized fish and fitting in your peg! The spreader block is made from a plastic moulding which feels really solid but as the same time light weight which is a big win.
Other features of the net include carbon fibre arms with metal connectors and mesh-saving angled ends and a stink bag to store it in.
Like the rest of the Warrior+ range, the net is a solid people of tackle and represents fantastic value for money. At the time of writing, one can be yours for only £39.99 – click here to buy.
To read more about the Warrior+ range, visit the Tackle Fanatics website.
Until next time, tight lines…