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Harrison Chimera Specialist Number 2 - 1.75 TC

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Staff member

I love my 12' Harrison Interceptors which I reviewed for BFW a few years ago. The rods have given excellent service and suited my fishing needs very well. Around October 2002 I decided to treat myself to a new rod and after a lot of consideration chose the 12' Harrison Chimera Specialist 2 blank, rated at 1.75lb test curve. Although this rod is available as a ready made item (and custom build) from the manufacturer, I usually prefer to make the rod up myself. I know of a few people with the ready made version of this rod and have heard good things said of it. The 'ideal' rod can vary quite a bit from angler to angler and depends on their particular needs, preferences, and style of fishing - so it's a personal thing. Waffle over, let's have a look at the rod.


Well Used and Loved - Parts of a Custom Built Harrison Chimera 2​


A smooth ground and clear lacquer finished blank of two 6' sections, with overfit join. The manufacturer uses two different weaves of carbon on the rod, 1k plain weave and 3k woven fabric. The latter gives rather a nice appearance to the blank and this runs from the butt and tip to around 2/3rds of the rods total length. I won't go into anymore detail in this review as a far better explanation can be obtained by visiting the Harrison website, also you can find a specification of an 'off the peg' rod.
For my custom build, I used Seymo 247S two footed guides from size 20 at the butt through to size 8's at the tip, full cork handle and cut down both ends Fuji DNPS-GS screw fitting. For cosmetics - green whippings with metallic green edging finished the rod off nicely.
There are two other barbel rods in the Chimera range - the 11.5' Snag/Floodwater and 12' Specialist Number 1 - the latter rated at 1.5lb TC.


Where the Cross Weave Ends - on the Tip Section​

In Use

New rod - guaranteed barbel blanks seemed inevitable - I was not disappointed. A number of nice chub, despite some being of a respectable size, did their best at taking me into various immovable objects, but after an initial lunge or two came skipping across the surface to the net. Not the ideal chub rod was my judgement. Mr and Mrs Barbel started to appear after a number of forgettable blanks and I warmed to this rod. After a series of floodwater tussles with some double figure fish, I became convinced that I had a good barbel tool. The new season then came and I took the rod to a larger river than my habitual Bristol Avon. My Wye chapter of barbel fishing began and with the aid of fellow BFW fisherfolk (Rayo, Silk, Tommo and Malc) caught a number of fish on a big river. My regard for the rod grew and I just had to buy another as I found myself increasingly going for a two rod option on the Wye. The floods came which found me lobbing heavier leads around which the rod coped with admirably - but to expect most rods to punch a 6 ouncer out on a full blooded cast is probably too much. Suffice to say, that this rod will cope with a range of heavier leads, I used up to 5 ounces for lobbing in flood situations - after that you usually have other things to cope with as well.


A Winter Close Range Caught Fish​


Personally, this rod has become my favourite for most of my barbel fishing - Summer and Winter. Plenty of power, but still responsive and from a British manufacturer. Definitely not the ideal chub rod though. My initial concerns of an increase in hook pulls on using a powerful rod combined with braid have evaporated. A more powerful rod than my beloved Interceptor (IMO), but either make excellent barbel rods. No quiver tips.


Around £150 for an off the peg version - may be cheaper if you shop around and more expensive for custom made version.

Bob Gill
March 2004

Updated September 2004
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