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Insight 12' 1.75lb TC Barbel RB

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The market catering for barbel anglers has grown beyond all recognition, from the days when we used carp tackle as a near substitute for our needs. All that has changed with the increase in the popularity of barbel, and no more so than in the rod department.

I think it is more difficult than ever now, to find a rod that suits your own needs. There are just so many available, it's hard to know where to start, if you have no experience of the different tools available. I have a tendency to chop and change rods, and had great difficulty settling on a barbel rod that suited my needs. However, that too has changed. I have found the rod, which I know will cater for any given situation I find myself in when fishing for barbel, with the exception of float fishing.

I begun the 2002-2003 season with a Daiwa rod, but quickly found it wasn't what I required. I went back to the Giant models, but found these too, lacking in certain areas. So, I contacted Kevin Crawley, at Leslies, and enquired about the Insight range I had seen both in the shop, and in the catalogue.

I liked what I heard, and took the plunge, and the rod duly arrived the following day, in time for my first day on the Symonds Yat stretch, of the River Wye.

The rod is the Insight Barbel RB. Twelve feet in length of two pieces, with a test curve rated at one and three quarter pounds. The blank is a burgundy colour, with similar whippings topped off in red. The finish is excellent and it gives the impression of real quality. The handle being 24 inches long is mainly cork, with a duplon butt, and a Fuji reel seat. Duplon has been utilised around the reel seat, and above it, to provide a comfortable handle, described as a 'palm swell handle'. The winch fitting is of the screw down variety, and the handle covers up the unsightly thread normally visible on screw winch seats.

A small unobtrusive keeper 'ring' sits on the underside of the blank above the Insight decals. The rod is ringed with both double and single leg silicon carbide rings, to enable braid to be used without excessive wear.

RB stands for Record Breaker, and according to the catalogue, the 1.75lb version of this rod was used by Stuart Morgan to catch his 17lb 9oz Gt.Ouse record. So it should stand up to the slightly smaller fish that I tend to catch!


The rod is a lovely example of a quality barbel rod. It looks the part and is very well balanced with a 5000 series baitrunner attached. My first session with the rod, was spent catching barbel from a far bank run on the Wye. This involved chucking a 2.5oz blockend feeder filled with hemp and caster, and the rod behaved impeccably all day. The first fish was a new PB for me, a fighting fit barbel of 9lbs 8ozs. The rod coped easily with the runs and lunges made by the fish, and the progressive action soaked up the powerful behaviour of the barbel.

The tip has been designed to give a little to enable bites to be spotted more easily, than an Avon style tip would allow. It certainly does what it was designed to do, and I am more than happy to use it as a big feeder rod.

The onset of the first floods gave the rod another different test, and it coped well with 6oz leads being cast into the Wye. Although most of the time, I tend to fish down the side when the water is up and coloured, the rod allows me to explore the middle of the river without giving away to much and not being able to spot bites.


I have landed many barbel on this rod, and have really enjoyed using this rod to catch them on. In my eyes, it is a fabulous tool, and I couldn't ask for anything better. It isn't cheap, but then you do pay for quality, and with the Insight RB, that is exactly what you get. A word of warning, there are other barbel rods in the Insight range, so be careful. If you do go and have a look, leave the wallet at home, because it may turn into an expensive day!

Available from Leslies of Luton at £169.99.

BFW score
10 out of 10
Paul Thompson April 2003
 
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