On this particular visit to Cork City, carp would be my primary target. I had been given the opportunity to field test a new carp rod from JRC, along with the stunning “Radar” bite alarms, also from JRC. These are new on the market for 2012. It was vital that I find a few decent fish to do these items justice! I arranged to meet up with local carp Guru, Sid Kennedy. This would give me the best chance to find a few fish.
We decided to take a good look at the Lough, and try to sight mark some of the larger carp rather than blindly fishing the hot-spots. Hopefully this would give a greater than average shot at finding a few doubles for the camera. The larger carp weren’t difficult to find, with many hanging in and around the safety of over-hanging branches and submerged roots of the lake’s Island. The dark shadows cruised tantalisingly nearby, easily visible in the shallow water, but also dangerously close to treacherous “snaggy” areas.
We noted these marks and catapulted a few free samples about, intending to quietly drop our hook-baits amongst them towards late afternoon and dusk. This worked well, as we picked up a couple of bonus doubles before sun-set.
As darkness fell, some of the larger carp decided to sniff around for our free samples scattered earlier. With plenty of mid-doubles gracing us with their presence, it was a busy and extremely enjoyable evening session. I managed to finish off with a cracking common of nineteen pounds plus. Not a twenty I know, but no less worthy. She gave a valiant scrap allowing the “Classic” rod to show its full quality and potential. This common was the largest of the session, and job done, all boxes ticked!
JRC Classic carp rod
The “Classic” range of carp rods from JRC is well named. This series has the classic parabolic action, built on a chestnut matt brown blank and high quality grade “A” cork handle. The handle is slim and comfortable with a wood grain reel seat and high quality SIC guides. It is available only as a 12ft model but offers a choice of 2.5lb, 2.75 or 3lb test curve. It is primarily designed for close to mid-range work, although the 3lb T/C version will put a lead out over 100 yards with relative ease.
The model I chose to use was the 2.75lb T/C and found it to be an absolute joy. It is light-weight and casts extremely well, with accuracy in casting made easy, especially when dropping baits into small bays between over-hanging bushes, no bother at all. There was plenty of power there to persuade any larger carp away from the snags they usually tend to head for once hooked.
This is definitely an anglers rod, a timeless “classic” that will always be a joy to use, and will double up perfectly for specimen bream and hybrids.
Mitchell Avorunner V2 carp reel
The Avorunner is an upgraded and improved version of Mitchells successful free-spool reels. Now having ten bearings, they provide a smoother, more efficient feel to the reel. Greater winching power with longer handle and improved line roller, the Avorunner looks and feels like a serious piece of equipment from the budget end of carp reels. It felt well balanced on the Classic rod and performed faultlessly throughout the session. I tested the V2 7500 which has a capacity of 390m of 0.36, a retrieve of almost a metre of line per turn of handle, a spare aluminium spool and retails at £59.99.
JRC Radar Bite Alarms and Receiver
These may be purchased individually, including the receiver at a cost of £89.99 each and are available with red, green, yellow or blue LED’s. There is also a box set of three blue LED alarms and receiver at a discounted price of £329.99. This is the set I opted for and have been using them all year without fault. They have survived torrential down-pours and horrendous weather on many occasions (typical Irish weather!).
They are designed and made in Eastern Europe and are absolute highest quality, designed to compete with the top alarms on the market. All components, micro-processors, LED’s, sensors etc are European and each alarm comes with a two year warranty. They look and feel superb, are small and user friendly. It took a mere matter of seconds to tune each alarm into the receiver. Amongst many features, the alarms have a couple of nice touches, showing whether you have received a forward run, or a drop back and the receiver has a powerful, built-in torch for those night sessions when the head-lamp breaks down!
I have been using these alarms all year for pike, tench, perch and carp and absolutely love them. If you are planning on the purchase of a new set of alarms, forget the hype that surrounds many well-known brands and take a look at these. They come well-recommended and are serious high-quality kit at a competitive price. JRC have upped their game on product range and quality over the past few years and are serious contenders on the carp scene.