Free Spirit CTX Carp Rods

Fri 11 September 15


Essex based Free Spirit are arguably one of the top mass produced and custom built rod manufacturers in the United Kingdom. No matter what your budget is, this superb range of rods will have a product that will fit your personal angling requirements to a T. After using a set of their more expensive rods for many years, the UKCA team were sent a set of their new CTX rods to put through there paces and after having a serious play with them over the past two months, here’s what the UKCA team think of them.

Free Spirit CTX Carp Rods graphics

Vital Statistics

The new for 2015 CTX range of carp rods cover every possibility from small water with the 2 1/2’s to extreme range with the S.U. models. Each rod undergoes a complex manufacturing process integrating 40t and 30t carbons with resin content below 25%. Wrapping alternately at 90 degrees and zero degrees for added strength, then further wrapping with 3mm bi-axis carbon tape at 45 degrees, which produces extremely strong yet ultra-light and slim blanks.

The CTX blank close up

In addition to a much improved power to weight ratio of a blank at this price, a further advantage of this multi-layer structure is the accuracy of casting as the blank is less prone to twisting and the effect of bias. Free Spirit are known for thier distance casting rods and the CTX rods have proven during testing that the blank construction has produced rods with extreme casting abilities and great recovery. Cosmetically the X-Tape runs the length of the blank and gives it a very attractive and distinctive Perdurable finish.

Free Spirit CTX are fitted with a Fuji DPS reel seat

All the rods in the range rod range are furnished with Fuji DPS reel seats, stainless steel collars and S-Lite guides with both 40mm and 50mm options available, making them perform and look like custom built rods but at near on half the cost.All whippings and graphics add to these classy looking rods minimal yet stylish appearance, that really makes them stand out from many other mass produced rods currently available that the UKCA team have seen.

Free Spirit CTX fitted with stainless steel collars and S-Lite guides

Key Features

Exceptional power to weight ratio of a blank at this price

Extremely strong yet ultra-light and slim blanks

Multi-layered structure provides accuracy and prevents twisting

Extreme casting abilities and great recovery

The CTX Range Guide

Note – Also available in full Cork

Users Report Pt One

Free Spirit CTX 3.5lbs TC with full cork & 50mm guides

The option the UKCA team chose to field test were the 3.25 test curve, with 50mm guides and a full cork finish on the butt section. We chose this option based on our style of angling and the maximum casting distance we needed to reach to target our chosen venue (150m maximum). So off we went to the Lagoon on the very impressive St Ives Lakes complex in Cambridgeshire to see how the rods would perform.


The swim we were targeting on our first 48 hour session gave us the perfect opportunity to see how well the CTX rods could cast. Our marker was an island at 150m but we wanted to fish 10m off the island away from the marginal dense weed. So we loaded the rod with an 8000 Big Pit reel with 14lbs line and attached a leader with a 4oz casting led to clip up. We were shocked at how quickly the rods recovered and the ease that we were able to reach the mark.

The first cast put the lead vertually next to the island and once we’d done a bit of adjustment and clipped up. We were comfortably able to reach our designated mark at 140 yards with relative ease. Not taking my own opinion as gospel, I invited another team member to give them a go and he also found the rods to be more than capable of reaching this distance without killing himself in the process.

Finish and build quality

After establishing the rods casting capabilities, we then had a very close look at the rods all round build quality, and we were very impressed. The cork on the butt section was beautifully finished, with no filling as you would expect on a mass produced rod, this meant that top quality cork was used in the construction. All whippings were perfectly finished off with a touch varnish finish that gave the rod a very classy near custom appearance.

Free Spirit CTX rods fitted with robust and stylish guides

The Fuji DPS reel seat securely housed the reel and felt very comfortable in the hand, whilst blending into the cork butt section perfectly. The 50mm guide option offer incredible strength and reliability, whilst also reducing line slap when casting at range, thus improving the casting distance that are achievable from these very classy rods. With minimal graphics and a stylish cross pattern finish to the blank, these rods seriously look the part.

First Impressions

The UKCA team absolutely adore these latest rod offerings from Free Spirit. The option we chose for our reviews believe it or not only cost just under £150 each, which in our opinion is amazing value for money. Over the next few weeks we’ll be out on the bank filming the CTX rods out on the bank to illustrate just how well the perform whilst in use, so until then watch this space for Pt Two of our field test, the video review.


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