Babylon | Discovery Range

RRP: £299 each – blank only | www.babylon-blanks.com

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This is the first blank we’ve seen from the French artisans at Babylon and true to their word, it doesn’t disappoint. It has a flawless finish, perfectly ground to a non-scratch, low sheen finish. The weave is visible through all but the last three feet, which has a plain, matte finish across the tip section.

Whilst Babylon have no intention to sell made-up rods themselves, they were very keen for us to see a finished product and consequently had one sent to us that bore a distinct, minimalist look, having Fuji fittings throughout. Sitting atop the high-grade cork, there is a black DPS reel seat, featuring gloss black hoods. There are a set of black anodised collars above and below the reel seat and a similar, flat butt cap to complete the handle build. The ring set comprises Minima 4 guides, running from 50 to 16mm, including an anti-frap tip ring.

Now, having said all of the above, this is merely a display rod to showcase the blank and its abilities. Nigh on all the fun of visiting their website, will be in selecting a blank you feel will best suit your requirements, something completely bespoke to yourself! They do offer a selection of reel seats and guides, as well as matching landing net handles and arms too, but the sole focus of the brand is to supply you the very best blank and components that they can, so you can give it all to a rod builder of your choice and create something unique and perfectly matched to your needs.

With regard to the blank itself, this 13ft 3¾lb model is very light for a rod of its size and action. Designed with distance in mind – hence the name – the Discovery has a fast action, allowing it to reach ranges in excess of 200m (220 yards). They still don’t feel quite as scary as you might think when in use, and achieving full compression may well be easier with these, than a number of other better known rods out there...

We would just like to finish by saying a huge thank you to Calvin Hancock (Custom Rods) for building the rod we were sent, to test...

Mick Clifford