ESP has always had the reputation for quality and the new Paragon Plus rods don’t disappoint. What is surprising, however, is the cost.

In the present financial climate not everyone has a large amount of disposable income to play with. However, if you need a new set of rods you couldn’t go far wrong with the new Paragon Plus range from ESP. All the rods cost under £100 but look and perform like wands costing a lot more.

All have SiC rod rings throughout, an ergonomic reel seat and a full-length shrink-rubber handle with a flared casting grip. They all have 50mm butt rings apart from the 2.75lb model.

There is a rod to suit whatever type of fishing you do, from small intimate waters to big, windswept gravel pits.

THE PARAGON PLUS RANGE
The 12ft 2.75lb is the lightest in the range and it has a beautiful through action that helps absorb the lunges of an angry carp hooked at short range. However, it can cast a 21/2oz lead over a 100 metres. RRP £69.99.

The 12ft 3lb is considered the all-rounder. It’s powerful enough to cast a lead or a PVA bag a long way but still has enough give in the blank to be comfortably used at short range. RRP £79.95

If you consistently find yourself fishing at long range then the 12ft 3.25lb rod is probably the one to go for. This powerful rod has been built with casting in mind but it still retains enough give in the tip section to help avoid those annoying hook-pulls at the net. This blank will cast a lead or a PVA bag a very long way indeed. RRP £89.95

Feature finding is a vital part of every carp angler’s armoury and a good marker rod is essential. The Paragon 12ft 3.5lb Marker has been built on a very rigid blank that transmits all the little vibrations so that you can tell exactly what you are pulling your lead over. It will also cast a lead and a marker float a very long way. A nice touch is the 1ft depth marker whipped on the blank, aiding in the very accurate mapping of your swim. RRP £94.50

Spodding can be hard work if you don’t use the correct tool. The Paragon Spod has a test curve of 4.5lb, which is powerful enough to cast even a large spod a very long way but it has a soft enough tip to allow you to cast a medium-sized spod a long way with extreme accuracy. Spodding a large amount of bait can be a pain but with this rod it will be a pleasure. RRP £99.50

VERDICT: A range that looks and performs like rods that cost considerably more. The ESP Paragon Plus range of rods ticks all the boxes.

THE NUMBERS:
Price: From £69.95 to £99.50
Website: www.esp-carpgear.com