Free Spirit Hi S Custom Build Carp Rods

For Free Spirit fans the Hi S needs very little introduction, but for those that aren’t so familiar with the Free Spirit Hi S range of rods, this article is definitely worth a read.

When Free Spirit set out designing and developing the Hi S blank they had one aim, to produce the highest performing blank ever manufactured. They didn’t just look to provide optimum casting ability, but durability and reliability too.

By ensuring a very low resin content they were able to dramatically reduce the softening process, increasing the durability of the blank. For the angler that meant their rod would perform better, for longer, increasing the life of the product. With a rod that will last you many years Free Spirit wanted to ensure the visual appearance didn’t diminish so they added a ‘Perdurable’ finish to the blank, preserving it from the scratches and dints that comes with normal use.

Compared to rods developed by other manufacturers at a similar time you will find the blanks are slimmer and lighter. With a very slim tip the rods provide a semi fast action, which provides a great fish playing action but with a stiffer mid and butt section to give you the casting power when you need it most.

When using with a relaxed casting action you will find there is virtually no tip bounce at all, which minimises friction on the cast, increasing long distance casting ability. The Hi S blank combined with the stunning Free Spirit Clone reel seat is a match made in heaven, it provides you with increased feel through an increased transmission of resonant frequencies. In Laymen’s terms this means an increased feel supporting feature finding.

Free Spirit hand build all their Hi S range in the U.K, so you can be sure your rod is built by the best rod builders in the business and to Free Spirits hi standards and tight tolerances.

South Coast Rods offer a full custom build service on the Hi S Range. We want to make sure you get the right Hi S custom build rods to meet your exact requirements.

There are a multitude of customizable options available and below you can see a few examples of what is on offer.

Handle Types

Choosing the right handle for you is important. You will want something that you personally find comfortable, so if you aren't familiar with the different type of handles and don't know exactly what you want already, then one of our free one to one consultations might by what you need. Our consultations give you the opportunity to have a go with our demo rods, so you get to experience the different options available, to find one that suits you.

Abbreviated Handle

The abbreviated handle is the conventional design which you will find on all our Hi S range stock rods. It is popular with those that want to purchase straight off the shelf, but its also offered as an option on the custom builds. The blank is visible from the bottom of the reel seat down to the small shrink wrap handle at the bottom of the butt section.

South Coast Rods Abbreviated Handle

Full Cork Handle

If you're looking for that classic look then the grade A cork which is used on the custom builds will be perfect for you. Full cork has historically been favoured by those using barbel and specialist rods, but the classic look has appeared more often than not in carp anglers set ups, in recent times.

South Coast Rods Full Cork Handle

Full Duplon/EVA

Slowly becoming the most popular handle chosen on custom builds. Full duplon/EVA is my personal favourite due to it being comfortable and durable and even when dirty can easily by wiped down and looking good as new, it looks great as well.

South Coast Rods Full Duplon EVA Handle

Full Shrink

For those that aren't suited to the full duplon/eva or cork and want something slimmer, but don't want the abbreviated look, then I would recommend the full shrink handle. Its tough and robust and if you want something to provide you with additional grip then this is for you.

Reel Seats

The reel seat is your main point of contact when playing a fish or casting. It needs to feel right in the hand but also suit the style of handle you choose. Having the right reel seat is as important to you as choosing the handle and getting the right combination of seat and handle can make a significant difference to the aesthetics. As we have mentioned previously, if you aren't sure what the right set up is for you then we can help, or you can have a free private one to one consultation with us, where you can try some of our demo rods.

Clone Reel Seat

The clone reel seat is the most popular seat in the range. With its great haptics, contemporary looks and Isotope slot, it is a unique design that can only be found on Free Spirit rods.

South Coast Rods Clone Reel Seat

Clone XX Reel Seat (Black)

The black clone reel seat is the newest addition to the range. Fitted as standard to the Hi S XX black edition, the black clone is what a lot of customers have been asking for and Free Spirit have listened.

South Coast Rods Clone XX Reel Seat Black

Free Spirit Black Reel Seat

The Free Spirit Black Reel Seat is a favourite with the cork handle fans. With its minimalist design but stealthy looks, it fits perfectly in with the all black build, very popular with the modern carp scene.

South Coast Rods Free Spirit Black Reel Seat

Fuji DPS Real Seat

The Fuji DPS reel seat is probably one of, if the not the best known seat on the market. As with all Fuji reel seats, its reliable, stylish and robust. As shown below on the CTX range of rods, it fits perfectly with the full cork classic look.

South Coast Rods Fuji DPS Reel Seat

Fuji DPNS Reel Seat

The Fuji DPNS real seat is well known for its use on spod and marker rods but can also be fitted to other rods. As with all Fuji reel seats, its reliable, stylish and robust.

S Lite Reel Seat

The S Lite reel seat is a bit like marmite, you either love it or hate it. For those that love it, the feedback is that its haptics are superb, it feels great in the hand and it stands out from the other designs on the market, and some like that unique touch to their build .

Rod Guides

Free Spirit offer 4 different rod guides or rings which include S Lite Gunsmoke, S Lite Black, Kigan 3D black and Minima. There are 30mm, 40mm or 50mm butt rings available with each guide set and for those that are not familiar, the butt ring is the one closest to the real seat. The most popular butt ring to have on the higher test curve rod are the 50mm as they are said to support long distance casting, but most just like the look of a 50mm butt ring guide set up, as its aesthetically pleasing. The 40mm butt ring and guide is also suitable for the higher test curve rods, whereas the 30mm butt guide is more popular on the lower test curve rods, with stalking as the main application.

S Lite Gunsmoke & Black

A robust and reliable guide which is pleasing on the eye and designed with a double leg concept.

South Coast Rods Tip Ring

Kigan 3D Black

A very popular guide that is strong and reliable with its double leg design. A little more chunky than the S Lite guide range.

Minima Guides

Probably the most used guide today. Not as strong as standard guides but you can't beat the look of these, which is why they are so popular.

South Coast Rods Minima Guides

Tippings Above Reel Seat and Ring Tipping

Tippings above the reel seat are the individual coloured bands positioned either side of the the rod variant and name/slogan writing, just above the reel seat. The tippings are also available either side of the rings (described as whippings below) and you can have ring tipping on all your rings, or just the butt guide tipped. Chevron style whippings are also another option available, although are a less popular option. There are a variety of different colour tippings available for you to choose from which you can find examples of below. Our staff are friendly and knowledgeable so if you need guidance on your exact requirements then the best thing to do is give us a call, we can then ensure you get the tipping to your exact requirements and explain the other options available in more detail.

Personalised Name/Slogan Above Reel Seat

The writing above the reel seat which describes the the rod type and variant is available as standard on all custom builds, but in addition to this you can have your own personalised name or slogan written above the standard writing. Below are a few examples of previous custom builds to give you an idea of what can be added to your custom builds.

South Coast Rods Custom Writing

Butt Caps

Butt caps are the metal caps which are on the end of the rod below the handle. Pointed caps are available on all the custom build rods whereas and flat caps are available on the majority of the rods. When choosing your rod we are able to confirm the options available. The pointed caps are the most popular as they provide some protection to the handle when standing it up.

Other Options

There are other options available such as numbered spigots, different length handles and line clips. If you are unsure of exactly what you want then we can help you to build the perfect rod for you. Please contact us for more information.

We hope you have found this review of our custom build services useful and will help you with building your custom build rods.

We would love to help you build your perfect set of Free Spirit Hi S custom build carp rods, so please contact us so we can take you through the build process.

Tight Lines!

Stuart Higgs

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