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Romanian Champions Endorse Free Spirit

Marius Barbu (42) and Marius Din (35) are the new carp angling champions of Romania. They have nothing but praise for the mighty Free Spirit Hi-S 200 that helped them nail down the coveted national title.


BIG FISH: Marius, well done mate on a great performance. Along with fishing partner Marius Din, you won a grand scale carp tournament that required a lot of preparation, skill and stamina. What was the tournament like?

MARIUS BARBU: Cheers mate. It was a lengthy, competitive and ultimately very nice tournament with 5 consecutive matches on 5 different venues. The whole tournament was spread over 2 months, which meant we had a 72 hour match every 2 weeks. Overall there were 60 teams, quite a lot of good anglers around. 24 teams made it to the final. First and foremost, the purpose of the tournament was to establish the country's national champions. Secondly, the first 4 teams will be representing Romania in the FIPS World Championships scheduled for October in France.

BIG FISH: Throughout the tournament you used a set of Free Spirit Hi-S 200 and Hi-S marker and spod. How would you rate them?

MARIUS BARBU: The rods were a key element in our winning the tournament. To be perfectly honest, we would like to commend Free Spirit for producing such high quality rods. On four different matches we had to fish extreme distances, way beyond the reach of most everyone else, especially beyond anglers in neighboring pegs, and that helped us put more fish on our score sheet. 

BIG FISH: What made you chose Free Spirit over other quality rods given that the Hi-S 200s are probably the most expensive rods on the market?

MARIUS BARBU: That's easy. We simply tested several top rods from several top brands and made our pick. However, it's worth mentioning that although we bought the Hi-S 200s over a year ago, it was only this year that we finally managed to make the best of them. We took casting lessons with local expert, Vlad Pavlovici, and then attended one of Mark Hutchinson's awesome demos. Then, my team mate Marius came fourth in a casting competition, which was a clear indication we were on the right track. We kept on training and it paid dividends full time. The distances we could reach exceeded all expectations.

For instance, during the final we could easily cast over some marker buoys that had been placed by the marshalls at about 120 metres. The buoys were there to help by way of indicating the peg's off bound limits but in our case they happened to indicate a hot spot so we took full advantage of them and swiftly caught a number of good fish in the 10-15 kilo bracket. One fish got snagged in a buoy so the marshalls kindly moved the buoy a good 20 metres further to give us more room. We soon discovered the Hi-S 200s could still cast way over it (that was casting with baited rigs) so one of our concerns was not to cast too far!

Anyway, these are the kiddies for us - cast huge distances, play fish like a dream, and are so slim and light we never get tired of using them. The rod tip is quite gentle for an extra fast rod. In 15 days fishing we lost very few carp.

BIG FISH: If you were to get a new set of rods, what would you go for?

MARIUS BARBU: We would still go for the Hi-S 200, but this time we would have them custom built for us. Hope they bring us the World title.

11, Sep, 2009