Coarse Fishing Product Reviews

Cadence CR10 14ft #4 Match Rod – The Leviathan Tamer!

Leigh Harrison with barbel

It’s well over two years since I mentioned to James Robbins that I’d found some remarkable swims on my local river, which were full of large chub and barbel; however there wasn’t quite a float fishing match rod within our Cadence range that could really cope with them or the conditions of the river where they lived. These were very pacy swims, sometimes fairly shallow, but also absolutely full of horrendous snags; which is why the fish obviously loved living there.

I could just do the obvious thing and fish a lead or a feeder. However, my real passion is float fishing and I can find no other better way of fishing for large barbel and chub than by catching them on the float. For myself, and I think for many others, there’s just something magical about taming a good fish in the flow of a decent current.

I’d fished with my Cadence CR10 14ft #3 Match rod a lot on the Trent, and it’s absolutely brilliant on a normal swim where chub and barbel live, however, on the swims outlined above it was simply a tad underpowered. James is a great listener, and he set to work in sorting out a prototype rod that might just do the job, and hence the Cadence CR10 14ft #4 Match rod was born.

What we were looking for was a rod that had enough length to help with controlling a float without being cumbersome and difficult to handle. A rod that you could fish with and hold for most of the day on the river without getting tired of holding it. A 13ft rod would be too short on many swims to always retain excellent line control and get behind the float. A 15ft rod would probably be a bit too long and uncomfortable for many smaller rivers, so we settled on the happy medium of a 14ft, which also happens to be a personal favourite of mine.

Leigh Harrison with barbel

The rod would also need to have the power to cope with large fish and stop them in their tracks heading for snags, or in the faster water going too far downstream that it would be almost impossible to retrieve them. I’ve experienced this before, especially downstream of deeper holes where the river suddenly shallows up at the bottom of the swim. If you cannot stop the fish reaching these faster, shallower, glides, then you can get yourself into some serious trouble.

The initial prototype was a lovely rod that I adored fishing with, as I set about the task of thoroughly testing it out. I had some fantastic big chub and dace out on it, and many barbel going to over 11lbs, but it was still slightly under gunned for what we were trying to achieve. After giving my feedback to James, along with Andy Burt who had also fished with the rod, I quickly got an updated version.

This was indeed much beefier, and I knew fairly instantly that this was probably going to be able to do the job. There’s absolutely no way of knowing this for sure though until you’ve caught your target species at the correct size also, so off we went to the river to test it out straight away.

I say we because I’d decided to take my youngest daughter, Anastasia, along with me as well. I’ve had some wonderful father-daughter days out with my little girl, and she really loves to come out fishing with me. She is an absolute diamond to take out, and she loves the countryside and nature, creepy crawlies, birds, and all wildlife. Little did I realise what a magical afternoon lay ahead of us.

The swim I’d chosen to take us to is a doddle to fish on a lead or feeder rod, but float fishing it is an entirely different matter. A constantly changing flow and current, far bank trees and snags galore. A prevailing wind which 90% of the time never helps; however on this day there was no wind which would help presentation no end.

I did what I normally do on most of my swims that I know really well when I first get to them. I started feeding straight away as I set up the gear and got ready. The rod was already made up with an 8 gram float very kindly given to me by the aforementioned Andy Burt, and the vast majority of my rods are always made up beforehand to save time. I’d back shotted it with 2 x No8s, a No4 below the float, a 6 gram olivette secured with some rubber gripper float stops, and then enough No4 shots below to act as droppers which I could vary as and when required.

I had 14lb line straight through to a trusty Drennan superspade No8. There’s absolutely no messing around in a swim like this and a decent sized hook is required because I was going to be fishing with bigger baits, one of which was 8 & 10mm cubes of meat.

The other bait, a little unorthodox, however I love fishing with them, and they really work. Blackberries! They’re easily available in the woods or by the riverbank, and I pick a range of different sizes and softness. The harder ones I use for hook baits and softer ones for loose offerings.

A Cadence CS10 4000 reel completed the set up.

I’d mixed up a feed concoction in a bowl made up of hemp, tares, 4mm cubed meat and elderberries to complement my hook baits and this had proved to be very successful all season.


After feeding the swim for a good half an hour, I cast out and straight away the float dipped, and I was into a really decent fish. The secret to this peg is even though I’ve waded out into the swim, I’m not too far in, and I can walk back out easily as soon as I hook a fish and stop it heading for the obvious snags upstream or on the far bank.

Walking back quickly is essential in many swims like this as a way of stopping these big fish reaching the snags they’re intent on going for. It’s certainly been invaluable in my playing of such large fish.

There is a bit of hook and hold in this type of fishing, but this is where this rod comes into its own. The tip is still sensitive enough that you shouldn’t bump fish on the strike, however the grunt and power is always there, so you gain control over what you’ve just hooked. That’s precisely what happened with this fish and as I stopped its initial run for the upstream snag it then settled downstream, and as all big barbel do, hugged the bottom.

I hadn’t caught a fish on this rod before. However, I was pretty certain I’d hooked a double on my first cast, and that sitting on the bottom almost always confirms this. I slowly eased the fish over to my side of the river into the slack eddy in front of me, and gently played it until it was ready to net. A lovely moment played out with my daughter actually netting this fish at the first time of asking. I was ecstatic for both of us; first chuck and a 11lb 12ozs pristine barbel in the net caught on a blackberry! It doesn’t get much better than that.

My normal routine when landing barbel is to rest them in the landing net with the hook still in its mouth for a good five minutes before transferring it to my padded unhooking cradle and unhooking it. A quick couple of photos and the fish is then returned to the landing net to weigh quickly and then rest again in the river until final release.

Leigh Harrison with barbel

The fish had been out of the water for less than a minute, and Anastasia had taken some lovely photos. Whilst resting the fish both times, I’ve constantly fed the swim and had an enjoyable chat with my little girl, then I did a short video of the fish in the net before a nice and safe release back home.

Mission accomplished in one cast and the rod had performed flawlessly. I knew there, and then it was up to the task however we still continued fishing having another double, numerous 9lbers, and chub to over 6lb. Anastasia also caught her first barbel and chub on the float, which capped a truly memorable day.

I have fished with the rod many times afterwards well into the autumn, catching numerous barbel and chub on the float, over 250 decent sized fish in a variety of different swims, and it has never let me down once. It has ultimately landed me fish that I wouldn’t have stood a prayer of getting out and with the added bonus of not leaving gear in fish, which none of us want to do. Nine doubles in total and a clonking 6lb 12ozs chub to put the icing on the cake.


Needless to say, this rod has been thoroughly tested. However, it isn’t just a one trick pony. This rod also doubles up really nicely as a heavy still water float rod also. Large carp, tench, and bream are perfect for it, particularly around snaggy lily pads, reeds, trees, and tree roots. I’ve caught some decent carp on it, and it’s great fun catching fish from off the surface as well as all the normal traditional float fishing methods.

As with all Cadence rods, it’s built to really high specifications which won’t let you down and will stand the test of time. This rod has been specifically designed to fulfil a technical purpose, and it has done so with flying colours and then some. It’s also versatile enough to cover virtually all aspects of float fishing for large, sometimes specimen fish, on still waters as well as rivers. It is strong and powerful, yet there is still some grace and subtleness about it, and it is certainly no broom handle.


I’ve thoroughly enjoyed fishing with it, and it just gives me another way to catch fish if the conditions are right, in swims on particular stretches of river that I wouldn’t normally be able to do so. Most importantly of all, it’s given me total enjoyment, and dare I say it? Fun! I’ve certainly enjoyed doing this project just as much as my involvement in the Cadence CR10 14ft #0 Match, if not even more so.

It’s another great addition to the Cadence Match rod range that must be the most comprehensive in the country for fishing natural venues. I know there are rivers and still waters all around this country, and beyond, where this rod will be perfectly suited.

I hope you enjoy finding out about them and this rod as much as I have.

The CR10 14ft #4 match rod certainly is a leviathan tamer!

Leigh Harrison

Leigh started his coarse fishing career on his local West Midlands rivers of the Severn, Warwickshire Avon and his favourite river Teme, having been a member of the junior section of Starlets AS in the mid to late 80s. After a period on the local match circuit, Leigh decided pleasure fishing was more his thing, and he spent many successful years catching all coarse species, travelling the country and beyond in doing so. A 16-year hiatus followed before he returned to the sport he loved and had missed so much, and he followed his deep passion for float fishing on rivers. Having now lived in the Nottinghamshire area for over half his life, Leigh spends nearly all his time standing in his beloved river Trent, catching quality barbel, chub, roach, dace, perch, bream and other species, mainly on the float. It’s no surprise that he’s helped develop two match float rods in our Cadence range: the 14ft #0 Match, a silver’s dream, and the leviathan tamer 14ft #4 Match. Both have been extremely well received by the angling community and Cadence customers, giving many future years of pleasure.