Fox Horizon X3 Floater Fishing Rod Review

Last Updated on 22 February 2024 by James Bevan

How It Scores



Build Quality8.0
Casting Ability8.0
Playing Fish8.5
Value For Money8.0

The Horizon X3 Floater fishing rod hits the sweet spot of price versus performance as a specialised float rod under £100

The Fox Horizon X3 range of rods is well-known and popular on the carp fishing scene. This is largely thanks to the renowned quality that the Fox brand brings as well as this particular range of rods being more affordable than others.

So that being said I was pleased to get my hands on the 2.25lb test curve floater version for a summer surface fishing session at a local lake in West Sussex.

As such I thought I share my thoughts in this unbiased review of the Fox Horizon X3 floater fishing rod so here goes…

The Rods Features:

Taking a closer look at the build quality and features of the rod, the Horizon X3 Floater has some nice components considering its relatively low price point.

The handle immediately stands out, with a classic full cork design that provides comfort and grip.

I’m always a fan of real cork over the synthetic handles you see on cheaper rods – there’s just something about the feel and touch of real cork that can’t be replicated.

Fox Horizon X3 Floater Fishing Rod - Handle

Good ole real cork

The ergonomic shaping and slim profile allow for a comfortable retrieval without feeling too bulky. Beyond the handle, the rest of the rod has a smart stealthy look courtesy of the matte black finish. It’s accented by subtle gloss whippings along the guides that add style without being overdone.

Fox Horizon X3 Floater Fishing Rod - Blank

The blank has a classy finish to it

One thing I really like about the Fox Horizon X3 Floater is the well-balanced build of the blank which offers both subtlety and a bit of back-bone when needed. This is very much down to its quality carbon fibre construction.

According to Fox, it starts with a high modulus blank that’s both lightweight and powerful enough to battle bigger carp or pike. The tip section utilises multi-directional carbon fibres to provide the right amount of play and cushion for surface fishing.

I could really feel the rod loading up and absorbing the fight of fish while protecting the lighter lines I needed to use to get a bite.

The 18mm DPS reel seat provides a stable and secure fitting for most mid-sized reels I use for floater fishing applications. It’s nothing to write home about but it kept my reel solid for the session so I was happy.

Fox Horizon X3 Floater Fishing Rod - Reel Seat

The DPS reel seat on the Fox Horizon X3 Floater Rod

As for the guides, they are basic hardened stainless steel rather than pricier options like ceramic. But they feel smooth and sturdy, with no issues both on the cast and when playing fish.

For a rod on the market at a respectable price, the Horizon X3 Floater definitely delivers in terms of well-made components.

How It Performs:

When it came to actually fishing with the rod, I was pleased with its performance on the water. When I tested the rod I was fishing a medium-sized water on a fairly blustery day with fish feeding at around 50 yards out.

I had to use a controller to reach the feeding fish but casting took little effort thanks to the lightweight blank and tip.

It has a nice smooth cast that can accurately deliver a controller at mid-range distances. The tip is just soft enough to load up and fling out rigs gracefully without feeling like a wet noodle.

Fox Horizon X3 Floater Fishing Rod - Tip

The nice soft tip on Fox Horizon X3 Floater Rod

Where the rod really shone was playing fish. The carbon fibre backbone had enough reserve power to battle large carp despite the softer tip. Granted, my biggest carp on the session was a tad over 22lb which the rod handled brilliantly but I can’t really comment on how it would perform with a real lump on the end.

I always felt in control of the fish I caught and I could confidently apply pressure rather than just going along for the ride. The tip cushioned the head shakes and dives while the lower section could lean on them when needed.

The line pick-up on the strike seemed fast and responsive as well with the hook hold landing well in all 4 fish that I caught.

Overall, the Horizon X3 delivered a balanced performance and was enjoyable to use.

How It Compares:

In terms of how it compares to some of the competition, the Fox Horizon X3 surface fishing rod is well up there with one of the best on the market. It scored a very credible 8.1 in my review of it which is only slightly behind my number one choice, the Nash Flota Rota.

It does however cost a lot less.

How It Scores Against Its Competitors

NameOverall RatingPrice
Nash Scope Black Ops Sawn Off8.6from £229.99
Korum Opportunist Surface Rod7.8from £44.99
Wychwood FLTR Floater Fishing Rod7.8from £44.99
Fox Horizon X3 Floater Fishing Rod8.1from £99.99
Korum Opportunist X Surface Rod7.8from £49.99
Nash Flota Rota Surface Rod8.2from £159.99

The Pros & Cons:


  • Lightweight high modulus carbon fibre blank provides good balance and sensitivity
  • The tip has enough play for surface fishing while the lower section provides a solid backbone for fighting fish
  • Quality cork handle delivers comfort, grip, and classic looks
  • Smooth, reliable cast for accurate controller /bait delivery
  • Matte black finish gives it a stylish stealthy aesthetic
  • Good value for money


  • The guides are basic grade however this does keep the cost down
  • The light nature of the rod may struggle against larger fish
  • Only available in 12 ft length currently, no other size options

Value For Money:

When you consider the price point, the Horizon X3 Floater delivers excellent value for money. It can be found online and in shops usually for under £100 which is very reasonable in my opinion.

While it may not have all the bells and whistles of Fox’s higher-end models, it provides impressive performance for both casting and playing fish at a budget-friendly level.

For anglers looking for a decent surface fishing rod without breaking the bank, the X3 Floater is a fantastic option that doesn’t sacrifice too much on quality despite the affordable pricing.

Latest Prices

How Other Experts Have Reviewed The Fox Horizon X3 Floater Rod:

Here’s how the fantastic Carpology reviewed the Horizon X3 Floater rod:

Fox Horizon X3 Floater Fishing Rod Review: Final Verdict

At the end of the day, the Horizon X3 Floater provides an excellent option for anglers seeking an affordable dedicated surface fishing rod. It delivers smooth, accurate casts and has the backbone to battle larger carp when needed.

The quality cork grip and lightweight carbon fibre build impress at this price point. For both novice and experienced fishermen alike, the X3 Floater hits the sweet spot of price versus performance.

If you’re looking for a decent surface fishing rod without breaking the bank, the Horizon X3 Floater deserves a spot on your shortlist.

For around a hundred quid, it’s one of the best-value specialised rods I’ve come across.

Thanks for reading.

Hopefully, you have found this ……… Review helpful. If you would like to see more reviews on carp fishing rods, you can do so here.

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