Tuesday’s blog is from Steve Collett, the boss of leading online tackle retailers Harris Sportsmail.
Steve’s blogs focus mainly on match fishing but also delve into his styles of pleasure fishing and specialist angling. He also appears regularly in Angler’s Mail magazine.
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It’s one of the most common questions I get in my inbox, and usually there is a tag to it, like what pole for under £500? Who makes the lightest, stiffest pole?
My favourite pole without question is Anja Rubik, have a look! But I doubt you will get to handle this pole in a tackle shop!
I don’t know why I get asked this… I’m a pretty loyal Daiwa fan, I had a Tournament X for many years before updating it to the Airity in 2011. A few years on and a few replaced sections, it still serves its purpose, and that’s the way I evaluate my poles.
Take the Daiwa Airity, for instance. Most people gasp at the cost, and to be honest it is a bitter pill to swallow, but (and there is always a but! There is a joke in there…) I like to work it out per usage, rather like a car, and now they cost as much as a family car, the resale value has to be taken into consideration, as do spares.
So my Airty cost me the princely sum of £2500, same as a 51 plate Ford Fiesta! And as I touched on earlier, it was a bitter pill and quite a capital outlay, if you think of it that way. But, three years on, I have had a lot of fun, used it and abused it, and it’s still worth a bag of sand I suppose, so in financial terms I have only spent £1500 over three years, that’s roughly £9 a week – less expensive than the breakfast at some places!
Obviously when you are looking at a new pole, the spare section costs are varied. Say for instance you live in the West Midlands; top 3s will be your most important factor, and for most anglers 5 or 6 will suffice, a pretty standard package nowadays. But if like me you have moved from the pellet and paste region, in to the East Midlands, top 5s and top 6s are required – that’s another expense and all together you are looking at a second pole!
So can anyone answer this age old question: What pole is the one for me? Well I’m afraid only you can answer that, and no matter how many google searches you do or how many magazines you read, you really need to use them in a fishing situation – a real hands-on choice.
I know a guy who has recently purchased the hottest thing on pole fishing at the moment – a few grands worth of nice shiny 16m pole, the pole no one can get hold of. And although he had seen it at a trade show, he had not “fished” with it, and only then did he find out it wasn’t for him. Not that it wasn’t light enough, or stiff enough – it just wasn’t for him, in the same way that a VW Beetle is not for me but until I had driven one, I had no idea how bad they were!
If you have decided to take the plunge, and treat yourself to a nice shiny top-of-the-range pole, shop around after having wiggled one at a fishery. As you well know, there are thousands of sponsored anglers out there who should be armed with the latest Carlos Fandango pole, and will be more than willing to help you out.
A few things I have noticed is that over the past ten years from my Daiwa Tournament X, poles have not come that far, maybe a little stiffer and lighter, but not leaps and bounds. The other thing I have observed is why on earth we don’t have a length limit as we do on the Continent – 13 metres would save a lot of hassle and a lot of money!
This weeks superstar comes from what can only be described as a “ridiculous” match, a canal match where more than 14lb was needed to put you near 4th place! The winner managed a net busting 21-9-5 of chub from the Shropshire union canal, finishing just over a pound ahead of second placed Nigel Clayton who had 20-8-0! Some weights for a canal in February, our winner this week tempted his all chub catch on caster, drawing peg 25 at Wheaton Aston. A fine canal weight sir, and worthy of this weeks Anglers Mail Performance of the week, Mr Barry Jones of Four Ashes AC.
STEVE COLLETT RETURNS NEXT TUESDAY (FEB 11). FOR LOTS OF MATCH RESULTS AND REPORTS, CHECK OUT THE NEW ISSUE, ON SALE THIS WEEK >>>