ANGLER’S MAIL – No.1 for new fishing tackle and baits – has been to Drennan International’s HQ near Oxford and seen what the firm proudly say is their best pole ever.

Here, in the firm’s own words, is the full story on the superb new Acolyte. It’s a long article, but if you love pole fishing or technical tackle talk we think you’ll find it interesting…

Alan Scotthorne in action with the Acolyte pole.


THIS IS simply the best ‘top flight’ pole we have ever produced being much better balanced, very, very much stiffer and a better all round package than any previous Drennan pole. A perfect blend of lightness for ease of use, strength and durability which make the Acolyte a joy to use.

The action is amazingly stiff and is created by utilising a unique UHM (Ultra High Modulus) carbon & resin blend. This gives the angler a much quicker response when striking (no need to strike so hard !), helping to hit more bites, and almost no chance of the tip slapping the waters surface especially when fishing shallow and even at a full 16m.

Although not heavy duty and definitely not a ‘crunching’ pole it has been designed with commercials in mind and will handle sensible carp match set ups, rigs and tactics if balanced and handled correctly.  It compares more than favourably with any other ‘top flight’ pole on the market today.

The Acolyte, in standard form, is easily suitable for use with a wide range of elastics up to and including pink Carp Bungee but, again, this all depends upon how you set it up and how you handle it.

For heavier elastics and out-and-out carping there are stronger top 2 CARP kits available which can easily be used with Pink and Red Carp Bungee (or equivalent). These kits are not heavy ‘Power’ kits and so do not radically upset the balance of the pole even at 16m.  Simply choose the combination of kits you require for your fishing.

The top sections, as per usual Drennan format are wide in bore and long (145cm). This allows the elastic much more room to move efficiently and reduces wear. It also means that you fish with a good length of elastic even if you only thread light solids through the top section on its own.

Some poles are supplied with very short low diameter tips which can only be used if you severely cut them back (with the elastic then threaded through the remainder and the No 2/3 sections) or take it out completely throwing away £££’s worth of expensive carbon !!! This ‘accepted’ practice then means you don’t have a full length pole and, with some, could mean being up to a full metre short !!!

The long top sections supplied as part of the standard package are all of one type and size and they will take either of the 2 smallest natural PTFE bushes supplied without the need for any cutting. These are 1.8mm and 2.3mm bore (both with the same 3.5mm o/d) and between them they will take all light solid elastics up to, and including, green Carp Bungee. These perfectly match the cupping kit when it has the large Polemaster cup fitted.

For bigger elastics we supply a larger 3.2mm i/d natural PTFE (4.5mm o/d) and to fit that you only need to cut back a minimal amount (approximately 10cm depending upon how tight the fit is made to suit the adhesive you use). However, so that you can cut all of your tops to the same length, regardless of which elastic is fitted, we also supply special 1.8mm i/d natural PTFE bushes with the exact same 4.5mm outside diameter so that top sections with either bush match each other perfectly for length.

When your tops are cut back for these 2 large sized natural PTFE bushes they will obviously be shorter than the original length cupping top so we have also included a much bigger 6.4mm I/d Cupping Adaptor. With this you can cut the cupping top, fit the larger adaptor and make this the same length as all of the sections with light elastics & heavy elastics (again adjusting the fit for the adhesive used).

For the male joint of all No 2 sections (except cupping No 2) there are dense EVA Nose Cones fitted which help to centralise the elastic and protect it when the kit is stored and folded over. To help the elastics run even smoother through a top 2 we also supply you with further natural PTFE bushes so you can push-fit these into the EVA Nose Cone if required.

All PTFE bushes are natural, pure PTFE and clearly labelled with their size and use.

There is a very strong and super stiff cupping top 3 kit which is made of different materials to the other sections. Many venues will only need the use of a top 2 but there are some which are deeper and so we supply a purpose made cupping top 3 kit.

At 13m the pole stores all in one (8 sections) and the 14.5m and 16m are carried separately. However, both of these bigger sections easily store 3 x top 2 kits (2 facing one way and the 3rd facing the opposite way) when elasticated through just the top section.

The pole can be extended to 17.5m with the purchase of an additional 16m section.


The package of spares included as standard is:

  • 8 x spare top 2 kits (approx 2.89m or 9’ 6”)
  • 1 x Cupping top 3 kit (approx 4.47m or 14’8”)
  • 2 x spare No 3 sections
  • 1 x 62cm short extension – reversible, fits No 5 and No 6 sections
  • 1 x 72cm short extension – reversible, fits No 7, 13m, 14.5m and 16m sections.


This means you can set up 9 rigs (including that in the pole itself) and still have an additional cupping kit set up even when fishing deep water (so no need to buy another No 3 for cupping).

All sections are take-apart including the top 2. This makes fishing very shallow or the far side of a canal easy as you can break down at the relevant section. Also, it’s easy to cure any ‘elastic droop’ by simply separating the sections and pulling the elastic back in.

Male joints are reinforced with woven UHM carbon. This will prolong the life of the joints. A very simple, but good, tip is to rub the male joint with clean candle wax at the start and maybe once in mid session. This reduces wear even further and also helps to prevent joints sticking when wet. And it’s very cheap !!!

There is a generous length of reinforcement on female joints to prolong life. This means that, when the joints eventually do start to wear and the fit starts to get longer, you can carefully trim back the female joint and extend the life of the joint further.

The 13m, 14.5m & 16m sections also benefit from extra long reinforcing at the female ends so, if holding the end of those sections, you have some extra protection against elbows !! That said, there are short extensions to use anyway.

All sections have a special low friction finish coupled with matt coating on the 13m butt, 14.5m butt and 16m butt. This enhances shipping making it much easier and quicker in all weather conditions. This is actually much more noticeable when pushing the pole out to carefully feed with a cup in the wet.

For those that want to, section aligners are included on sections 1 – 7 to align everything in use. However, the Acolyte isn’t made with a pronounced seam so the advantage of this process is minimal.


  • 13m weighs (on average) 825g           Average fishable length 12.6m (uncut)
  • 14.5m weighs (on average) 1110g             Average fishable length 14.3m (uncut)
  • 16m weighs (on average) 1410g            Average fishable length 16m (uncut)


Drennan’s Richard Norris with the Acolyte package.

To be honest, the closed weight, or combined weight of all the sections used, doesn’t help demonstrate how incredibly well balanced the Acolyte is. However, people still want to know this so the average is stated on each butt section.

Balance is more important and this is the weight which you feel when holding a pole at a specified length. It is perfectly possible to have two poles at 13m which both weigh exactly the same but one feels much lighter than the other when extended. This is because it is better balanced and is due to the distribution of the weight of material used.

The average fishable length is stated because not all poles/sections can be made to identical diameters & lengths (as fussy as we are there has to be some manufacturing tolerances) so the joint fits will naturally vary. Longer joint fits = slightly shorter assembled length and shorter joint fits = slightly longer assembled length.

However, at 16m we do expect you to get an average fishable length, within a tiny tolerance, of 16m. So not radically short and no tip to be taken out and thrown away. It is amazing that so many other makes of pole are only actually useable at their stated length when an extension is fitted.

The whole package is supplied with a full sized 10/12 tube rod holdall which will accommodate pole, extensions, kits, umbrella, banksticks landing net pole, rod tubes etc. Different sizes of matching carryalls will be made available as optional extras.

The pole package is supplied with a full skid bung set, a pair of large Polemaster pole pots, 5 different sizes of PTFE bushes (9 of each size) and the extra large cupping adapator as standard.

An EVA Nose Cone is also supplied for the male joint of the No 4 section to ease assembly.

The 4 sizes of Skid Bung (36mm, 40mm, 44mm and 48mm) are supplied in bright Aqua and fit all key sections as well as the short extensions. If you’ve ever tried shipping back through a hedge or over rough ground you will already appreciate the benefit of these, they make shipping so quick and make life so much easier. However they also have an important job in helping to prevent serious damage to the female joints.

The pole pots need no introduction really and a pair of the large size are supplied. There is already a special adapter fitted to the cupping top section provided and the larger 6.4mm size added.

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