After a number of successful years, Maver’s Competition poles have been carefully re-designed to meet the stresses and demands of the modern commercial carp match scene.
The brief was to produce poles that are versatile enough to suit canals, lakes and rivers yet strong enough for commercial fisheries.
The company has achieved this with additional carbon fibres and resins to the third, fourth, fifth and sixth sections to substantially increase overall strength and provide the security and confidence that you need when playing large carp on heavy elastics.
Carrying an RRP of £1,100, the multi-functional 16m Competition 251 pole falls into what is almost certainly the most important of all the price points for manufacturers.
It is essential for all pole-producing companies to have exceptionally good products in this category, as this is where the majority of UK pole sales are achieved. Such is the enormity of transactions at this ‘around a grand’ price that reputations can be forged or dashed by the quality of these products.
Rather than banging on about the superb technical carbon features of this Maver pole, let me explain what you should expect from a pole costing this much.
Any potential customer has a right to suppose that the pole would be strong enough to handle most situations and, if you needed to lean into it a bit, no section would break.
It must have enough stiffness and rigidity at its full 16m length to ship back and forth fluidly without the top sections waving around uncontrollably, thus allowing for good rig presentation and feeding accuracy. The finish on the sections should provide friction-free shipping without the dreaded ‘hands sticking’ that can make fishing ‘long’ so difficult.
Holding the pole for long periods should not be unduly uncomfortable and it should have an ease of manoeuvrability, so overall weight is important. Too light and the pole will be difficult to use in the wind, and even worse it could be too brittle and prone to snapping in the mid-sections. To heavy and it will feel top heavy and be a burden to use, especially at its full length.
This new Maver 251 not only puts a huge red crayoned tick in all the above boxes, it also has amazing reserves of pure undiluted power, as we found out while live testing the pole at Peterborough’s day-ticket Kingsland fishery.
I had kitted-up the top two match sections with a fairly heavy hollow 12-16 elastic, to see if I could extract any of the larger inhabitants on a paste hookbait. After cupping in a liberal amount of pellets at 13m I lowered my paste bait on top of the loosefeed in 8ft of water and awaited the first bite.
Moments later the long bristled pole float disappeared from view, and a short crisp lift was greeted by something that felt very, very big. It powered away from me so fast I found myself struggling to get the 14.5m and 16m sections fitted quickly enough to keep up with it.
With the full 16m of pole now assembled and with the elastic completely bottomed-out, the pole lurched around to the left and formed a horrible arched shape acute enough to make me believe that this was going to prove all too much for the 251.
However, pole and rig held firm and the furious thing attached to the hook changed its mind about getting into the adjoining lake, instead making a bee-line for the paddle type aerator 30m out in the middle.
Pole preservation and my own reputation were now my only concerns, and I quickly dropped the two bottom sections off and lifted the remaining 13m of pole skywards in an attempt to pull out of the fish and save me from having to face the wrath of Maver boss Phil Briscoe as I tried to explain how I had re-arranged his new 251 pole from a nine to a 90-sectioned model.
To my utter amazement the pressure applied from directly above stopped the fish dead in its tracks, and twenty minutes later it lay in the landing net - a double-figure ghostie, fit as a butcher’s dog.
I just packed the pole away after that. Maver’s claim of making stronger poles was proved beyond any shadow of a doubt, and the Competition 251 will always be remembered by me as being ‘one hell of a pole’.