Mark Sawyer field tests the new Sensas 524 carp pole

Sensas poles were first introduced into this country about seven years ago, and since that time they have established themselves as a firm favourite among the matchfishing fraternity.

That popularity looks set to continue next year as the French tackle giants are launching three new poles that have all been specifically designed to suit the rigours of the English market.

I recently met up with Sensas marketing manager Mark Downes, who lyrically extolled the virtues of the new poles, explaining that they had been specially constructed to cope with the stressful demands of modern commercial tactics, and they would ‘without a doubt’  be strong enough to cope with anything that swims in UK waters!

During our meeting Mark had shown me the impressive new Sensas Power 524 Carp pole, which carries an SSP of £550. Just showing me the brute was all well and good, but what I really needed was to get out and fish with the thing, if I was going to see if this was indeed a proper heavyweight contender or just another lightweight scrapper with a big reputation.

The fact the 524 pole I was shown was currently the only one in the country made Mark a little bit reticent to part with it at first, but after promising to return it to him unblemished within a few days, he agreed to let it out of his grasp.

My delight at prising the coveted tool away from him was short-lived, however, when it dawned on me that I would be struggling to find a fishable venue to put it through its paces. Every lake within reasonable driving distance of the office seemed to have a 1ft-thick solid lid of ice on it, and the rivers were worse than hopeless, with any snow meltwater mixing with salt from the roads, making bites rarer than a warm day in Scotland.

The eagle-eyed among you may well have spotted an image of the new Sensas
524 Carp pole a couple of weeks ago in an Angling Times pole supplement. I had taken the pole along with me to a midweek match and thought that if any carp put in an appearance I would give it go. Unfortunately on the day, there would have been more chance of being attacked by a Norfolk Polar Bear than catching a carp.

One thing that I was able to establish about the pole, was just how strong and thick walled it is, as most of the day was spent using it to push away huge floating icebergs!

Catching carp other than F1s on a pole in winter is at best going to be a bit hit and miss; find the fish and just maybe you might get a hit, but in truth most of the time you will be enduring plenty of ‘misses’.

With time now running short on returning the new Sensas pole, more out of desperation than hope, I made a call to Di Band at the prolific Decoy Lakes fishery at Whittlesey to see if they had any ice-free pegs.

To my utter amazement she informed me there were a couple of pegs on Willow Lake that were ice-free, apparently due to what Di described as “a natural combination of the effects of wind and ducks”.

I knew that this would be my last chance to test the pole, so I quickly donned the thermals, before loading the car and heading off for the fishery.

An hour later saw me sitting on the banks of a largely frozen Willow Lake.

By now the weather had turned really nasty - as bad as anything I had ever fished in before - with a cruel north wind blowing sleet straight into my face.

I was determined to fish though, and shipping out a light maggot rig into the teeth of the gale was made easy by the amount of rigidity in the 524 - it simply shrugged off the elements!  Even through frozen cold fingers I could feel the section wall strength - unyielding and uncompromising, this really is a battering-ram of a pole.

It boasts decent balance for a power pole, with a tidy easy-slide finish, demurely understated graphics and an eye-catching diamond weaved carbon reinforcement over the female joints.

At first appearance the Power 524 seems to be just a bit of a looker, but do not be deceived - this is one mean hombre, and more than capable of dishing it out to any that would care or dare to have a go. I can see this pole being responsible for catching thousands of pounds of commercial carp next year.

So, my advice would be, if you’re in the market for a new mid-priced pole next season, and do a lot a lot of bag-up commercial fishing, then wait until you have seen this new Sensas Power 524 Carp before buying anything else.