The latest in a long line of high quality Daiwa designed and built poles, the Daiwa Match Winner comes from a thoroughbred stable that includes the Flagship Air, Airity and Tournament Pro X.
However, at just a penny under a thousand pounds, this latest offering is a lot more of a pound-stretcher to the keen match angler than any of its more rarefied relations.
So, what do you get for parting with a grand of your hard-earned? First, and probably most importantly, the Match WInner is built around exactly the same tried and tested nine-sectioned mandrel as used to make all the top-end Daiwa poles – although it should be noted that the MSG (Multi Strand Graphite) cloth is not of quite the same high specification.
Don’t let that lead you into thinking of the Match Winner as the poor man’s Tournament. If anything, its characteristics offer the modern match angler a far more powerful performance, whether brawling with big ’uns or putting together a baker’s dozen of pasties. The fact is, if you already own a Daiwa Tournament pole and suffer a broken sixth section, that is going to cost you an eye-watering £350 to replace – a whole third of the price of the Match Winner. For the saving on spare sections alone, the new budget pole earns its keep.
What’s more, it comes with a distinctly handy spares package that includes a standard Daiwa Match kit inside the pole, four Interlastic Power kits and a cupping kit.
The Match Winner’s performance is pleasing solid and dependable, although not overly exciting. It generates enough bend when put under stress to handle a big fish without feeling as though it might snap in half at any moment.
Kitted up with light elastics, there is sufficient crispness along its top four sections to make it responsive enough for smaller fish. Basically the Match Winner is the ideal all-round pole for the type of angler who spends much of their time fishing mixed stock commercial fisheries.
Shipping along the sections is seamlessly quick, thanks to Daiwa’s Diamond Satin easy glide finish on the number 8, 9 and 10 butt sections. Sections 5, 6 and 7 all incorporate Daiwa’s unique ITS taping system that helps to speed things up during shipping.
There is little discernible difference between using it at its full 14.5m or 13m lengths, which is testament to the amount of rigidity it has, and for the money the Match Winner is up there with the best poles available at this price.