At last - Shimano's new fishing poles arrive in the UK

This week, the long-awaited trio of new poles from Shimano has finally arrived in the country and it has announced that they will be in the tackle shops by the end of next week. It has also slashed the price of its spare sections to make the poles more affordable.

The poles were first introduced to the public last April in Angling Times, but since then there appears to have been a few technical hitches. Now, Shimano has reassured us that all these tweaks and adjustments have been sorted out following rigorous field testing by commercial legend Steve Ringer and four times world champion Alan Scotthorne.

This point was reiterated by Shimano brand manager Richard Griffiths: “Shimano has always been insistent that our sponsored anglers conduct a serious amount of field-testing on any product. Although this can lead to the odd setback while any adjustments are made, it is well worth it in the long-run because the product will be perfect when it goes to launch.”

The three-strong line-up includes the £1,199.99-priced Super Ultegra - a famous name brought back, the Fireblood ¬ Alan Scotthorne’s weapon of choice and the Aspire Ultra - Steve Ringer’s new pole.

All are 16m offerings that have been constructed around a highly specialised generic mandrel known as the Shimano Gen-X.

It uses uniquely-shaped tapers on every section of pole from butt through to tip and is said to produce the best long pole shape superior in terms of balance, stiffness and weight.

Shimano poles have always been recognised for their strength and durability, which is why all come with a two-year guarantee but in the past they have been scrutinised for the price of spare sections as buying a few extra top kits often worked out just as pricey as buying the pole itself.

This has now been rectified with the new Gen-X mandrel that will see spare top kits start from as little as £49.99 for a EV Power top-2 and £54.99 for its generic Match EV top-3 kits. At the other end of the scale, the top Gen-X Match Pro kit is available for just £99.99.

Shimano is also very proud of these top kits because it believes that they are the perfect design for the UK market.

Steve and Alan have spent a lot of time working with Shimano technicians to achieve what they believe is the optimum length of top kit to get the best performance from your elastic and handling from the pole. This measurement is 2.89m with a tip section included for light elastics and 2.57m without a tip for heavier rubbers.

This design results in a tip bore size capable of taking No8 elastic through the No1 section without cutting back, and up to a Red Hydrolastic size hollow fitted straight through the larger bored No2 section.

Super Ultegra 16m
Weight: 769g at 13m
Spares package: Six
Match top-3s, EV Cupping Kit, two EV fourths, Clean
Cone Pack, Deluxe Match Holdall
Elastic rating: 20
RRP: £1,400
Offer: £1,199.99

Fireblood 16m
Weight: 760g at 13m
Spares package: Eight Match top-3s, EV cupping kit, two EV fourths, Clean
Cone Pack, carbon effect hard body 9 tube match holdall
Elastic rating: 20
RRP: £2,700
Offer: £2,100

Aspire Ultra 16m
Weight: 760g at 13m
Spares package: Eight Match top-3s, EV cupping kit, two EV fourths, Clean
Cone Pack, deluxe hard body nine-tube Match Holdall
Elastic rating: 20
RRP: £3,500
Offer: £2,699.99

Gen-X Spares pricing
Match Pro top-3: £99.99
Match Pro top-4: £199.99
Match All-round top-3: £69.99
Match EV Kit-3: £54.99
Match EV Kit-4: £89.99
Power EV Kit-2: £49.99
Parallel Extension EV: £159.99
Reversible Half Extension 10m and 11.5m: £59.99
Reversible Half Extension 13m and 14.5m: £59.99
EV fourth section: £39.99