Around 20-years ago I took my first steps into the world of pole fishing and to say the industry has come on leaps and bounds since then would be an understatement.
My first purchase back then hit my dad’s wallet to the tune of around £400, with the 13m offering requiring a fair bit of strength to wield it at its full length for long periods of time. It also had more bounce than a trampoline when you struck at a bite, with a series of eerie noises running throughout the sections whenever a big fish made a surge for freedom.
A spares package for anyone on such a budget was also virtually non-existent, with extra sections and top kits reserved for those with a sizeable wallet.
Fast-forward to the modern day and a 13m pole in the same price bracket is a totally different animal. The new MAP TKS Competition Carp 1 pole is the perfect example of how things have changed for the better.
It comes with a brace of power kits that are capable of taking a carp crunching solid 20 elastic and also a match kit. The hassle of having to get the hacksaw out and cut your top kits back to suitable size has also been removed, with all of them coming pre-bushed.
That isn’t the end of the spares package though, with a mini-extension provided to give you little bit of extra reach for when those fish-holding snags are just inches out of reach with the pole at 13m.
A smooth finish has also been applied and for times when you are really bagging and need to ship in and out at pace, this piece of kit will slide through your hands with ease.
One criticism that many poles receive is that they cannot be realistically fished at their full length for long periods of time, with the final butt section often adding a little too much extra weight for it to be used the whole day.
That is something that certainly can’t be levelled at the TKS Competition Carp 1 and during the live test it performed admirably and left me in no discomfort when used at full distance.
Carp and F1s to around the 4lb mark were the main target and as they resided in around 12 inches of water, there was no doubt they would test the pole to its limits as they bolted out of the swim once hooked.
Each time a fish was hooked it instantly motored off into the deeper water and ripped out several feet of 12-14 hollow elastic. At no point did I cringe at the thought of an expensive breakage, with the pole giving me the upper hand from start to finish of each battle.
The MAP TKS range have proved popular since its creation several years ago and the team have once again hit all the right notes with the latest addition to the impressive collection.