£2,650 (shop around price £1,999.99)
Occupying pole position in Maver’s Elite Carp line-up is the impressive flagship Series 4 model which is being live tested this week. But before getting down to the nitty gritty of how this 16m carp tamer performs it’s worth mentioning just how the Elite Series first came about.
The original 14.5m pole proved to be a revelation when it first appeared on the commercial match scene, teaming a carp cruncher’s power and strength with the feel, balance, stiffness and handling qualities of a match pole. Its build technology was said by Maver to be cutting edge, with some pretty impressive technical data to back up that claim.
Nothing has changed in that respect with the new Series 4. The nine-sectioned mandrel is wrapped in the highest possible 850 grade carbon cloth before being reinforced with super vibration-damping epoxy and 4Mat resins to enhance strength and rigidity.
The pole weighs in at just 795g at 13m – an impressive statistic for any top match pole, never mind one with carp-hauling credentials.
It boasts a classy looking grey Sun Core finish that prevents sections from becoming too hot to handle on warm, bright days, and improves its shipping qualities. And you get the latest Maver Powerlite top kits, rated for use with up to size 20 elastics and equippedwith side puller slots and factory-fitted PTFE bushes.
So, technically the Series 4 is clearly a very advanced pole, but how does it shape up when pitted against hard-fighting commercial fish? To find out I spent a few happy hours at Decoy Lakes’ prolific Six Islands Lake, which is a real melting pot of fish species.
On arrival, what immediately struck me was how smoothly the joints came together with a reassuring swishing noise, then locked firmly into position with nothing more than half-a-turn required.
Section walls just above joints take some stick with this type of pole, especially on the third and fourth sections, as they are the ones you are most likely to be unshipping when netting a fish. Those on the Series 4 are fairly flexible, and certainly not indestructible as they would be on carp poles with less breeding but more muscle.
However, you need to remember that this is a commercial pole that can be comfortably fished with at 16m all day long. So impregnable section wall strength and the added weight this entails has been tempered, resulting in a very well-balanced pole that at its full length will twirl a slapping rig like a Dervish on steroids without either bouncing you off your seatbox or whacking the water every time you flip the rig.
Anyone who fishes mixed stock commercial venues that respondto long pole tactics should take a long hard look at this Maver thoroughbred. Only once you’ve used it as I have can you appreciate its overall rigidity, especially over the top five sections that are all but bounce-free. Accurately potting in feed, even at the full 16m becomes a doddle.
All that, plus a very impressive spares package that means you won’t have to dip into your pocket for more top kits, makes this pole a very impressive investment indeed.