When I first heard that Daiwa was launching a 13m Power Carp pole I wasn’t sure which of its best-selling ranges it would join – Tournament, Team Daiwa, Match Winner or Yank-n-Bank.
As it turns out I was wrong on all counts. The newcomer is a stand-alone model with a very modest price tag. This puts it within reach of the newbie pole buyer who fancies a crack at some really big commercial carp, and wants to do it with a branded Daiwa pole.
This is quite a shrewd move by Daiwa, the leading seller of poles in the UK and reckoned by most discerning match anglers to make the best top-end models. Over the years I’ve lost count of the conversations I have had with people whose very first pole was a Daiwa. ‘Once a Daiwa man, always a Daiwa man (or woman)’ is not far off the mark.
So, if you choose to tread the jewel-strewn Daiwa pole path, what performance and build can you expect from this latest 13m, nine-sectioned model? Well, clearly power, strength and reliability are written large on the specification sheet.
Beefy anti-ovalling joints and super-tough sections give the impression of the pole being bulletproof. Its brawny fighting action spreads across the top five sections, leaving the angler in no doubt as to who’s in charge.
Rated to a 20 elastic, it can be used with heavy hollows and generates enough fire-power to see even the largest commercial fish wave the white flag. Having this unbridled stash of munitions at your disposal does come at a price – but in this case, not a particularly high one.
Yes, it’s undoubtedly easier to fish with at 11.5m than at 13m. But it remains reasonably well balanced and easy to handle at its full length, and there’s no hint of a droopy stick of rhubarb when all sections are put together.
A bit of post-strike bounce and wobble doesn’t interfere all that much with the pole’s action, which remains more than angler-friendly considering all that pulling power.
Weighing in at 1,250g, it isn’t the lightest power pole I’ve ever handled. You need to adopt a good firm posture on your seatbox, with the pole’s downforce weight spread over your knees or across a bump bar, then it won’t feel uncomfortably heavy.
Although the Power Carp is designed to be a cold steel ‘they don’t like it up ’em’ sort of weapon, Daiwa has been clever enough to throw in a few sweeteners – so along with all that power come pleasantries such as alignment arrows, which ensure you are always using the pole at its optimum stiffness.
Pre-bored side puller carbon reinforcements on the second sections are nice enough, although I have to say that it’s high time all Daiwa top kits came with factory-fitted side pullers as standard.
A pleasing slide-easy matt tape finish makes for speedy, painless shipping, while a super-robust mini butt comes as standard and fits into the eighth and ninth sections, giving that little bit more length if and when you need it.
Live-testing this type of pole is not always that simple – to get the best from it you need to subject it to some serious grief without actually smashing it to pieces.
However, the first couple of pegs on Decoy’s Beastie Lake are fringed by a huge bed of Norfolk reed that houses many of its largest residents. Barbel and carp abound here, and both need a fair degree of persuasion to quit their lairs.
So, rigging one of the Power top kits with a size 16 hollow elastic, and attaching a 0.18mm line and size 16 hook baited with a banded 6mm pellet, fight-time was here.
A steady stream of carp and barbel close to double figures were duly extracted with the minimum of fuss and bother, and the pole did its job faultlessly. Who could ask for more?
Our Verdict: Pretty much as its name suggests, this is a no-frills pole that won’t win any beauty contests. But then it doesn’t need to. It is what it is, a reliable branded Daiwa pole with a more than half-decent spare top kit package, at an absolute steal of a price.