A good margin pole always earns its keep on commercial fisheries.
True, it may not see sunlight that often but when the occasion demands, gearing up with an out-and-out brute of a tool will give you something no amount of money, good pegs or pristine bait can – confidence!
Matrix bills its new Torque Carp Margin model as being incredibly strong. After punishing tests on big-weight UK fisheries it’s come through with flying colours.
Measuring 8.5m long with the included Strike mini section fitted, the Torque is long enough for most margin situations where the fish may put some distance between themselves and you. It’s rated to a fearful 20-plus elastic and gets its power from the ultra-durable cross-layered carbon sections used in its construction. This effectively locks in the strength, resulting in sections that won’t creak or budge and inch when you put your shoulder into the fight.
Its supplied Power top kit has an enlarged ceramic side puller slot that’ll take thick hollow elastics with ease. A large tip bore means no cutting back is needed, and the Torque weighs just 490g at 8m, making it perfectly manageable when fished for two or three hours solid. Last but not least, the price is a bit of a snip!
The enduring heatwave might be a bit too much for river fishing but it couldn’t be better for commercials, with big weights aplenty being caught from the margins all around the country.
Magpie Lake at Rookery Waters, near Huntingdon, is one such venue in fine form – so it didn’t take long to pick it as a test venue.
Gearing up with the recently-released Matrix Slik elastic in the 14-16 yellow grade through the top kit, I reckoned a pot of corn and pellet would soon get the carp climbing up the pole. As I poked a rig just inches away from a thick bed of reeds at the full 8.5m length the Torque did feel heavy compared to a lighter match pole, but that’s the nature of the beast.
It’s very stiff, though, with no bounce when shipping out. That means no spillages if you are using a small pot on the tip for feeding, and no annoying tangles when you get halfway out into the swim. Don’t lie, we’ve all been there before!
There’s a lovely finish on all sections to help with shipping and unshipping... full marks so far.
Fish number one was a small stockie mirror that didn’t put up much of a scrap, but the quick bite did show the rapid response of the Torque when hitting sharp dips on the float. It’s as quick as match pole, and that’s impressive for such a powerful beast.
Next drop, a 4lb common was dragged from the reeds in quick time. This was what I’d been waiting for – I didn’t hold back and heaved like billy-o to put maximum pressure on the pole.
It bends nicely (unlike some very powerful poles where a lack of flex can cause them to break), allowing the elastic to do the work while absorbing each run and lunge.
There’s a very ‘solid’ feel to the Torque, which harks back to that confidence I talked about earlier.
I was in no doubt that I could pile more pressure on if need be, and the fish enjoyed a view of the landing net within mere minutes.
Half a dozen more similar-sized fish followed, along with a few stockies, and I was now into the swing of things, knowing how much hammer I could give the pole. The answer – if you ever doubted it – is a lot.
The ultimate test came when I hooked a big carp somewhere other than in the mouth. It charged off at breakneck speed and it was all I could do to hold the pole steady and trust in its strength and power to stop Mr Carp in his tracks. It did, too, resulting in that familiar foul-hooked sideways waggle as the fish was unable to muster any more power against the might of the Torque.
Yes, the hook pulled out of the tail at the net but by now I’d seen and felt enough of the Torque to know it’s going to be a winner!
Our verdict: The size of fish in commercials now warrants a proper margin pole if you’re serious about your fishing, and I reckon Matrix is on to a winner with the Torque.
It’s supremely strong, yet doesn’t fish like a broom handle, and is long enough to reach where you want to be on most pegs. The price is attractive too and won’t be money wasted when a bit of edge bagging rolls round every summer!