Even I would agonise over what to buy if I had £400 of my own money to spend on a pole.
But I’ll tell you something: Middy’s Nano-Core XT15-2 would be high on my shortlist. Most of my fishing is done on commercials, but because I’d still rather catch 25lb of roach on casters than 100lb of carp on pellets my pole would have to double for silverfish work at reasonably long lengths.
So a strong carp-capable 13m weapon, well-balanced, easy to ship and at home with delicate rigs and light elastics is right on my radar. The Nano-Core XT15-2 will deliver all that and more.
It weighs in at just 720g at 11.5m, so its handling qualities are quite exceptional for a pole at this price.
How can this be possible, I hear you ask? Well, the carbon cloth undergoes a unique curing process under extreme pressure, forcing out tiny air imperfections. This gives the pole a consistent linear action and increases section strength. The graphite used in this pole can also withstand temperatures equivalent to over 3,000ºC which does help to keep all nine sections stable and fishable even in the roasting summer heat.
Other key features include a section alignment system, top kits interchangeable across the entire Middy Nano-Core range, and a new distance numbering system on the butt section for precise fishing and feeding.
Colour-keyed bands show exactly where you need to cut the tips when fitting bushes. And, like all Middy Nano-Core poles, this one comes with a Safe-Zone mini reversible butt. This fits both the 11.5m and 13m sections, and the EVA domed end protects the pole when shipping it back.
The spares package includes a Match3 G-16 top kit ready fitted, an F1 G-16 top kit and a Karp2 G-22 top kit. You also get Hi-Viz elastication kits and and Xtreme pole holdall – not an eye-popping package, but one that suggests the bulk of the asking price has gone into the pole itself, rather than added extras. If you do want more top kits an F1 G-16 costs £39.99 and a Karp2 G-22 £47.50.
So, under a sun-drenched sky with fish cruising all over the surface of Old Wood Lake on Newark’s Portland Waters, I fished a 12/14 elastic through the resilient Karp2 G-22 top kit. Bites were easy to come by as a procession of small roach, ide, crucians and F1s proved only that the pole is nicely balanced and quite at home shipping in silvers and other small fish without so much as a wobble.
Using a slapping rig to attract the larger carp proved a harder test for the pole’s rigidity and tip speed, but although it was a little bit bouncy it wasn’t all that difficult to handle. Soon elastic was streaming from the tip as a larger fish grabbed the hard pellet hookbait. Side strain stopped it running through my neighbour’s peg, and the Karp2 top kit was powerful enough to make short work of the netting process.
For the money (it’s available for well under £400 if you shop around) the XT15-2 has all the features I would look for.
Middy’s Nano-Core range has undergone a transformation, and these poles are now reckoned by many to be as good as anything else on the market. There’s something for everyone, no matter what your angling status or skills set. The XT15-2 would make a great second pole for the keen club or pleasure angler. It’s easy to use, comfy to hold and will cope with both silvers and carp. At such an affordable price, who could reasonably ask for more?