Price: 14.4m £1,499.99
Standard package: One Match top-4 kit; three Match top-3 kits; three Big Bore top-2 kits; one Interex short No3 section; one reversable power mini butt 8-9 section; one stiff top-2 cupping kit with two cups; deluxe holdall complete with all tubes; Tri-Cast baseball cap and towel
We don’t mess around at Angling Times, so when the very latest long pole from Tri-Cast arrived in the office it was elasticated and on its way to the bank just a couple of days later.
The Trophy X-Type 80 is built on the same mandrel as the flagship Excellence Pro model, although it uses a slightly different carbon, and Tri-Cast says that a new light resin has altered the way the fibres have been laid out, improving overall performance.
The operative word here is ‘reinforcement’, and as I put the pole together I couldn’t help but notice how well protected all the ends of the sections are.
This is something Tri-Cast has a reputation for. Its super-reinforced wraps eliminate wear and chipping, especially at the female ends. The top kits also feature wrapped areas to drill a hole for a puller bush, although I’m not quite sure why they feature on the top half of the top kits as well.
For the test I selected an end peg on the canal-style lake at Stretton Lakes near Stamford. If you’re going to sit on a peg, it might as well be a good one! It would have been all too easy to go out to the island in front of me, a ‘mere’ 13 or 14 metres away, and have a comfortable day.
But I decided to test the pole a bit more by fishing to the island in front of the next peg to the left, a full 16m away with the handy half butt added. No way was it going to be easy, as there were loads of branches overhanging the water and a slightly naughty cross wind that decided to get up shortly after I began fishing.
A massive plus point is the Super Slip finish. I haven’t actually sat down and fished with a Tri-Cast pole for a long while, so I was pleasantly surprised – it’s very easy on the hands. You can ship it at speed, and as I started hooking the carp of Stretton Lakes I began to appreciate this.
Most were small commons, but what they lacked in size they made up for in enthusiasm. They were soon trying to swim around the gaps in the small islands to the other side of the lake, meaning I had to have my wits about me in getting the pole back swiftly.
At its 13m and 14.4m lengths I found the pole good. At the full 16.1m there are stiffer poles out there for the price, but it was still perfectly acceptable. I fitted a Kinder pot to mimic a fishing situation and there was a little bit of bounce. Putting the short number three section in solved this somewhat, and if I didn’t need to fish at the absolute full length then I’d recommend making full use of this short piece, especially if you want to fish up in the water and slap the rig on the surface.
There’s no doubt that this is a solidly strong pole too, with the sections barely willing to budge when squeezed. I’d be happy to fit a grade 20 elastic. I can’t sign off without mentioning the total spares package here, as it’s impressive as standard (see panel).
If it’s not absolutely perfect you can tailor it to your own needs by contacting Tri-Cast first. You might want more big bore, power orientated kits, for example, so you can’t say fairer than that!
Our verdict: A good solid pole with a very nice finish. Everything about the sections inspires confidence, from the wraps to the overall feel, leaving no question about its strength. There are probably a few stiffer poles than this in the price range, but are they are as strong or as well made? I doubt it!