THE PREDECESSORS of Daiwa’s Matchwinner pole series started life in the late 1980s and have found favour with thousands of anglers over the years.
Each incarnation saw an evolutionary leap to a level where you’d think it would be difficult to make them better. But Daiwa has...
Construction has switched to its UK facility, enabling the company to make use of previously unavailable carbon cloths and processes.
They’ve also been upgraded for 2021 to feature many of the pole goodies to be found in Daiwa’s top-end models. Super Multi Strand or MSG carbons make them extremely responsive, always handy when fishing long. Super-smooth Bias V-Joints help the sections to fit together quickly and cleanly, with no sticking, and an integral taping system over their top sections makes for quick shipping and also cuts down on their weight, because no paint or varnish is needed.
They also boast Interlastic side puller kits which come complete with pre-bushed PTFE tips and nose cones.
The bottom line for anglers is that the latest range (five in all, cleverly labelled MW 1-5) are stiffer, lighter, stronger and more responsive than before.
Now, it would be my guess that the 14.5m MW3, priced at just over £1,000, is almost certainly going to be to be the best-selling pole in the range, especially as you’re sure to find it a little cheaper if you shop around.
What do you get in the latest 14.5m Matchwinner 3 pole package? Truly an impressive array of stuff that includes a Match top kit inside the pole, three Interlastic Power kits with pre-fitted 4.7mm PTFE bushes, three Interlastic Power top kits with pre-fitted 5.8mm PTFE bushes, a mini extension, and a cupping kit complete with cups. The whole lot comes in a natty black pole holdall.
What is the pole best used for? Daiwa claims it’s a competition all-rounder, so for my money it would need to be every bit as good at catching a net of small fish down the canal, as it would long lining on a river, or carp bagging on the local commercial – a true ‘Jack of all trades’ pole!
My chosen venue for the live test this week was the very angler-friendly Float Fish Farm to the east of Peterborough.
FFF is famous for a few things. It’s a cracking match venue and it’s great for new anglers as there’s no walking, easy parking, food on site, and plenty of obliging hungry fish. It also holds some really big carp in some of its lakes to keep the bivvy-dwellers happy as well.
One thing that it also shares with its visitors is the blessed wind, which at this time of year blows straight in from Siberia.
I’m not going to bang on about the Baltic conditions, but suffice to say that one of the lakes is stocked with Arctic char that feel really at home here!
I set up on the recently-stocked Captain Tom’s Pond, named after Sir Tom Moore who did so much fundraising as well as raising all of our hopes of better days. With the pond being a strip lake, the biting easterly was scudding across the water from left to right – fishing-wise it was a full-on hoolie of a broadside.
I was assured that the water held a mixed head of fish, which was what I wanted. Rather than test the pole’s strength with yet another pellet-gorged unit, I felt it would be nice to ship a few fish using the pole at its full length for the five-hour duration of a normal match.
At 14.5m the pond was around 3ft deep, with a clean bottom that sloped back toward the centre of the lake. Selecting a 0.4g float with a wire stem and back-shotted with three No8 shot to hold steady in the wind, I set the rig 1ins overdepth with maggots as hookbait and feed.
Shipping the pole out to its full length was easy – no bouncing around and not a single spilled maggot from the tip-fitted pot. The howling wind did its best to make things difficult, but the pole remained rigidly unyielding and, by and large, made keeping everything on the mark easy.
The tip-end proved quick and responsive, without too much
post-strike movement. The MW3 also felt surprisingly light in the hand for a pole that’s likely to cost just under a grand, plus it shipped back and forth without hesitation or sticking. It has that steely feel of reliability that is common to all Daiwa poles of a certain ilk, the feeling that it’s got a fair bit of power in reserve should you need it.
One thing that really struck me, though, as I skipped yet another ide across the lake, was that in 1990 I’d saved up for a year to buy a 16m Daiwa Amorphous Whisker Tournament Special.
Back in the day that pole cost the best part of £3,500 – an awful lot of money at the time. It didn’t come with a shedload of top kits either, so you had the expense of those to add on.
Now here I was, handling a Daiwa Matchwinner that cost a fraction of the price of the old top-end Whisker. Yet this pole is stiffer, lighter, stronger, and an awful lot easier to ship around than the very best money could buy once upon a fishing time...believe me, it really is that good.
Price: £1,099, but shop around
Watch Mark's full live test and review by clicking here.