Shakespeare Superteam Extreme Carp Pole Review

Mark gives this NEW pole a firm test

Shakespeare Superteam Extreme Carp Pole Review

by Angling Times |

FOR the life of me, I can’t recall ever live-testing a Shakespeare pole before.

But I do know that back in the day some of the firm’s iconic models were considered to be among the best around.

The President GLX was a game-changer, as were Shakey’s Superteam Competition and Power poles that followed some years later.

So, to all intents and purposes my induction into the Shakespeare pole hall of fame would be its new Superteam Extreme Carp, in the shops now. It comes in 8.5m, 10m and 11.5m lengths (the latter on live test duty) and is designed, as its name suggests, mainly for use on commercial fisheries.

Shakespeare Superteam Extreme Carp Pole
Shakespeare Superteam Extreme Carp Pole

I sometimes feel that a change of scenery for Angling Times live test venues is called for. But Peterborough’s Decoy Lakes is a commercial venue that offers so much variety it’s nigh-on impossible to better.

You can catch carp and indeed barbel of all sizes, huge F1s patrol most of the lakes, and there are bucketloads of silverfish too. Decoy responds equally well to pole, feeder or waggler tactics at all depths, using virtually any bait!

The one truly necessary requirement for a live test water, though, is that I’m able to catch a fish or two, whatever the weather, and to that end Decoy Lakes comes up trumps year-in, year-out.

Moving on… with spring having finally sprung, the sun is warming things up nicely and the fish are slowly but surely on the move. It’s still a tricky time of year for the angler – all venues respond to different things, so on one lake the hot tactic might be margin fishing, while on the next it will be a waste of time.

I mention this fact only because the subject of this week’s exclusive live test, Shakespeare’s latest 11m Superteam Extreme Carp pole, has ‘margin marauder’ written all over it!

No worries – Decoy’s Horseshoe Lake is one of the best margin venues around.

If the carp don’t feed, the F1s will, and if by some rare mischance they don’t, there are always the barbel to fall back on. Barring an overnight frost, the fish in Horseshoe will feed down the edge.

Of course, Sod’s Law kicked in on the morning of the live test. As I scraped the ice from the car windscreen following yet another night of sub-zero temperatures it occurred to me that perhaps Decoy wasn’t, after all, the wisest of choices. But I’d already arranged a day’s testing with an accompanying video based around the new Shakespeare Superteam pole, so there was no going back!

Undaunted, but less than impressed, I loaded the car with my kit and set off down the A1.

Pulling into Decoy’s car park, I could see a match was already underway on the aptly-named Beastie Lake. Lines of iridescent car windscreens reflected the sun’s rays like so many mirrors, confirming that all pegs on this fish-fllled gem were taken.

Horseshoe, though, was all mine for a few hours at least, and although the water was a little too cold and clear for my liking I could still make out the odd fishy shape slowly swimming through the peg.

I put the box down on peg 9, a noted margin banker, before sliding the Shakespeare Extreme Carp from its bag. I’d already rigged the pole’s Power top kit up with a size 10-plus hollow elastic, and although I did have to cut around 6ins of the tip-end back before fitting it with a 3.2mm PTFE bush, the Extreme’s ceramic side puller slot was a doddle to set up. It’s large enough to be used with the thickest of elastics.

The tip will need a little cutting back.
The tip will need a little cutting back.

The rest of the pole I hadn’t even looked at, but as I assembled its six sections it became clear that it was a proper bruiser that would withstand anything and everything Decoy might throw at it.

My cameraman for the day, Thom Airs – who, like myself, is a proud Oxonian (native of Oxfordshire) – suggested that we have a go at the 11-minute challenge that is proving so popular with matchmen on Facebook and YouTube.

Unsurprisingly, it’s all about how many fish you can catch in 11 minutes! Not really relevant on a commercial like Decoy, so Thom and I agreed to give it a go, but with a slight twist – it would now be how much weight I could catch rather than sheer numbers of fish.

Let’s just say that it was an interesting 11 minutes, and the Shakespeare Extreme didn’t let me down!

At the end of the day I was so sure of this pole’s wall strength that I stood on the mini extension and it didn’t even creak. And, tragically, long-gone are the days of my sylph-like 10 stone youth…

As for the Extreme Carp, it had a few points that I really liked and others that I definitely didn’t. On the plus side its wall strength is supreme and the top-2 Power kit is strong and easy to elasticate ( although I’d suggest that you cut the tip back a bit). I doubt you’d break it normal use, so if you’re starting pole fishing or just plain heavy-handed this is the one for you.

The fact that it doesn’t come with any spare top kits didn’t impress me, especially given its ‘realistic’ price.

The section numbers are basically meaningless, and don’t match with the pole’s spine as section aligners should. Its toughness and its extreme strength are by far its best points.

The Shakespeare Extreme didn’t let me down!
The Shakespeare Extreme didn’t let me down!

Watch the video, though, and make up your own mind.

Price: 11m £224.99, 10.5m £179.99, 8.5m £134.99, www.shakespeare-fishing.co.uk

Watch the video here: Go Fishing Online

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