Modern margin poles were created to cope with the strain that increasingly heavy commercial carp can exert. Although modern fishing poles are stronger than they’ve ever been, they do have their limitations, so when it comes to extracting the biggest of fish from the snaggiest of margin homes, many pole anglers will reach for their dedicated margin pole.
With thicker and stronger sections coupled with bigger bore top kits, they are much better suited to this brutal kind of fishing and reduce the risk of costly breakages. As an added bonus, many manufacturers’ margin poles are interchangeable with their range of long poles, meaning you can share a cupping kit or even top kits between them.
The best margin poles at a glance:
• Best Handling Margin Pole - Matrix MTX V2 Margin 2 11m - View offer on Total Fishing Tackle
• Best In Class Margin Pole - Daiwa Tournament Pro X Margin - View offer on Total Fishing Tackle
• Best Value Margin Pole - Preston Innovations Edge Monster Margin - View offer on Angling Direct
• Best Margin Pole Package - Drennan Acolyte Pro 9.5 Margin - view offer on Ebay
Being stronger and often cheaper than a standard pole, margin poles are also an ideal first-time pole. So, whether you are an experienced pole angler looking to upgrade your summer margin gear or a novice to the pole market, here’s our guide to the best margin poles out there!
Best beginner margin pole
To complement the new range of Superium Poles, Preston has released this superb short-range
- Great commercial pole for beginners.
- Rated to 20 elastic.
- Due to the improved fishing performance, the pole isn't quite as strong as some others.
Built on the same mandrel and using the same advanced carbon technologies as its illustrious MTX
- Great finish, aids shipping back quick to draw fish out of snags.
- All sections reinforced for added strength.
- Does lose a bit of rigidity at its full length.
The Guru A Class 5.5m margin pole is a fantastic pole for those who just want an out and out
- Very strong.
- Ideal for beginners.
- Not the most extensive package.
Tri-Cast thought outside the box with this Excellence Power Margin 10m pole, looking for something
- Superb performance for a margin pole of its length.
- Being a Tri-Cast, it has immense strength.
- Can be tricky to get hold of.
Best value margin pole
The Preston Innovations Edge Monster Margin 8.5m pole is strong enough to knock the stuffing out
- Ridiculously strong pole.
- Perfect for any situation where big fish are involved.
- Package could be slightly bigger.
Anglers looking to gain an edge down the edge need look no further than the ultra-powerful MAP TKS
- Lovely finish on the pole, very slim profile.
- Very responsive at full length.
- Not as long as some other margin poles.
Daiwa’s Tournament Pro X Margin 9m was designed as a compatible section ‘power partner’ for all of
- An exceptional margin pole.
- A perfect option to back up top end Daiwa poles.
- Comes at a hefty price and is the most expensive margin pole on offer.
Fans of the iconic French brand should make this super strong Garbolino UK Margin Pro 8m pole,
- Great rigidity.
- Performs really well and has the strength in reserve.
- Would have been nice to see a longer version.
Built on the same mandrel as the Acolyte Pro Carp, the Drennan Acolyte Pro Margin carp 9.5m is
- Very reliable pole.
- Lots of spares in the package.
- Not as strong as others at this length.
Specially designed to hook, hold and extract the biggest of margin fish from the fiercest of edge
- Great balance.
- Isn't quite as strong as some others available, but the performance makes up for that.
Looking for a turbo-charged margin pole? Middy’s latest White-Knuckle Thriller V3 has power to
- Incredibly strong pole.
- Capable of taming the largest fish with ease.
- Not the easiest to use at 8.5m
What to look for in a margin pole
Margin poles all offer increased strength, compared to normal poles, in order to tame large fish that can often put severe strain on more expensive tackle. Depending on how far out you want to fish, how big the fish are and what other features you require from a margin pole will dictate which is the best option to choose.
If you have a pole already, most of the manufacturers have built their margin poles on a similar mandrel, so the top kits and generally no4 and no5 section will fit (do check first) so you have spares. If you just want the strongest available to build a big weight, aim for the poles with the strongest rating.
If you're a beginner or want a pole that will perform well, we recommend going for somewhere in between a pole that is fairly long (8-11m) but sacrifices some strength for rigidity and response making it easier to hold and use, as it will be far more enjoyable to handle and more efficient all round.
Top kit: The last 1 or 2 sections that you place on the end of your pole that contains the elastic that you attach your rig to. Most poles will come with a variety of top kits, allowing you to choose which elastic to fish with and enable you to set up multiple rigs.
Cupping kit: A separate top kit specially designed to attach a pole cup, allowing you to deposit a large amount of bait right where you are fishing.
Side puller: A small hole in the side of your top kit with a bush or roller fitted inside, used instead of a bung to anchor your elastic. The bottom end of the elastic is threaded through the puller and anchored by a bead on the outside of your pole. This allows you to grab the bead and pull some elastic out of the pole, changing its tension when playing a fish. This is useful when a larger fish has pulled a lot of elastic out of your pole, making it difficult to net.
Mini extension: A half-size or smaller, extra-strong piece of pole that goes into the back of a section. This help protects the bottom end of your pole from damage, whilst also allowing you to fish slightly further out when a full-length section would be too much.
Elastic rating: The elastic rating gives you the manufacturers recommendation of the largest elastic you can safely put in a pole before you risk breakages from over exertion.
Margin pole: A generally shorter pole of around 8-10m in length, that is designed with stronger carbon, reinforced joints and improved wall strength to create a very strong pole to tame even the largest fish.
Frequently asked questions about margin poles
What is the difference between a margin pole, a power/carp pole and a match pole?
A margin pole is a shorter, often 9m or less, super strong pole designed for fishing for very big fish that live close to near bank features. A power or carp pole is almost as strong but designed to be used at longer lengths of up to 16m. A match pole is a lighter, more rigid and easier-to-handle pole that can also be used for big fish and carp, but with care due to their decreased strength.
What do the numbers mean on elastic ratings?
The bigger the number, the more powerful the elastic. As a rough guide, elastics from 2 to 10 are best used in match kits for smaller fish. More powerful elastics, up to a 20, are best used in power kits. Elastics over a 20 are normally only used in margin poles. Always check the rating on your top kits and pole first though.
Why would I use a margin pole instead of a rod?
With no casting required, a far lighter float can be placed with pinpoint accuracy exactly where you want it. With shorter lengths of line in use, you get more control over your float, allowing you to manipulate your bait to appear more natural, induce bites, better combat wind and tow whilst making bites easier to hit. All these factors mean that in the right hands, a pole will normally outscore a rod and line approach fished within pole range.
Author Mark Sawyer holds the position of Tackle Editor at Angling Times, boasting more than thirty years of experience working within different fields of the angling industry.