A question I am asked regularly is what piece of kit would I never be without when I am fishing and always my answer is my pole, as I could count on one hand the amount of times I have fished this year without setting it up. Pole choice is a very personal thing, and I can only talk from my own experience, but my pole of choice for the last 2 years is the Preston Innovations Response M90 and I can honestly say it is the best piece of kit I have ever purchased.
When it was launched towards the end of 2015, I was chomping at the bit to get one, as I had heard from the Preston Rep about the benefits of this new Torayca carbon used, similar to the carbon used on the Team Sky Bikes and immediately after I saw it at the trade show, I was that impressed that I had one on order for myself. The pole was everything I needed, light and stiff all the way to full length but also supplied with a large spares package which allowed me to immediately fish a range of venues, without needing to buy extra top kits and sections, something I feel is imperative when investing in a new pole.
My initial outings were excellent, with the pole handling everything I threw at it, and I couldn’t help but admire the performance at longer lengths, as it was much lighter and stiffer than anything I had ever fished with before. My only ‘issue’ (if you could call it that) was the sheer responsiveness of the pole as my initial outings on the canal showed, everytime I hooked a fish it would come flying out the water as I was used to striking harder, my previous pole was nowhere near as responsive. However, after a few sessions and as I was used to it to problem ceased and there have been multiple occasions since where I have been thankful for this, especially on those harder days when you are striking at small indications.
Although, a pole can be brilliant for the first months, time can ultimately affect the performance of the pole through wear and tear. However, 2 years later I can only say that my opinion of this pole has only increased as the pole performs at exactly the same level as when I first used it. Yes, I have broken a few sections, but who doesn’t and I can say with most that the blame can only be aligned with myself or the weather! To be honest, I am fairly surprised that it has not completely fallen apart as if you know me I am not exactly the best at looking after my kit!
Throughout this time, I have used the pole on a variety of different venues from rivers, canals and commercials and in no occasion, have I felt scared in using it in any situation I have come across and this confidence can only help in a match situation. Especially, in the last few months when I have been fishing the Bristol Avon around Bath most weekends, I have been impressed as you are fishing in depths of 10-14ft striking through heavy floats, swinging in fish and with the steep banks throwing the pole at awkward angles all day. This puts a lot of pressure on the sections and in my opinion, is much more demanding than fishing on commercials and canals. In this time, I have seen many anglers on the matches I have fished end up with broken sections, whereas the M90 has barely flinched!
Another large plus with this pole is the quality of the top kits supplied with it and I could not imagine using anything else. All the top-kits on this pole are all pre-bushed with the match kits accommodating a 1.8mm internal bush and the power kits a 3.0mm internal bush and with all the top kits cut to the same length I know that I am always fishing the same spot no matter what. I also particularly like the elastic centralizers supplied on the top of the no.2 section and I feel that these have helped prolong the performance of my elastics. Furthermore, the power kits are supplied as standard with the rolla pulla pre-fitted meaning no awkward drilling procedures. These little additions may not make much of a difference but they do make it a lot easier to elasticate and I would now struggle to do all that myself.
Ultimately, as I said at the beginning of this piece that this is only my opinion, and I am by no means saying that this pole is better than everything else on the market as I have not used the majority of them, but I will say that if you are in the market for a new pole than I would definitely recommend looking at the Response range of poles from Preston Innovations as the whole range carries the most of the features I have mentioned as the pole I have waxed lyrical about and if you have £3000 burning a hole in your pocket than you must have a look at the Response M90 as you will not be disappointed!