The first thing that struck me when I removed this pole from its holdall was the finish! “Wow… silky smooth,” I said to my MF colleague, Joe Carass. However, upon assembling it to its full 14.5m supplied length I must admit that I was dubious. Why? Because it felt so light, manageable and stiff… yet Garbolino says, and I quote: “It’s suitable for comfortably fishing elastics to a size 20” – surely it couldn’t be this good and handle the punishment associated with modern-day carp fishing?
I treated the pole to its virgin session at the popular Leicestershire fishery, Makins. This is the sort of water where you’ve got to steer big carp around islands, obstacles and margins so it’s a good test for any pole.
I loaded the ever-popular black Hydro through the pole’s Competition Lite top-two kit (rated to a No12 elastic) and matched that to 0.17mm main line for starters. Fishing double worm to an island in front of me, the first fish I hooked broke me and trashed my rig by running around the back of the island!
Needless to say I gave the pole a hell of a test trying to stop what I suspect was one of the big resident ghosties, but there was literally no more I could have done to put the brakes on – I couldn’t have pulled any harder! So, test number one saw the pole receive a big tick in the strength box.
With the gloves off, round two followed and saw me approach the same swim with a heavier, 0.19mm rig. For me this is a super-heavy setup for the pole and the sort of line I would only use for targeting really big fish. Double worm on a size 12 did the damage, though, as hard-fighting carp were soon finding their way to my waiting net.
With round two won by the G-Max 600 it was the third round that delivered the final, decisive blow! I’d fed groundbait down the edge to my right and, with the same rig I used on the long line, I sat waiting for the margin lumps to arrive. A couple of tentative dips were followed by an unmissable bite – that’s what I love about big-bait fishing! As the hooked fish bow-waved away from the shallow swim, battle commenced.
The near 7lb common stood no chance, I felt in control and totally confident in the pole’s ability – and believe me, the fish took some stopping! With that one safely in the net and the pole thrashed to within an inch of its life it reigned victorious, winning the session by a unanimous vote! The carp didn’t stand a chance.
It was only then, when I found out the price, that I was taken aback! “£999.99… no that can’t be right, check again,” I said to Joe.
While he got straight on the blower to Garbolino UK boss Darren Cox I rooted through the holdall to find three more 2.85m Power Lite top kits and an Extendable Potting Kit plus pots. These come supplied with the 14.5m marvel of carbon manufacturing.
The price was right, but when you consider that you can pick this whole package up for a penny under £750 if you shop around, then it does make you realise how good this really is for the money.
Flaws? None in terms of performance, but one slight niggle was the lack of alignment arrows on the 13m and 14.5m graphic butt sections, as every other section from the No4 to the No8 has them.
I’m going to stick my neck out and say that if I was in the market for a new pole, regardless of budget, and I didn’t need a full 16 metres then this would, without a doubt, be on my shortlist. It’s brilliant!