Aero Performance... For Less!

Last year we took a really detailed look at the Shimano Aero X5 Competition, Aero X7 Competition and Aero Pro models. It had been a long time since Shimano dipped its toe into the highly competitive pole market. Yet, using all of that knowledge from previous years and new materials it absolutely delivered. To say we were impressed would be an understatement, with the Aero Pro being the best pole I had ever fished with up to the time of writing that review. Well these five models here are the new, less expensive, counterparts in the Aero line of poles and sit below the Aero Competition X5 in terms of price.

Today we’ve come to Tunnel Barn Farm fishery in Shrewley, Warwickshire on the Shimano press day for an exclusive look at these five new marvels. There are three poles – the X1 at 11.5 metres, the X2 at 13 metres and the X3 at 14.5 metres – as well as two dedicated margin poles, the 8.5m Aero Power Margin and the 11.5m Aero Pro Margin.Shimano is rightly proud to tell us that these new additions deliver many of the same features as the more expensive X5 and X7 models, but with a lower price tag. These poles are likely to be better suited to either an angler working within a tight budget, or someone who doesn’t need 16 metres of pole for the fishing they do.

The Aero X3, Aero X2, Aero X1 and Aero Power Margin all share the same mandrel, which means that if you buy a pole and a margin pole the sections and top kits will all interchange. The Aero Pro Margin, however, shares the same mandrel as the Aero Pro pole, Aero X7 and Aero X5 allowing full interchangeability between those models. This is a brilliant feature as it really allows you to build up your pole armoury with everything working together in harmony once you enter the Shimano ecosystem. For me that would be key if I was in the market for a new pole. This also means that if you want to upgrade within the Aero ecosystem then your top kits will all fit, too.

Shimano says that: “The stiffness and responsive nature of all the poles across the range gives them superiority to everything else on the market within their respective price classes.” Shimano also offers continuity across the range of Aero poles as well as extensive features, interchangeability and top kit simplicity – and I’d have to agree that it’s all very easy to understand and use.Let’s have a look at the five models then, starting with the Aero Competition X3. This is the most expensive of these five, coming in at a length of 14.5 metres and an RRP of £999.99 for the pack. You get four top kits and a cupping kit for that money, which is a great price for the performance that’s on offer here. This is the one we’ve set up today for a little go here on House Pool, for a spot of shy-biting F1 fishing. The Aero Competition X2 is the next in line at £749.99 and comes at 13 metres with three top kits and a cupping kit. The Aero Competition X1 is the least expensive of the trio at £499.99 for 11.5 metres with two top kits and a cupping kit. 

Then you have the two margin poles – the flagship Aero Pro Margin at 11.5 metres with three top kits and a price tag of £499.99 and the Aero Power Margin, the cheapest of the lot, at 8.5 metres with two top kits and a price tag of just £249.99. Yes, £249.99! And let me tell you, this Aero Power Margin is a stand-out piece for the money. It’s absolutely brilliant – stiff, powerful and responsive. Shimano has certainly stepped things up here – gone are the days of floppy, banana-like margin poles, this thing is good enough to use as your full time pole… if you don’t need to go past 8.5 metres that is. The Aero X3, X2 and X1 are also available as pole-only options as well as package options, too.All of the poles share many of the same features as their much more expensive siblings. The Shimano Ultra Sound Sanding System makes the poles very easy to handle and ship in/out. Aero Joint provides an exclusive, hard-wearing joint system that ensures top performance and durability. There’s also reinforcement on the joints that looks absolutely beautiful with that additional carbon weave. Then there’s the Shimano Alignment System on all of the joints to make sure you can line up the spine of the pole for optimum performance. All of the top kits come ready bushed with PTFE bushes so there’s no trimming necessary and there are reinforced band sections for the fitment of side puller kits (if you want to). The top kits don’t come pre-drilled for side pullers as Shimano knows that some anglers prefer to use a traditional bung setup so at least this way you have the option without having an extra hole drilled into the side of your pole that you may never need.

Shimano also offers an array of different top kits too, including short one-piece F1 style kits, as well as a short cupping kit to match. Like all good poles on offer nowadays you can really tailor the extra kits and spares to suit exactly what you need.Bang for buck is absolutely excellent here and we’re looking forward to taking these poles out on the bank in the coming issues of MF magazine, where we’ll cover the finer points of each in much more detail. This is just a brief introduction to the new additions. We filmed a short video of these poles with Shimano on the day - you can check that little vid out on the Match Fishing YouTube channel if you want to know a bit more about these new models in the meantime.

​• Aero Competition X3 14.5m Pack £999.99
​• Aero Competition X2 13m Pack £749.99
​• Aero Competition X1 11.5m Pack £499.99
​• Aero Pro Margin 11.5m Pack £499.99
​• Aero Power Margin 8.5m Pack £249.99


To find out more about the Shimano’s latest Aero poles, watch the video below.

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