Cutting The Cost!

With the cost of living going through the roof, disposable income, which most of us use to keep ourselves furnished in shiny new fishing tackle, is taking a hit but if you’re looking for a new pole which offers 16m capabilities without spending a crazy amount of money, Middy’s Reactacore XI20-3 model might be just the pole you’ve been looking for! 

With the country in a deep freeze, I needed to get this pole on the bank and if there’s one venue you can rely on for some bites in the coldest of weather it’s Meadowlands’ Lambsdown Lake. Selecting a peg in the deep water I soon had a look through the pole and its contents in the supplied pole holdall and for a pole that carries an RRP of £1,359 for the 16m package (you can also get 13.5 and 14.5m packages too) I was pleasantly surprised. 

The pole is supplied with a match kit inside the pole, and it also has four Max22 Karp 2-Kits plus a cupping kit, making it a real ready-to-go package. Something I was really impressed with on the match kit inside the pole was when I came to elasticate it; Middy has included some very helpful colour coded markers that show where the kit needs to be cut to fit Middy’s own PTFE bushes – so making several cuts isn’t required and makes elasticating the pole super-simple. The top kits across Middy’s new Reactacore poles have been made shorter to allow the elastic to work to its maximum, improve stiffness and to give the pole an improved fish playing action too but they’ve thought carefully about the length loss of doing this, and the Maximus Wrap is a very clever feature that not only makes up the length, but it also adds further strength to the base of the sections across the pole and decreases the section overlap, which brings the pole back to its true stated length – clever stuff! All of the sections are solid and give you that confidence that this pole will not let you down in the harshest conditions or when playing big commercial carp. 

The butt sections also include some clever precision markers that make accuracy when fishing on slopes or when you want to fish past your feed with precision incredibly simple and most importantly, accurate!

The main sections where you’re constantly taking the pole apart also feature Middy’s Dome Top Protection System caps, which stop you from splintering the end of the sections when coupling up quickly and makes fishing at speed much more efficient.

I guess the biggest question with a pole of this type is “What does a ‘grand’ really get you?” in this case – a lot! The pole itself is packed with Middy’s top-level technologies, which you’ll find throughout the Reactacore pole range and as with all products, the qualities of the higher priced poles continues to filter down into the mid-range models, making them incredibly good poles at their price points. 

The pole is super-strong and will be at home on any commercial venue in the UK but today we’d be targeting the venue’s silver fish population – fishing in deep water, striking hard and shipping continuously is always an excellent way of finding out more about poles and I couldn’t wait to get started. After plumbing up my 12ft deep peg and feeding some bait at 13 metres I soon realised that not only was this pole very nice to use, but it also offers amazing value for money! Shipping in and out is a dream thanks to the finish on the pole, even with wet hands, and the balance is brilliant for a pole at this price point. 

Up to 14.5 metres the XI20-3 is an unbelievable piece of kit, the pole is light, stiff, responsive and handles brilliantly and after a short while of fishing with it I began to really appreciate what Middy has achieved with this model; it does lose a bit of stiffness at the full 16 metres but to be honest, at this price point, every pole will. 

What the XI20-3 does offer though, is the angler who doesn’t fish at 16 metres very often the opportunity to have a 16m pole in their rod bag as an option without the cost of most models, so I’d say that if you fish 14.5 metres regularly but occasionally venture further – this pole is one you need to check out! I had an excellent session at Meadowlands catching lots of roach, skimmers and a few perch on a day when the temperature didn’t get above freezing all day. My final verdict on the XI20-3 pole from Middy is that this is an unbelievable pole for the money you’ll pay for it. 

If you shop around, it’s entirely possible to pick up the 16m package for around £1,000, and for that the pole offers amazing performance and something that is rare at this price point, the option of a 16m section. If you’re in the market for a new pole, but don’t want to spend thousands, the Reactacore XI20-3 from Middy is a must see! 

RRP: 16m package – RRP £1,359.97 / 14.5m package – RRP £1,199.99 / 13.5m package – RRP £1,059.99