Preston Innovations Response Carp 16m Pole

Matt Godfrey takes Preston Innovations’ brand-new Response Carp 16m pole to the bank to tame some surface-lurking monsters!

Last month I had a phone call from Preston Innovations brand manager Scott Geens. Immediately after picking the phone up, I could sense excitement in his voice. “I’ve got something here that you might like, and I’d love you boys to get out on the bank for an exclusive with it.”

My ears instantaneously pricked up. It was of course the very tool that graces these pages and I had a very exciting day on the bank putting it to the test at Packington Somers Fishery.

Secondary Poles… The new Response Carp is the latest addition to Preston Innovations’ very popular and fairly new pole range. At 16 mtres it is designed to be strong, but perform to a high standard. It also sits in a very appealing price bracket, with the full package selling for £1,299. Interestingly, there is also a pole-only package available, which would be highly appealing to anglers who already own one of the Response poles, who are looking for a secondary or strong backup pole. This is available for £999.99.

As a keen match angler myself, having a sturdy ‘secondary’ pole is always helpful. There are days when the wind is blowing strongly, or when you arrive at a particular swim that looks very snaggy. The last thing that I’d want to do in these situations is get out my £3,000 flagship pride and joy. However, a sturdy, but high-performing tool such as the Response Carp would make the perfect mace for the job.

Wall Strength Supreme ...... When I arrived on the banks of Big Geary’s Lake at Packington, I couldn’t get my pole out quick enough! There were dozens of large dark shadows cruising under the surface, but among them I spotted an odd pale character, better known as the ghost variety of the carp family! It took me a whole five minutes to set up, and I was soon assembling the pole. It felt very strong indeed, in particular the wall strength of the sections. Interestingly, the walls weren’t thick but they had very little give or flex in them. I couldn’t help but notice the slick, gold graphics too. This is by far the best looking pole I’ve ever had my hands on! Would its performance let it down?

Getting out just the one mugging rig, I shipped the pole straight out to 11 metres, where I was in reach of my first victim. My 0.4g Crystal Dibber was set just six inches deep, with a banded 6mm pellet in a hair-rigged band on the hook and a long five feet of line between the float and pole tip, allowing me to flick the rig into position without spooking the fish with the shadow of the pole. The fairly heavy float also helps to be accurate and even when there’s a breeze the heavy float can be swung out in front of fish.

At this length the pole had the wow factor. It was as stiff as any pole I’ve had my hands on recently and felt very well balanced, even when I stood up to flick the rig in front of the shadow that was cruising out of the swim. The plop of the float and pellet was simply too much for the fish and as I saw the it turn and suck in my bait, I firmly set the hook before it tore off across the surface in rage! After the initial run, the fish wallowed in against the strain of my 15 Hollo elastic, before going absolutely ballistic when it saw my landing net. Tearing off into the snaggy corner to my right, I hung on to the top kit and cringed as it arched around. It held up absolutely fine, however, and with the use of the Roller Puller I was soon shuffling a double-figure ghost carp into the net.

Performance At Length  ...... After the disturbance of battling the first fish, the remaining cruisers backed off much further out, and it was time to roll out some more barrels.

At 13 metres the pole had lovely balance and, despite being called a ‘carp’ pole, I would happily use it for any kind of fishing. In fact, I’m quite a clumsy fellow when it comes to poles and I much prefer something with a bit of backbone. This was right up my street!

I managed to sneak a lean 8lb common by adding the extra section, before it was time to get the final two barrels out. With the 14.5m section added, the pole was slightly heavier, as every pole always is. It remained responsive and was still very easy to manoeuvre. The best looking fish of the day fell foul at this length, a ghost koi – one of the prettiest fish I’ve ever caught!

Venturing to 16 metres, I put a further three specimens in the net, all at full length with the half-extension in place, flicking the rig right out and clinging on to the end of the pole. Some responsiveness is lost at the very maximum length and it was a little heavier, but I can count on one hand the number of occasions that I’ve fished at 16 metres all day sat holding the pole! It was still more than manageable and there were certainly lots of pressure piled into the weapon when striking into the fish at this length.

I never once felt a quiver from the pole, but at the same time never felt overgunned. It looks and feels slick, comes with a superb package and in my opinion will handle anything you can throw at it!

The pole is great at long lengths considering its powerful nature and pocket-friendly price - An awesome piece of kit from the Preston Innovations stable!

The Package!

16m Pole including Power Kit

Section 9/10 Half Extension

Six Roller Pulla Super Power Top Two Kits

Two F1 Short Stop Kits

One Short No3 Section

Section 7/8 Bi-Conical Mini Extension

Section 5/6 Bi-Conical Mini Extension

Monster Response Pole Holdall

Eva Elastic Alignment Cones

Pre Bushed kits with PTFE bushes

Kupping Kit with Kups

RRP: £1,299 

Pole-Only Package RRP: £999.99