Up Close: Tri Cast Excellence Pro

Excellent Excellence From Tri-Cast!

Joe Carass gives the brand new Tri-Cast Excellence Pro a test with a difference!
Long-term readers will know how much I like Tri-Cast rods and poles. The company makes some of the very best carbon products on the market and when it is due to release a new flagship pole, I always get excited.

The last flagship, the Trilogy Pro 2, was without doubt the best pole the company had produced. If it could improve on that then we were going to have a serious piece of pole on our hands.

There is one thing to bear in mind when looking at Tri-Cast poles: they may be flagship models but they are usually far cheaper than other brands’ equivalents. Tri-Cast is an honest brand, it knows that anglers who buy into the brand demand robust poles (Tri-Cast has possibly the best reputation for making strong poles) that are still extremely usable.

When the Excellence Pro arrived, it took me all of three minutes before I had it unboxed and set up in the office. I was promised performance unmatched by previous Tri-Cast models but with that all-important strength.

On first inspection I wasn’t disappointed. The pole was lovely and stiff but also felt superbly well balanced. However, the test would be when I got the pole out on the bank. Such a nice pole needed a suitable testing ground, and what better time to put the pole through its paces than a Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier?

The scene was set on my first qualifier of the year, at Lake View Fishery, Melton Mowbray. Surely the script was already written: “Joe Carass tests new pole and wins…” Unfortunately, if that was the script the fish hadn’t read it, as my match was a dour affair with only two F1s to show for my efforts and an early bath! I just couldn’t rest on this, though, and another session was planned, this time at the beautiful Tri-Cast Weston Pools. This was a real chance to put the pole through its paces and to actually catch some fish!

Weston didn’t disappoint and neither did the pole. Fishing long with maggots on the bottom was the order of the day with a light 6-10 hollow elastic through one of the match kits. The pole performed beautifully at 14.5 metres and even when the final 16m section was added, it really was superb! The one gripe I had with the Trilogy Pro 2 was its tip bounce. The pole felt stiff to hold but had some bounce, particularly when a Kinder pot was added. That has been all but eradicated with the Excellence Pro, a huge step forward in my opinion.

It’s worth mentioning the manufacturing process. This pole is far more involved and takes twice as long to manufacture when compared to the Trilogy Pro 2. The advanced materials and manufacturing process really means the pole is head and shoulders above the Trilogy.

The kit package is exceptional too (the full list is opposite) but one thing I think is very good is that if you are not quite happy with your package then your Tri-Cast retailer can customise it for you – a really nice touch. Out of interest I decided to set the pole up using only the match kits, with the tip section removed. These then perfectly accommodate a 3.5mm Drennan Internal bush. I also utilised a MAP PTFE Side Puller Bush, which means drilling a 7mm hole into the reinforced area of the top kits. All in all it was a nice setup and the top kits are a perfect length.

I am very impressed with the Excellence Pro. It is a big improvement on the Trilogy Pro 2 and as far as I am concerned it is the best pole the company has ever produced. It’s a big thumbs up from me for the Excellence Pro!

Kit Package:

• 14.4m/16.1m/17.8m pole packs available

• 1 x Match top 4

• 3 x Match top 3 kits

• 3 x Big Bore power kits

• 2 x cupping kits

• 3 x reversible mini extensions

• 1 x angler’s towel

• 1 x baseball cap

• 1 x deluxe holdall and tubes *Spares packages can be customised to suit

RRP From £2,099.99