Match & Coarse Fishing Poles & Whips

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Carp Poles

As their name suggests, carp poles are mainly used for catching match-sized carp, although they are okay for other species that grow big. The price of carp poles varies based on the length and quality of carbon used, which affects the pole's total weight. Prices increase the longer a pole gets, also reflected by lightness when higher modulus carbons are used. Most anglers buy a longer pole than they need most of the time, just in case the extra length is occasionally required - to reach fish-holding features like the far bank of snake lakes or islands. Less pricy poles often turn a bit heavy at full length but are fine to fish with at shorter distances most of the time.

Carp poles range from 10m to 16m, with the majority 13m or 14.5m. This will certainly enable you to fish comfortably at short and medium distances. Most designs these days come as a package, including a cupping kit and some spare top kits. The latter is important, allowing you to have them fitted out with different strength and diameter pole elastics, covering many different rigs and targeting different-sized fish.

Match and Coarse Poles

Poles and whips are mainly manufactured from high modulus carbon fibre because they’re incredibly lightweight and easy to handle.

Pole top kits normally define what each type of pole is aimed at catching. Match kits are lighter and take finer diameter pole elastics, designed for targeting small to medium-sized fish. Carp poles have bigger diameters and slightly heavier top kits for using more powerful, thicker elastics or shock absorbers. These are obviously stronger and geared up for much bigger fish. Then there are all-around poles that come with a selection of match and carp top kits, which are often more expensive, but not always if you shop carefully.

Whips tend to have solid flick tips, as they are mainly designed for catching lots of small fish and don’t require pole elastic, which would slow down their actions. However, some whips come with spare hollow-tipped top kits, which can be elasticated if needed. In addition, poles can feature different types of actions, being slightly more forgiving for silverfish applications while having faster, much stiffer tapers for strong tackle work.

Coarse and Match fishing poles have take-apart sections, so you can fix or modify the length you want to fish at. Sections can be removed or unshipped to land fish. Poles are sold as complete kits these days, plus most models allow you to buy extra top kits, should they be required. It’s a good idea to have several top kits, including a cupping kit. The latter helps you feed groundbait or loose feed inch perfectly over where your float will be sitting, while spare tops have the luxury of having extra rigs assembled to try different tactics throughout each session. 

Margin Poles

Margin poles tend to use lower-level carbon fibre, which is much stronger. They are generally not as long as carp or match poles, being most commonly used in commercial fisheries at short range, where supporting any extra weight is hardly noticeable. These super-strong poles are designed to land bigger or medium-sized fish more quickly. The other advantage over a traditional long pole is it's easier to manage a shorter and stronger margin model, finding lots of good-sized fish that tend to hug the nearside margins.

Match anglers often switch to a margin pole towards the end of competitions when bigger fish move closer, knowing that’s where many anglers discard any leftover bait at the end of sessions.  

When pole fishing, you don’t necessarily have to fish at long distances to catch fish. You can often get plenty of bites close in, to begin with, perhaps only having to add pole sections when a shoal gets spooked and moves out further into open water. Successful pole lengths can vary from 4m to 10m, only requiring greater distances to reach obvious fish-holding features or when there’s lots of bankside activity. Shorter poles are a great way of getting youngsters and novices into fishing, being a lot easier to handle than rod and line when used as a starting point.

Match Poles

Match Poles are generally as light and responsive as possible, normally well decked out with bright graphics to make them look attractive and show off to the world the brand they came from. The action is often faster than a carp pole, allowing the angler to be in greater control when catching lots of small to medium-sized fish as efficiently as possible. However, poles of this ilk tend to be more expensive because much higher modulus carbon is used in their construction. Carp poles rely on less pricy carbon because they need to be stronger and bend more in situations where lighter material would be too brittle. Match poles with carp top kit choices; get around this problem with upper section alternatives from lower modulus carbon.

The length of match poles is commonly 13m to 16m. Therefore, most match poles can land bigger fish than they are designed for once a pole angler has become used to the amount of pressure they can take, obviously taking a bit longer to get big fish in the landing net. However, highly skilful match anglers often land surprisingly big fish with their top-end or flagship poles.

Fishing Whips

At their lower price band, shorter-length whips are very reasonable and a great way of allowing newcomers to brush up their fishing skills. By having a simple rig similar in length to the whip, it’s much easier to fish this way as compared to rod and line, where casting techniques need to be learnt. In addition, only having to swing the tackle out gets novices catching fish a lot faster, so they don’t get bored and drift away from the sport. In effect, fewer mistakes and tangles result from starting off fishing with a short whip.

Common lengths are around 3m to 5m. By not going out too far, it’s easier to feed by hand and control the tackle. This helps beginners to catch much more fish than they might initially manage with a rod and line set-up. It’s also the cheapest way of getting into angling.