The Wednesday Review
Daiwa Air Pole
Pole’s, and pole fishing in general have come along way through the years, as companies continually strive for perfection, pushing the boundaries of both design and technology to create that perfect fishing tool.
One of these companies is Daiwa.
For many years they have been one of the leading suppliers in this field and have produced some very nice poles, with names like Whisker, Tournament and Matchwinner being names which any hardened match/pole angler will recognize. A few years back some new names were added to this category, in particular one name, and that of course was ‘Airity’. The Daiwa Airity was the companies flag ship pole; it looked, felt and performed like it too and it soon became the choice of 1,000 of anglers up and down the country.
Fast forward to October 2012 when a new name appeared on the grapevine, the Daiwa Air, this was a successor to the much loved Aritiy and an improved Airity… but was it possible to achieve such a feat?
Pole Fishing Magazines main man, Matt Godfrey, takes a look…
A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to unwrap something extra special that arrived in the office – Daiwa’s latest flagship pole, the AIR! I’d held one several months earlier at a trade show and was absolutely stunned by it! However, once the top kits have been elasticated, a pole can act very differently on the bank. Unfortunately, the classy black holdall was soon seated behind Jon Arthur’s chair and he quickly pulled rank and said he’d be carrying out the live test on this little beauty! As luck would have it, (or not in Jon’s case!) he cracked a rib, leaving none other than yours truly to take the AIR for a spin!
To better its cult Airity pole, Daiwa had to have done something extra special with the AIR. I needed to test it at a full length and decided to travel to a water that’s famous for big weights and hard-fighting fish – Alders Farm Fishery in Buckinghamshire.
Setting up on Top Pool, I had an island to fish towards at 16 metres, which was festooned with enticing but snaggy-looking tree roots and brambles. While assembling the pole, I couldn’t help but admire its appearance. It looked fantastic, thanks to the Diamond Satin paint on the No8 to No11 sections. The Easy Slide Finish was also noticeable and after aligning the sections I shipped them through my hands several times just for the pleasure! The Integrated Taping System on the fifth, sixth and seventh sections also provides a smooth, consistent texture, reducing any sticking in the hands when shipping in and out at long lengths. The wrapping of this effect also makes the pole feel incredibly strong!
The standard 16m AIR package is designed for anglers who take their fishing seriously. The pole comes with a total of three match top threes, three match top fours and four Interlastic power kits – more than enough to cover all eventualities.
With carp the intended quarry, I rigged up an Interlastic power kit with some medium-strength hollow elastic. Plumbing up a likely looking swim at the full 16 metres, the pole felt fantastic. With a high grass bank behind, I had to break down twice and had a good squeeze of the middle sections for wall strength. I expect many light and stiff poles to possess an element of ‘softness’ in this department but, to my surprise, the AIR was pretty solid.
The whole pole is designed with an internal core of Multi Strand Graphite, known as Hyper MSG. This is exclusive to the AIR and enhances stiffness while retaining superior wall strength throughout. After my first drop-in with a single grain of corn, I can confirm that this pole is one of the stiffest and sharpest I’ve ever held!
The float soon dibbed and a crisp lift was met with my first carp of the day. It beelined for some roots and forced me to apply considerable side strain. To be honest, I really didn’t want to do it – I felt like I was driving a brand-new Ferrari down a dirt track! As my elastic bottomed out, the carp made a few vigorous head bangs before wallowing on the surface and finally swimming back towards me… phew! I never once felt that it was going to let me down and a nice common of around 8lb was soon nestling in the bottom of my landing net.
For the next hour I enjoyed hectic sport from match-sized carp up to the 4lb mark. These were feisty fish and really fought hard in the clear water. Even at the netting stage the Interlastic kit was tested, as they twisted and went on angry runs in a bid for freedom.
I switched from corn to pellet and fitted a pole-mounted pot on the top kit to see if this hindered the pole’s action. Perhaps a fraction was lost but some top-of-the-range poles wobble like jelly with a pot on the end! I was able to trickle in pellets and lower the float over the top with extreme precision. I felt in total control of my rig, able to lift the pellet a few inches off bottom, before lowering it down to induce a bite.
As my swim got stronger, I began to feed a few hard pellets with a catapult, to try and catch shallow for the first time this year. The pole was a treat for constantly laying in the rig with this method, as well as lifting, dropping and slapping the hook bait. I needed to ship back fast to steer each angry carp away from the roots and only lost one fish, which felt like it was hooked in the tail.
To better the Airity could be described as a miracle but, after five hours enjoying the pleasures of the AIR, I can honestly say that Daiwa has done it. The technologically advanced features give it a sharp and crisp action and the spares package caters for everything.
It obviously comes with a price tag and an SSP of £3,750 places it right at the top end of the market. However, if you are serious about your pole fishing, having the very best tool for the job goes a long way. It’s a true professional’s pole and an absolute pleasure to fish with. I want an AIR!
Package: 16m pole with match kit inside, plus two match kits, three match top-four kits, four Interlastic power kits, cupping kit, PHEX half extension, holdall, tubes
Features: Hyper MSG, Diamond Satin Finish on sections 8 to 11, ITS taping system on sections 5 to 7
Spares: Match kit £125; Match top four £265; Interlastic power kit £84.99; Interlastic match kit £89.99; Interlastic Shallow power kit £74.99; Interlastic Shallow match kit £69.99; Multi Bore Power kit £69.99; Interlastic Converter £29.99; Tournament Extension £325