The first thing that you want to look out for when you’re investing in a pole or a whip is the material from which the pole or whip is constructed. This will usually be carbon, carbon fibre, fibreglass, or a compound of two or more of the three. These are all materials which are used across angling, from the construction of coarse fishing rods or reels right through to products such as throwing sticks or pole support systems. This is because these materials are all lightweight, durable, and incredibly rigid and all three of these qualities are essential in your match fishing poles and whips.
The next thing that you’ll want to consider is the length of the pole. All poles come in numbered sections and it is only when all these sections are pieced together that the pole forms the length listed on our site. In other words, the length listed online is the longest possible length for your pole to be, prior to any adjustments you might want to make. Most of the poles in our range will come with top kits and we tend to sell the majority of the poles on our site as complete packages. The kit which comes supplied with the pole will usually dictate what the pole is best suited for. For example, if your pole comes supplied with a power kit then the chances are that it is best suited to targeting large coarse species and big fish (such as carp). On the other hand, if you’re targeting the smaller fish which patrol the UK’s match fishing waters (such as silver fish or bream) then you’ll be looking for a pole which comes supplied with a match kit.
Margin poles are the smallest in our range and, as the name suggests, these are designed to allow you to target the margins of your swim. Fishing in the margins can sometimes reward you with the biggest fish and, more often than not, you’ll find some large commercial carp hiding in the margins of your swim. Margin poles can be as short as 4m or as long as 10m and you’ll find that most fall somewhere between the two on our site. Their shorter length also makes them favoured for junior anglers, as these poles are lighter in weight and easier to manoeuvre over the water. They are also some of the cheapest poles that we have on offer – once again this is primarily down to their length as these poles require fewer materials to make them. If you’re an angler who regularly targets commercial fisheries then it is absolutely essential for you to have a margin pole in your collection. This gives you the chance to land some huge fish which will more than play their part in making up the numbers during your final weigh in.
As the name suggests, these poles have been primarily designed with carp fishing in mind. Usually longer than margin poles, carp poles are produced to be stronger than your traditional pole in order to allow you to ship in a carp from a greater distance. These poles can vary between 10m and 16m in length, with the vast majority of offerings coming in at either 13m or 14.5m. This allows you to fish as far out as you like as well as tight to the nearside margin, giving you a huge scope for targeting big commercial carp. The huge distance range on these poles also means there is a huge price range. However, as with margin poles, the longer the pole is the more money it tends to cost. This being said, many anglers go for the longest pole possible and then simply remove sections if they want to fish nearer the margins. This keeps them versatile on the bank and able to target far into the open water as effectively as they can the margins.
As with carp poles, match poles tend to be between 13m and 16m in length, although you may find one or two which are slightly shorter. These tend to be slightly more delicate than carp poles and it is recommended that you avoid the larger and more aggressive fish when you’re fishing with a match pole. The upside of this is that you’re left with a lighter pole which can be fished with greater finesse. Match poles are stiffer than carp poles, as a general rule of thumb, which ensures that you can fish with a greater precision. This additional precision and finesse is vital when you’re targeting smaller and more delicate species. These do tend to be the more expensive of the poles in our range and prices can extend into the thousands for ultra-professional packages – although if you’re a dedicated match angler you’ll be well aware of the benefits that a top class match pole can offer.
Whip fishing has grown in popularity in the UK, particularly in recent years, and it is especially common among the junior fishing community. Whips are short and often telescopic, with lengths ranging between 3m and 5m. Whip fishing often offers quick returns, making the whip ideal to use in tandem with a longer pole or feeder rod when match fishing, as it can quickly add additional weight to your keepnet whilst you’re waiting for a larger catch. This is another reason why whips tend to be more popular among junior and beginner anglers, as it can return fish quickly with little wait time between takes. The shorter length of the whip also means that it is easier to control on the bank, so it is ideal for the inexperienced angler who wants to improve their skills. Finally, whips tend to be the cheaper option, so should you encounter any bankside calamities you’re not faced with a few hundred pounds of repairs.