Feel The Response! Joe Carass reviews the hottest pole on the 2016 block – Preston Innovations’ Response M90!
The Preston Innovations Response M90 is one of the best, worst-kept secrets in modern match fishing. Look carefully at any of the Preston consultants’ Twitter or Facebook feeds and there is likely to be a rather nice looking black and silver pole section lurking in there somewhere!
We knew it was coming a long time ago but details and specifics were sketchy. It was clear that Preston was trying to get these as fully tested by the consultants as possible, while also being as tight lipped as Mi5. We couldn't get anything out of them, only to expect something special.
My first unofficial look at the pole came while shooting one of Lee Kerry’s features. The day in question was on the River Calder and he was fishing large 20g flat floats. He was bagging up with huge bream too and I simply had to have a go. Such is my luck, that when the float buried I found myself attached to my first-ever river carp. The pole dealt with this demanding style with ease and I knew then that Preston was on to something.
After that first 'sighting' things started to drip onto Facebook and it seemed that the consultants were really giving their poles some hammer.
At that point the pole didn't even have graphics and I wasn't allowed to know what the name was. It wasn't until the first week of September that the cat was finally let out of the bag. A feature with Frankie Gianoncelli was on the cards and there it was in all its glory, the Response M90. He was raving about the pole and once the afternoon’s sport was over, I could see why!
We gave the pole some serious gyp! Not least when we chose to do a little stalking on the Speci Lake at Larford. Armed with just a Rolla Pulla kit (supplied with the pole) we went on to land some huge fish, including a 21lb mirror that did its very best to tow me across to the other side of the lake. Okay, it was fun fishing, but it did show me that the top kits were more than up to the task. I was impressed.
The Technical Stuff
Let’s start with the foundations and background of this pole. Preston Innovations has managed to team up with the world’s leading carbon supplier and pre-preg manufacturer, Toray Industries.
Toray produces incredibly innovative products for a range of industries and is even used by Team Sky’s Tour De France team. Basically, it is a big deal! The collaboration means that Preston has access to incredible technology and a whole new range of poles was born as a result. But what does this mean to you? The raw materials really are high grade, which gives you a pole that is superbly balanced, incredibly stiff and, more importantly, strong and robust.
The balance is what Preston has paid particular attention to. Rather than focus on weight saving, it has made sure that the pole feels 'right'. The balance is spot-on and makes the pole feel much lighter than it is.
The Response M90 wouldn't be right up there with the very best without a substantial spares package, that's for sure, and it is something that Preston has given plenty of thought to.
The top-kit length was a big deal for the consultants and after much deliberation a length of 2.4 metres was settled on.
There are two types of kit that come supplied with the pole. The first are the match kits and the second are the Rolla Pulla kits. Both are that crucial 2.4m length that the consultants insist is the optimal length for elastic performance. Both are a two-piece design but the No1 sections are different bores.
The match kits are supplied with a fine orange Preston internal bush, which is ideal for elastics up to about a No8, while the Rolla Pulla kits are supplied with a larger blue internal. The kits also come with an EVA elastic alignment bush that fits into the No2 section. These keep your elastic running super-smooth at all times.
A final nice touch is the Rolla Pullas themselves. For anyone who hasn't used them, they are absolutely fantastic and the kits come supplied with them ready fitted.
A spot-on Kup Kit is thrown in along with Kups. This adjustable kit is ideal for keeping that cupping kit absolutely perfect and deadly accurate.
Mini extensions are part of the package and you get three thrown in that fit sections from No5 right up to the 16m butt. These prevent section damage while striking.
Finally, a custom Monster Response holdall is included to store all of your prized carbon. It’s a fantastic kit package and one that is perfect for a pole of this standard.
The Hidden Extras
Look closer at the M90 and you will see more nice touches. Firstly, the pole has section alignment marks, that when aligned give the pole optimum performance. Section reinforcements on both the male and female sections to prevent wear are key, while longer reinforcements on the key areas of the butt sections are also in place to prevent elbow damage.
Finally, the finish on the pole is a little different. It is quite rough to the touch but it does ship well, even in bad conditions.
I suppose these are nothing revolutionary, but they are all added extras that make the pole perform better and last longer!
I am going to say it – I love the Response M90. It is just my kind of pole; you could take it anywhere and know that you had the right pole for the job. It is among the stiffest poles that I have used but it feels like it will last forever. Being robust and durable is a massive attribute in my opinion and this pole is just that.
Combine its performance with an exceptional spares package and you have a winning combination.
I would have zero hesitation in recommending this pole to anybody in the market for a flagship pole. Make sure you check it out at your local pole alley; you won’t be disappointed!
Three Match Top-Three Kits
Two Match Top-Two Kits
Six Rolla Pulla Kits
Three Bi-Conical Mini Extensions
One Spot On Kup Kit and Kups
EVA Alignment Bushes
PTFE Bushes (pre-fitted)
Monster Response Holdall