Tom On The Daiwa Airity
There is something about taking a new, unused pole out for the first time that reminds me of being a child sat around the tree on Christmas Day. When Jon handed me Daiwa’s flagship Airity for this review I felt like the most spoilt kid on the street!
This is one of the very best poles on the market, with a price tag to match, and you get a hell of a lot of pole for your money. The top-kit package is phenomenal, boasting two match top threes, two top fours, and four Big Bore Power Kits. Being super-long, you can cut these back to accommodate almost any thickness of elastic and still have plenty of length in reserve so that your elastics work properly.
To give the pole a thorough workout we went to The Banks Fishery near Rugby, a canalised snake lake with more than its fair share of snaggy, fish-holding features. They say that when in Rome do as the Romans do, so I elasticated one of the pole’s match kits with Daiwa’s Pink Hydrolastic and put stronger grey Hydrolastic through one of the Big Bore Power Kits.
With an island at 13 metres, I opted to fish one swim over there with pellets. Needless to say, the pole felt awesome at this length, incredibly light and stiff. I had no problem negotiating the overhanging reeds, even in the strong breeze, because the pole was super-light and poker stiff, letting me put my rig exactly where I wanted it.
My second swim was to be ‘into the danger zone’ fishing alongside a thick bed of lilies at 16 metres. To stand any chance of landing what I hooked from this area I was fully aware that I would have to hook a fish and then bottom the elastic and drag it away from the snag. Doing this at full length can be too much for some poles to handle – but the reassuringly solid wall strength made me think that the Airity would handle it with no problem whatsoever!
Regular readers of my reviews will know that other than the three benchmarks of stiffness, strength and balance, there are two things that I really look for. The first is the finish and, as you would expect on this pole, it is fantastic! I threw the pole in and out several times as fast as I could, and not once did any of the sections stick or catch on my hand. The second is the graphics – I like them to be classy but not too garish and overpowering, and the trendy new-look Daiwa and Airity logos twinned with the silver finish certainly ticks all the right boxes!
In fact, it’s the finish that has seen most of the changes from the original Airity. It now incorporates Diamond Satin. Daiwa describes this as a slide-easy coating and I can confirm that it does exactly what it says on the tin.
Another key improvement from the original model is the Integrated Taping System on the 5th, 6th and 7th sections. This is specifically designed to provide extra reinforcement on the three sections that, arguably, need it the most.
Onto the session, and with £1 at stake I was going hell for leather to beat Mr Arthur! I started on my island swim and a couple of small crucians soon came to the net. The sight of Jon playing something bigger made me add a couple of sections and venture onto my lily-bed line. I wasn’t waiting long before my float buried and it was battle on! The pole was put under considerable strain as I wrenched a large portion of carp away from the reeds, but it never once felt like it was in danger of breaking. Soon after, another even bigger fish was encouraged in a similar direction. The most impressive thing about this pole at its maximum length is its lightness and stiffness, however. It is certainly among the best I’ve ever held.
Still, having the more expensive pole wasn’t doing me any favours in our head-to-head, as a procession of crucians, skimmers and carp were going Jon’s way. Meanwhile I had to make do with the odd solitary bigger fish from my corn swim, as my pellet line had become overrun with miniature 1oz to 2oz carp!
Later in the session, some better fish made an appearance and for the last hour of our three-hour sprint we caught at a similar pace, and we both knew that the final weigh-in could be a close-run affair. Unfortunately for me, Jon took victory and my much-cherished £1 with a 41lb net to my 38lb. Gutted!
Still, I had a quality day’s fishing with an awesome piece of kit. The Daiwa Tournament Airity is among the finest poles on the market – and made in the UK no less – so if you want to buy the best it is well worth a look.
Jon On The Daiwa Airity
I’ve seen an unbelievable amount of the original black Daiwa Airitys on the bank, which says a lot about how good they are. The flashy new silver Airity will undoubtedly be just as popular and the new friction-free finish really does make a difference. Despite being so light the pole is unbelievably strong, with next to no give in the sections and I wouldn’t hesitate to use one for hauling carp out at any range. It is at its longest lengths where this pole really excels, however, and there aren’t many that can match its overall performance at 14 to 16 metres.
Stated length: 16m
Actual length: 16.02m
Closed length: 1.76m
Top-two length: 1.99m
Top-three length: 3.15m
Top-four length: 4.65m
Top-five length: 6.23m
Top-three length with No1 removed: 2.3m
Power-kit length: 2.84m
Match-kit elastic rating: No16
Power-kit elastic rating: No20
13m butt diameter: 46mm
14.5m butt diameter: 48mm
16m butt diameter: 48mm
Weight at 16.02m: 1,391g
Weight at 14.36m: 1,094g
Weight at 12.25m: 800g
Other features: Made in the UK, Diamond Satin Slide Easy Finish, Integrated Taping System, compatible with Multi Bore Kits
Package: 16m pole, two match top threes, two match top fours, four spare Big Bore Power Kits, T-Cup cupping kit, 87cm PHEX mini extension, deluxe holdall
Spares: 3.2m match kit £99.99; 4.7m match kit £225; Big Bore Power Kit £59.99; Multi Bore Power Match top-two kits £29.99; Multi Bore Power top-three kits £64.99; Generic Match top-three kit £59.99; extension £299; Super No3 £39.99; Super No4 £49.99; Super Parallel 4th Section £59.99