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Garbolino Maxim Competition Match

The budget-busting Garbolino Maxim 400 put to the test.

Jon On The Garbolino Maxim Competition Match 400

Once again Tom somehow managed to bag the most expensive pole for our On Test! Nevertheless, I wasn’t too concerned once I realised that our testing ground was the Boat Lake at Peatling Pools. Big weights were definitely in store, plus this venue is stuffed full of some of the hardest-fighting carp you’ll ever hook!

The Garbolino Maxim Competition Match 400 is a no-nonsense 13m pole that is purpose designed for places like this – venues where you don’t have to fish ultra-long to compete. The perfect starting length for open-water is 13 metres and I was more than happy about the Maxim 400’s performance at this range.

With an SSP of less than £350 Garbolino has chosen to pack as much performance into 13 metres as possible, rather than make a cheaper, floppier 14.5m tool. This is a good point and it’s a similar reason why there aren’t masses of spare kits supplied. Too many added extras would all impact on the price, sacrifice the materials used and, consequently, the pole’s overall performance would suffer. This is why I was so pleasantly surprised at how well the pole fished at 13 metres. In short, it was excellent for a pole costing this much, while the finish and wall strength were equally sound.

As well as the match kit in the pole you also get two extra power kits rated to No20 elastic and it was these that I rigged up with No14 and No16 shock absorbers for the day. In hindsight, the one thing I wish I had done was cut them back a little more because this would have made them shorter and stiffer, which I prefer when catching lots of big fish. Three kits is plenty to get you started, while additional spares won’t break the bank at a penny less than £50 apiece for match and power kits. Similarly, if you need to upgrade the pole at a later date there is a 1.8m extension available for less than £100.

A further incentive to buy a Maxim 400 (or most other Garbolino poles for that matter) is the added extra of a day’s fishing at one of the company’s Angling Academy days. This is a seriously good offer when you consider a day’s coaching with a host of Garbolino-backed stars should be worth several hundred pounds in itself!

Armed with several tins of corn and a tubful of hemp, I decided to leave the cruising fish to Tom and concentrate on bottom fishing, both in open water and down the margins. It was one of those days when the fish were lapping up everything I threw at them and you couldn’t get a bite unless you fed them some more. In fact, after three hours I had completely run out of bait! That’s the sign of a good session and the Maxim 400 was more than strong enough to bag 26 carp for a net-busting 112lb! Unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough to match Tom’s impressive 126lb 14oz (well done that man) but it was still a pleasurable day testing a decent bit of kit to the limit.

Tom on the Maxim 400
A great-value product. The pole was easily manageable at its full length and plenty strong enough to stand up to the rigours of commercical carp fishing. The reinforced joints and excellent wall strength suggests that this pole is built to last, too. A big thumbs up from me.

Garbolino Maxim Competition Match 400

Stated length: 13m
Actual length: 13.05m
Closed length: 1.85m
Top-two length: 2m
Top-three length: 3.31m
Top-four length: 4.77m
Top-five length: 6.3m
Top-three length with No1 removed: 2.59m
Power-kit length: 3.29m
Standard-kit elastic rating: No12
Power-kit elastic rating: No20
13m butt diameter: 47mm
Weight at 13m: 1,275g
Other features: Garbolino Angling Academy offer
SSP: £349.99
Package: 13m pole including top three inside the pole, two power top twos, pole holdall
Spares: Top three £49.99; power top two £49.99; 1.8m extension £99.99




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