Tom Scholey was extremely impressed with Maver’s Match This 1 Plus. It helped him put together a bumper bag of big, golden F1s!
I always look forward to visiting Maver Larford Lakes. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure why because there are plenty of venues that are stuffed with carp, skimmers and F1s, but the fish at Larford just seem that little bit special. They almost all seem to be fin and scale perfect, despite the fact that the venue is one of the most heavily fished in the country!
When Jon Arthur suggested a trip to the venue on a pole-testing mission, I was therefore quite excited! My tool for the day was to be Maver’s Match This Series 1 Plus, the cheapest of its top-selling Match This range. With a £733 price tag, I fully expected the pole to be a poor younger brother of some of the more-expensive models in the range. I was therefore surprised to learn that it actually boasts all the same features. The popular Sun Core Finish and Nanolith construction are included, and sections are fully interchangeable with every other pole in the range.
We decided to fish on the shallow bank of the Match Lake and I was amazed to find just two feet of water at the pole’s full length of 13 metres! After chatting to a couple of local anglers, I was told that I would definitely still catch a few fish, although I must admit that I was still sceptical, considering the time of year!The popular Easy Flow power kits are also compatible and the pole is supplied with two of them as standard. For those who haven’t yet seen them, these are shorter than the old-style Maver power kits. It is nice to see that the company has taken on board what anglers have had to say with regards to this and I think these new-style kits are far better than the long ones that used to be supplied as standard.
I have never fished Larford in winter but my sources told me that pellet is still invariably the best bait. I decided to keep things simple and fish one line at 13 metres and feed and fish hard 4mm pellets.
The first thing that struck me was how manageable the pole was at full length. It performs as well as many poles that sell for two or even three times the price. This is a refreshing change because too many budget-pole manufacturers try and cut costs by producing a very good 11m pole, then add an extension and selling it as a 13m model. The Match This 1 Plus is marketed as a 13m pole and you get a very good one for your money!
To be honest, I expected to wait a long time for a bite – after all, it was mid-January and I was fishing in two feet of water! Imagine my amazement when I lifted into my first F1 of the day after just five minutes! It was a good one, too, and as I eased 3lb of solid gold muscle over the rim of my landing net I remembered why I love Larford so much. The fish really are stunning!
This was just the beginning and it was pretty much an F1 a chuck from this point forward. Interestingly, some were coming in like wet sacks, while others were fighting like demons! Shallow-water fishing like this can prove very testing for poles because the fish tend to bolt off straight out into the lake, or to the side at an angle. The best fish I hooked was 4lb and because the pole coped admirably with everything thrown at it I would be confident using it for much bigger fish too. All the sections feel extremely strong to the touch and the joints in particular give you the confidence that this is a product that is built to last.
In four hours’ fishing I had already caught plenty and although I could have quite happily sat and caught these beautiful F1s all day, the thought of a long drive home meant that I had to pack away.
I left Larford really impressed, both with the fishing and the pole! It is all too easy to overlook the market for 13m poles but the fact is that a lot of readers struggle to hold longer models. Why pay for extra length that you are never going to use when you can get a 13m beauty like this?
Maver Competition Match This 1 Plus
Stated length: 13m including mini extension
Actual length: 13.25m including 96cm mini extension
Closed length: 1.79m
Match-kit length: 3.21m
Match-kit length minus No1: 2.55m
Power-kit length: 2.2m
Other features: Sun Core Finish, Nanolith construction
Package: 13m pole including match kit, two spare Easy Flow power kits, cupping kit, cups, tubes, holdall, DVD
Spares: Match Top 3 £69.99; Match Top 4 £115; Easy Flow Power Kit £69.99; Power Zone Deluxe Kit