That opportunity arose with a rare couple of hours’ pleasure fishing at my local Tunnel Barn Farm. I had never fished Jenny’s Pool at this complex before but knew that there were some proper carp as well as weight-building F1s in there, so that was where I headed for.
The 3600 succeeds the very popular GXR 3001. I was already very familiar with that model because my work colleague Tom Scholey has been using one for the past 18 months. The obvious thing to do before anything else was get the poles side by side. Both have the same Sun Core finish and Fusion process in their construction but the 3600 seemed better in every other department.
As I have come to expect with Preston, the package is also excellent, with loads of spares, including five power kits rated to No18 elastic, three match kits rated to No12 elastic and a match top four – setting you up perfectly to tackle a variety of waters.
Out on the bank I was greeted with a tricky, blustery wind to test the pole’s rigidity. My plan was very simple because all I had on my side tray was a single slice of bread! I have been catching a lot of fish lately by ‘dobbing’ breadpunch at half depth towards the far bank and hoped that it would work on this lake too. In short, it did, because from the very first cast I was into chunky mirrors and commons to 3lb, plus the occasional F1. As bites subsided I simply chased the fish left and right of the island in front of me, eventually pushing the pole right up to its full 16 metres.
Even with the wind buffeting the pole I couldn’t fault its performance. It felt really strong and robust with no discernible flex. The walls are quite substantial and that gives you loads of confidence for tackling carp, while the balance is excellent and fishable right up to maximum length. I would class it as a great all-round pole for both carp and silvers but there is more than enough ‘grunt’ to deal with heavy-duty situations.
In just a couple of hours I had bagged nearly 30lb of fish on a single slice of bread. The pole performed brilliantly and I would be more than happy to use it on a top-flight match. The £1,500 bracket is a really tough category to make an impact in but I feel that Preston has a really strong contender in the GXR 3600!
Package: 16m pole plus two match top three, one match top four, five power kits, mini extension, Kup Kit and Kups, Genis 10-tube holdall