If you were to ask anglers to name a company that they would wish to be sponsored by, I have no doubt that Preston Innovations would rank highly. There’s virtually nothing that this company doesn’t produce, and produces well at that!
A recent arrival into the Pole Fishing office was Preston Innovations’ latest top-end weapon the Absolute GIS 11 XS! Speaking to the brand manager, Scott Geens, I soon established that this tool was designed to do everything. When England internationals such as Lee Kerry and Des Shipp have had a hand in the design, my expectations were high!
Taking the stick to Lavender Hall Fishery near Coventry, I thoroughly inspected every section and found nothing in the way of weakness. I particularly liked the Sun Core and Anti-Friction finish. Cosmetically, it looks stunning; the tackle tart in me got excited as soon as I set eyes on the cool graphics! It might sound fussy but a smooth easy-ship feel is essential for lots of different fishing. When you’re catching small fish and looking to be efficient, the Sun Core finish helps a treat. Equally, when you’re fishing long lengths on commercials with a short lash and a Kinder pot of bait, the last thing you want is jerky movements of sticky sections!
I’ve always been cautious about weakening the larger butt sections of a pole, especially at this time of year when we’re fishing in T-shirts! Each butt section on the 11 XS incorporates extra re-enforcing towards the bottom end and after some bare-elbow hammer I can assure you that the sections are going nowhere!
To give the pole a thorough workout, I decided to keep things dead simple, fishing long down the margins to my right. Keen to get fishing, I managed to mug an early fish and dropped my bait in front of an 8lb common that was cruising past. The carp went crazy when I hooked it, bottoming out my kit in seconds! Unfortunately, the latter part of the fight didn’t go to plan, as you’ll find out later!
I fished my long margin swim at 14.5 metres to the left, just beneath a tree stump. Even with No14 Latex elastic in the top kit and a Cad Pot on the end, the pole performed exceptionally. I had to be careful not to strike and foul-hook fish but, thanks to the prompt responsiveness of the tool, I could control the rig and lift at every indication.
After a spell of foul hooking fish at 14.5 metres, I decided to add the 16m joint to get beyond the main mass of fish. The pole was a pleasure to handle at full length, very light and stiff, with the vital response shining through.
Looking into the package, I discovered that the pole incorporates the GiS Integration System, meaning it’s interchangeable with every other pole in the GiS range. I liked the fact that it is supplied with three match top-four kits, including the top kit and No4 section inside the pole. This means that you can tackle deep venues with three full top fours; I’ve seen very few modern pole packages that cater for this. That’s without including the three extra match kits, five power kits, a short No4 and cupping kit that are included.
With an RRP of £1,999.99, the pole is as good as any in the price range. In fact, I’d put it against many top-of-the-range models. If you’re in the market for an all-round tool, you’d be foolish not to give the 11 XS some serious thought.