On Test: Maver MV-R
Editor Jake Fowles takes to the bank of Burley Fields Lake to put Maver’s all-new £1,399 MV-R pole to the test.
In a funny sort of way, it seems quite apt that my first pole test since becoming editor of this magazine would be with a pole from the same stable as the first pole I ever owned, the pole I learnt to fish with around 15 years ago.
That pole was a Maver Strong Arm that is no doubt still going strong somewhere, hopefully catching as many fish for somebody else as it did for me all those years ago. Fast-forward to today and the pole I have at my disposal is the all-new Maver MV-R. There’s no point me beating around the bush here, if you are in the market for a sub £1,500 pole, the MV-R simply has to be in your thoughts. Let me clarify…
Gone are the Marvel comic-esque graphics that Maver poles of the past have inherently possessed, instead we are faced with simple yet eye-catching green on black, which just works. The 11m section has also seen some subtle detailing in the form of discreet graphics direct on to its Suncore-finished carbon; again this adds to a fresh new look that gives the MV-R a real top-end appearance.
In fact, the MV-R just seems to ooze a reinvigorated Maver that is having a big push to put itself right back in the centre of the angling world. A 10-top-kit package gives any perspective buyer plenty to go at; with four of Maver’s impressive Powerlite kits as well as another four Power kits, the kit inside the pole and a cupping kit including cups, that is a top-end package for a pole that costs mid-range money.
Each of the included kits is pre-slotted and pre-bushed, which means they can be elasticated with your chosen elastic straight from the bag. One reservation I would have here is that if it were me I would probably end up hacking a few inches of carbon off the kits to allow for a bigger-bore internal bush to be fitted. I’m a big fan of utilising a double-bush setup on all of my kits to ensure all of my kits remain the same length, but allowing me to fit the heaviest hollows or lightest solid elastics through the same kit without trouble. But, that’s just personal preference.
The pole itself is rated to 20-plus elastic, so be assured that it has been designed as a true all-rounder for the angler looking for a single pole that can do it all. If it is a strong, reliable backup to one of Maver’s flagship Signature models you’re after then it will slot in as that too (albeit you’d be the fishing equivalent of one of ‘those’ car fanatics that buys a fancy car then leaves it locked in the garage not to be driven), but using the same mandrel as the Signature range sees that the MV-R is fully section compatible with Signature poles.
The package doesn’t stop with its comprehensive kit-count either. Within the padded holdall you will also find: a mini-extension, needed in order to take the pole to its true length measurements; a spare Fighting No4 section perfect for those days where you really need to put the MV-R through its paces; a set of EVA clean-caps for the No3, 4, 5 and 6 sections of the pole and a DVD featuring Maver poster boy Callum Dicks.
Spares aren’t overly expensive either! In fact, you can pick Powerlite kits up for just £39.99 a pop while a full top four will set you back £150.
So, how did I get on with the MV-R during a day on the bank with it?
To give the pole a thorough testing I made a weekend visit to the lovely Burley Field Lake in Cheltenham, with the venue’s main lake a perfect testing ground for such a tool. The water here is home to some big carp and is popular with specimen anglers. However, it is the venue’s large head of silver fish that I am looking to target today.
With this in mind I have opted to thread one of the included Powerlite kits up with some 3-5 rated Maver Dual Core Pro to target a line at six sections with casters, and another with the same stuff but in the 4-7 rating, which is to be used at long range where, after an initial introduction of six balls of worm, caster and dead maggot-laced Thatchers groundbait, I’ll be looking to get involved with some skimmers and bream.
I had in fact had a feel of the pole before today’s trip to Burley Fields at a recent press day that Maver held and was impressed with what I saw then. Getting it back out here didn’t disappoint. The pole has a really nice, smooth finish that aids shipping in and out. We haven’t been graced with the nicest conditions on today’s trip out but despite the intermittent rain, shipping the 14.5m distance where I have started my attack remains smooth and efficient.
At this distance the MV-R feels every bit as good as any of the other poles I have tested in this price range. I wouldn’t say it is an overly ‘light’ pole – in fact there are undoubtedly lighter at this price – but by the same token it feels incredibly comfortable in the hand, which just goes to show the importance of looking at a pole’s balance rather than its on-paper stats.
Its rigidity and responsiveness is impressive too and I think the standout attribute would have to be just how strong it feels, despite offering fantastic performance in each of those all-important areas!
As the day progresses, and after a number of big skimmers have been the result of an excellent morning’s sport, I get the opportunity to stick the final extensions in and push past my initial line. It is something that works really well here as the fish back off, and at this 16m length I continue to put a few skimmers in the net, with fish up to 3lb making an appearance, albeit the average stamp is somewhere around the 1lb mark.
At 16 metres the MV-R maintains its good performance. It definitely doesn’t ‘lose it’ like many poles can start to do at these lengths, although it does start to get a little more weighty. That said, I could happily fish with it at this length for the entirety of a match or session – in fact, the next hour or so is spent doing exactly that, and it just feels like a quality piece of kit.
To end the session and hopefully get among some of the hefty roach that Burley Fields has to offer I drop on to the short line and, sure enough, start to catch some stunning redfins. It may not seem like much of a test for me to be using the pole at this distance, but let me tell you, these boney elbows have done some damage to their fair share of mid sections! As it happens, the wall strength of the MV-R (as seems to be a bit of a trend here), is admirable and copes with everything I throw at it. Having seen all I need to see I decide to call it a day, with around 35lb of Burley Fields’ finest in the net to show for my efforts, a net of fish that was a pleasure to amass.
In summary, I have been more than impressed with what I have seen from the Maver MV-R. The introduction of the MV-R pole, as well as many of the other new products set to be unleashed by Maver is a real statement of intent by a company that is showing signs of heading right back to where it belongs.
1 x MV-R Competition 16m pole (slotted Match kit inside)
4 x Powerlite Power kits (slotted and bushed)
4 x Commercial Power kits (slotted and bushed)
1 x cupping kit and cups
1 x Fighting No4 section
4 x EVA clean caps
1 x pole holdall and protective tubes
Stated length: 16m
Puller-kits fitted: Yes
Cupping kit supplied: Yes
Butt section length: