Tom on the Preston Innovations GiS14
“How would you like to test one of the best poles on the market on one of the greatest canal pegs in the country?” Jon asked me. As you can imagine, I didn’t need asking twice and the very next day we were loading the van and heading for the Oxley Moor stretch of the Staffs & Worcs Canal. My weapon for the day was Preston Innovations’ GiS14, which sits right at the top of the range, alongside the massively popular The One. It has been dubbed by Preston as the best pole it has ever produced; a bold claim given some of the massively popular products that have come out of its stable.
We arrived to see steam rising from the water and carp and chub basking in some shallows under a bridge. To say it set my juices flowing would be an understatement! I even managed to win our customary coin toss, which gave me the choice of two pegs. I couldn’t make my mind up which to go for because they both looked equally appealing, so I opted for the shortest walk and was soon delving into the GiS14’s attractive carryall to see what I could find!
The pole features the same Sun Core finish as the other models in the GiS and GXR ranges, with understated but funky graphics giving the pole a class appearance. One thing that really stood out as I slid the sections together was how unnoticeable the joints were – the pole could easily be slid back and forth without the rims of any of the female sections catching on your hand.
When assembled at its full length it is definitely among the stiffest poles I have felt, but at the same time felt reassuringly sturdy. It also boasts quite a slim profile, making it a lot easier to handle than thicker-set models.
I elasticated two of the pole’s six top kits with No5 Slip elastic, before plumbing up a couple of lines up to the narrow boats on the other side of the canal. One was plumbed up at 13 metres, with the other being at the pole’s full length, 16 metres further down the peg. Performance at this length is one of the true tests of quality on any top-flight pole, and I was really keen to see how it would perform.
I put chopped worm and caster on this longer line and just loose fed casters on the 13m swim. First drop-in on half a dendrabaena worm and my float sailed away with a 12oz perch attached to the end. The pole was amazingly responsive at full length and felt plenty strong enough. I would be confident using it for any kind of fishing.
I managed five chunky perch on my first five puts-in with worms while Jon sat biteless. I was building a healthy lead on the master!
One of the nice things about this package if you already own a GiS or GXR pole is that all your top kits will interchange, as will all other sections on a GiS model. Also, if you are on a tight budget a lot of the universal sections can be used with the poles, giving you the option of getting kitted out with spares relatively cheaply.
A couple of dumpy roach followed and I was into a really nice rhythm, taking a good fish every put-in. It is only when you are catching really well that you properly appreciate the quality of a finish, and the super-sleek Sun Core felt really good, helping the pole fly through my hands as I threw it back and forth.
It was all going so well then I looked around to see Jon slipping the net under a 4lb-plus canal bream, closely followed by another one and my lead was immediately gone. I was now playing catch-up!
As strange as it might sound, I wasn’t too bothered because catching quality fish on casters with such a class piece of kit was far too enjoyable – I didn’t have a care in the world! The fishing was so good that we decided to extend our session to four hours, at the end of which I had around 18lb to Jon’s 25lb. It was an awesome day’s fishing and a proper workout for a truly great piece of kit. This really is the best pole that Preston has ever produced, and among the best I have ever had the privilege of using.
Jon on the Preston Innovations GiS14
This is easily one of the most manageable poles that I have ever held at full length! It is hard to choose between Preston’s GiS14 and The One because the latter is so strong, yet the 14 is so noticeably lighter. At a push I would go for the 14 because it is effortless to handle but still up to general carp fishing. The overall package is excellent, too, and being Genis compatible makes it a wise choice for current Preston owners who are wishing to upgrade.
Preston Innovations GiS14
Stated length: 16m
Actual length: 15.93m
Closed length: 1.8m
Match-top-two length: 1.77m
Match-top-three length: 2.84m
Match-top-four length: 4.46m
Match-top-five length: 6.09m
Match-top-three length with No1 removed: 2.2m
Power-kit length: 2.6m
Match kit elastic rating: No12
Power kit elastic rating: No16
Match No2 section internal tip diameter: 2.8mm
13m butt diameter: 48mm
14.5m butt diameter: 50mm
16m butt diameter: 50mm
Weight at 12.59m: 710g
Weight at 14.25m: 960g
Weight at 15.93m: 1,216g
Other features: Fusion, Magic Steps, Sun Core
Package: 16m pole, two GiS match top fours, three GiS power top twos, mini extension, Genis 10-tube holdall, Kup Kit and Kups
Spares: GiS Match top three £140; GiS Match top four £240; GiS Power top two £89; GiS Sun Core Short 4 £70; GiS Pulla Kit £50