Beyond The Benchmark! A bagging session is in store for Matt Godfrey, who visits Janson Fishery to test the flagship pole that everybody’s talking about – the MAP TKS 901!
One company that has really impressed me over the last 18 months is MAP. A few months ago I was gutted to hear that representatives had visited the office with prototype poles while I wasn’t there! Everyone was quick to rub salt in the wound by raving about one pole in particular, stating it was better than the already outstanding TKS 801.
A few months down the line, I finally managed to get my hands on this pole – MAP’s new flagship masterpiece, the TKS 901 – and I wasted no time in taking it out for a spin! There is no doubt that this pole is designed for anglers who require the best possible performance from their kit. In my opinion, a flagship pole should deal with anything from winter canal fishing to commercial bagging in the height of summer. To test the key attributes of lightness, stiffness and strength, I needed to fish the 901 at long lengths but also ensure a busy day with some hard-fighting fish.
The Match Lake at Nottinghamshire’s Janson Fishery proved perfect, with a healthy stock of fighting-fit carp from 2lb upwards. With pole testing in mind I deliberately chose to fish the point of a reed-strewn island at 16 metres to my left, with the option of fishing really long down the margins later on.
One of the first things that I expect with a flagship pole is a comprehensive spares package. To say the 901 has an excellent one is an understatement. The pole is fitted with a pre-bushed match kit, alongside another eight match kits, four pre-bushed power kits (same length as match kits), three short No4s, a cupping kit, mini extension, holdall and a 12-month guarantee. Better still, MAP lets you tailor this package to suit your needs as long as you buy it from a MAP TKS dealer. I find the standard package perfect for the mixed fishing that I do in the UK.
The classy carbon finish with black graphics is simple but extremely stylish. The quality feel was intensified as I assembled the pole, with bi-lateral reinforced joints and solid wall strength along every section. The Smooth Ship finish made each glide a pleasure and as I reached full length the only word that entered my head was wow! After a few mimicked strikes without a rig attached, I quickly set up a match kit with white Twin Core Hollow elastic for fishing against the point of the island, and a power kit with heavier black Twin Core for margin work. Following a cold night I expected the fishing to be slow, so I started across by feeding just a dozen grains of corn. The stiffness enabled me to inch my bait up the shelf with ultimate precision, while any movement I made was recognisable some 16 metres away through the pole’s incredible response!
After a few minutes a small liner developed into a sharp dip and with the tiniest lift I hooked my first fish on the 901. After an initial jolt towards me, the fish veered around the point of the island and I had to hold the pole out as far as possible to stop it snagging me. With an irate carp on the end the pole still remained stiff, allowing the elastic to perform brilliantly. Soaking up the confident ambience, I was soon breaking down at my top kit, stripping several feet of elastic (a reinforced wrap lets you easily convert a top kit into a side puller) and it wasn’t until the feisty specimen surfaced that I realised I’d foul hooked a 6lb mirror under its pectoral fin. Still, it was in the net and provided an ambitious battle for my first fish on the 901!
The Janson’s carp were soon queuing up, and it wasn’t long before I was filling my pot with pellets every time I shipped out. To avoid liners I had to push the rig tight against the far bank, lifting and dropping the float to trigger a bite. The pole performed a treat and as each fish powered off I could apply ample side strain, almost bottoming out the elastic to turn them away from the reeds. With over 20 match-sized carp in the net in no time, there was little more that the pole had to prove!
I was curious to try my margin, though, and after upping the feed with a large pot of micros and corn, I decided to have a go. I also inserted the mini extension to gain an extra few feet and was able to present my bait right against an empty platform. Despite using a Power Kit with heavy hollow elastic, I noticed no hindrance in the pole’s performance. The first fish I hooked lumbered under the tip for a few seconds in the typically dogged way that a margin lump often does. After several lunges to try and snag me beneath my keepnets, I was able to scoop up an 8lb pot-bellied mirror with ease.
After a final hour battling with aggressive margin dwellers, nothing was left to doubt about this exceptional piece of kit. At £2,999, it certainly isn’t cheap – but I can assure you that the performance and generosity offered in this deal are worth it. MAP has produced more than just an extraordinary pole with the 901; it’s created a flagship masterpiece that ardent anglers will aspire to own!
Tech Spec MAP 16m TKS 901 Package: 16m pole including match kit, eight spare match kits, four power kits, three short No4s, cupping kit, cups, mini extension, deluxe holdall Features: Ultra-high-modulus carbon, Smooth Ship finish, bi-lateral joint reinforcement, high-impact resin, 12-month guarantee RRP: £5,999; SSP £2,999 Spares: Match kit £79.99; power kit £79.99; F1 Shalla match kit £39.99; parallel extension £449.99 Website:www.map-fishing.co.uk
Last modified on Wednesday, 11 December 2013 16:52