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Preston Innovations GXR Tyson

Jon Arthur takes Preston Innovations’ powerhouse GXR Tyson pole for a margin-crunching test drive.

With a name like Tyson you have to expect something special. Just like its ex-boxer namesake, Preston Innovations’ latest offering is a mean hard-hitter, designed to cope with anything that a commercial fishery can throw at it: big fish, snags, margins and any heavy-duty operations. That’s what the Tyson is all about!

For my test session I chose a snaggy corner peg on Gratuities Lake at Packington Somers. I wasn’t expecting anything massive but I knew that there were plenty of fit, lean common carp and muscular tench to do battle with. It is these fish that I think cause you the most problems when hooked. Both are notorious for bolting into any roots and vegetation that they can find – and boy do they have a habit of finding them!

My corner swim was full of scum and floating debris when I arrived, which made dropping a rig through a little awkward. I wanted to get in as tight to the edge as possible because this would be a natural patrol route for the fish and would also help alleviate the potential for foul-hookers. After much plumbing around I could only find two clear spots among the overhanging branches and brambles – one at 13 metres and another at 14.5. My only concern was a big snag in between these two spots. No matter where I dragged my plummet I came into contact with it. Now, normally I would have tried to pull it out by hand but Bear Grylls would have struggled to crawl through that marginal jungle to get to it! My only option was to ship back quickly as soon as I hooked a fish to try and steer it away. I was actually getting quite excited about the prospect!

With a couple of feet of water to go at I opted for a 4x12 float shotted with a simple bulk of No10s to bomb the hook bait through the scum. Feeding was via a small Cad Pot of micro pellets, plus a couple of grains of corn each put-in. The plan was to start at 13 metres – the typical distance that I would expect people to fish with the Tyson – and then push out another section later on when they backed off.

I was catching within minutes. Only small crucians to begin with but several feisty carp soon elbowed their way into the picture to give the pole a better run for its money. As I expected, it was actually the smaller specimens that gave me the runaround the most. These lean commons are so quick when hooked that you really have to have your wits about you! The pole performed really well, however. Sure, it’s not the stiffest or lightest that Preston produces but that’s not what it’s designed for. The key features of the Tyson are its wall strength and solid construction. You don’t want any part of this pole to let you down and I felt supremely confident while handling it. Despite its obvious emphasis towards carp crunching, it still handles well without too much wobble as you ship out. It certainly wasn’t as sloppy as many other poles designed for this sort of game.
As the session approached midday the sunshine seemed to put the carp off. That left the tincas to muscle in on the action. Tench are even worse than carp when snags are about, so it wasn’t long before one found that big obstruction I was so worried about!

The fish had cleverly thrown the hook into a massive nest of branches, leaving me with no other option than to heave and try and pull for a break. With my strong elastic bottomed out the pole was under immense compression… and then the snag started to move! Somehow my 0.14mm hooklength and size 16 hook never parted as half a tree was begrudgingly dragged towards me! I managed to pull it all the way to the bank before heaving it out. There were branches everywhere!
Unbelievably, my rig was still intact and, more importantly, my margin was now much less precarious to fish. With all the disturbance I decided to slot on the 14.5m section and fish the remainder of the day at maximum length. It obviously wasn’t quite as comfortable to handle but I felt that I could still fish at this range without too much difficulty. This pole really excels from 11 to 13 metres but can still hold its own beyond this.

If you are after a featherweight pole for winkling out small fish then this isn’t for you. The Tyson is purpose made for the angler who wants a strong workhorse for commercials that won’t let you down. It’s a no-nonsense power pole and fills that role perfectly.

Tech Spec
Preston Innovations GXR Tyson

Stated length: 14.5m with mini extension
Actual length: 14.81m with 85cm mini extension
Closed length: 1.81m
Match-kit length: 2.89m
Power-kit length: 2.6m
Match-kit elastic rating: No14
Power-kit elastic rating: No20+
Other features: Sun Core Finish, Fusion, Magic Steps, GiS compatible
RRP: £599.99
Package: 14.5m pole including match kit, two Power Kits, one Pulla Kit, mini extension, Kup Kit, Kups and holdall
Spares: GXR Power Kit £60, GXR Match Kit £60, GXR Match Plus Kit £95, GXR Short 4th £70, Pulla Kit £80


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