This got us pretty excited, and regular readers will know how impressed we have been by the Silverlite range of poles from Browning. So what have we learnt now that Browning has released some information about the new pole?
What Is It?
Firstly, Browning’s new pole is not a Silverlite at all! In fact, it has its very own branding – the Sphere Zero-G F1 Plus – and has been made to stand on its own two feet; something we think is a wise move by Browning. Yes, the Silverlite range is fantastic; however, we feel the name gives too many people the impression that it can only be used for silver fish. We established in our pole test, back in our September issue, that although the Silverlite is perfect for that, it is also much more than a silver-fish pole.
Browning has also been quick to mention that this pole has no specified elastic rating. Instead, what it has said is that used properly it can handle any elastic likely to be used, within sensible reason. Again, another wise move by Browning, as in the past it has always ‘under-rated’ the strength of its poles; not for its own benefit but for that of the people looking at them.
By slapping an elastic rating on a particular model people will follow that to the letter, and then wonder why something has gone wrong after the months of hammer they have put their pole under, which in turn falls back on the manufacturer.
“The lightest and stiffest pole that has ever been brought to the market” is how Browning has described the Sphere Zero-G F1 Plus, and “a professional pole for professional-level anglers”, designed to give skilled pole anglers even more of a competitive advantage. Each pole is handmade from the highest quality Japanese carbon and constructed to provide optimum balance of weight, stiffness and strength, making it “both stiffer and lighter than typical flagship poles.”
The Browning Sphere Zero-G F1 Plus is available in three forms:
• A 13m pole-only package that will cost £2,099. Existing Silverlite or Xitan owners will be happy to learn that all of your top kits will fit the Sphere, and the extra bonus if you own a Silverlite is that every section will also fit as this pole follows the same mandrels.
• A 13m Continental package that will come with four of Browning’s Multikits, a new design of top kit that can be used as a conventional two-piece 2.5m top kit or, for those short-kit lovers among us, can also be used as a 1.75m one-piece kit. You also get a cupping kit, spare C/3 section (No4), holdall and square ergonomic pole protector, as well as the 13m pole for a suggested retail price of £2,849.
• Finally, the full package is the 17m UK set, with which you will receive: a whopping 13 of the aforementioned Multikits; two spare full length C/3 sections as well as two short C/3 sections; a spare D4 section (No5); cupping kit; reversible No6/No7 pole protector; 13m,14.5m and 16m square ergonic pole protectors; a 1m Sphere extender section as well as the 16m pole! This really is a package to compete with any others, and all of that will set you back a cool £4,399.
• All supplied top kits come prebushed with Browning’s 3.9mm/4.5mm dual internal bush; the inner of the two bushes is suitable for all solid elastics and up to medium hollows. Take this out, leaving just the outer bush, and you will be left with a thin-walled 4.5mm bush capable of housing larger hollow elastics. This means the pole needs no cutting back, leaving you with a true 16m pole or 17 metres once you add your Extender section.
Each section of the Sphere features carbon-banded female joints as well as overwrapped male joints on the high wear sections to help to protect the pole and improve its longevity. Further to this it features a ground surface finish and minimal matt paint to help with the efficiency of shipping the pole in and out in all weather conditions. Tactile precision points on the butt sections give you a physical guide rather than painted, so you don’t need to look down at the pole to ensure you are fishing in the same spot every time.
Sphere Zero-G 17m UK set
• 16m Sphere Zero-G Pole • 1m Sphere Extender section • 3 square ergonomic pole protectors – 13m, 14.5m, 16m • Reversible pole protector to fit No6 and No7 sections • 13 2/1 Sphere duo 3.9mm/4.5mm Multikits • 2 full length C/3 sections • 2 short C/3 sections • Full length D/4 section • Cupping kit • Xitan multi-pocket holdall
Sphere Zero-G 13m Continental
• 13m Sphere Zero-G Pole • Square ergonomic pole protector – 13m • 2 2/1 Sphere duo 3.9mm/4.5mm Multikits • 2 4/1 Sphere duo 3.9mm/4.5mm Multikits • Full length C/3 sections • Cupping kit • Xitan multi-pocket holdall