With technological advancements we all now demand more of our kit! Rarely is this more prevalent than with the pole that we choose. It’s more than likely our biggest purchase in terms of overall expenditure.
Right off the bat it’s fair to say there really are no ‘bad’ flagship poles these days. Many claim to be the ‘everything’ solution we desire… while some sacrifice strength for lightness and rigidity. You can have all three… but not in equal measures.
This is where the trade-off comes. A stronger pole is likely to utilise more material and therefore sacrifices some lightness. To some a lighter, stiffer pole is more appealing, whereas others are willing to incur a minor weight penalty in reward for strength. This all comes down to what type of angler you are – whether careful or clumsy is always a consideration – but ultimately what you’re primarily using the pole for is the key factor.
Doing all of your fishing at five to 11 metres? Don’t waste your money on a flagship pole!
Demand a pole that delivers optimum performance at 13 metres and beyond? You’ll be needing to shell out a few quid for a top of the range model if you really do demand ultimate performance.
Presuming you’re in the latter category (otherwise you may not even be reading this review after eyeballing the price tag) then here’s where things get really interesting with this F66.
Returning to my earlier comment about the strength/lightness/rigidity ratio. Well, Colmic believes it has achieved the ultimate ‘all-round’ flagship pole – one you can punish with double-figure cyprinid creatures while retaining the out-and-out finesse of a true performance pole.
So… we took it to Larford Lakes and sat down in the 30s on the Match Lake to see what it could do. We met up with Colmic rep Shaun Stockley, who’d brought the F66 along for us to fish with. Talking through the pole and package it was hard not to be impressed with what Colmic has aimed at achieving here.
The package is impressive and Colmic has a history of producing quality products – the WN501 hook being one of my particular favourites of old. Yes a hook, not a pole of course, but reputation counts for a lot.
I set up one long line to begin with, tapping in a bit of corn and a few 4mm fishery pellets. A few small skimmers fell to softened 4mm expander pellets before I stopped messing around and went carping on corn instead.
The pole felt brilliant to use – light, stiff, responsive… but it was latching into that first carp that allowed me to lean into it.
I’d roped up with 0.17mm, regardless of the bloody freezing cold water. I wasn’t about to let this pole off lightly. I winched and I pulled and I yanked. Yes, the pole really is strong – this is Colmic’s main aim.
I didn’t put it side by side with another flagship pole on the day to offer a direct comparison, but it’s plenty stiff. Whether it’s the stiffest available needs an in-depth comparison, but it’s well up there for absolute definite.
And it’s as strong as an ox, judging by my tests on the day. This was the only time I’ve fished with the pole and the session was several hours long. I gave the pole plenty of stick and it just seemed to laugh back at me (probably because I was loose feeding corn by hand on a 6m line in February when the water was icy).
I soon wiped the smile off the pole’s face when I dropped in on the short line and caught plenty of good fish, though. These fish must have been starving!
A short session isn’t always conclusive enough. What about how it stands up over time, session after session?
Well, testing that way would be nice, but isn’t practical and, besides, today was pretty much the same way we test and deliver any pole review.
It’s a great pole, with a great package and plenty of Colmic ‘perks’ included to keep you interested and helping you to feel content that you’ve achieved value for money.
If you’re looking to buy a flagship model it’s a great choice. Get to a stockist and put it alongside other flagship models out there in a similar price range and you’ll have something of a decision on your hands to make.
There are three mini half butt extensions included that can be fitted, from the No4 section right through to the No10 section, plus a Force-4 Power No3 section that gives the F66 a bit more power.
Eight EC200 top two kits, a stiff cupping kit and smart Colmic pole holdall finish off the package.
Oh, I almost forgot …(I didn’t really, I just left it until last for impact)… you get a two-year warranty with the F66 too!
• Colmic Airon F66 pole package
• 16m pole
• Eight EC200 top two kits
• Force-4 section
• Three mini half butt sections
• Cupping kit
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