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Up Close: Preston Pro Type X Poles

Editor Jake Fowles checks out the brand-new range of sensibly priced Pro Type X poles from Preston Innovations.

Preston Innovations as a company has gained quite the reputation over the years for producing top-end tackle designed for top-end anglers, offering absolute quality, with carbon seatboxes, expensive rods and reels and a Response range of poles that cover everything from mid-range to the flagship echelons of the pole market.

Now this is great, and Preston has always been a brand that looks to push boundaries and produce the very best products available. With that said, the Telford company is under no illusions who its key audiences are, and while these flagship items are important to have, for those who can afford them, even more important are products that are more realistically available to the masses. Preston is only too aware not to forget this by producing fantastic products at those more achievable price points, whether that’s smaller items of tackle or even when it comes to poles…

Pro Type X

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This is a four-strong range of poles that has come in to replace the previous Pro Type range that Preston Innovations released around three years ago, and is the third generation of this particular group. Prices range between £429.99 and £999.99 and each pole has been built to offer brilliant value and performance at its given price point.

There are two 13m models in the range, the Pro Type X 100 and Pro Type X 200, and if fishing up to and no further than 13 metres is your game then look no further; both models are more than capable of dealing with any situation that commercial carp venues are likely to throw at you and with each package supplied with a mixture of Match Kits (supplied pre-bushed inside the pole) and Roller Puller Power Kits (pre-bushed and pre-fitted with a Roller Puller slot), both make fantastic all-rounders, whether that be deploying it down the edge for large edge dwellers one day or winkling some roach and silver fish out of your local canal with a light solid elastic through the supplied match kit the next!

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In terms of performance, along with the extra Roller Pulla Kit and Cupping Kit supplied as standard, the Pro Type X 200 does offer a little more finesse and balance at the full 13 metres but that’s not to say both aren’t mightily impressive when the price is considered.

Next in the line-up is the Pro Type X 300. This is a 14.5m pole package and is supplied with a generous six kits (four Roller Pulla, one Match Kit and one Cupping Kit). At £749.99 you are certainly getting plenty of bang for your buck and is again a pole that feels plenty capable of handling the heaviest of elastics while not being too cumbersome or unwieldly at long lengths, meaning when a little finesse is required it is certainly not out of the question.

And finally the Pro Type X 400, the model I have decided to unleash during today’s test as you join me at the fantastic Biggin Lake in Oundle. At 16 metres the X 400 is the longest pole in the Pro Type X range and with a price tag of £999.99 it’s unsurprisingly the most expensive. With that you’ll find seven top kits nestled within the supplied pole bag, including two pre-bushed Match Kits, four Roller Pulla Power Kits and a Cupping Kit, an impressive package for a pole that asks a penny less than a grand.

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Like the other poles in the range you’ll find many similarities to the Response range of poles that Preston Innovations produces and sit in the upper tiers of the pole market. Torayca carbon is used throughout and gives each model an easy ship finish, which keeps everything smooth whether fishing in dry, warm conditions as is the case today, or on wet miserable days where poles can be prone to sticking between your hands when shipping in and out.

Like the Response range, graphics remain sleek and stylish with just a splash of colour on an otherwise discreet design. While alignment markers allow you to find the sweet spot of each pole with ease, ensuring you are using it at its full potential.

For today’s test a spot of mugging is on the cards with many of the lake’s larger residents enjoying themselves cruising around the lake basking in the sun. It is also a good excuse to get a full 16 metres of pole out of the bag in order to reach those wise old fish that tend to cruise past at what they believe to be out of pole range.

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My rig is simple, a 6x10 Mick Wilkinson AR is set at 18 inches deep with a further five feet of line above my float to my pole tip. A bulk of Stotz is placed directly below the float, which allows me to easily swing the rig towards cruising fish without any risk of tangles. Hook choice is a size 16 GPM-B, which features a hair-rigged bait band and is tied to 0.13mm diameter Reflo Power. I have two kits set up, one with 11 Hollo and the other 13 Hollo, which were easily threaded up on the bank thanks to the supplied Power Kits being pre-fitted with PTFE bushes and a Roller-Pulla slot as standard – a nice touch and an instant saving before you have even started!

I tend to like to loose feed a few pellets when mugging, to hopefully tempt any inquisitive fish into the feed area and draw them towards me from the middle of the lake, and today that has worked wonders as I’ve been able to pick fish off from within my feed as well as flick the rig past it to any warier beasts throughout the day. I’ve had fish up to 15lb deploying these tactics today and the Pro Type X 400 has performed faultlessly every step of the way, despite piling some serious pressure on these torpedo-esque units as they headed out to the middle of the lake when hooked.

A few key points on the pole itself; in action it feels comfortable and is surprisingly well balanced under the elbow. In fact, although not the lightest of poles at this price point, even at its full 16m length it is completely useable and I had no trouble throwing it around and swinging my rig into the path of potential muggers.

The butt sections are ‘girthy’, which certainly gives you something to hold on to while at the same time giving you every assurance that this pole is very strong. Wall strength is impressive with very little budge along any joint or section – a proper workhorse!

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Top kit length is arguably just a little too long for my own liking, but as I always say, this is down to personal preference and something that can easily be sorted should you prefer a shorter top kit.

Overall a mightily impressive range that covers a number of key price points across the ‘budget’ pole market and well worth a look if you’re in the market for a new pole that can handle it all!


Pro Type X 100 13m Pole Package

1 x 13m Pro Type X 100 pole

1 x Match Kit (included within pole)

2 x Roller Pulla Power Top 2 Kits fitted with 3.7mm internal bush

RRP: £429.99

Pro Type X 200 13m Pole Package

1 x 13m Pro Type X 200 pole
1 x Match Kit (included within pole)
3 x Roller Pulla Power Top 2 Kits fitted with 3.7mm internal bush

1x Cupping Kit with cups

RRP: £549.99

Pro Type X 300 14.5m Pole Package

1 x 14.5m Pro Type X 300 pole

1 x Match Kit (included within pole)

4 x Roller Pulla Power Top 2 Kits fitted with 3.7mm internal bush

1 x Cupping Kit with cups

RRP: £749.99

Pro Type X 400 16m Pole Package

1 x 16m Pro Type X 400 pole

1 x Match Kit (included within pole)

1 x Spare Match Top 3 Kit

4 x Roller Pulla Power Top 2 Kits fitted with 3.7mm internal bush

1x Cupping Kit with cups

RRP: £999.99

Vistit the Preston website to find out more www.prestoninnovations.com

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