Launching a lower-end pole in today’s market is undoubtedly difficult because there are so many good models in this price bracket. However, when I picked up the MAP Carp 2 pole from the rack at this year’s MAP trade show, my initial reaction to the brand manager, Mike Robinson, was: “I want one!”
At its full 13m length, the pole possessed fantastic balance and was incredibly responsive, with very little lost in the stiffness department. At first I wondered why the pole hadn’t been designed as a 16m model but, thinking about it, how often do we actually fish 16 metres nowadays? On my last five visits to a commercial I can’t think of one occasion!
Words such as ‘carp’ or ‘power’ are often associated with heavy, droopy poles and on picking up some models you feel as though you’re getting into a scruffy off-road Jeep – a rickety tool that simply does its job. The Carp 2 couldn’t be more different, however. In fact, fishing with it feels more like stepping into the cockpit of a state-of-the-art fighter jet – all the power and weaponry needed but with the utmost slickness, speed and agility!
In the spares department, the Carp 2 comes fitted with a match kit, along with three extra power kits and a reinforced mini extension. All the kits are pre-bushed and also have an area of re-enforcing where you can drill and fit your own side pullers. Incorporating High Impact Resin, the pole is extra-resistant when it comes to being ‘dinked’ or chipped and the High-Lateral Joint reinforcements mean that these vulnerable areas are built to last.
One of the most appealing things about this pole is the fact that it’s fully compatible with the flagship TKS 901, as well as the 801 and 701. For any angler wanting to purchase a secondary pole alongside these, this is the one! Often, in high winds or on those real snag-pit swims, you think twice about getting your top-of-the-range tools out. However, I can assure you that the Carp 2 is up for anything you can throw at it.
Although the pole carries an RRP of £649.99, shops are set to release them at just £549.99. If you’re in the market for a pole around this price bracket, you’d be foolish not to give the TKS Carp 2 a waggle!
Package: 13m pole fitted with pre-bushed match kit plus, three pre-bushed power kits, a mini extension and deluxe holdall
Features: Interchanges with TKS 701/801/901, high-modulus carbon, anti-friction finish, section-alignment system, 12-month warranty, rated to 20 elastic
Spares: TKS F1 Short Shalla Kit £39.99; TKS Competition Cupping Kit £34.99; TKS Universal Match Kit £34.99; TKS Universal Power Kit £29.99; TKS Short No3 section £69.99