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Preston Innovations GXR 3001

Preston Innovations GXR 3001 tested on the bank by Jon Arthur and Tom Scholey.

Jon On The Preston Innovations GXR Series Pro 3001

A new year, a new pole and what a cracker I was fishing with to kick off 2011. Everyone I saw that handled the GXR 3001 at Preston’s press day a couple of months ago was impressed with it, including me. The £1,500 category has long been a key target in the pole market and this pole sits right among the cream in that price bracket. Without elastic, it holds up extremely well to its more expensive brothers – The One and the GiS14 – so I was keen to get it on the bank to see if it maintained my respect with a carp tugging at the other end!

Looking back at last year’s On Tests we seemed to frequent Tom’s home venues a little too much for my liking, so I felt that a day somewhere new would offer us an even playing field. I then discovered that Tom was no stranger to Shearsby Valley Lakes in Leicestershire either, as he plonked himself confidently on Peg 20, which, incidentally, had won the last match on the venue –  yes I’m getting my excuses in very early!

You get a very sound spares package with this pole, including three GXR top threes, five GXR power top twos and a mini extension that slots between the 13 and 14.5m sections. I chose to fit a single length of No10 Slip elastic through a match kit with the No1 section removed. This gave me a comfortable 2.19 metres to play with, which was more than adequate combined with a Pulla Bung setup.

I expected Tom to go tight across to the island so I made the decision to kick off at 13 metres in the deeper water with pellets. This way I could hopefully target carp and skimmers and keep an eye on Tom to work out what was happening tighter across.

I bagged an early 3lb carp, then a string of quality skimmers to 2lb, before needing to add sections and venture tighter to the island. A cold and blustery wind wasn’t making presentation easy but the pole remained stiff and responsive, even with a Cad Pot on the end. It was a difficult winter’s day but at least we were stringing a few bites together and as I managed a last-gasp carp I was convinced that my early skimmers would give me the edge. As we lifted our nets out, however, I wasn’t so sure! Tom’s biggest mirror carp was almost double the size of the leaner commons I had bagged and the scales confirmed my fears as his 18lb 12oz pipped my 17lb 6oz effort. I’ve never seen him grin so wide as I begrudgingly handed him the £1 side bet. Well done matey. Just don’t make a habit of it!

The pole was a joy to fish with and is definitely in its element on commercials. All the sections feel reliably strong and the Sun Core finish makes it look and feel the part. I had no problems reacting to fast bites at full extension and I would confidently use this pole for everything.

Tom On The Preston Innovations GXR Series Pro 3001
I must warn readers that I am massively biased towards this pole because it’s the one I now use. It is one of the best-value packages on the market and you get a truly top-class pole for a relatively modest price tag.

It performs brilliantly right up to 16 metres and one of the best things about any pole carrying the GXR tag is the vast array of sections available as extras.

It is strong, light, stiff and responsive, and with it having the famous Sun Core, Fusion and Magic Steps features, I really can’t speak highly enough of it.

Preston Innovations GXR 3001

Stated length: 16m with mini extension
Actual length: 16.44m with 85cm mini extension
Closed length: 1.8m
Match-top-two length: 1.78m
Match-top-three length: 2.84m
Match-top-four length: 4.31m
Match-top-five length: 5.81m
Match-top-three length with No1 removed: 2.19m
Power-kit length: 2.6m
Match-kit-elastic rating: No12
Power-kit-elastic rating: No16
Match No2 section internal tip diameter: 2.8mm
13m butt diameter: 48mm
14.5m butt diameter: 50mm
16m butt diameter: 50mm
Weight at 12.38m: 740g
Weight at 14.05m: 1,001g
Weight at 15.83m: 1,246g
Weight at 16.44m: 1,398g
Other features: Fusion, Magic Steps, Sun Core
RRP: £2,199
SSP: £1,499
Package: 16m pole, three GXR Match top threes,
five GXR power top twos,
mini extension, Genis 10-tube holdall, Kup Kit and Kups
Spares: GXR Match top three £55; GXR Match top four £115; GXR Power top two £55; GXR Suncore Short 4 £70; GiS Pulla Kit £49.99



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