Following a couple of threads on different fishing forums got me thinking about trying something different! Firstly although a lot of equipment for the European market is made in China, when you look at the Chinese market the equipment is totally different. I began to wonder what it would be like to fish “Chinese style”, so took the decision to order myself a 17 section 11m carbon “pole” designed for the Asiatic markets. The pole took about 10 days to arrive and is not a pole in the European sense but a whip, it was telescopic and broke down into a butt section that was approximately 82cm long and 32.3mm in diameter, the tip was 0.8mm. Weight was 635g.
Now on the face of it those specs are not too bad and the advertising pictures show it picking up two coke bottles to demonstrate the power/arc, however being used to a rigid pole and whip when extended this was an eye opener in that the last time I had seen a bend like this was when the Scimitar pole first came out donkeys years ago!
However I thought that I had to give it a go as there must be a reason for it. I had ordered some floats for me to try but as they had been ordered a week after the pole I made up one of my own, with a long 0.8mm glass stem and a multi-coloured 0.17mm top. This took 2 AA, a number 4 and two no 10 stotz.
I decided to go ultra light to the last pegs at Bowood on the last but one day of the season, taking only the whip/pole (so I would not be tempted to do anything else) and a rucksack seat with a net bag and bait (a pot of worms- that remained unused), a pint of maggots, a pint of micros- that remained unused and some groundbait (Explosive Feeder and red Bream 3000).
As you can see from the picture above the “pole” also came with a spare flick-tip, heavier than the original. The plan was to fish it at the full 11.4 m to hand despite the conditions being not very favourable with a strong cold cross wind from right to left. It was a day when you needed wrapping up warm!
The end of the whip had a short piece of strong fabric fixed to it so I tied a small knot in the end and attached the rig using the double loop method. Four balls of groundbait were launched into the 6 foot swim and I began to learn how to cast Chinese style!
There were some interesting points, firstly I reckoned that my float was too light, even though it was heavier than the specialist ones I had sent for, secondly traditional casting with a European whip style just did not work, it was more like a delayed reaction cast to the horizon that was needed, but eventually I got the hang of it.
The pole/whip/banana, to be fair was well made but the last 2m of the tip was wafting around in the wind like a piece of fly line- no that is not quite right, fly line would have been more stable! The pictures above are the banana in action – no there is not a fish on – it really had to be seen to be believed.
Unbelievably the float dipped and I lifted into a fish – a skimmer of about 6 ounces which was carefully guided towards the net. From there on for the next two hours I had plenty of action and what intrigued me was I only missed one bite despite having about 8m of line between tip and float- and that bite was only missed due to me having a cup of coffee at the time! I even had a bream of 3-5 towards the end which was interesting as you could feel the weight and the odd thud but the tip was acting very much like elastic and taking out any lunges very comfortably.
At the end I had 7-12 in the two hours I was there but will investigate this Chinese style further at some point- certainly has given me food for thought.