Exclusive! We test Daiwa’s tough new margin pole
‘Bendy’ Yank ‘n’ Bank is matchless for big carp in the edge
SO FAR 2016 has been a bumper year for the release of margin poles.
A trend has been to replace an ‘old school’ all-through action – which sees the pole bend like a tree branch – with a far stiffer, more aggressive build that relies heavily on the elastic to absorb lunges and bring in fish.
Such new-breed margin poles, with improved linear rigidity, faster tip speed and superior all-round handling, work best for big fish in snaggy swims.
However, with an appropriately matched top kit the old-fashioned bendy poles allow anglers to tame hefty commercial carp in the margins, and have worked a treat for years, saving the shattering and explosive end of many an expensive carbon section.
This nicely sets the scene for the introduction of Daiwa’s latest Yank ‘n’ Bank 950 Power Margin pole, launched 10 years ago and now in its third incarnation.
Lifetime Daiwa rep Simon Wheeler can lay claim to coming up with the name Yank ‘n’ Bank, and although it’s not a lot to show for 25 years of service to the firm it seems to make him happy!
The new 950 Power Model is definitely of the old school bendy persuasion, but has undergone a full cosmetic and materials makeover. The silver-on-black graphics on the 8m and 9.5m butt sections remind one of Daiwa’s top-end Tournament poles, giving it a thoroughbred look.
It boasts numbered section alignment, top kits with pre-bore reinforcements for drilling and fitting pulling kits, and decentsized 4mm internal tips – although fitting larger hollow elastics (it’s rated to 20-plus) does mean trimming a bit off the tip ends.
The new Yank ‘n’ Bank is reasonably light, with pleasing handling qualities, but in reality it’s all about the power. Its seven super-strong sections have impenetrable wall strength that almost beggars belief when they are put under severe pressure.
I found this out while live testing the pole in a quiet corner of Six Island Lake at the Decoy complex near Peterborough. The large carp and barbel in the margins here are far from stupid, so you need to present a bait tight into the bank or against a feature. In this swim it happened to be a paddle aerator.
I was not taking any chances with these doughty denizens, rigging up a beefy 16/18 elastic with a matching take-no-prisoners
pole rig. I would rather not have a single bite than get one, only to lose the fish.
Tipping a potful of pellets and corn tight against the reeds at the back of the paddle, it didn’t take long before the mettle of the new Spank the Plank was put to the test. A full-throttle bite was met head-on with a pole-tip travelling in the opposite direction, and there could be only one winner. The fish was dragged unceremoniously out of harm’s way and into open water.
Time and time again the pole performed the fishy equivalent of dragging a reluctant Rottweiler from its kennel, and as my confidence in the Yank ‘n’ Bank grew apace, even barbel were won over in the twitch of a whisker.
Sheer brute bending power comes into play.
A fish tries to gain the sanctuary of the aerator, but all in vain.