Tri-cast Trilogy Competition Pro2 16.5m - Part 2
Mon 08 September 14
Part 2 Introduction
Over a 16 week series of matches, the UKMA team have well and truly put the TRILOGY PRO2 COMPETITION 16.5 through its paces to evaluate exactly how it would perform in a match fishing environment. Read on to find out exactly how it got on whilst being used to tame some of the hardest fighting carp, bream and tench you are likely to find on any match venue. giving a full guide on the materials and processes we used to get the optimum performance out of this very classy, UK manufactured pole.
Elasticating the top Kits
Match Top 3’s
Our chosen selection of pole elastics for the match and Big Bore kits was made based on the type of angling we are likely to encounter when visiting a commercial or natural fishery. After careful consideration, taking into account the species and sizes of fish we were likely to encounter on our target venues, our final selection was made. We opted to elasticate the Match kits with the following; Blue Hydrolastic which is rated 5-8 for all silvers, small bream, carp and F1’s, 2 x white Hydrolastic which is rated 6 – 10 and this is ideal for all species up to 4lbs. The remaining match kits were going to be fitted with grey Hydrolastic which is rated 10 – 12 and this is the perfect option for the majority of all open water approaches when targeting fish up to 10lbs.
We removed the No.1 sections (flick tips) and carefully cut the No.2 section back by 7cm to accommodate the 5.2mm Frenzee internal bush. This may sound a bit large for a match kit but the UKMA team are fond believers in allowing the elastic to run unrestricted to optimise its performance whilst playing fish, plus with the larger diameter of the Hydrolastic and other hollow elastics, in our opinion it makes perfect sense. Once cut, we use emery board to clean off any burrs and once the bush is fitted securely into the tip we then clean the section out with a jug of water to remove any carbon fragments that may have fallen inside during the cutting process. Once fitted and cleaned up this will give you a match kit that is 2.42m in length and will match up perfectly to the cupping kit supplied.
Big Bore Power top 2’s
As with the match kits, we took into consideration the stamp of fish we would be targeting and selected our elastics that would suit the tasks required perfectly. In each of the Big Bore Power top 2’s we opted to load them with Black Hydrolastic which is rated 14-16. Over the many years that we’ve been using poles, this has proven to be arguably the best and most versatile big fish pole elastic we’ve ever used, so in our opinion, if it works why change it! We cut back the No.1 section by 18.5cm to accommodate the 5.2 Frenzee internal bush, following exactly the same process as we did on the match kits. This left us with three power kits that measured in at 2.66m and yet again, the cupping kit supplied was a perfect match to the top kits
TOP TIP – When cutting your top kits the UKMA team highly recommend that you use two small balls of Blu-Tak to support the section. Place them about a foot apart and push the marked area you are going to cut in the centre of one ball and use the other ball to support the section to prevent it wobbling about whilst being cut. Then take a sharp non-serated knife (filleting knifes are perfect) and steadily cut through the section and the Blu-Tak. Rotate the section three or four times to ensure that the entire outer wall is cleanly cut. This is to prevent splintering on the final cuts and if you follow these simple instructions, you’ll have no problems at all.
Once all of the top kits were bushed, we then cut to fit our chosen Pulla Bungs to ensure that they all fitted perfectly, ensuring that the arm stuck out of the base of the kit by no more than 2.5cm. Our personal choice were the Preston Innovations Pulla Bung based on speaking to several top anglers who informed us that these are the lightest on the market and very reliable. We then threaded the Hydrolastics through each of the top kits, leaving a long tail at ever end to allow us to connect the essential components. We opted to use standard Stonfo Connecters over the en-vogue Dacron Connectors simply because it’s our personal preference. Once all the Stonfo Connectors were securely attached, we then threaded the elastics through the Pulla Bungs and tensioned to ensure that the elastic returned to the pole, whilst adding only just enough torque to allow the elastics to flow in and out of the pole.
With all the top kits elasticated and all sections checked for potential weak spots and crack (nothing found), we were know ready to put the TRILOGY PRO2 COMPETITION 16.5m through its paces on what can only be described as a hard natural venue, containing numerous big bream up to near double figures, tench to 9lbs and carp from 3lbs up to 20lbs plus. A demanding venue, who’s resident fish fight harder than the standard stock fish found in commercial fisheries and they definitely show poles no mercy, here’s how this top class pole actually performed during several match fishing situations.
The competitive Field Test
The UKMA team headed to Cromwell Lake near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire to compete in the annual 16 week Spring/Summer series. After several successful years on the venue I fancied my chances form numerous pegs but was delighted to draw fancied peg 25. This swim features a large bed of lily pads to the right, an island feature to the left and directly in front a bridge on the island at 20m. I decided to fish the pole to the lily pads at 11m and at 16m in the open water between two points of the island. I used the three Big Bore Power kits loaded with black Hydro Elastic basically because I had to try and bully fish away from the features to ensure they ended up in the keepnet.
The first hour was slow to say the least but then I re-fed the lily pads and after three minutes my float slid under. I instantly applied a far amount of pressure to the fish and prevented it reaching the sanctuary of the hazardous lily pads in no time at all. This hard fighting tench led me a merry dance once out in open water but as soon as I added more tension to the elastic by using the Pulla Bung, the fish gave up the fight and slid into the waiting landing net. this was one of four fish landed on a hard day for all and on my first match on the venue in nearly 3 years, I ended up 2nd on the day with the pole performing superbly, taming two good tench and two small carp for 19lbs exactly.
Yet again, I drew well but things did not go to plan at all. I drew peg 30 which featured two noted holding areas n the island at 16m and a marginal lily feature at 9m. I started off by trying to sneak a quick fish from the island but after fishing 16m for just over an hour, nothing had showed itself, not even a line bite. So I decided to visit my margin swim at 9m and have a look to see if the fish were in attendance. Yet again, nothing showed after an hour, so I fed all three lines again and put my efforts into the two island swims at 16m as anglers on the opposite side of the lake were taking the odd fish from the island. this was my first opportunity to get a proper feel of the pole at its full length with a 15mph side wind.
After using several top end poles over the years, that had served me well, my expectations from the TRILOGY PRO2 COMPETITION 16.5m were going to be very high and in all honesty, this is no ordinary pole. After three hours of continuously fishing the pole at its full length competing with the wind to get optimum presentation, my arms weren’t ready to fall off as they were when using other poles at 16m in the past. This exceptionally strong and well balanced pole was turning into a delight to fish with. Yes I ended up blanking on the day as did many of the field but the poles performance made a hard day that little bit easier.
With conditions looking good for a few bite, I returned to Cromwell Lake determined to put the previous weeks disaster behind me and drew yet another flyer to the dismay of all in attendance. This time I was on fancied peg 15, a corner swim with lily pads to my left at 8m and a corner of the island with bull rushes straight in front of me at 14m and fish were showing themselves on both spots. I set up two of the Big Bore Power kits and set two swims on the island and a sing swim next to the lily pads. At the all in I fed all three lines and started my attack in the margin next to the lily pad. After five minutes my float slid under and I was into a big fish at 8m, this flew out into open water and it was soon apparent that is was not in the mood for coming in easily. I added another three section and with my elastic bottomed out and 14m of pole out, the unthinkable happened and my hook pulled
Totally annoyed I went back down the edge and after a few seconds my float buried and another big fish was trying to run me and the pole ragged. This time I was able to turn the fish with only 8m of pole in my hands and after a ferocious battle I netted a stunning 12lbs common. At this point, the margin died and I headed over to my two island swims at 14m as there were quite a few fish knocking the bull rushes as the cruised through. In the last hour I netted three other hard fighting commons to put together a 33lbs 3oz bag to secure second overall. Once again the TRILOGY PRO2 COMPETITION 16.5m had performed as well if not better than many of the top of the range poles that I’d personally used and its all round strength and performance were starting to earn it a lot of respect as a great pole from myself.
Match day 4 and yet again I had the luck of the draw, this time I was on peg 12 and I really fancied my chances. This was an open water swim with average depths of 5 feet and a noted big bream holding area. I planned to fished the entire match at 16m concentrating on one line but being the venue that it is the fish were not in the mood for all in attendance, making bites a luxury for only a few. I managed to land one carp and a good tench and at the final weigh in, I couldn’t believe my luck. I weighed in 11lbs 6ozs and won the match, with many blanking, I had yet again struck lucky!
The pole performing admirably yet again, dealing with the strong gusting north easterly winds with minimal effort and holding its shape superbly, making stable presentation a very simple affair. For the first time I had fished the TRILOGY PRO2 COMPETITION 16.5m at its full length for five hours without the usual aches and pains associate with fishing the long pole in strong winds. Even when the heavens decided to open, shipping in and out was a no nonsense event with the pole sliding easily through my hands even when absolutely soaked. Yet again the pole had done its job superbly and on what can only be described as a rock hard day, it assisted in winning me a few quid and helped me pick up valuable league points.
Finally the braille classes did me no favours and I drew a peg that had produced minimal sport over the previous weeks. Although the peg had plenty of features to target, the southerly wind had moved the fish up the other end of the lake and there were no indications of anything of any stamp was present. I proceeded to feed two margin swims at 11m either side of me and two island swims at 14m. Yet again I was using the Big Bore power kits just in case I hit anything big but to be totally honest, I didn’t fancy my chances of breaking any venue records from a swim that had produced only a few small perch the week before.
After a five hours of hard work, trying to tempt a bite from the sparse amount of fish in front of me, I yet again blanked! this was absolutely nothing to do with the poles performance, as yet again it was an absolute joy to use at both 11 and 14m lengths. It was one of those days and even if I fished for another 5 hours I would have been lucky to get a bite, To be honest, I honestly believe that if you are on a hard peg and having to work hard to get a bite, this is when you realise just how good a pole the TRILOGY PRO2 COMPETITION 16.5m making all the skills required when pole fishing a lot easier than previously experienced when using other top end poles.
Disaster then Struck
With my performances being on a par with the better anglers attending the series and the pole performing superbly in all situations, I was starting to enjoy the series and the challenge of this rock hard and unpredictable match venue. Then as per usual fate stuck a massive blow to my continued attendance at the venue in the form of a road traffic accident, which left me with severe whiplash and nerve damage to my neck. So after a 6 week break recuperating from my injuries I’m now close to getting back out on the bank to continue using this superb all-round pole that offers you the angler so much class and quality of performance, you won’t want to put it down!
After taking the TRILOGY PRO2 COMPETITION 16.5m out and using it in a match fishing situation, using it at variable lengths in all kinds of weather conditions, all the UKMA team can say is wow! The comprehensive package gives you plenty of options to choose from, the build quality is second to none and the biggest selling point for us is that it has been designed and manufactured in the United Kingdom.
Once you get a feel for this wonderful pole out on the bank, you instantly realise why TRI-CAST poles have such a huge reputation amongst the match angling fraternities. It offers superb balance, even at its full length of 16.5m and unlike many top of the range poles the UKMA team have tested and used over the years, it won’t break your back at it only weighs in at only 1280g, which is incredibly light for a pole of this strength.
All though this pole is rated to 16 elastics, it has the all round strength and performance to match many poles rated to 20 elastic that we have personally used. If we was to compare this pole to another leading brands it would be unfair as most other top of the range poles sell for at least £500 pounds more. But compared to many other poles of a similar value that the UKMA team have used and tested over the years, the TRI-CAST TRILOGY PRO2 COMPETITION 16.5m is as good an all-round pole as you are likely to find for the SSP of £2,249.99.
We have enjoyed every minute spent using the TRILOGY PRO2 COMPETITION pole during matches and features and in the opinion of the UKMA team, you’ll have to really shop around to find a pole as good for the same money
The TRILOGY PRO2 COMPETITION 16.5m video
To illustrate the full potentials of the TRILOGY PRO2 COMPETITION 16.5m, we took it to Rookery Lakes in Cambridgeshire to put together a video showing the pole in its natural environment catching fish of variable size for the cameras utilising the full package to clearly illustrate, how all the top kits and components of the pole work. Our sessions was not wasted, landing over 150 fish including carp up to 4lbs from the prolific Jay lake on this very popular match venue.