Anglingtimes national angling awards - tackle 2023

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BEST POLE OVER £1,500

IN 2023 came the long-awaited return of Shimano to the pole market – and we were blown away by what we saw! Leading the trio of new poles is the flagship Aero Competition Pro.

One of the lightest 16m poles available, it has a stunning degree of rigidity and strength, thanks to a unique combination of high function design and technically advanced Japanese carbon. A comprehensive package includes five Match kits, four Power kits, four one-piece F1 kits and two short No3 sections.

You also get a 13m extension and a 14.5m/16m extension, along with three Reversible Protector sections to prevent accidental damage to the major sections.

Price: £4,999.99, www.fish.shimano.com

BEST SEATBOX

THIS year a new seatbox replaced Matrix’s best-selling S36. The new XR36 Pro sports not only eye-catching aesthetics, but many innovative design improvements.

The main frame now has non-marking leg clamps, and utilises a unique one-piece super-strong tubular hydro-formed frame. The footplate has a textured top and non-slip plastic slides with a single hand release mechanism.

The box comes with one shallow tray, a deep drawer unit and a transport lid. The 36mm non-slip extending legs are fully anodised, and include screw threads for off-box attachments.

The seatbox height is fully adjustable via easy-to use large rubber handwheels, while a built-in spirit level will help to take out the guesswork of setting it up level on any terrain. It comes in a choice of two arresting colour schemes – Lime or Shadow.

Price: £675.99, www.fishmatrix.co.uk

HIGHLY COMMENDED

THE Tournament 800 seatbox has a Tardis-like storage capacity. The top section includes a 20mm shallow winder tray with a perforated base, plus two side drawers.

A retractable footplate has rock-solid 36mm telescopic legs secured with 180-degree rotating locking handwheels. The base unit comes with two 20mm shallow winder trays, both perforated.

Price: £439.99, www.daiwa sports.co.uk

BEST POLE UNDER £1,500

A HIGHLY functional and strong pole, suited to both natural venues and commercials, and available in both 16m a