best poles for margin fishing

The Best Margin Poles - (A complete guide on the best margin poles & whips for carp, kids, beginners or on a budget)

Whether you are a beginner, looking for a pole on a budget or even a pole suitable for children, this article should help you decide on this crucial purchase.

This article is an approximate 12 minute read so if you're in a rush, the following list shows the best margin poles we recommend but please read on to find out more:

The Best Poles for Margin Fishing:

Please read on to find out more on what to look for in a margin fishing pole alongside more detail around our chosen poles.

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The combination of a fishing pole and the margins of a Lake, River or Canal quite simply equals: - "Lots of Fish".  With so many different brands, lengths, weights and accessories on the market today, choosing the right pole can be a minefield.

This article aims to provide you with a complete guide to the best poles for margin fishing and should hopefully help you choose the right equipment for your specific circumstances.

Margin fishing is an often-overlooked tactic that yields great results when executed correctly. As many anglers focus on casting their rigs and shipping their poles to the horizon, they can miss the hordes of fish beneath their feet.

The margins are a source of food for the fish as they lie in wait for anglers to throw their leftover baits into the water at the end of their session. Whether you are fishing a large lake or a local pond, pleasure fishing or match fishing, the truth is, you cannot afford to ignore the margins.

Pole fishing is one of the most effective ways to tackle margin fishing. Large fish are generally much easier to locate in the margins than in open water, it is well worth investing in a margin pole.

These are shorter, more robust and super-strong versions of their longer counterparts. Margin poles are suited for heavier elastics, giving anglers the power they need to land their catch and eliminate the risk of breaking their more expensive longer pole.

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What is the difference between a pole and a whip?

When asking the question 'what is the best pole for margin fishing', it may be worth considering whether you need a pole or a whip. If you are new to fishing or simply looking to add a pole or a whip to your fishing arsenal, it is important that your equipment matches your style of fishing.

Poles and whips are very popular with coarse and match fishing, despite being very similar, poles and whips have enough differences to set them apart and their own unique purposes.

Whether you buy a pole or whip, your experience at fishing and the type of fish that you are fishing for should influence you. A whip tends to be a short pole - 2 to 6 metres in length. They are usually telescopic with a very fine, flexible top section where the fishing line is directly attached.

Whips are perfect for beginners that fish canals and small lakes, where small fish such as Dace, Rudd, Roach, Perch, and Bream can be found and easily swung into your hand.


On the other hand, a pole can be very long - up to 16 metres in length. This provides anglers with much greater finesse and precision when presenting a bait. As the top sections of a fishing pole are elasticated, anglers have a wider variety of species they are able to catch, with some poles boasting the ability to land large Carp.

Poles also come in sections which allow anglers to manoeuvre their pole and target fish without having metres of pole trailing behind. 

Ultimately, the choice of pole vs whip comes down to personal preference. The longer reach of a pole gives anglers a greater range and the confidence to land larger fish, whereas a whip is perfect for anglers who have just entered the sport or like to target smaller fish, usually up to 3lb.

Whatever pole you choose it needs to suit the conditions you are fishing and have the aim of being quick and efficient. You need to have the ability to fish with everything close to hand without you having to move from your seat box.

How do you fish a pole in the margin?

Fishing poles are the bread and butter of coarse and match anglers, especially when it comes to margin fishing. Whether you are pleasure fishing or match fishing, a margin line should definitely be considered during your session, as it is arguably one of the most effective ways of catching large amounts of fish throughout the year.

The margin peg

As you arrive at your lake or pond, you need to find the perfect margin peg. As most species of fish love to feel safe when feeding, a peg that offers cover will be perfect. This may look like a peg with lily pads, reeds or an over-hanging tree.

Even if you land yourself with a featureless peg, the peg next door will also provide the shelter that the fish desire to feed confidently. 

Depth and distance

When plumbing your depth, it is recommended that you find a flat surface that offers at least 18 inches of depth. This allows enough room for multiple fish to compete for your feed and reduces the possibility of foul-hookers.

The optimal range to fish in the margins is usually 5 to 6 metres, however, if you’re fishing tight to the bank be careful not to spook the fish, as certain weather conditions allow the fish to see the shadow cast from your pole.

Checkout this quick video clip by Warren Martin of Matrix fishing on how to find the perfect margin swim:

Rigs and tackle

The main consideration when margin fishing is strength. As margin fishing is one of the most demanding methods of pole fishing, your gear needs to be strong and robust.

With the margins being home to some of the lake’s largest fish, where it is not uncommon for fish as big as 20lb+ to be patrolling the margins, it is important that your pole can pull the fish away from the swim. 

Using the correct pole float is equally important when fishing the margins. A big, bulky float is just not needed when fishing along the edge. Instead opt for a lightweight, subtle float that will indicate delicate bites without you having to strain your eyes.

This avoids spooking the other fish in the area and can also handle the fish bolting towards the middle of the lake. Depending on where you fish and the size of the fish you like to target, your elastic should range between 12-20 to ensure you land every fish that bites. Turning up to a lake with weak tackle is a recipe for disappointment.

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Swim preparation

To begin with, even if you plan to fish the margins at a later point in your session, you need to prepare the swim. As soon as you arrive, remove debris, such as broken reeds and vegetation that could potentially snag your rig.

Try to pre-feed your swim whilst you set up your tackle. Whether you use ground bait, pellets, sweetcorn, maggots, be sure to stay consistent with your feed to keep the fish in the margins.

Checkout another quick video clip by Warren Martin of Matrix fishing on how to feed a margin swim:

Best pole elastic for margin fishing

The question of  'what is the best pole for margin fishing' cannot be fully answered without considering the best pole elastic to use. Pole elastic is located in the top sections of a pole. It acts as a shock absorber and helps to prevent the line from breaking if a large fish is caught.

Choosing the correct pole elastic that matches your style of fishing is crucial to landing fish; too light and you risk snapping your elastic, too heavy and you risk bumping the fish off.

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Elastics come in all sizes, colours and strengths depending on the size of the fish you are targeting - the thicker the elastic, the stronger it is.

Elastic rating 0-10 is good for general fishing and small to medium sized fish, however, for margin fishing, your elastic needs to be strong enough to land harder fighting fish such as F1s, common and mirror carp. 

The elastic also needs to be sufficient enough to handle any potential snags in the margins. 

We recommend kitting your pole out with elastic ranging between 12-16 if you are targeting medium-size, powerful fish. Use elastic 16-20 if you are hunting the elusive 20lb+ carp that lurk in the margins. Our two favourite pole elastics for margin fishing are as follows:

Our 2 favourite pole elastics

connekt elastic

Connekt Hollow Duo-Wall Hyperlastic 

Available in five different sizes, Connekt Hollow Duo-Wall Hyperlastic covers all styles of pole fishing. With 800 per cent stretch, the extremely durable and long-lasting elastic is perfect for margin poles and will ensure you land all your catches with maximum fun.

mapp elastic

AMP Map TKS Twin Core Hollow Elastic 

Favoured by many top anglers in the UK, AMP Map TKS Twin Core elastic is extremely durable and is available in seven different sizes. The transparent inner core ensures the elastic retracts faster than standard solid elastics, and the coloured outer gives it an incredible stretch ratio, making it perfect for margin fishing.

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What is the best margin pole for beginners?

Margin fishing is ideal for beginners. With minimal tackle needed and a wide selection of robust and lightweight poles available, at a fraction of the cost of the longer match fishing poles, margin poles offer beginners the thrill of landing a number of fish and even a hard fighting carp in the most straightforward way of fishing. We have a full article on the best fishing poles for beginners to help make an informed choice. 

The Best Margin Pole For Beginners

best poles for margin fishing

Shakespeare Omni Margin Pole - 8 Metre

The Shakespeare Omni Margin Pole is perfect for anyone looking to get into the sport. With reinforced joints, an elastic rating of 20, and a spare power top 2 kit, the pole is light enough to be held by people of all ages all day long and packs a punch when landing big carp found in the margins or close to features.

Best Margin Pole For Kids

Poles are the simplest form of fishing and are the perfect starting point for children of all ages. The absence of complex tactics and complicated rigs means that margin poles are perfect for children as it offers the perfect balance of enjoyment and simplicity, and are just as capable as their larger counterparts at landing big fish. Our favourite margin pole for children is:

The Best Margin Pole For Children

best poles for margin fishing

Middy Impact 4m Elasticated Whip-Mini Pole

Middy have a great reputation in pole fishing technology and their 4-metre pole is no exception. The Middy impact mini pole is perfect for children as it comes pre-elasticated and is ready to fish. As the perfect entry into coarse fishing, the out-and-out leisure power pole’s composite construction and strong hollow tip ensures that children of all ages can effortlessly land all types of fish.

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Best margin pole for under £100

Budget is obviously a consideration before purchasing any tackle. Fortunately due to the smaller length of margin poles, a decent bit of equipment can be bought for under £100. If you are looking for a longer pole that fishes further out you may want to check out a different article of ours that gives a great guide on fishing poles under £500.

If you're on a budget and are searching for a decent margin pole that does the job then check out our favourite margin pole for under £100:

Our favourite budget margin pole

Middy White Knuckle Thriller V3 8m Carp Margin Pole

The Middy White Knuckle V3 is an absolute workhorse of a margin pole. The 8.5-metre power-packed carbon pole is a great value considering it weighs just 799g. Designed for bagging carp on commercial lakes, the pole is light and responsive and has an impressive elastic rating of 24.

Best Whip for Margin Fishing

Whips are similar to poles in that they allow for light pole fishing float gear to be presented in the margins of the lake. They differ however simply by the fact they cannot be extended with additional sections of pole. This means you are restricted to fishing the short length that the whip offers.

A whip can be quite useful however if a) you are looking at fishing with a lightweight / limited tackle approach and b) you are targeting small fish in the margins that are unlikely to bolt into the middle of the lake if hooked. 

Our favourite margin fishing whip

best poles for margin fishing

Middy Power Carp 5.5m Whip

This strong 5.5m whip by Middy offers strength as well as a load of other features. The whip comes ready to fish with elastic already integrated and 2 spare top sections. The length of the whip alongside its core power allows for a hit and hold approach if a powerful fish such as a carp were to be hooked. This provides a better chance of landing the fish compared to a lighter, smaller model.

The whip even comes with a free rig and a disgorger which is a nice touch!

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The Best Poles for margin fishing on the Market

And finally... We have provided what we consider the top 3 best margin poles on the market. A number of considerations have been made whilst making this choice and if you are looking for a margin pole you should consider the same. The weight, stiffness, and strength are all important factors when buying a fishing pole. 

Ultimately all these lead to a pole having the right balance and this is the main consideration before investing your money.  The following 3 poles tick all the boxes as well as another important consideration, 'Value for money'.

The Best Poles For Margin Fishing

best poles for margin fishing

Middy Reactacore XM10-3 - 11.5 metre

The previous XM10 and XM10-2 poles sold in their thousands and this new XM10-3 model is slightly lighter and even stronger due to new ‘Maximus Wrap’ on the joints. It is built for super-strong margin work with a 25 elastic rating, yet you will not believe how rigid this pole is.

At 11.5 metres this pole will cover every eventuality you may face in the margins but will also cover some work slightly further out.

With a competitive price-point, this pole is sure to be a bestseller and one that we thoroughly recommend.

Middy Reactacore XQ-1 Margin 10M

The XQ-1 was one of last years best sellers and it's easy to understand why.

Perfectly balanced and only 799g in weight, this great pole comes as 30 strong elastic rated making it strong enough for all eventualities!

Although this pole has a slightly different configuration compared to other models in the range, all sections are still 100% compatible.

The pole comes complete with 2 phantom top kits and a pole bag and also a very competitive price point. A great all round margin pole that we thoroughly recommend.

best poles for margin fishing

Preston Edge Monster 10m  

Supplied at 10m with its mini extension, the Edge Monster 10m Margin Pole is constructed from quality carbon fibre and is strong enough to extract large carp from the margins with relative ease. This versatile pole also provides the balance to fish at its full length where the the 10m length can really help to reach those areas that are usually out of range for a conventional margin pole.

The Pole includes a spare Power top 2 kit in addition to the one included in the pole, both of which are virtually ready to fish with a Roller Pulla Bush and a PTFE bush fitted. The complete package is supplied in PVC tubes for safe transit.

This very popular pole from the ever impressive Preston innovations, is on the money in terms of quality and value for money and as such, ourselves, as well as many others, thoroughly recommend you add this pole to your artillery.

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The margins should never be underestimated when fishing as they will no doubt, most of the time, have fish present. Being able to fish quickly and efficiently in the margins will absolutely put you at an advantage if your goal is to catch lots of fish. Using the best pole for margin fishing will catch you more fish so we hope this guide has proven a useful insight.

If you need any fishing tackle please consider one of our recommended online fishing tackle shops or our fishing tackle deals page.

Tight Lines!

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