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Old-timer poles in action!

Tostedt. Leading pole manufacturer Browning invited guests to a quite special fishing competition in October. Owners of models of Browning pole that were at least 10 years old were eligible to register for the Warhorse Match in England. The popular Tunnel Barn Farm fishery (, near Birmingham) was selected as the venue for 40 owners of classic Browning poles to proudly display their “old faithfuls”. Participants came from all over England with one angler bringing all of his match equipment on the train. However, the award for furthest journey went to two Swedes who did not want to miss out on the unique match.

Marketing Director of Browning Fishing, Frerk Petersen, recalls the inspiration behind the event: "Browning became a leader in manufacturing top quality poles more than 30 years ago. As a child, I was fascinated with these poles but could not really afford one. Over the previous decades, the various Browning poles have earned iconic status with anglers. We were certain that many of these poles were still in existence and wanted them to be seen in public again. We were proved right and the “old-timer” match was on!"

Besides the fishing, there were a number of emotional moments during the Warhorse Match. One angler told of how he inherited his pole from his late father and now fishes with it himself. Others recalled how their fathers taught them how to fish with the very pole they were using in the Warhorse Match. Another bore a mischievous grin as he recounted that he picked up his pride and joy for a snip from a naive vendor at a flea market.

The mild weather meant that the fish were feeding well. Clive Nada made the most of the conditions, weighing in with the largest haul of 108 lb 3 oz (49 kg) after five hours of fishing. He used a Browning Advance pole, which had a good 25 birthdays to its name. Close behind was three-time Under 23’s World fishing champion Matt Godfrey who works for English angling magazine "Polefishing". Browning had loaned him a 20-year-old Carboxy Ceramic, which he used to land 107 lb (48.47 kg). His journalist colleague Tom Scholey claimed third place with 95 lb 9 oz (43.29 kg). Tom was surprised at how well he could fish with the Browning Silicium, which was also two decades old.

Browning also took the opportunity at the Warhorse Match to exhibit the latest generation of Browning poles to participants and spectators. The Xitan Advance Z14-1 and Silverlite 10-12 were unveiled to the public for the first time on the day. Frerk Petersen: "The comparison between current poles and the classic models is remarkable in two respects. Firstly, just how good the latest thoroughbreds from the Browning stable are. They are incredibly light and stiff. And secondly, how good Browning poles were back in 1990’  Browning poles are investment for life that you will never want to cash in. I myself own a 13-year-old Browning Black Magic II, which I love to use for a spot of long pole fishing now and again."

The event was such a great success that Browning plans to repeat the match in England next year - probably in October again. Owners of old Browning poles (models from before 2005) can register for a Browning mailing list and will be informed automatically. Simply send your name, mailing address and the model name of the old Browning pole you plan to use to warhorse@zebco– Owners of classic Browning poles from other countries, e.g. Germany, can also register as there are also plans to hold a Warhorse Match there if interesting the event  is sufficient.