River nymph fishing using french leaders has taken the UK and European scene apart over the past few seasons. This method has proven to be extremely effective both for pleasure and competitive fly fishers alike. The new SLN Euro nymph line from Airflo is essentially a ground-breaker. If you have ever used a french leader then this is the natural progression – indeed it could even replace it as the nymph line of choice amongst your fly fishing tackle collection.
Airflo’s new Euro nymph line in action
This super thin specialist line is built on a non stretch core for maximum feel. At just 0.60 mm in diameter It also features Airflo’s Super-dri coating so it floats well, repels dirt and grime, and is much more durable than PVC or mono-filament nymph lines or french leaders. The level of feel and ease of handling alone puts this light years ahead of other specialist nymph fishing products, and being a full length line it is fully competition compliant with FIPS Mouche regulations.
Ultra thin, with neat welded loops this line excels at river nymphing.
Neat micro welded loops at each end make tippet attachment a very simple and easy process. The line is matt olive on one side, and the other end has a florescent orange tip – so you can choose the colour you want to fish, dependent on stealth requirements and light conditions.
The Airflo SLN Euro line has been extensively tested by UK river experts and for 6 months over the New Zealand summer by the guys at Manic tackle project – they succeeded in capturing some very large trout on the euro line, including the brown in the image below.
Yoshi of Manic tackle project with a South Island brown captured using the SLN line.
This new line is exceptionally versatile – it can be fished at short range as shown in the video above, or at long range on a dead drift. Also ideal for czech nymph fishing with a team of heavy bugs, a method particularly deadly for winter graying fishing. As well presenting nymphs both large and small you can also fish with weighted streamers – a method rapidly gaining popularity on UK rivers.
A UK river trout caught using the SLN Euro line and a streamer pattern.
If you are a fan of Dave Lane’s excellent carp fishing video blog then we have a real treat in store for you here – a 114 minute long full length feature film of the legend himself. Filmed in the spring of 2015 with TF Gear and total carp magazine, this epic DVD is an essential watch.
Follow specimen carp expert and carp fishing tackle consultant Dave Lane on a windswept and wild session on Norfolk’s Kingfisher lake. In some of the worst conditions a filming crew has ever encountered Laney guides you through what it takes to successfully catch carp, even when the odd’s are heavily stacked against you. Dave reveals the tackle and tactics which have made him one of the UK’s most respected carp catchers – these tips will truly transform your carp fishing strategies forever.
Dave is also joined by total carp magazine editor Marc Coulson, who gives us informative step by step guides on rig creation and in-line drop off set ups. These tactics will put more fish on the bank for you – guaranteed!
There are also informative carp fishing tackle reviews and insights on the new and innovative fishing gear that Dave has co-developed alongside tackle giants TF Gear in his role as their consultant.
Welsh pro fly fishing guide Steffan Jones, of Angling Worldwide shares one of his most effective sea trout fly patterns with us. He also explains how to tie one up in a great YouTube video. This lovely looking fly is an essential pattern to add to your fly fishing tackle box, and will surely help you catch more of the elusive river enigmas that are sea trout this summer.
‘Calon lan yn llawn daioni’; part of a very famous Welsh hymn and one that shares the name of my favourite sea trout fly, the daioni with daioni literally meaning ‘goodness’. I created this fly back around the turn of the century, whilst demonstrating fly tying at the Royal Welsh Show of all places. It has evolved slightly since then, but what it is meant to achieve has not changed at all – a large, rounded profile and silhouette, yet is light and easy to cast with plenty of mobility.
The Daioni – a great sea trout fly pattern.
This is probably my most prolific pattern throughout the season and has accounted for sea trout into double figures. However, it is particularly effective when the main shoals of school fish arrive in July especially as these smaller fish love chasing and intercepting flies around the surface film. It was created specifically as a dropper pattern and can be fished with a slimmer profile single, double or even a tube fly beyond it on the point.
The key to a good selection of sea trout fly patterns is to have them in various lengths and profiles. Think of their key food items at sea – their last feeding memory – where sandeels, pin-fry, crabs, shrimps and more all appeared on their table. Think then of the silhouette these food items create; a silhouette of a shrimp of very different to that of a sandeel. As such, you should try and cover all these food items and best of all cover two very different lengths and profiles whilst fishing two flies at a time. For me the daioni is the perfect dropper pattern and covers a very wide profile, much the same as that of a shrimp, perhaps.
It can be fished on a full floater and fished right in the surface film or fished deeper on an intermediate line etc. it can work at all depths. However, it definitely works best when fished closer to the surface and in the surface film, especially on the mild, balmy nights of July and August.
Daioni tying ingredients
Hook: Partridge streamer (D4AF) size 6 or 8 Thread: Veevus 8/0 black Body: medium silver holographic tinsel Rib: silver wire
Body hackle: white cock hackle, palmered Wing: black squirrel
Head hackle: Nature’s spirit grizzly collaring hackle in flu.blue
Fishtec are extremely proud to announce we are now in the fortunate position of being awarded a Free Spirit dealership. Free Spirit pride themselves on the quality of their product and service. They have hand selected those shops that in their opinion, offer the quality of service and advice that match their expectations, and to make the whole experience of buying Free Spirit products enjoyable. We are truly honored to be amongst the elite of UK fishing tackle dealers in having a Free Spirit account.
Free Spirit have always made the best products possible- regardless of cost or time scale. Thoroughly prototyping and testing them for months or even years before launch, Free Spirit ensure their products fully stand the test of time. Their carp and specialist fishing rods are beautifully built and designed by anglers for anglers, and are not mass produced then discontinued a year or two later simply to generate extra revenue. They are built to perform and last for a fisherman’s lifetime. That is why Free Spirit rod ranges stay established for many years and have such a fantastic reputation amongst dedicated carp and specimen anglers world wide.
These outstanding carp fishing rods also come in a full cork handle version, for a more natural feel and great looks.
Free Spirit also do a ‘creeper’ version of their CTX- shorter rods ideal for stalking or accessing very cramped and overgrown swims.
In addition to the new CTX rods, we are also stocking the established E Class gold range.
All Free Spirit fishing rods have a multi buy discount deal offer.
Buy 1 rod = Standard retail price.
Buy 2 rods = 5% discount.
Buy 3 rods = 10% discount.
Fishtec also offer interest free finance packages for high value purchases, to help make your dream of using premium performance fishing tackle become reality.
We now have the awesome new Barbel Tamer series of rods in stock, and we hope to make many more additions to our Free Spirit tackle range in the near future. The other Free Spirit products we currently stock can be viewed here.
If you need any further product details, or advise on which Free Spirit product is the best one for your personal requirements, please contact our resident carp and specimen sales adviser Simon Howells.
Email: email@example.com or call 0871 911 7002 Ext. 3026.
We’ve all got fishing gear we no longer use but don’t have the heart to throw away.
Even if you’ve repaired your waders to within an inch of their life, it’s still a crime to chuck them straight in the bin.
So what can you do with holey waders when the icy rivers start to leak in? Read on to discover some of the best uses you can make of your old fishing togs, with some quirky examples we found from our favourite online bloggers.
When waders get past their best, you can still salvage the material and turn them into something new. No good for wearing any more? Why not do what Life, Flies and Trout did and create some stylish apparel? He writes:
“I bought these waders last year and fished hard in them. The seam where the sock meets the wader portion went bad, and after numerous attempts to patch them up, I decided to reuse them. I grabbed the scissors and went to work on them on some plastic on the kitchen table. I arranged all the pieces the way that I wanted and moved to the sewing machine with my wife’s permission. For the project, I also used an old wading belt for the strap and other items from other broken or discarded gear.”
Not only did he make something useful, but scored brownie points by getting rid of something from the garage too! Check out his blog to see his other wader creations, including camera bags, a rod tube and a belt pouch!
2. Drinks cosy
Taking your favourite bevvie down to the river with you? What better way to keep it cool than with your very own homemade drinks cosy, or koozie, as it’s known in certain circles!
Use the neoprene feet for this recycling project: it’s easy to cut them up and fold them round a can if you want a low-hassle project. The insulating properties are perfect for keeping drinks as they were intended – ice cold and fresh on a summer’s day.
If it’s blowing a gale and you’re in the market for a hot brew, the new cosy will also do a grand job of keeping your drink toasty.
“It not only wrapped the top of the stand, but also gave me a shoulder strap for carrying it. Now my dog has a good grip to climb onto the stand, and the neoprene will keep him warmer than the wooden stand itself.”
Just goes to show how far a bit of imagination will get you, huh?
4. Recycle them for charity
If you don’t have the time or the inclination to get crafty yourself, there’s still no need for your waders to go to landfill – there are plenty of outlets for getting that altruistic feeling.
Why not contact your local scout group and see if they could put your old equipment to good use? It’s a win-win situation that also sees you clearing your eco-conscience. Plus, some eager young anglers can get crafty with some tough materials.
Views from your bivvy – Fishtec’s Simon Howells at Lakemore Fisheries.
We recently ran a Facebook competition on our Coarse fishing page where we asked for pictures taken from inside your Carp fishing bivvy, with the best one winning a TF Gear Airlite baitunner reel. We had such an enthusiast and varied response we just had to share some of these images on the Fishtec blog! Here are our top 10 favourite images- each featured bivvy photographer will get a TF Gear Cuban style baseball cap, with the winner of the TF Gear Airlite reel announced at the end. Good luck!
1. Simon Naylor – With what looks like a giant killer swan emerging from the lake – Swanzilla?
Swanzilla attacking Simon Naylor’s bivvy.
2. Al Maclaren – It looks like he has all the creature comforts you will ever need inside a bivvy; including a TV and electric kettle! The bivvy is an almost house sized Avid Carp Euro HQ, which he calls the ”armordildo” for some reason!
Inside and out of a monster Avid euro HQ bivvy.
3. Harry Robinson – A crack of dawn close up of kit on the pod. You can tell this man is well into his carping gear – this is a lovely neat and ordered selection of fishing tackle, and those Delkim TX-I alarms are a great bit of kit!
Close up Carp tackle shot. Harry Robinson.
4. Nick Stroud – Morning mid-summer sun burning off the mist. A great shot, which really makes you want to get out there and fish!
Early morning sunshine over the Lake. Nick Stroud.
5. Christopher Millward – Two mates in a bivvy. This is what it’s all about fella’s! Good times on the bank with a pal. Who cares if you blank?
Two pals carp fishing. Chris Millward.
6. Anthony Locke – Looks like he is set up to fish a narrow urban water with his excellent TF Gear compact carp rods – 10 foot long so great for getting into tight spots.
TF Gear compact rods – set up on a pod. Antony Locke.
7. John Fletcher – Best bite of the day. We would have to agree John- those sausages look awesome, just the start to the day us fishermen need.
Bite of the day – John Fletcher.
8. Michael Liddell – Man’s best friend. A fishing dog – a great fishing buddy and invaluable company for those days when not much happens.
A Fishing dog – man’s best friend. Michael Liddell.
9. Stephen Dean – An evening shot that almost looks like he is fishing on another world with two suns- perhaps a binary solar system like Star War’s Tatooine?
Sundown with two suns in the sky. Stephen Dean.
10. Lee Freeman – This is great shot on a tranquil lakeside setting, hope the swans didn’t start playing with your bait!
Sunset and swan – Lee Freeman.
And finally the winner of the TF Gear Airlite reel – Brent Parkinson has come up trumps, with this classic carp fishing image of a beautiful rainbow over the lake. Lets hope as well as a pot of gold there was a nice golden bellied carp at the end for him.
The winner – Rainbow over the lake – Brent Parkinson.
If you are thinking of dusting down the fly fishing tackle and heading down to the river this summer to try for sea trout at night, then take a read of these top tips by Welsh angling guide and sea trout supremo Steffan Jones. All you need is a pair of fishing chest waders and your standard trout reservoir fly fishing rod and you are ready to go! It is often the simple things that you help catch fish, and these invaluable tips will help give you a great head start when in pursuit of these silver river warriors.
A monster sea trout caught at night.
1.Don’t move into the slow, glassy water until it is properly dark; – unless the river is carrying some colour or extra height. Sea trout are not that wary at night, but can be incredibly so in the daytime or when significant light remains at dusk – more akin to a brown trout than anything else. They will start to move from pool to pool at dusk and will also move into the faster water at the head of the pools etc. so target this type of water before darkness descends, rather than the slower holding water where the fish may be easily spooked. Only venture into such water when it is completely dark and do not get tempted because you are seeing fish jump in these areas – they will still be there in half an hour. If, however, the river is carrying some colour then the fish will be less easily spooked and since night fishing is rarely productive in such conditions you can target such fish before darkness falls.
2.Do not fish with a light leader; otherwise a fool and his sea trout will soon be parted! Sea trout are not leader shy at the best of times, with this being especially so at night. Fish with a minimum of 10lb breaking strain, with 12lb or even 15lb being preferable. Fluorocarbon is not always needed; you can stick with the likes of cheap and cheerful but very reliable maxima ultragreen if you wish. If fishing in the daytime or at dusk with smaller flies, then fluorocarbon should be utilised, with my preference being the Airflo G3 or extreme in 8lb.
A double figure welsh river sea trout caught on a Forty plus line from Airflo.
3.Make life easy for yourself; use an Airflo 40+ line, an Airflo sewincaster or one that’s +1 line weight heavier than your rod’s rating. You are rarely going to be fishing longer than the belly of your line, so utilising a slightly heavier line for your rod helps casting at night – especially when you cannot monitor your loops and especially when you are using heavy flies that can hinge on lighter lines. As for the rod; do not fish a fast/tip action; this is a recipe for disaster! Tight loops are the last thing you want at night, as tangles will soon follow. Choose a slightly softer action (middle to tip), which will also help keep a good hook-hold on fresh fish – these have softer mouths where a stiff rod will rip the hook-hold.
4.Keep artificial light to a minimum. The fish are not particularly ‘shy’ of artificial light and will not go scurrying back to sea if they sense such things – even though old literature may have you believe this. Prolonged exposure will make them wary, so it is best to avoid this, of course. However, the main reason to keep it to a minimum is to maintain your night vision, which is soon lost once you have utilised your fishing head torch. A red filter can help with this, but keeping any light to a minimum is the best cure. Also, when changing flies, sorting out the inevitable tangle etc. always turn your back to the water before turning the torch on.
A simple yet effective selection of sea trout flies.
5.Don’t over complicate your fly selection. I would much rather see someone fish for sea trout with every fly being black and silver but then in various length, weights and profiles (silhouettes) than a myriad of different colours in the same length and style. I often hear people saying that they like slim flies for sea trout. Yes, you need slim flies, but you also need fat flies! Try flies with palmered bodies, thick head hackles etc. along with the slim flies. Both are needed in your armoury to present different silhouettes to the fish. As a simple rule fish with flies up to one inch long before dark then an inch and above after dark. That should hold you in good stead!
Steffan has been guiding people on sea trout on the River Teifi in West Wales for twenty seasons now. If you would like to gain more of an understanding about these fish and how to target them then drop him a line to set up a package or guided night. Check out www.anglingworldwide.com or you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
We recently ran a competition on one of our social media pages where carping legend Dave Lane asked for Facebook fans carp fishing tips for the month of May! We had a great response. Dave has looked through them all, and he decided that the best one was from Paul Scott. We thought we would share all of the tips here. If you are a serious carp fisherman these tips are well worth reading, you never know they may help you catch the fish of a lifetime!
Here is Paul’s tip-
Paul Scott. This time of year the fish seem to be on the move quite a bit so although the key is to find fish, maybe take a bit more time in watching the routes they take and spotting traffic lanes they use. If your intending to fish that lake for the rest of the year, it will prove to be invaluable on the rest of your campaign!! Happy hunting.
The Key is to find fish – take time in watching the routes carp take.
Dave also really liked Charlie Halliday’s tip-
Charlies tip– When you want an accurate cast , mark your standing position and use a quick link to your lead’s swivel (for rig attachment) then un-clip your rig and cast to the desired area with just the lead , if you go into an snag or on an island you can get your setup back with ease and just keep casting until you hit the mark , then put your line in the clip and attach your rig ! Accuracy made easy with less fear of losing your rig don’t forget to use marker elastic for the next time and unclip after the cast for safety.
And here are the best of the rest-
Ashley Gray. Make sure your bedchair is level before you attempt to go to sleep. It’s frightening when you slip down the end and then the bed tips up!!
Jonathan Ryder. I like to use solid bags but with a twist. Use a syringe to inject hemp oil and coconut oil into the centre of the bag mix. Has worked well for me!!
Anthony Bates. Coat your free baits in oil (i use tuna) then coat your baits in a good amount of salt its a big edge before they spawn.
Leigh Harmer. Keep mobile, watch the water and zigs are always a option
Dave Guy. Outside my bivvy I have three solar panel garden lights not bright but I can see my rods and nets and there not heavy and charge during the day.
Steff Parr. I found a pretty effective way to fish margins and near rushes if your able to lower your lead instead of casting and have your rig closer to the rushes than your lead and when baiting the area just plop a single boilie at a time and no more than 5 had a bite within minutes each time I do it now I always have one rig out and a popup near the rushes and if there is berry trees around the lake pick a few and use them as hookbait the lake fish know it to be a natural food.
Terry Robert Spurgeon. If using a long zig, loop the line then lick and fold over PVA foam at 2 or 3 places on the loop. Tangle free!
Kev Hudson. When using zigs I find placing a piece of pva foam below the hook , then cutting a few pieces of foam down and placing them a couple of feet apart down the zig line all the way to the lead negates tangling on the cast and makes sure your zig is sat correctly in the water column
John Buckingham. Always put my head torch in my boots at night!!! Or else I forget it.
Paul Jarvis. Check all your kit for wear and tear epically if it your first outing of the year, as mice can chew through anything
Glen Marshall. Don’t be afraid to move swims had one then nothing so moved swim had another two to 16lb…
Colin Smith. When zig or top fishing dip your bait’s in oil of clove’s work’s every time.
Gareth Morris, our resident sea fishing sales adviser at Fishtec tries his hand at fishing a commercial carp venue in Essex for a few days. Take a read to see how he gets on with his first attempt at landing some hard fighting carp.
I visit some family members each year in the South east of England. This occasion I had decided to combine the trip with some carp fishing, having never really done any serious carping or any overnighters before. I had heard my destination, Essex, is basically the birth place of modern carp fishing- where Team Korda began their epic journey, as well as Nash and Mainline Baits. I packed the car up with the carp fishing tackle and began the long drive from Brecon in South Wales, to fish a fantastic well established Essex fishery called Crowsheath.
Rods out on Crowsheath Fishery Essex.
Crowsheath has been established for many years and is actually within the Essex greenbelt making it very peaceful, you can’t even hear a car go past and the only view you have is pleasant greenery and the only sound you will hear is the birds and bank side wildlife. Nick who is the onsite bailiff and owner of Crowsheath is a great character, who constantly strives to improve the fishery. As well as the main carp lake that is situated here there is also the ”cat canal” which boasts some of the biggest catfish in the UK, with some knocking over the scales at 100lb+ and also including the unique ”mandarin” breed. There is also a predator lake on site with pike to the high 20’s, and a new match lake is in the pipeline.
We arrived at the fishery with very high expectations of that dream big double figure carp, our hopes were somewhat dampened by the news from other anglers that had been there all weekend. Nothing was coming out, and even if it was something it wasn’t what they wanted… Myself and my brother in law Sean moved quickly to get settled into our bivvys and pre-baited our swims ready, and got the rods out onto the pods- eagerly awaiting that first run to the alarms. My chosen set up was a TF Gear Compact 10ft 2.5lb matched up with DL Speendrunner 6000 reels, with 12lb TF Gear Nantec Gunsmoke Mono Line. This set up is perfect for the size of carp we were looking to encounter this week.
A TF Gear Lok Down bivvy – home for the next few days.
The baits that I had selected were the Mainline Frozen Cell 15mm boilies– a perfect all round bait used all over the country with great results. I used a Korda DF size 10 Barbless rig, with PVA bags fully loaded with mainline Cell Stick Mix and hempseed. It wasn’t until the next morning we had the first run, but here she is, a nice little common to start off the day.
8lb 6 oz Nice little common carp.
After a nice start the weather was soon on the change from ideal cloudy and mild fishing conditions to heavy rain and extreme winds! The lake soon turned choppy and it felt like I was sea fishing on the South Wales sea coast and not on a lake. Everything just switched off. A few hours later watching the rods and with a break in the weather it seemed the perfect opportunity to try a bit of stalking a few other swims closer to the main island on the lake. With my brother In-law pulling another 8lb carp out from there earlier that morning. As the sun was staring to come out the fish were on the rise, but they were not interested in the bait, even if you dropped it in front of their nose. We tried the new Korda Ready Tied Zig Rigs, but absolutely nothing was happening.
The next day things picked up somewhat, after a night of heavy rain and wind. The Lok down bivvy thankfully kept me bone dry all night, and at 4.30 am the alarm was screaming once again. After tripping over the bivvy door and stumbling over the bait bucket I was quickly into the second carp of the trip. Again not the biggest but a nice welcome after such a horrid night!
Another mint condition common carp – 12lb in weight.
The weather had really picked up and this was out perfect opportunity to rove around the lake before other anglers had arrived later that day. Moving up a few swims with the rods in hand I wasn’t long before the carp were jumping out the reeds. After carefully putting the two rods in just before the reeds it was time to sit back, relax and wait. Less than 30 minutes of the rig being in the spot the rod almost got pulled off the deck. This fish was a proper rod bending, drag running carp! Having picked up the net to safely get the carp it darted into the reeds near the deck and bolted, this is when I knew it was over, he got off the hook. Gutted wasn’t the word that was used. It had a lovely dark colouration to it and it felt a really nice fish.
A very welcome fish.
After relocating back to our swims it was back to the drawing board. I got out out the spod rod and baiting up a large area not far off the reed beds, and placed the rods over it. It wasn’t long before I had a run, It was a double figure carp but only tipping over at 10lb 10oz. Things were going well for Sean too, with several nice double figure carp to 12lb also gracing his net. We didn’t have long left to fish, and the rods where still out and fully loaded, whilst we packed up to make our way home, but I was still hopeful of latching into a bigger carp before time ran out. The bivvy and kit were packed away, with the rods of course being the last thing you bring in. Looking at the reel closely as I was just about pick up the rod, I saw the line twitch… and suddenly the TF Gear Magrunner alarm screamed off with the spool releasing line at a rate of knots! The hard fighting carp was welcomed to the net after a strong fight.. After letting her settle down in the net it was weighing time. Sean announced it was another PB, 15oz 2lb! Not the 20 I was after but it was a very welcome fish after a difficult fishing session with challenging bankside weather.
15lb 2 oz Common Carp.
We were very happy to leave the fishery with ten nice Carp landed between us – no giants but it had been great fun on balanced fishing tackle. Being an experianced sea fisherman this is the very first time I have been proper carp fishing- and what a buzz it was! I had well and truly caught the carp fishing bug, and hope to return to Crowsheath next year. Many thanks to the bailiffs Nick, Darren, Connor and Jason for a very memorable trip, and advice given over the few days.
For more information and catch reports please go www.crowsheathfishery.com and follow them on their face Facebook page. If you are in the area, pop in and have ago. There is a good head of carp at this venue and it’s worth every moment!
Hi tech modern fishing clothing is seemingly indestructible… or is it? There is a lot of misconception about modern fishing clothing and footwear. It does need some maintenance to stay in full working order! Read on to find out why it is necessary to take care of your precious fishing gear, so it performs well in the long term.
All of the waterproof, breathable fishing clothing sold at Fishtec has a durable water-repellent finish applied to the outer surface- also known as DWR. This makes the water bead up and roll off, rather than soaking into the fabric. You will find this on fly fishing waders, fishing jackets and bib and braces, and waterproof fishing boots.
Waterproof breathable fishing boots – in need of a quick clean and re-spray.
If the water is allowed to soak into the fabric it will impair the breathability. A build up of dirt and fish slime will do this over time. If the breathability is impaired, moisture will build up inside the garment, so the fisherman will get wet and uncomfortable from this condensation. When the DWR process fully stops working over time the outer fabric will actually start to soak up the water, this is known as ‘wetting out’.
It is therefore essential to look after your breathable fishing gear, and maintain the Durable Water Repellent finish, to keep it at peak performance. We always recommend the use of a spray on treatment such as Grangers fabsil , applied after the garment has been washed and cleaned of dirt. In the case of footwear the same thing applies – maintain the DWR finish, and the water will not start to soak in and seep into the material and seams making your feet clammy and damp. Brush and clean your boots down and spray them with a treatment every month or so.