In the market for some new tackle? You’re in luck!
We asked our pros for their absolute must-have, favourite fishing tackle, so you can make sure your next purchase is pro approved!
Without further ado, here are their favourite bits of kit.
Image source: Kletr The pros’ favourite tackle to net one of these.
“TF Gear Centre pin, smooth, fast and the ideal trotting reel for my grayling fishing.” Nathan Walter
“DL Carp rods, produced with the intent of making one of the best, mid range carp rods on the market. I’ve helped make it too, so it has proper use and testing. Great rod.” Dane Lane
“A decent mud anchor – this is essential when I’m targeting specimen pike on the UK’s large reservoirs. Keeping the boat stable in high winds means a better presentation, and ultimately more pike!” Leighton Ryan
Image source: Annette Shaff The pros’ recommendations, from waders to fly lines.
“Simms waders. For comfort and durability they are the best on the market.” Terry Bromwell
“Airflo Super Stik fly rod, the best mid range fly rod there is.” Dean Kibble
“Forty Plus fly line from Fishtec, a market leader and game changer in the fishing industry for sure!” Gareth Jones
We get asked quite regularly about the various types of fishing tackle luggage we sell. There seems to be a lot of confusion about the key differences in the various products. Perhaps the most commonly asked question is what are the differences between a quiver, holdall, a sleeve and a carryall? Take a read to find out more!
Korum 3 rod quivers
A quiver is an open ended item of luggage. Therefore they can accommodate any length of rod – the sections stick out of the top. Most quivers are around 3 to 4 foot long. The way these work are the fishing rods are clipped into place onto the outside of the quiver. The rods are exposed and can be either kept made up or unmade. There is a central pocket inside most quivers, and usually side pockets to accommodate shelters, bank sticks, pods and so on. Quivers are very lightweight so are ideal for carrying long distances – for example when river roving or if its a long walk to your chosen swim. They are also great if you carry made up rods and want to set up quickly. The down side is they offer very little protection for your rod and reels in transit.
An open 6 rod capacity TF Gear hardcore holdall
A holdall is an item of luggage that carries complete made up rods, fully enclosed and zipped up inside padded internal compartments. These often take between 3 – 6 rods, as well as extra tackle items such as banksticks and landing nets. Most holdalls are 6 foot long to accommodate 2 section carp rods, although in some cases they can be shorter, i.e for the TF Gear compact fishing rod range. They provide outstanding protection for your fishing tackle due to their padded and robust nature, and are perfect to leave your tackle in storage long term. The downside is they are heavy and cumbersome to move around.
A single Korum rod sleeve
Sleeves are basically an extremely slimmed down version of a rod holdall – designed to take just one rod with a reel fitted. They make a inexpensive way to purchase protection for rods, and come in handy for short sessions with less fishing tackle than normal. Some manufactures combine quivers with sleeves, to make a modular system such as the TF Gear hardcore quiver and sleeves.
A typical fishing carryall bag
Carryalls are your traditional fishing bags. They tend to be square or oblong in shape, with sizes varying from a quick day session size to accommodating everything for a full week – and the kitchen sink to boot! Many of them combine other features, so you can use them as a bivvy table, or have removable drop in cool bags and reel storage pouches.
I am pretty certain we have all invested in a nice expensive new pair of fishing waders,only to find that after a relatively short period the waders start leaking like a sieve! Which is quite frustrating to say the least when you are up to your chest in icy cold river water. Read on to find out how to avoid such a wader calamity, and also how to extend your chest waders life.
Not the way to look after your waders!
1 . Get the correct size
Make sure you try your waders on in the fishing tackle shop, or call or email them with your exact sizes if doing mail order before purchasing. If waders are too tight they will strain at the seams, especially in the feet and the groin areas and eventually leak prematurely. Too baggy and the stocking feet may rub in the boots and wear out, and you may have inner leg abrasion when fabric rubs against each other when walking.
2. Avoid harmful objects
It sounds obvious but many people think waders are just indestructible! Sitting on rough or thorny ground, ploughing through beds of thistles and brambles. Impaling the fly into your leg, standing on them on stony ground while getting dressed and of course barbed wire! All of these things do no good for your wader. To avoid such damage just think twice and use some forward planning when walking the banks and deciding your entry into the water.
3. Proper care and storage
Always store the waders by hanging them in a ventilated location so the inside of the wader dries out. If the inside of the wader is not completely dried, mildew will form which in the case of breathable waders will damage the breathable wader membrane and cause seam tape to peel and eventually water to seep through. Don’t leave wet waders inside the stuff sack or car boot for extended periods of time. Boot foot waders do no like being hung by the braces, it can ruin the braces and stretch the seams between boot and fabric due to prolonged pressure.
A Simms wader finally retired after 8 years hard use
What can I do if the waders are leaking ?
Well if its too late for them you could always contact a wader repair specialist, like Diver Dave’s wader repairs up in the Scottish highlands. This man really knows how to fix a pair of waders at a very reasonable price. Or you could do a self repair – some wader companies like Simms manufacture their product from Gore-Tex, which means you can repair them with the help of rubbing alcohol. One member of the Fishtec team kept his waders alive for eight years using their method. Check out this video on how its done!
“My rod licence. Without it I cannot go and do what I enjoy.” Simon Colledge
“My little 8ft Middy “puddle chucker” feeder rod. It has never let me down and landed me a very unexpected 21lb catfish on 6lb line!” Steve O’hare
“My shakespeare 2.75tc rod and shimano reel, because I was using them last week when I landed my PB pike, approx 27lb.” Christopher Fuller
“My first ever bedchair from TF Gear. I’ve had it for 8 years and still giving me a good sleep (which I don’t like because I’m going fishing, not camping).” Peter Pepo Drozd
“My Mk IV carp rod By Richard Walker.” Raymond Johnys
“ABU 1044 closed face reel. It the best reel I have used for long trotting on rivers like the Severn. And it has helped me bring many good Barbel and Chub to the net.” Tony Young
“Fox polarised glasses. Most vital piece of kit I have.” Jamie Cousins
“Diawa longbow DF spod rod, coupled with Diawa spod reel. It’s just so easy to use.” Peter Lacey
“My favourite float. That’s why I catch so many fish!” David Wiggings
“Jag hook sharpening kit, gives me alot of confidence.” Peter Collins
“My binoculars as they help with spotting fish at distance. If you turn them upside down you can check your hooks for sharpness.” David Davies
“TFgear pitbull reels! The best looking, nicest to use and hardcore durability!” Si Taylor
“Scout two man bivvy, it’s ideal for winter sessions. It’s got more room inside this than I’ve got in my house!” Mark Smitty Smith
“My 10ft shimano catana spinning rod and my shimano exage xc 4000 spinning reel. Why? Because the wife bought it me for my birthday and it catches pike sofar, and hopfully bass and pollock later in the year.” Chris Nicholson
Catching a prime specimen Pike from a river can look like a daunting prospect at first glance… However they are a relatively easy fish to catch, once you know how ! Read on for my top 10 tips on how to land yourself one of these magnificent wild predators before the coarse fishing river season ends in the next few weeks!
1. Travel light and keep your fishing tackle to a minimum. Be prepared to walk long distances – the biggest specimens won’t be in the car park swim! Waterproof breathable fishing clothing and waders are essential, and also a quiver system or fishing rucksack to carry your fishing gear effectively. Don’t bother taking a chair or a day shelter, just use the bank to sit on!
2. Move swims every 20 minutes – if you don’t have a run within that time then there are either no fish there, or if they are they are simply not feeding in that area. The more water you can cover the greater your chances will be.
3. Tread carefully and quietly when approaching a swim– the pike are very often under your feet in the margins, and can spook easily. Many large pike have been caught just an arms length out from the bank.
4. Use fresh bait from the fishmonger’s counter – e.g herring, sprats or sardines. They smell much better and emit more oil. Another benefit is the low cost. They are soft for casting purposes, but you won’t be casting them out far – Use sea fishing bait elastic to keep your deadbait on the hooks.
5. When roving there is a lot of physical activity, so breathable waders are a real benefit. They stop moisture build up which in turn keeps you warm and dry. Breathable chest waders also help if you need to scramble down into the water to net a fish or retrieve your rig from that inevitable snag up !
6. Experiment with added oils and attractants – one of my favourite ploys is to add a cod liver-oil pill (the clear jelly-type ones sold by health food shops) on to the bend of one of the trebles. It leaves a tasty little slick for the pike to home in on.
7. Don’t be put off by colour in the water, or if the river is in partial flood. These conditions often push fish into slack marginal areas and actually make them easier to find.
A full bank bursting spate with trees drifting past on the other hand is a no go!
8. Set your float over depth by about a foot, and use a very long bank stick to keep your mainline up off the surface. This helps reduce drag from the current, and stops debris from building up on your line and giving false bites.
9. Once your float starts to bob under, or starts moving steadily across the surface set the hooks! Only little jacks tend to fall off from striking too soon…. Big pike are pretty wised up and often drop the bait when they feel resistance. It also makes unhooking a much easier task.
10. Keep your best spots secret! Pike are vulnerable to heavy fishing pressure, so once you land your dream pike and get a picture keep the exact location to yourself and close fishing buddies only, or you might find your future sport declines.
The Glasgow Angling Centre is host to yet another open weekend, just in time to celebrate the new fishing season. This year the brilliant 3 day event is being held over the 5-6-7th March – With some of the biggest names in the sport on hand to offer advice on all aspects of fishing, from fishing tackle to technique.
Open Weekend Opening Times
Friday 6th – Open 8am – 6pm
Saturday 7th – Open 8am – 6pm
Sunday 8th – Open 9am – 5.00pm
Colin Thomas and Kieron Jenkins will be on hand at the Airflo tackle selection at the GAC open weekend, they’ll ensure you’ll get the best service and knowledge of any Airflo product stocked at the Fishing Megastore.
What to expect over the 3 days
Loads of help and advice to help you become a better angler
Meet the biggest names in fishing, including: Stevie Munn, Paul Proctor, Billy Buckley, Mike Thrussell, Hywel Morgan, Paul Young and many more.
Huge discounts on all the biggest brands: Airflo, Hardy, Greys, Daiwa, Savage Gear, Simms, Patagonia and Shakespeare to name just a few.
Fly tying demos, fishing advice, presentations and loads more
Casting Competition with fantastic prizes on offer
Learn and improve your Lure fishing with our exclusive lure tank
Learn all about outboard engines, motors and related services, courtesy of Clyde Outboard Services
On-site Food & Refreshments
Clean customer Toilets
Casting Pool to try before you buy on fly rods and to see demos of new and exciting rods for 2015
You won’t want to miss it!
The Open Weekend has such a unique atmosphere. People from far and wide flock to the 30,000 square foot fishing superstore to rub shoulders with the biggest names in fishing. However it also gives anglers the opportunity to share experiences, meet new faces and to express their passion for the great outdoors and love for the sport.
The early spring sunshine brings lots of false dawns at this time of year with spring seemingly about to arrive daily, especially around the south of the Country. But extremely low temperatures, snow melt water and icy winds lay in wait to dampen enthusiasm for many shore anglers and the only true pointer to springs arrival are the extending daylight hours.
Lots of anglers may believe that temperature plays the biggest part in the arrival of spring and the start of the improvements in fishing it brings, but it’s the daylight hours that count the most. Look on the land to see why – sunshine hours are steady, regularly improving each day, tangible proof to life that spring is coming. The light does raise ground temperature, but it’s the extending length of each day that sets nature on its spring journey! On the shore the sunny side of the groyne sees the sand and mud warm in readiness for the crabs to moult, whilst shallow water calms and clears allowing the water temperature to increase.
It’s a great time of year with the change in the fishing tangible – The pin whiting so long a winter pest, start to thin out with small pouting amongst the arrivals. They are good news for the match anglers and bass food so don’t knock them! In recent years it’s a time for the rays to show along with returning dogfish and whilst the rays may be spasmodic in terms of which species and location they, especially the thornback, have become a major spring species in many southern regions.
This year with the codling fairly prolific throughout the winter, they too will show in spring and this year should be the first proper spring codling run for several years. Too small to spawn they did not leave to the deeper water at the end of the winter and will linger and fatten around many coasts to take advantage of the peeling crabs before then heading to deep water and an all fish diet.
Other spring species include the plaice and they too have enjoyed an upsurge in local populations in some regions – said to be because of a plaice quota reduction on the commercials. Whatever, it’s nice to see these very slow growing flatties making a comeback, although in the early weeks of spring fresh from spawning they really are lean and not worth eating so return if you can.
Chris Clark of Lymington with a big undulate ray – was it late winter or early spring?
Time to get the sea fishing rods out if you haven’t already – I’m particularly looking forward to the extended evenings, which make a late afternoon beach or pier session once again worthwhile. Night fishing is great in the winter, but daylight fishing is so much more enjoyable!
The debate about bass preservation rumbles on with EU proposals to raise the bass minimum size limit much talked about and generally supported by anglers. Whatever the limit set it will never be high enough and the commercial lobby will oppose it and angling has a fight on its hand if the commercials think they can have a legal limit lower than anglers! Catch limits are also essential and I as I have said before would also like to see a bass upper size limit. The Angling Trust is doing its best to fight the sea angler’s corner and all power to them – you can help by joining them as a member, a small price to pay for a voice!
On the tackle front the year brings, amongst a few new developments in the TF Range, a new fixed spool reel. I had to switch to fixed spool reels because of a ruined shoulder caused by years of dogfish and weed hauling and must say lightening down in general has helped make much of my shore fishing prove far more fun when the going gets tough. I have tried braid line, 10lb mono, 4oz leads, lighter rigs, tapered leaders and all in all I must say it’s been an experience. But one major factor was that I got fussier about reel performance and found some of the cheaper fixed spool models less effective than I required. And so we are introducing a new lighter model with a more sophisticated line lay for increased performance both in terms of casting and feel – I hope you enjoy it.
New TF Gear Sea Fishing Reel
Finally, have you noticed that suddenly mono line quality has improved dramatically with the arrival of more lines containing co polymers? A tougher outer shell, higher knock resistance and overall improved strength are now something you can take for granted and I urge anglers who think they are using the best line to look again, because some of the new kids on the block are awesome and they are in the Fishtec catalogue!
Fancy your chances of winning a £2,000 cash prize? Enter the 2015 Airflo World Bank Masters!
The Airflo Bank Masters is now in it’s fourth consecutive year with the prize find growing year on year. With the first prize being £2000 (excluding other prizes), it’s easy to understand why this competition is still such a success!
With over 25 heats across the UK at recognised fisheries and still waters, and the opportunity to enter more than one heat to increase your chances of qualifying, why not enter the Airflo Bank Masters and try your hand at the fantastic cash and fly fishing tackle prizes?
Entry Fee: £29 – Which includes a free goody bag for your first entry only, then any additional entries are charged at £22 with no addition goody bag.
*Your free goody bag includes, an Airflo fly line and a pack of Iain Barr flies! (Worth well over £50 RRP)
TV shows like the BBC’s ‘Crime Watch’ showcase CCTV recordings of criminals in action, hoping for a all important tip-off that could lead to arrest.
Take a look at the following footage – fish-lovin’ thieves stealing the prize catch from innocent anglers. It’s unlikely any of these felons will do time, but the crime scene footage will raise a wry smile or two!
That’s a crime!
These two lucky guys pose with their catch of Mahimahi – how quickly their joy turned to sorrow…
Spearfishing gone bad
Ever been tempted to take up spearfishing? You’ll think twice once you’ve seen this…
No we’re not talking about the Internet – watch what happens when this whale shark encounters a full fishing net…
This sneaky cat waited on the periphery and struck at the perfect moment. It might only be a quickie, but this one is comedy gold.
Place your catch with care
These guys might want to rethink where they put their catches, especially if this sneaky otter is about.
This tech-loving octopus is more interested in this guys video camera and fishing tackle! Watch as the octopus successfully steals the camera and continues filming…
Sometimes watching footage of the seabed can be as exciting as watching paint dry, but when something like the mysterious Greenland shark appears where no-one has ever seen one before, people like Alan Turchik (National Geographic Mechanical Engineer) can get very, very excited indeed!
The camera which was placed 211 meters (700 feet) down on the seafloor and recorded over 3 hours of absolute nothingness, only to be briefly interrupted by a small jellyfish, but after staring at the sand for much of the time a Greenland shark bumped into the camera and lumbered through the frame! For a species which remains an enigma to scientists to the day, any new information such as sightings like this one – is invaluable.
Catching Turchik’s joyful reaction on camera expletive-filled reaction on film was pure luck. The cameraman Michael Pagenkopf wanted to take some shots of the team working on the boat for a film of the expedition, so he trained the lens on Turchik who was reviewing the video footage downloaded from the camera.
Just as Pagenkopf swapped his cameras battery and started filming, the picture on Turchik’s screen started bouncing around – It didn’t take long to hear how he felt about the sharks presence.
A Deep-Sea Enigma
These sharks are a conundrum, says Greg Skomal, a senior marine fisheries scientist at Massachusetts Marine Fisheries who wasn’t involved in the survey. Scientists aren’t sure how long the sharks live—a hundred years is one estimate—how big they get, or even if they’re predators or scavengers.
Based on the sharks’ stomach contents, “they seem to be chowing down on cod, wolffish, squid, and a variety of marine mammals,” says Peter Bushnell, a fisheries biologist at Indiana University South Bend. They may also be taking bites out of beluga whales.
They can be as big as great white sharks, but that’s about as far as the comparison goes, growing to an estimated 7.3 meters (24 feet) long. With a maximum speed of just 1.7 mph and being mostly blind one would think they’re happy to eat rotting carcasses.
However, if the history of fishing is any guide, Greenland sharks are common as muck. The sharks were fished from the early 20th century until the 1960s; mainly for their liver oil, which was used as lamp fuel and industrial lubricant. In some years, over 30,000 were taken. That suggests a very healthy population.
In line with that, a recent expedition used 120 hooks on a longline, (not your normalsea fishing equipment!) and caught 59 sharks. “I think they’re fairly common,” says Aaron Fisk of the University of Windsor in Ontario. “When we want to catch them we don’t have any trouble.”