Plan, Secure, Personalise And Protect: Prevent Tackle Theft

fishing tackle

Part of a treasured collection of tackle

Your fishing tackle is probably among your most prized and valued possessions. The last thing you want is for it to disappear into the hands of thieves. But, our recent big fishing survey told us that nearly a third of you have had tackle stolen.

So how do you prevent tackle theft? We’ve put together ten tips for you that’ll help you keep your gear safe and sound.


1. Do your research

Before you plan a fishing trip, research the area you are going to visit. It should be relatively easy to find out online if there has been a spate of fishing tackle thefts in the area. If this is the case, you can either decide to visit another location, or take additional precautions, like those mentioned below, to protect your equipment.


2. Don’t leave fishing tackle in your car

Although it might seem like a good idea to pack up your gear the night before your trip, leaving tackle in the car is an open invitation to would-be thieves. Don’t give them that temptation. Keep your kit safely stored away until you need it. Just a few months ago, thousands of pounds worth of tackle was stolen from cars in Cornwall.

3. Consider your storage options carefully


How securely locked down is your fishing tackle?

Don’t store your expensive fishing tackle in poorly secured sheds or garages. The Carp Forum talks about several incidents where which thieves broke into garden sheds to steal expensive angling equipment. If you must store your kit outside of the house, use sturdy locks and securely fasten windows. Where possible, keep your tackle in a spare bedroom or cupboard within the house itself. It’s much harder for thieves to access your home than garages or sheds.

4. Don’t advertise your angling abilities

Whimsical, fun or amusing car stickers proclaiming the joys of fishing might seem like a harmless idea. However, these are potential signposts for thieves. Don’t give them any indication of your hobby and what you might have in the car, and your kit is more likely to stay safe.


5. Personalise your kit

Many pieces of fishing equipment are mass produced items that thieves can easily sell on. The simplest solution is to engrave tackle with details like your name, telephone number or email address.

You can also purchase special marking solutions such as newSelectaDNA and Smart Water. Invisible to the naked eye, these solutions show up when held under a UV light. Amanda Caton of the British Security Industry Association says that newSelectaDNA is ‘easy to apply and virtually impossible to remove’. You can register marked tackle, so in the event of any theft, it’s identifiable if recovered. Adding a sticker or sign warning potential thieves of your precautions can also help to deter them.


6. Consider adding deterrents

beware of the dog

Beware of the dog – even if you don’t have a dog!

Deterrents don’t have to be complicated or expensive. Something as simple as a ‘beware of the dog’ sign can be enough to put off the would-be thief (you don’t actually have to own a dog!). Phillip Villareal of the Consumerist says that you can suggest ‘you’ve got a trespasser-munching canine if you strategically place a dish that others can see‘.

Other deterrents can include motion-activated security lights, and alarms – you could even get a barking dog alarm! Again, even if you don’t have these items, you can fool potential burglars with a well placed sign or sticker advertising how seriously you take security.

7. Don’t boast

Tempted to let all your mates know how swanky your tackle is? It’s better to keep quiet about your expensive gear, especially in public. Loudly going into detail about that fine collection is as good as placing an advertisement for potentially light-fingered types.

8. Fish with vigilance

Never assume that your fishing tackle is safe. Keep your kit close by, where you can see it at all times. You should ensure you are watchful of the surrounding area, and report any suspicious activity to the police or fishery managers.

9. Fish in pairs

fishing in pairs

Fishing in company is social and secure!

If you fish alone, you are more vulnerable to theft. By going to your favourite angling spot with a friend, or group, your valuables will be much safer. This is especially important if you take a short break. Take it in turns to keep an attentive eye on all the gear.

10. Don’t fuel the demand for fishing tackle theft

shopping for fishing tackle

Always shop in the right places

When purchasing fishing equipment, always buy from reputable sources. Free sales sites and social media are often used by fishing tackle thieves to cash in on their activities. After the theft of thousands of pounds of fishing equipment in Meldreth, the South Cambridgeshire Police commented of the use of these channels by thieves: ‘If you are buying anything from ebay or similar websites, make sure that it is a trusted source. If the price seems too good to be true, the item could well be stolen’. If we don’t buy from them, they won’t have the same incentive to steal. Anglers need to stand together on this!

And finally…

It’s also important to get your equipment insured. Don’t assume that your car or home insurance will cover fishing tackle. There are specific policies aimed at anglers, so that if the worst does happen, you won’t be out of pocket.

Being hyper aware of the problem is the best defence. Most theft is carried out on an opportunistic basis: don’t give thieves the chance to cash in on your valuable kit!

Fantastic Blogs For Fly Fishing Addicts

colourful flies

Beautifully tied, and ready for the water.

That’s it for trout in 2015. Can you hear your fly tying vice calling? Yes, winter is approaching, and with it the prospect of short crisp days in search of Grayling. But here’s something for those dark evenings when the rain is lashing down and, well, you can’t spend all your time tying flies, can you?

We’ve scoured the Internet for some of the best fly fishing blogs around. Winter reading to keep you motivated – enjoy.

Urban Flyfisher


Image source:
Kinda wished I had brought my tape measure…

Have you ever had an Internet row with someone determined to be outraged, despite not having a clue what they’re talking about? When Alistair, the man behind what is possibly UK’s longest lasting fly-fishing blog, was confronted with the ire of one such ‘Moaning Minnie’, he posted the exchange on his blog.

It makes for entertaining reading, but there’s a serious point too. Alistair and his friends fly fish the Kelvin, but they’re also volunteers who work to maintain and improve the river. The message here is clear – don’t complain unless you’re prepared to roll your sleeves up and chip in.

Urban flyfisher is a great blog, full of anecdotes from the urban river bank. Alistair is a father of three who manages to squeeze his fly fishing into some short, sweet sessions. And yes, there are some big trout to be had from the Kelvin – check out the blog to see the proof.

Yorkshire Fly fishing

yorkshire fly fishing

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A room with a view during Bob’s latest solo trip to Gairloch

‘Fly fishing in God’s Own County – and a rambling blog.’ As you’d expect from a brace of Yorkshiremen, this blog delivers exactly what it says on the tin. During the site and blog’s ten plus years, creators, Bob and Stu, have created a top notch resource for anyone interested in fly fishing in Yorkshire.

You’ll find detailed info on some of the county’s best fisheries and some really excellent accounts of fly fishing adventures, complete with some stunning landscape photography.

Take Bob’s recent excursion north of the border. A dodgy erection (check out Bob’s tent), a nasty fall, dehydration and a plague of midges make for a compelling story of his ‘Return to Gairloch’. But did he catch any trout? We’ll leave you to find out for yourself!

North Country Angler

north country angler

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Hope the grayling have an appetite for ‘fruit salad’!

The novelty of autumn’s ‘glorious stillness’ didn’t last long for Matt Eastham, AKA the North Country Angler. It took him all of about a week to feel “cooped up in the house as the rain beats against the conservatory roof.” If that’s you too, at least, as Matt says, there’s the prospect of Grayling to look forward to once winter arrives.

In the meantime, do take the time to have a read of Matt’s excellent blog. You’ll find in-depth analysis of two innovative new lines from Sunray: the World Championship Nymph which had him grinning from ear to ear, and the Jeremy Lucas Presentation Line, which Matt reports is “a great option when you expect to be facing a variety of different scenarios in one day”.

And if the dark evenings and the lousy weather do get to you, take a look at Matt’s report of some superb dry fly fishing on the Eden. Some great photographs of some fine catches will soon put you right.

Taff Diaries

taff diaries

Image source:
One of the many ‘little buggers’, aka graylings, caught by Terry this autumn.

Terry Bromwell has the Grayling bug, and no wonder after such a successful day on the Taff recently. He picked off his quarry in numbers by: “Working downriver very slowly pitching the nymphs upstream and letting the leader go past.” Check out his excellent post – there are some great snaps to whet your appetite!

If anyone knows the Taff, it’s Terry. His knowledge of the river dates right back to when he was five or six years old and “worming [his] way down the runs catching some superb trout.” That’s a lot of experience for you to tap into.

Take his post about a day’s fly fishing back in May. What do you do when presented with a hatch of Iron Blue Duns of “biblical proportions”? Go bigger, Terry says – in fact the standout fly of the day was the Large Brook Dun emerger – now there’s a thought…

Becks and Brown Trout

brown trout

Image source:
Local beck brown trout with beautiful markings

Here are just two of the many comments left by people who read Brooks and Becks: “Please keep blogging I really enjoy reading all about your fishing trips” and “You talk a lot of sense. Please do keep up the good work.”

We think you’ll agree. Take his post about the EA’s recent work to improve Foston Beck. There’s a really excellent level of detail and some great photos detailing the re-routing of the stream away from a silted up channel, into a new stream bed with a viable gradient. Fascinating stuff.

Though work sometimes gets in the way, there are still plenty of stories about the writer’s fly fishing adventures in North Yorkshire. His recent trip to the Leven was a cracker that saw him net a lovely Grayling. How big? You’ll get no spoilers from us!

The Unfamous Fly

unfamous fly

Image source:
Kenny out fishing with his son on Father’s Day (his son took the picture!)

Here’s a self-effacing blog that deserves to be a lot more famous than its name suggests. Blogger, Kenny Halley has created a gem you’re sure to enjoy. We really loved his blow by blow account of his recent adventure, bugging for Tigers. It was a cracking fish, and what a fight. It went under the bridge, back out, into the weeds, back under the bridge – it’s a miracle Kenny’s line wasn’t broken!

A plain speaking man, Kenny tells it like it is, which is always refreshing. So if you’re thinking of doing a spot of fly fishing in and around central Scotland, this is a great site to check out.

And the man’s a dab hand with a camera too. In fact, if you’re already suffering from a dose of the late autumn blues, we highly recommend his film of summer fun at Pendreich – Fishing Under A Blood Red Sky. Oh, for those summer evenings!

The River Beat

river beat

Image source:
Fly fishing for trout in Twin Falls, Idaho

How would you fancy “three months of stalking large trout in gin clear water, fantasy landscapes and living in a tent.”? We’re guessing you wouldn’t mind, though for some an upgrade to a hotel would complete the fantasy.

But for this intrepid blogger, the dream is reality. We haven’t heard from him since he touched down in New Zealand’s South Island, but our guess is he’s already reeling in some monster trout. Watch this space for the reports…

The River Beat’s writer is nothing if not well travelled. Born in Swaziland, he’s fly fished all over the world. His favourite saying is one of John Gierach’s: “But at the moment I didn’t know where I’d go or when I’d get there: a feeling that makes me happier than almost anything else.” You’ll love this blog.

Urban Trout

urban trout

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An urban legend or is there really wild brown trout in the Bristol Frome?

Feel too conspicuous in tweed and overdressed in high tech fishing clothing? Urban fly fishers will love the news, views and gear on offer at Urban Trout. How about a pair of wading boots that look like Converse Allstars? You’ll fit right into the city environment like a true guerilla fly fisher.

But Urban Trout is about a lot more than cool fly fishing clobber. A portion of sales goes to helping maintain and improve urban waterways and the news feed gives ample voice to all the work volunteers are putting in to make city fly fishing viable.

Just checkout the enormous heap of rubbish and junk pulled from waterways in the Manchester area. What a way to mark World Rivers Day 2015? The blog authors write. Anyone lost a bike?

Salmon fishing Ireland 2015

salmon fishing ireland

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A superb spot on the river Lee to finish off the salmon season

From hero to zero in under a minute – watch Paul Hanley’s video of the moment he caught – and lost a big salmon. It would have made a fine conclusion to the 2015 season but, alas, it was not to be. Everyone loves a blogger with a good sense of humour, which is why we’re sure you’ll enjoy this blog.

But there’s a lot more to Paul’s site than a missed fish. Thinking of investing in some new fly fishing clothing? There’s a whole section dedicated to giving you the low down on the gear Paul has used and abused – top tip – he loves the Airflo back support belt he purchased from Fishtec!

And how about this for a novel way to retrieve a stuck salmon spinner? All you need is a length of bramble, a pen knife or scissors and the ability to get level with, or upstream, of your snagged line. Intrigued? It’s a lesson Paul learned from his Grandfather – the old ways are the best!

The Unemployable Fly fisher

torridon brown trout

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Happiness is a wild Torridon brownie…

“Have fly rod, will travel”, says the Unemployable fly fisher. And he does – from the River Don in Aberdeenshire to Loch Assynt in far flung Sutherland and beyond. An adventurous soul, he’s an analytical and entertaining writer too.

As the winter draws in, the unemployable fly fisher takes a look at the tendency to spend time online, looking at endless videos of the perfect cast, or the perfect choice of fly. But while the plethora of information out there can help you hone your technique, it can also make you doubt yourself.

Too much advice can make you feel inadequate, our blogger writes. His advice? “Learn what you can from others, but don’t let their knowledge and opinions weigh on you or belittle your self confidence! There is no magic fly! No silver bullit!” Wise advice from a talented blogger!

In Pursuit of Spotties

pheasant tail nymph

Image source:
A white bead pheasant tail nymph, favoured by the grayling (the trout prefer pink)

“This is not the end,” blogger, Ben Lupton writes. It turns out he didn’t realise the trout season wasn’t over until the 30th October. Having previously thought it finished a month earlier, the good news could mean only one thing: a late season fly fishing trip to deepest East Anglia with friend, Tom.

Both using 8’4’’ rods, they took turns to fish almost identical flies, an Adams klinkhamer and copper beadhead pheasant tail nymph. We won’t spoil the story by telling you how many trout they caught between them, except to say Tom tends to lose count after five…

Ben’s blog is an excellent winter read, and it’s packed with photos that add to the narrative. This really is fly fishing blogging at its best.

Hillend Dabbler

hillend dabbler

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A postcard-worthy snap of Allan revisiting a remote loch in the Scottish Highlands

It was Prince Philip who introduced blogger Allan to the joys of fly fishing. Well sort of. The self styled, “Dabbler of Hillend” fell in love with the sport while preparing for his Duke of Edinburgh award when he was a boy. Since then, his enthusiasm for hill walking, fly fishing and fly tying has only grown.

Have you ever fancied getting your hands on a float tube? Allan’s recently got one. Find out how he got on when he tried it out at Loch Lilly, near Airdrie. His thoughts: “Perhaps I spent too much time moving around and maybe should have concentrated my efforts in some areas a little longer.” Tempting though, with all that manoeuvrability!

The next day though, Alan was back on his feet, leaving “armchair fishing” for another day while he and a friend hiked to a lochan west of Rannoch Moor. You’ll love his tale of his day’s fishing in the remote Scottish Highlands. Excellent blog.

Single Barbed

single barbed

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Phew, a nice addition to the tennis balls, Frisbee and shopping carts found in this lake!

“The only crime in fishing worse than being caught with live earthworms in your vest by your pals, is telling a fishing story poorly.” Wise words from blogger in search of an active verb to describe his recent fly fishing adventure. Did he hook, fight, play or dally with a 10lb bass? We’ll leave it to you to find out.

This is a US based fly fishing blog with a sense of humour whose writer, one K Barton, takes a quizzical look at his sport of choice. Not one to take himself too seriously, he reckons the only thing dumber than fish are anglers.

Fair enough, but there’s some great content here. For example, did you know in the USA “only four percent of the licensed anglers purchase a fishing license every year (10 out of 10 years)” check out K’s TOP GUN, THE BEST OF THE BEST to find out from where he gets his facts. Interesting stuff.

Small Stream Brown Trout Fishing

Death’s-head Hawk-moth

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This fascinating Death’s-head Hawk-moth image is one of many stunning photos on Richard’s blog
image source:

Some incredible photos of large moths and larvae make this fly fishing blog a must. We’re talking elephants here! But don’t worry, there’s a great deal of excellent angling content too.

What’s the point of catch returns? blog author, Richard asks. Talking about his local club’s half mile beat that yielded a suspiciously bountiful 500 fish, he wonders how many are just the same trout being caught over and over again.

And how about this for a fishing adventure well worth checking out? A 5lb 8oz chub and a 4lb 12oz wild brown trout both in the same session. How did he do it? His top tip – take your time studying the water. Wise words indeed.

Ron’s Fishing

rons fishing

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Fine times on the Nant Moel reservoir

If you’re thinking of starting to tie your own flies, Kieron Jenkins’ fly tying videos are a great start. His fly tying videos are not only mesmerising, they’re a great guide to how to tie such beauties as the holographic cormorant and the yellow dancer.

Kieron’s built up a fine collection of flies, and his galleries of dries, jigs, lures and nymphs is a feast for the eyes. They’re also sure to entice the fish to the hook!
Ron’s Fishing isn’t all about the vice, though. He’s got some solid advice for winter trout anglers. Fish deep when the water’s cold, as often your quarry will be looking for warmer climes deeper in the swim. They want to be away from the chill as much as you do!

Autumn Salmon – Ups and Downs

The game fishing season is pretty much over for the vast majority of us, unless you are lucky enough happen to live in the south West of England. Game fishing expert, instructor and fishing tackle consultant Chris Ogborne explores the ups and downs of autumnal salmon fishing in his latest blog post.

Late season fishing in Cornwall

Late season fishing in Cornwall

As many friends and clients keep reminding me, I’m a very lucky man! Not just because I live in Cornwall, one of the loveliest counties in England, but also because I have top quality fishing available to me in pretty much every month of the year.

Sea fishing is almost year-round, brown trout on rivers and moorland lakes enjoys a long season, and our salmon fishing doesn’t end until a week before Christmas. My home River Camel closes on 15th December so in the next few weeks I’m going to be enjoying some late sport in glorious surroundings and amongst the stunning autumn colours.

Of course there are compromises to be made at this time of year. You need to accept that conditions are not the same as high summer so you need to adjust your thinking and make some sensible provisions. Here are the key tips in enjoying autumnal sport:

Clothing: as always, the key to staying comfortable is layers. I’ll be using my Airtex jacket but varying the under-layers to suit conditions. The trick is to stay warm and dry but also to avoid bulk, which impairs movement   Remember that a comfortable angler is always a more effective angler.

Clothing is the key - the Airtex jacket in action.

Clothing is the key – the Airtex jacket in action.

Be prepared:  I like to travel light when I can, but at this time of year you need to have a flask of something warm with you. My Airflo FlyDri ruck sack is a brilliant companion as it easily swallows lunch, flasks, and gear, as well as the vital extra clothing layers

Hooks:  I’m increasingly using single hooks on spinners and baits as this has many advantages. It makes it easier to release the occasional ( and inevitable) brown trout, but it’s also easier to avoid the leaves and debris that can dog autumn fishing. Single hooks are a lot kinder on the fish than trebles and it turns the catch and release process into a doddle.

A single hook meant this late season salmon went back quickly and easily

A single hook meant this late season salmon went back quickly and easily

Timing: much has been written over the years about Salmon taking times and the consensus is that there is simply no golden rule! Salmon are fickle fish in so many ways and can take a bait at any time of day but for me there’s a clear preference for mid morning in autumn   If there’s fresh water in the river I like to make sure I’m on the water between 10am and midday. It’s proved effective on too many occasions to ignore!

Fly or spin?

Fly or spin?

Fly or Spin? The eternal quandary and there’s no fixed advice. My river Camel is smaller than most and there are only a few places where fly is practical, or even possible For that reason I generally use spin as the default choice, with the bonus that it allows me to fish so much more water. On larger rivers you may have the luxury of more space so enjoy the fly when you can.

Watch the weather - a storm is brewing!

Watch the weather – a storm is brewing!

Watch the weather! For autumn fishing, weather holds the key. Fish languishing out in the estuary mouth will eagerly run in even a little fresh water, but the up- side of an autumn storm is that it will almost certainly bring some fish into the system. The river Camel is often like a cross between a spate and a free stone and the fish run long and fast. We’ve caught sea-liced fish 20 miles from the sea and given the restricted life of these parasites in fresh water this confirms that the salmon can and will run the whole river in very quick time.

Know when to stop! I love my fishing as much as anyone, but usually come mid afternoon I’ve had enough and I reckon the fish have too! Unlike summer fishing when I’ll happily fish into the gloom, at this time of year I’m generally heading home by 4pm for the early bath. Of course there could be an element of catch 22 in this advice, but I rarely hear tales from fellow anglers about success after this time.

Above all, enjoy the sport at this amazing time of year. This autumn is giving us some truly spectacular colours and surely there is no finer place to be when the sun is shining!

Tightlines, Chris Ogborne

How much fishing tackle do you really need?

dog with heavy fishing barrow

Image source: Fishtec Coarse facebook page
The dog’s not going to be pulling this one…

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself: “how much fishing tackle do I really need to take?”

Judging by the barrow-loads of tackle some anglers cart to the riverbank or lakeside, you’d think the answer was, “you can never have enough”. But fishing is supposed to be about relaxation, so why keep burden yourself with excess baggage?

Less gear means less stress. So to help you declutter, here are some great tips from minimalist anglers to help you lighten the load.

Rods and reels

Unless you’re planning to fish a three or four rod water, two fishing rods and two reels are plenty. Remember, the more rods you take, the more gear you’ll need. More gear equals more hassle.

Take blogger The London Angler — when it comes to cutting to the bare essentials, he’s a true believer. As far as he’s concerned, all you need is:

“landing net, weighing scales, unhooking mat, rod rests, chair (I am not sitting on the muddy bank!), ground baits, hookbaits and a tackle box full of rigs, hooks, weights and other items such as boilie drills, stoppers… the list goes on”

His message is clear: Why take more if you can do fine with less?


car full of fishing tackle

Image source: Bath Angling
To the riverside – are you really taking everything?

Excess kit is dead weight. Work out how many leads you can realistically expect to use in a single session. Take what you need in a small tackle box and leave the rest in the boot of the car.

Remember, less tackle doesn’t necessarily place a limit on the number of species you can catch. According to Josh Mann who writes the, Minimalist Approach, you can simply adapt a small range of tackle to a wide range of uses:

“When I know I’ll only be fishing with live bait. The only thing [my tackle box] has in it are size 1 hooks and 1/8 ounce split shot sinkers, which are really all I need in a wide variety of situations”

While he admits it wouldn’t be the ideal tackle box for every situation, his attitude is to take a little less stuff, and make it work.

Tackle box

small fishing tackle box

Image source:Fashionstock/ Shutterstock
Neat, tidy, and light

In fact, why not dispense with a tackle box altogether by making like a fly fisherman and wearing a fishing vest? With its many handy pockets it makes an ideal, wearable, tackle box.

And for those who really like to travel light, simply clip all your essential fishing tackle to a fishing lanyard, and slip it around your neck. It’s the ultimate hands-free fishing experience.


colourful fishing bait

Image source Bukhta Yuril/ Shutterstock
Bait is beautiful – but you don’t need your whole stock

Boilies, glugs, pellets, and pastes — how much bait do you really need? Not much if you’re Ian Gemson. Writing in The Fishing Magic blog, he certainly thinks less is more:

“…maybe a kilo bag of boilies, a few pop ups, and some plastic baits would work well, offering me another huge weight saving of nearly 20kg.”.

Save on kilos and on cost by baiting wisely. Try looking for tell tale signs pointing to an area a previous angler has already baited. And try not to over-bait – more is not necessarily better!


We’d never suggest you skimp on comfort, but do check the weight of your couch. Looking for a new chair? Go for a lightweight option like the Indulgence Nomad Ultra-Lite, which weighs just 4kg. Overnighting? JRC Stealth X-Lite Bedchair is the lightest around.

Food and drink

Remember, you’re going fishing, not crossing Death Valley, so only take the fluids you’ll actually need.

Fancy a brew but don’t fancy carrying the kitchen sink with you? Here’s another top tip from blogger, Ian Gemson:

You don’t always need the extra weight of a stove bag and its contents, you can take hot water in a thermos flask to make hot drinks.”

Lastly, there’s your little rucksack of creature comforts — things every angler takes along on fishing trips, like a few cans of loosening-up juice. But we wouldn’t want you to skimp on that one!

How do fish see colour underwater?

the right coloured lure

Image source: lure and light game
Learn to see like a fish and choose the right lure for the job

Every angler has his favourite lure. Entire fishing trips have been spent debating the merits of type, colour and material. So what are the qualities of a great lure? Can we settle the argument once and for all?

In order to find the perfect lure we first need to understand just what it looks like to a fish.
What looks good to us on land doesn’t necessarily look good underwater. It might explain why something that looks drab to us never fails to land a catch; a puzzle blogger Henry Gilbey has long been pondering:

‘It will never cease to amaze me how such a plain and perhaps even boring looking soft plastic lure can be so lethal, and especially when there are so many lovely looking shiny bits of hard and soft plastic out there that look far more appealing both on the shelf and in the water’.

We might think that brightly coloured or iridescent lures are the most attractive but, in truth, a fish may not even be able to see them.

This is because fish eyes have a different anatomy to our own, even though they contain the same basic types of cell: cones and rods. Cones are used during the day, and can perceive differences in colour, while rods only measure the intensity of light, and are responsible for night vision. Fish have almost spherical lenses (unlike our flattened ones), which let in more light, but limit the distance they can see. Many fish have extra cones, allowing them to see more of the total light spectrum than we can. Trout, for instance, can see bits of ultraviolet and infrared light.

This means they can see more ‘colours’ than we can. The extra cones in their eyes are able to detect frequencies of light we can’t. Light travels as a wave, and different wavelengths (the distances between two peaks in the wave) produce different colours. Visible light (the part of the spectrum we can see) is made of different wavelengths, and how objects absorb or reflect particular wavelengths determines their colour. For instance, a red fishing float appears that way because it absorbs all the visible light which hits it, apart from light in the red part of the spectrum. White reflects all light back, black reflects none.

It is easy to think of light as being immaterial, but that isn’t true. It can be affected by the environments it passes through, and this has a big impact upon whether or not your favourite lure is going to catch you any fish today.

While “be the fish” might be a piece of advice too far, it is true that you need to picture the world from the fish’s point of view. Location, weather, water depth, and even season play a role in deciding how effective your lure will be. Wavelengths of light get absorbed by water at different depths – red and orange are the first to go, with violet being the last. So red might work near the surface, but if you’re going deep you’ll want something violet on the end of your line. have done some extensive research into the effect of water depth on colour reflection and fluorescence (in fresh and sea water), and have found that fluorescent lures can have a marked effect on your results. There are those, of course, who have questioned whether these lures are just a groovy gimmick.

Season and location play a role because they dictate which colours are being reflected into the water. Fish in a pond surrounded by trees with yellowing autumn leaves will be used to seeing yellow and orange in the water. Is it better to choose a lure that mimics those colours in order to fit into the environment, or to go for something out of the ordinary? It depends who you talk to.

coloured lure collection

Image source:River Piker
Match lures to the season, the weather, and your catch

Fish will be able to perceive colours better on bright days, where there is more light getting underwater to reflect off things, than on overcast ones.

So is there a perfect lure? Technically yes, but it depends upon where you are, what the weather is, what time of year it is, and what you are trying to catch. Equip yourself with a varied set of lures to give yourself plenty of options, and you should be able to use the information in this post to better match the lure you use to your fish of choice.

Is fishing with drones cheating?

Technology designed to help you catch fish is advancing rapidly. The humble fisherman can now employ a military-developed drone to greatly improve his chances of landing a catch.

No fishing rod required, just a remote control and an evil streak, (mwahaha)! Using robots and machines to catch fish might seem a little extreme. But isn’t landing a catch by any means necessary the whole point?

Whichever side of the pond you’re fishing from, here are five of the coolest fishing gadgets. We’ll let you decide which can be classed as fishing aids and which are bordering on fish warfare.

1. The rise of the drones

The machines are coming and drones are leading the way. No longer exclusive to the military, drones can now be bought by the consumer. Underground drone racing, drone-assisted home videos and drone-aided game hunting and fishing are all new sports.

A recent Daily Mail article described a new fishing drone that flies out your line and bait to prime fishing spots. There’s also a “fish-finder module” to help you locate your catch.

Fishing with drones is sure to catch on. But is it going against the rules?  One thing’s for sure, it does look fun (although not for the fish).

2. Fish everywhere with fun-sized fishing rods

Fishing gear can be cumbersome and hard to carry around. And often it’s just not convenient — it’s not like you can just pull out your full-sized fishing rod and start fishing if an opportunity suddenly arises. But you can with a pen-sized rod and mini reel. Using this gadget isn’t cheating, but rather maximizing your fishing opportunities.

Image source: Hunter Gather Cook Now that is impressive!

Image source: Hunter Gather Cook Now that is impressive!

Check out how one man got on by visiting the Hunter Gather Cook blog, where he writes:

“For any trip into the wilderness, when you don’t want to be lumbered with lots of fishing gear but still want to have a dabble, this is the perfect tool to snaffle a few breakfast-sized brown trout from a moorland stream.”

3. The all-seeing fishing rod

Fish underwater

Image source: Rocksweeper
Imagine being able to see this!

This has been out for about four years and it’s a tricky one to include in the ‘cheating or not cheating’ debate. It’s a fishing rod (great), but it has an underwater camera attached to the line and an LCD screen fixed to the handle — so basically you can see what’s happening underwater. Thus you can keep casting until you find the best spot. It’s certainly easier than diving in yourself.

Mike Shouts sees it as a great way to get “kids interested in fishing” or “to eliminate the mystery of whether there are or aren’t any fishes in the area before proceeding with a more professional rod.”

4. Wake me when when I’ve got a bite!

Fishing with friends? Taking a snooze? Fishing with more than one rod? You need a bite alarm! Simply rig it up to your rod and it will beep when you’ve got a fish tugging on the line. According to Black Country Carpers, the bite alarm has come quite a long way since the 60s:

“One of the first bite alarms was made from a piece of silver foil hanging from the line on front of the reel. This evolved into a bell operated from movement of the line to give an audible signal that a fish was hooked. The bell is still used today by sea anglers, but not so much in the carp scene!”

Check out the post to see some truly vintage bite alarms! For something a bit more, er, modern, our Mag Runner Ignite Bite Alarm does a nice job; you can watch the video below to learn more.

5. Smartphone sonar

We live in the age of useful apps. No surprise, then, that there are quite a few handy fishing apps out there. One of the most impressive is ReelSonar, an app that works alongside the sonar fish-finding device, iBobber.

The iBobber floats on the surface and sends information — about where the fish are, what the temperature of the water is and what the contours of the waterbed are — straight to your smartphone via the app. Watch the video below to see it in action at a fish take!

So is using technology cheating?

Matthew Eastham of the North Country Angler blog summarises the situation quite nicely: “We fish in a manner which brings us pleasure – surely that is the ultimate aim regardless of how ‘proper’ our chosen method might be.”

Hear, hear!

What do you think? Have your say on Facebook and Twitter!

Introducing Free Spirit Fishing

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.

Fishtec now have the exciting all new Free Spirit CTX carp rod range in stock.

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: or call 0871 911 7002 Ext. 3026.

The pros’ favourite fishing tackle

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.

Coarse Fishing

Carp caught in net

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

Fly Fishing

Man fly fishing in a river

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

“Personally I love the Greys Strata quilted jacket, perfect for the cold weather we’re experiencing.”
Chris Ogborne

G.Loomis fly rods and Airflo lines, they go very well together – you buy cheap, you buy twice.”
Kieron Jenkins

“It must be my Airflo outlander mesh vest – its extremely comfortable and holds all the gear I need for a full day out on the river.”
Ceri Thomas


Popular Fly Fishing Fishing Products


Sea Fishing

Sea fishing gear on boat at sea

Image source: Paul Prescott
And lastly, a quick sea fishing tackle suggestion!

“I would not be without my trusty TF Gear s-mag multiplier reel, it helps give me extra distance and has superb cranking power for hauling in outsize leads all day.”
Gareth Morris

Want more top fishing tackle tips? Check out our post on our readers’ favourite fishing tackle!

Fishing Luggage Explained

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

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.

A 6 rod TF Gear hardcore quiver opened up

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

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

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.


Getting The Most Out Of Your Fishing Waders

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!

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.

Simms wader retired after 8 years

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!