Fishing Tackle Constructed in the Garden Shed

You know, I could have retired a wealthy man long ago had I acted upon my initiatives as a council estate teenager and bonkers angler. Readers here will be unaware and equally unconcerned that it was I who invented the bivvy – among other standard fishing tackle items which we all take for granted today.

Actually, there were thousands of us around the country, I’m sure, all inventing odds n sods and making innovations at that time of commercial innocence.

How many of us, years ago, sat fishing in a freezing winter side-wind and hit upon the idea of tucking a ground-sheet into the brolly ribs? Many, I bet, and some of us would have recognised the commercial implications but were just too young to do anything about it. I developed the brolli-camp idea for myself by purloining a huge area of green-camouflaged sacking from the back of a carnival float; next trip out, I used it to form a truly cavernous tent with my umbrella as the supportive centre-piece, but that night it rained stair-rods – and it hadn’t occurred to me that the camo might only be powder-paint! Next morning I found myself in what the Beatles called The Sea of Green… green sandwich box, green flask, green bait, green everything! A young Martin Gay turned up that morning and couldn’t stop laughing at what he’d found; decades later he still got enormous pleasure at reminding me of my blunder!

The monkey-climber, of course, started life – literally – as a stick-in-the-mud; the Fox-type wind-beating bobbin system grew out of an aluminium rod and Terry-Clip affair (you clipped it to the rod and the hinged 9” ‘swinger’ weighed down your line) and the run-clip was born as an elastic band and matchstick (It was equally effective!)

I used to make my own: ‘Vic Bellars’ tandem pike-hooks – one small and one large black-japanned eel hook whipped shank to shank; cigar tube pike floats, including leaded self-cockers; high protein bait – Whiskas and PYM, and loads of other stuff I can’t remember right now. So help me, please… what fishing tackle did you concoct in the garden shed?

pocket sized fishing tackle