For every angler who loves having the latest kit, another will be busy shaking their head at it. Fishing tackle innovations are seldom embraced equally by everyone in the angling community. Dominic Garnett takes us on a quick tour of the fishing gear that divides opinion – the “Marmite” of the fishing tackle world.
The Bite Alarm
Many years after their widespread adoption by anglers, these little boxes of joy (or disturbance) continue to provoke debate.
It was none other than the great Richard Walker who invented the electronic bite alarm. The idea wasn’t to promote “lazy” fishing though, but to detect runs at night.
Have we become hooked on them? Many specimen hunters wouldn’t be without theirs and sadly, not everyone seems to know where the volume control is.
Old-school romantics love them and in the hands of a master, a centrepin reel can be poetry in motion. But for the less skilled, not so silky smooth; we’re talking long trotting or a tangle every five minutes!
Struggling to get a bite? Worse, have you no idea where the fish even are? A fish finder could be the answer. On large waters, a lot of us use them to help us identify features we can’t otherwise see.
But more and more anglers are also using fish finders on rivers and lakes where they’re much quicker than traditional methods for plumbing the depth. But is using a fish finder to locate your prey a clever tactic or does it show a lack of watercraft? After all, just because you know where the fish are, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to persuade them to bite.
The Bait Boat
Faced with long distances and awkward casts, some clever so-and-so wondered if he might use a radio-controlled boat to place his bait and rigs to the exact inch. A few years later we have high-tech devices and a debate that just won’t lie down. Are bait boats genius or cheating?
Who saw the whole dropshot trend coming? In the past three years or so it’s become all the rage. But are you a convert or just plain confused? The technique does take some getting used to, that’s for sure. It takes a lot more patience than standard lure fishing, nor is acute concentration and vertical jigging for small perch everyone’s cup of tea.
Underwater Fishing Cameras
What exactly goes on under the water while you fish? Not content with centuries of crackpot theories, some clever clogs decided to cast out a little film camera to take away the guesswork.
Unlike many of angling’s more high-tech trends, the British did it first with the FishSpy camera, a product purely designed for carp anglers. But is this understanding the water better, or killing any remaining mystery?
Split Cane Rods
“Simply wonderful,” the traditional angler sighs. “Look at that old-world craftsmanship; lovely to play a fish on too.” But split cane rods are also pretty heavy and slow-actioned.
Where you stand on vintage tackle is a very personal thing and while split cane certainly has its romance, would you really favour it over carbon? Is it a joy to use, or more akin to replacing your new car with a horse and cart?
What’s your take on “Marmite” tackle? Tell us what fishing equipment you love or loath via Twitter and use #MarmiteTackle
For more talking points on a weekly basis, check out Dominic Garnett’s column “The Far Bank” in the Angling Times, or discover his books and regular blog at www.dgfishing.co.uk