Fishtec Open Day 23rd March 2013

Fishtec warehouse clearance sale

We are delighted to announce that we will be holding the Fishtec annual warehouse clearance sale at our Brecon Factory outlet this coming weekend – Saturday 23rd March 2013 – 9am to 5pm.

Throughout the day there will be a huge selection of discounted fishing tackle at rock bottom prices – the ideal opportunity to grab yourself a bargain.

What do you need to look out for? Here at the Fishtec Open Day we’ll have Ex-Demo stock. clearance items with big discounts and also a line of new products from across three disciplines including fly lines, clothing and rods, all with sale prices!

Take this opportunity to ‘try before you buy’ on all fly fishing rods that we have in stock, see how fast you can erect a bivvy or test our bed-chairs. You can also embark in conversation with out resident fly, sea and coarse fishing experts and talk to our knowledgeable customer service team with any queries you may have. Fly tying demonstrations from a well known Welsh Angler, Jonathan Williams along with expert fishing tackle and tactic advice on coarse, sea and fly fishing.

If you need any more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch! Call: 08719117001 or Website: Free parking and food available onsite. 

For directions, please take a look here.

Save hundreds of pounds on sale items from Fox, Greys, Hardy, Nash, Delkim, Simms, Airflo, TF Gear, Sage, Shimano and many more!

Fishtec Stock


Fly of the Week – UV Crystal Hackle Damsel

Fly Of The Week - UV Crystal Hackle Damsel

The Damsel is one of the most prolific insects which inhabit our lakes here in the UK. This is reflected in what anglers prefer to fish on small waters and reservoirs with most anglers ‘go to’ fly being a damsel of some sort. Variants consist of chain eyes, gold heads or leaded bodies with marabou tails either woven or stacked, both of these additions add the most possible movement. Kieron Jenkins shows how to tie one of the more modern variants using UV Crystal hackle fritz for the body.

Simply start off by attaching a bead of choice to your favourite hook. Here I have chosen the Fulling Mill Grip Gape Hook size 10, with a 3.8 silver brass bead. Attach your UTC Thread to the hook, building up a section of thread behind the bead to stop any slippage then run the thread down the hook creating a solid platform to latch your marabou tail onto.

Take an inch or so of olive marabou from a turkey feather and trim away the end waste. This makes tying the marabou in easier and it also adds less bulk to the body. Run the thread over the marabou to the bead to form a smooth, flat body then take the thread back down to the bend of the hook. Offer up a strand of crinkle flash to each side of the tail for added sparkle and tie in.

For the body I have used FlyBox UV Crystal Hackle in olive colour. The UV adds some extra sparkle in low light conditions, primarily what we get this time of year in the UK! Take the front end of the fritz, the tip where the fibres fall back down the hank. This ensures that each time you wind the fritz each turn falls perfectly into place and sits right. Latch the fritz to the hook and wind – in touching turns – back towards the bead, pulling the fibres back after each turn. Simply tie in, build a little hot spot with the bright coloured thread and tie off.

This pattern can also be tied in many different colour combinations, all black, black and green, white and green, all white… A great versatile pattern for grown on or stocked fish.

UV Crystal Hackle Damsel Tying Materials
Hook: Fulling Mill Heavyweight Champ Barbless Size 10
Thread: Orange UTC 140
Bead: Silver 3.3mm
Tail: Olive Marabou
Flash: Crinkle Flash
Body: Olive UV Crystal Hackle

Written by Kieron Jenkins

Why Fly Fishing late season pays off

I have never understood why many put there rods away come October or November. I took a trip to Grafham late November and caught the record 8 fish bag weight for 2012, 33lb 14oz.

The fly fishing was outstanding at the best fish was a 6lb 4oz Rainbow which I caught on my third cast on a new 2013 buzzer pattern. I was fishing a floating line with a buzzer, 2 cut throat crunchers or a sz 8 Killer Shrimp with a Candy Split Blob on the point. This is the same set up I used to win the Grafham Trophy for Team England September last year.

The fishing gear I used was my trusted i#8 Enigma fly rod, coupled with a #8 line and 8lb G3 fluorocarbon. It is imperative that you use fluorocarbon this time of year as the water is often crystal clear.

Fish like it slow this time of year and that day was no exception. They literally wanted it static! I was guiding for the day and my pal Paul Norris soon clocked on to this fact. We would cast it out and simply leave it alone for 20 seconds or so. We would then do 2 or 3 quick ‘flicks’ of the line like a fig of 8 and count to 20 or so again. It was a calm day and we were fishing relatively short lines as often fishing in 3-6 foot of water close to the sailing club shoreline between the yachts and The Seat. More often than not we would see our fly lines start to move before we saw anything at out finger tips. This is key if you want to catch more fish!

Although I stuck with the Blob and Nymph method, my partner tried a Minkie and caught a cracking Rainbow of 4lb 9oz, a personal best and first fish from Grafham after several visits with no joy. He landed 5 for 16lb and had plenty of other action on what has to be the 2nd best days fishing on Grafham I can remember. The best being 2 years back on Buzzers on the West Bank when it was almost a 3lb+ fish every other cast and there’s no better way to catch them than nymphing on a floater.

Dust down them resting fly rods and go fishing. Winter fishing is often superb, if like me, monitor the weather and choose good conditions. Next trip Farmoor 1 Reservoir where the sz 10 size limit of fly has been lifted and the Booby ban has also gone. See how I get on here first!


Iain Barr - Grapham Water

Fly of the Week – Yellow Dancer

Fly of the Week
The lure to have in your fly box this winter! Take a look here how to tie the yellow dancer, a fly with Scottish roots that can be accounted for some of the best and biggest fish catches all around the country.  This lure puts movement and life into the fly without being too over the top. Try tying it in as many different colour combinations as you can think of, they all work!

Attach a 3mm rainbow bead to a size 8 Kamasan b175, this fly works in a range of sizes so don’t be shy to experiment. Build a layer of White UTC Thread behind the bead to secure it in place. Run a layer of thread down the hook shanks and stop just opposite the barb.

Tare a piece of marabou from the stalk, around an inch and a half should give plenty of movement. What I like to do is cut the waste material off, pull the short herls forward and then pull them from each stalk (shown in the video at 0:40 seconds). This helps when tying the marabou in, it allows a thinner base layer underneath your body material. Tie the waste end of the marabou onto the hook shank and run the thread towards the top of the hook, completely covering the waste.

Attach a length of Uni soft Wire and pearl mylar tinsel to the top of the hook then run a layer of thread back down to the tail and back up, in touching turns. Creating a perfect base layer to run the body.

Wind the pearl tinsel to the top of the hook in touching turns, cover the body with a few layer, just to give the pearl a more pronounced colouration. It also helps by giving the body more robustness. Tie the pearl off after two or three layers.

Attach a yellow hackle just behind the bead, make sure its long enough be wound four or five times along the hook shank! Cut away the excess stalk and tie down. Attach a hackle pliers at the tips and wind down the hook in even spacings. Gently hold at the back of the hook and tie in with the wire. Whilst winding the rib try and wobble the wire back and fore this helps to keep the hackles standing proud and not got trapped down.

Simple tie off the wire, break it free and whip finish.

The Yellow Dancer- Tying Materials 

Hook: Kamasan 175 Size 8
Bead: 3mm Rianbow bead
Thread: UTC White 70 Denier
Tail: White Marabou
Rib: Silver Oval Wire
Body: Pearl Mylar Tinsel
Hackle: Yellow Cock

Written by Kieron Jenkins

Filming Airflo’s Fly Fishing Product Videos

Recent visits Tim and Todd have been with us here at the Airflo factory in Brecon. We’ve been filming the ‘Airflo Story’ which is a run-down of who we are and what the company is about, whilst Gareth delves into detail about the technologies and passion which goes into designing and making all of our fly lines.

I was fortunate enough to be invited along to Blagdon Water and also to the River Avon. These two idyllic locations are the said to be the birthplace of modern fly fishing in the UK. Blagdon was the first stocked rainbow trout fishery in the UK and the Avon was amongst one of the first chalkstreams to see a dry fly. We thought what better places are there to film our fly fishing tackle videos than the places which have had such an influence on what fishing tackle we make?

The river Avon flows seamlessly through 96km of land before it hits the English channel, rising from the county of Wiltshire and flowing through Salisbury, Hampshire. Our beat for the day had been organised through Bill and William at Famous Fishing, a pristine three mile stretch of well groomed countryside.

Hampshire Avon

As we turned up at the water the fish were already on the move. Trout and grayling lying harmlessly along side one another happily feeding on small crustations and insects from the bottom. The trout however were easily spooked, whilst the grayling were resilient to us being there, within a minute they were back on the feed. After setting up our fishing tackle and Todd his camera kit, we headed off to the pump house pool to get the first of the interviews under-way whilst the sun was low.

Airflo's Gareth Jones

Once the Interviews were complete we headed to the river armed with only one rod and a box of dry flies. Todd was always a few steps behind with the camera as we worked the runs searching for rising fish. Some pools we came across a lot of fish taking from the surface, others, they were stagnant on the bottom. Being so late in the season we didn’t really see any significant fly hatch, but there were the odd few small olives and we’d captured one mayfly on its journey downstream.

Gareth and Tim filmed some great product videos, showing the technical side of our range of trout fly lines, when to use them and why each line is vital to any fly fisherman’s armoury.

As the day wore on we get some good fish for the camera, the latter part of the day produced trout ranging between 1 and 3lbs and also a few Grayling up to 2lb. As the olives started to die off and the light faded it was time to pack up the camera kit and head to Heathrow ready for the departure of the Americans.

Keep an eye out in the next few months for the ‘Airflo Story’

Written by Kieron Jenkins

New Simms Fishing Clothing

Finding the right fishing jacket, fleece or softshell could be a long and tedious process. Trying on a jacket and walking around a fishing store isn’t the ideal environment to test a product. It could fit perfectly but as soon as you start waving a fishing rod around the garment could soon become uncomfortable. The designers at Simms have tried to make everything a little easier for the fly angler who wants everything at the click of a button.

Introducing the new Simms’ new fall line-up of technical fishing clothing. These garments offer serious protection from the worst the winter can throw at you.


The range of simms fall gear here at fishtec

Featuring the Bulkley Jacket, Simms have designed this jacket for the enthusiastic boat or bank angler who doesn’t need a jacket which they can deep wade in. By extending it’s length the bulkley will cover the back of all waterproof trousers eliminating damp patches and draught. Boasting a 2 layer GORE-TEX® outer shell with the innovative all-weather insulation of PrimaLoft® One technology.

Simms developed the Fall run jacket for the angler who like to travel light. This amazing piece of kit is lightweight and packable and will defiantly keep you warm on those cool winter mornings as you’re waiting on the bank for the mist to clear. Primaloft® One material traps and holds heat in its pours making it one of the best mid/top layers on the market.

The Simms Guide Windstopper jacket has been designed for the most extreme angler wanting the most out of their fishing clothing. This jacket is said to be the jacket for fall 2012 and Spring of 2013, featuring a Windproof, breathable and showerproof outer construction finished with DWR, this jacket is immune to the elements.


Interested in joining the Fishtec team?

If you live within 30 miles of our Brecon headquarters and are interested in working as part of our busy mail order team, please email a CV for consideration to

Applicants will need to have prior call centre/customer service work experience, be computer literate, and have at least a basic knowledge of angling and fishing tackle options.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Dave Lanes first trip to the Nene valley

It was with great excitement that I set off for my first trip to my new water in the Nene valley. I had hardly been able to sleep the night before, knowing the truck was loaded and ready for departure and only parked just below the bedroom window.

I think I lasted until about 4am before I finally gave up, got dressed and left the house, clutching a thermal mug full of hot tea. The dog seemed a bit surprised at being dragged out of bed at such an unearthly hour but that’s just something he will have to get used to now that summer is on it’s way. I always like to arrive at any lake as close to first light as possible as you can learn so much more in that first hour or so about where the fish are holed up than you will throughout the rest of the day.

I was amazed, as I drew closer, just how cold and frosty everywhere was, it was nothing like that when I had left home but, quite often, you get little temperate zones or as in this case sub zero ones.

It didn’t look brilliant for the first trip as there was a freezing fog and the lake was still as a mill pond but I set off for a walk around anyway. After about forty five minutes I came to the far end and the first thing I saw was a carp, in the air!

I hung around long enough to confirm my sighting with yet another in the same area and then I was off for the carp fishing tackle, as fast as I could.

Not knowing much about the lake it was a bit of a chuck it and chance it really but the worst thing you can do is start dragging a marker float around when you are on fish. As it turned out, even the sound of the leads seemed to put them off a bit and the showing stopped altogether but I was still very confident; even two days later and with nothing to show for my efforts I had seen enough to know that this was the area I wanted to be in. The water temperatures were still very low and carp do not seem to travel far until the spring arrives in earnest so the next week saw me straight back in the same spot. I saw one fish as soon as I set foot in the swim, which was encouraging and single yellow pop-up’s were soon winging their way out to join him.

This time the plan came together a lot more successfully and I reckon the rods had only been cast out about half an hour when I had my first screaming take.

That first fish on any new water is always the most important of the lot, no matter what you might catch over the coming months it’s always the first one that’s the hardest, after that they are all just carp once more and not mythical and elusive creatures.

I knew it wasn’t a monster straight from the off, but it was still nerve racking all the same, and I had that wonderful feeling of too much adrenalin pumping through my body, shaky hands and trembling knees, a sure sign that I was fishing the right lake and trying to catch the sort of carp that still excite me even after all these years. There’s something magical about a big gravel pit and a comparatively unknown stock, it all seems so much more real than knowing everything that swims in front of you before you have even started.

As he rolled up in the gin clear margins I could see he was a mirror, a long lean scaly one at that and a proper little character fish. At a little over eighteen pounds he wouldn’t be setting the world alight but I had opened my account, started the ball rolling, and proved to myself that I could catch them. The tactics had been the simplest and most effective I knew, find the fish and then stick a little yellow pop-up in front of their nose, easy but rewarding.

I was actually expecting to bag another one or two that session but the carp had other ideas about that, still, I returned home a happy man and spent the next five days plotting the weather, staring at the lake on Google Earth and generally laying plans, I couldn’t wait to get back for another go.

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary 2012


The annual Brighton Pollack Challenge saw me aboard Paul Dyer’s charter boat, Brighton Diver as part of the Sky TV crew at Brighton Marina in Sussex. I had a very enjoyable day with a best pollack of nearly 12lb although I didn’t get amongst the trophies. The fish caught were generally big and a 17lb 3oz specimen for, Dave Dudson aboard Brighton’s, Osprey won the day with three others over 16lb proving how good Brighton is for pollack currently. Read all about the competition in the next sea Angler magazine or watch it on Sky’s Tight lines in the coming weeks. It was noticeable at the event that the usually productive red and yellow Sidewinder lure, the Rhubarb and Custard was not quiet as deadly as it has been with silver, glitter, white and yellow amongst the best lure colours.

The plaice continue to show from the beaches throughout the English Channel and the general consensus of opinion is that it’s the reduced quotas for plaice imposed on the commercial fleets that is the reason. It’s certainly a change to see plaice, but I do despair of anglers showing pictures of ten or more dead fish on Facebook. Are we as bad as the commercials – YES I think some of us are!

I have not landed a ray yet, not even tried, although several have been reported in my region of Kent. With the current weather they should show from the shore any minute and it won’t be long before I try a frozen sandeel and Bluey fillet wrap. A good tip is to buy your frozen Blueys now because if you leave it until the rays show the shops will have run out, they did last year here in Kent.


By the time you read this I shall be in the Gambia for a weeks deserved break, I am fishing a match for three days of the holiday but it’s the break from work I am looking forward too most. Lots of anglers think my life is one long fishing trip, but I spend hours working on a PC and getting out of the office is heaven sometimes. For last minute info on the Gambian three-day beach event contact Bernard Westgarth on:

Or check out his web site:

I am also off to fish the Magrini in Sardinia soon. This International competition in the middle of May is real continental light line fishing, last year my 10lb bs snoods proved too heavy in daylight so this year I am down to 5lb after those mini weavers and breams. However, I must admit I look forward to the company and craic at the event more than the fishing which is considerably different from here at home, makes you appreciate dogfish fishing in the Med!!!!!!!!

My next task is to arrange the Penn Final and it’s on the weekend of the 23rd/24th June at Dover. I have qualified for the final myself although as main organiser I shall not fish. One problem regarding the final which is scheduled to fish Dover Breakwater and Samphire Hoe over the two days is that the motorboat which ferries anglers to the breakwater has ceased. In fact its been sold. Dover Sea Angling Association are in the process of solving the problem with another boat, so its fingers crossed. All enquiries about the Penn final to me on:


It’s time to return the summer tackle to your tackle box. A set of feathers for mackerel is standard summer gear, but also add a set of mini feathers with the shrimp and tiny Sabiki designs great for catching sandeel, herrings etc that can be used as bait.

A couple of floats can also help you get out of jail when the sea goes flat and clear and only mackerel and GARFISH are around. Slide a float down your main line after casting fishing metres deep and catch a few gars – great fun as they leap out of the water when hooked and another bait for the freezer or the hook.

At this time of year anglers fish a lot with a single large bait and the Pulley Pennel rig which is without doubt the most efficient terminal rig to use for the larger species, especially when you want a big bait put at long range, however, there is much debate about using two hooks or one for species that are going to be returned. My solution is to stay with a two hook Pennel rig for the larges baits, but to choose smaller barbed hooks. There are a few of the modern hook patterns that are sold with micro barbs and these are perfect for catch and release especially when you are using the large sizes for bigger species. It’s a shame Fox discontinued their Uptide Power Point FA pattern because they are a superb catch and release hook with their micro barb.

Of course an easy answer to this problem is to crush the barb on your hook so that it can be removed more easily.

Several additions to the TF Gear fishing tackle range including two new three-piece beach casters. I am particularly pleased with the quiver tip version, the all rounder. See them both plus a whole range of new tackle in the latest TF Gear 2012 catalogue.

Get a copy from your local tackle shop or contact us at: TF Gear Sea Fishing, Unit 5 & 6, Ffrwdgrech Industrial Estate, Brecon, Powys. LD3 8LA

Tel, 0871 911 7045



Reed Lake is Breaming!

For me the end of the river season marks the beginning of my fishing, it’s a time for me to look at different venues and new targets. At this time of year two species are very heavy on my mind and that’s Tench and Bream, for the fighting qualities spring Tench are a fantastic quarry at this time of year, hungry, eager and ready to test your fishing tackle. Bream on the other hand are not really noted for the fighting ability’s but the willingness to feed and the impressive sight of a big bream is enough to get any coarse anglers hot under the umbrella. This year I have opted for a change of tactics to hopefully increase my chances of reaching my targets and that is to target two species of fish using the same fishing tackle and bait, hopefully this will put some more fish on the bank, the logic behind the idea being that if ones not willing to feed then maybe there other is and if they are both feeding then some PBs and red letter days should be coming my way, well that’s the theory anyway.

Venue and Aims

The lake I’m fishing today is Reed Lake on the Mid-Kent Fisheries ticket, plenty of Tench and Bream to be caught and with it’s deep margins should provide some great sport for both species. Tench are noted for being great margin feeders but bream are not, I hope that the deep margins 5-6ft straight down will give the bream some more confidence to feed close in. The aim today is to catch my first Bream and Tench of the season, now you can never guaranty that you’re going to catch a monster so I’ve decided to set realistic targets that can be achieved. For the Tench its 3Ib and for the Bream its 5Ib, this may not sound big but being my first time fishing this lake its best to keep the targets low until you get to know the venue, if you do catch a monster it make the victory even more sweeter.

The Weather

Again it seem as though the weather man has got it wrong “warm and sunny”… far from it. The average air temperature was around 8-10 degrees C and the water temp around 9 degrees C, wind direction was southwesterly and blowing around 15-17mph, pressure was still high at 1020mb going down to 1016mb by the evening. Really it was quite chilly with cloud cover all day.

Fishing Tackle, Rigs and Bait

I’m using my 10ft nan-Tec float fishing rod, what can I say apart from amazing and it’s the only rod I’ll use for float work in the margins. Seeing as Im targeting two species I needed to average and balance my tackle out to accommodate both fish so with this in mind I set up an insert waggler on 6Ib main line with a bulk shotting pattern to get the bait hard on the deck before the small Roach and Rudd had their way with it. The hook needed to be a bit of an all-rounder so I picked a size 16 Drennan wide gape hook which I can use for all the different hook baits. Bait wise maggot, caster, red worm and sweetcorn either on their own or cocktailed depending on what is working at the time. Loose feed was a mixes of all the hook baits along with hemp and 8mm Halibut pellet, this I hoped would attract both species into the swim.


Getting down to the lake just before dawn ( no trouble with the public transport this time round )I set up the fishing rod and plumbed the depth to around 5ft but I allowed about an inch over depth. After mixing my bait, I balled up and threw out 10 handfuls of the loose feed and left it to stew for about an hour.  My first three casts produced thee small Rudd, these can be a nuisance when fishing small baits such as maggots so I moved the bulk shot closer to the hook to get the bait through the skimmers on the surface. Eventually the float settled and the bait reached the bottom, after a while I got the first signs of activity in the swim with small pockets of bubbles hitting the surface. It was around 3 hour into the session before I got my first proper bite, the dull shake of a bream as I struck really put a smile on my face as it’s the first of the season.

The action continued with more small Rudd, Roach and Skimmers up until about noon then the swim went dead. I feed some more loose feed and grabbed the opportunity to have some lunch while taking in the surroundings. It was some time before the fish started to feed again so I opted for red worm with a red maggot on the hook to see if it would induce more takes. Sure enough the float slide away and another bream around the 2Ib mark was placed into the keepnet. The action really started to hot up with more 2Ib bream gracing the bank, until the float rose up and the slowly sunk below the surface; classic Tench bite. As I struck the fish sort refuge in the reed close to me but with applied pressure it was back out into open water, spinning around in circles like it was confused it hit the surface and the red eye and olive green body of a Tench meet my gaze. Carefully I slipped the net under and banked it, weighing the fish at 2Ib 15oz meant that I was just one ounce shy of my target but who cares my first Tench of the season is always a special fish to me, regardless of its size.

I was happy enough to pack up then but my targets were still there to be met so with more loose feed and more persistence, small Bream were quing for the bait but as I stuck into a really positive bite I knew straight away that it was a bream but was unsure as to how big, it just hugged the bottom for a while before coming to the surface, and I then knew I had hit my target. On the scales it went 5Ib 7oz and I was very happy to have hit at least one of my criterias for the day. The next cast hit the water and before it had time to settle, the float lifted again and I connected with what felt another 5lber. It slipped into the net and weighted just over 5. Could it get better than this?

With the day at an end it was time to weigh the fish in the keepnet and get a quick snap before heading of home. Now I know that I had a good day but when the scales went around to 25Ib 8oz I left the lake with a beaming smile that I’m still wearing as I write this.

Until then tight lines and best fishes

Scott Cordingley