Hooks you can trust

What's the lowest common denominator that all of us line fishers share in doing what we love? What is the one piece of kit we all have in the arsenal?

Somewhere in the shed or in the rod rack, we’ve probably all got a carbon fibre rod, but it is also likely that there’s a fibreglass rod somewhere. Maybe we all have a threadline reel, but then we might also have an overhead. We might have some wire trace, or swivels, sinkers and lures. However, none of those would be 100 per cent guaranteed to be in the kit of every single fisho in the WAngler readership.

Fin-Nor reputation no waffle

WHO can remember the Polly Waffle (an extinct chocolate bar if you have to ask), or the proper series of Combat, in black and white?

I can't be the only one, surely?

If you're reading this and silently recalling things of the past you might also recall what was, back in our day, a range of top-of-the-line fishing reels that most of us could only ever dream of being able to own – the mighty Fin-Nor range.

In its day, Fin-Nor was a marque of sheer engineering magnificence, the reputation of the brand for performance, cutting edge design and build quality was truly well earned. Fin-Nor was one of those standout USA-built quality products which we could really only dream about being able to afford, or rather, being able to justify the asking price.

The good, the bad and the faulty

I just want to put it out in the open that all the products, opinions, judgements or whatever that you’ll read hereabouts in any of my columns are from the heart.

I am not ‘fed’ any column material by any person or by any corporate body. I am not sponsored – almost all the reels, rods, whatever that are featured are bought, although sometimes I hunt out the tackle trade and seek permission to play with and take some pics of certain gear.

I don’t work in fishing tackle retail or wholesale so I have no vested interest in any product being better received by the buying public or not. Nor will I lose any sleep over any product that doesn’t find favour in the marketplace; if it’s not up to scratch or isn’t good value for money that’s not the fault of customers.

Brilliant barotrauma beaters

What is the aim of going fishing, why do we really go? Is it to kill a fish or to catch a fish?

That question 40 years ago would without a doubt have had a very different answer than today for many. I know because I was doing this fishing thing more than 40 years ago, just as strongly, maybe moreso, than I am today.

And back then it was more about eating a fish than catching it. Today, it’s increasingly about catching that same fish rather than just killing it. Today the future for the fish we catch is much brighter than it was back then. And that’s a very good thing.

Overheads are star performers

Sometimes I hate change, but usually I unashamedly love it. I really love change when it means fishing-related stuff is made better.

And when that change means that my much-loved star drag overhead reels are back with a vengeance as a fishing tool then I am delighted. That it is happening is in no small part due to new drag technology and clever engineering, and it’s the all-important drag technology which is at the heart of my reborn love affair.

Making Spanish tango

If most of us have good healthy fish stocks around our home patch why is it that we spend so much time and money planning fishing trips to somewhere else? Well, for me, other than simply visiting somewhere different, my trips away allow me to spice it up on a few fronts.

The magic of good leaders

Take a moment to think about what makes up any of your fishing outfits – there is usually a rod, reel, mainline and a leader (in these days of braided lines). You might also have a sinker or float and a swivel or clip. There will be a hook (be it attached to a lure or not), add in a few knots, and that’s all there is to it.

Any system is only as strong as the weakest link, the part which is more prone to failure and maybe more susceptible to wear. Think about that complete fishing outfit, aside from knots, which are the biggest variable. What other part of the system stands out as being likely to be at most risk?

Working hard or hardly working

Popular opinion seems to be that fishing is a lazy, gentle pastime that’s more about enjoying some quiet time than exerting any real effort. The notion of fishing being a sport doesn’t really seem to sit well. If you’re not working hard then it’s not a sport is how it seems to be viewed.

Hot on the heels of my last column I went out and did some tackle testing to see just how hard we might actually be working in this lazy pastime, this sport of fishing. Fellow fishos, I can report we are officially being active when we are out there and doing it!