For those anglers asking, what is St Swithin's day, we here, at Angling Direct will let you know. St Swithin’s Day takes place on the 15th July each year and, according to traditional folklore, whatever the weather is like on St Swithin's Day, it will continue for the next 40 days and 40 nights. So if today is sunny, you have 40 days of fishing in the sunshine, but if today is pouring where you are, then it looks like a miserable 40 days for you. Of course, weather experts say that since records began in 1861, there has never been a record of 40 dry or 40 wet days in a row following St Swithin's Day but it got us anglers thinking here at team AD, what tackle would you pack if stuck in the rain or fishing in the blazing sun?
While St Swithin’s Day might not get us 40 days of rain or 40 days of sun in a row, we thought why not prepare you with some tackle suggestions for the unpredictable British weather, starting with tackle must have’s in a downpour.
An umbrella or fishing brolly must be the first port of call when considering a session with expected rain. Not only do you need to keep yourself dry and warm but your expensive gear and luggage would appreciate it too! This is where the short stay Tempest Brolly from Trakker comes in handy. Larger than the standard high street umbrella, this Tempest Brolly 100 is a quick set up in comparison to a fishing bivvy meaning if the rain starts to fall early into a session, you can quickly get this shelter up. Boasting 100T Waterproofing, a GRP Composite Block and an Anti-Twist Pole System, this is a structurally sound brolly to keep your nightmares of soiled tackle at bay. The DPM camouflage version is only available here at Angling Direct.
When it comes to fishing in the rain, you need fake bait or lures that make noise, use bright colouring and contrast to get that fish’s attention. The heavier the downpour, the more the visibility is decreased for angler and fish as they look through muddy water. With the Berkley Pulse Spintail Lure, you do not only have the promise of the spintail creating vibration for the fish to pay attention to but the range of sizes and eight bright colour patterns available for the lures too.
Nothing can be much worse than you sitting in a soaked T-shirt because you thought you were in for a session of sunshine when the elements turned against you. Prepare for the foul weather, even in the summer when fishing in the UK, with a lightweight but water-resistant jacket that will see you through the random showers. This SJ9 DPM Jacket from Fortis x Snugpak range ensures you are comfortable when the weather is miserable. Offering water-resistance, great insulation and dryness, the SJ9 helps you stay warm and dry for that dash from your rods back to your bivvy. For when the rain eases, you can roll away the hood and if you get too warm you can stuff the jacket away in a sack. To help keep the rain off of valuable the jacket boasts sleek, concealed pockets too.
It is not just yourself to think of when the heavens open but your bait and tackle too. A simple solution is to already invest in seat attachments with hoods or covers such as the NuFish 6040 tray. This tray can be attached to your standard fishing chair or seat box setup and offer your terminal tackle and bait mix the cover it needs from the elements. The rain can easily over dilute a ground bait mix, spoiling a whole lot of feed!
Rain means puddles and that is often a big muddy mess before you know it at the bankside. To help keep your feet not only completely dry but your feet and bottom of your trouser legs clean, you're going to want to invest in a quality pair of fishing welly boots. The Nash ZT field wellies are some of the most practical footwear for bad weather. Made with 5mm neoprene lining and a neoprene inner sole for ultimate insulation, these boots offer complete waterproof protection and unbeatable warmth even when the rain is falling heavily. You can adjust the calf gusset with chunky cord pull and the heavy-duty anti-clog sole means less likely for your foot to get stuck in the suction of wet mud.
Accessing shade for yourself is not only vital to recover from exposure to UV but for your tackle too but when the sun is shining, the temperature and humidity are high, the last thing you want is to return to a shelter with little to no ventilation. This Trakker bivvy sports 360 degree, adaptive ventilation to keep air circulating and reducing condensation, insect panels as well as plenty of shelter space for shade. Its revolutionary patented design makes its ultra-quick and easy to use and assemble and for when the weather turns its Aquatexx fabric means it has you covered in the rain too!
Hot, sunny climate means you need to take extra care of your catch when it is out of its watery home. This means picking an unhooking mat or cradle that offers the best coverage when you pour a bucket of water over your catch as well as an actual cover to give the fish some shade. Thankfully, Advanta can provide this with its Discovery CX Rehab cradle / unhooking mat. It offers the flat, cushioned surface of a mat whilst supplying protective, semi-rigid walls to help retain your fish. There is an underside of mesh to help with draining water off of the fish and double grab handles for when needing to move the mat closer to the water upon release. The retaining flap is an important feature here for the sunny weather. It is vital to keep a fish cool, shades and in the dark for a calm short stay in your care. The XL mat is sized 100cm x 70cm x 26cm but can also be folded down to a compact size for transporting.
Boonie hats are a great way to keep you cool in the hotter seasons by offering shade to your whole head with the rim sheltering you all the way around rather than just a peak like on baseball caps. The Boonie Hat has a classic look that is lightweight, great for wearing on sunny days at the bank as it provides shade and sun protection and offers a customisable fit thanks to its adjustable cord within the crown of the hat. If the weather does happen to turn or you get splashed when battling a fish, the Boonie hat is water-resistant. The contemporary Digital Camo will help you blend into the surroundings thus helping you stay disguised in close range or stalking situations. If that was not enough, Korda has made it a mission to help anglers be suncare aware and with products such as this Boonie hat, all of its profits will go to the Lennox Children's Cancer Trust.
Eyes need protection from UV too and that glare off of the sun can take a toll on an angler, especially when trying to spot fish in the water. A great choice for carp anglers fishing from dusk to dawn, the Fortis Wraps AM/PM sunglasses boast UV 400 protection, courtesy of their polarised amber lenses. Fitted to a lightweight frame, with side lenses for 180 degree polarised, protected clarity, these lenses are scratch-resistant, and help reduce eye strain generally, as well as eliminating glare. The Fortis sunglasses are comfortable enough to wear all day and come supplied in a branded hard case.
Whether it is to store fish bait or to keep your sandwiches from being a warm sloppy mesh at lunchtime, a cool box is a must-have in the sunny climate. The Aqua Black Series Deluxe Cool Bag offers the perfect space for storing food at a cool temperature with its double insulation and zip baffles that reduces heat ingress. Made from Endura fabric and featuring #10 zips throughout, this angling cool bag offers compact storage that the average picnic cool box cannot. With the measurements of 260mm (h) x 260mm (d) x 360mm (w), the Aqua cool bag boasts the optimum size for summer session anglers.
So there is our top 10 tackle must-haves, 5 for rain, 5 for the sun. Let's hope we get plenty of sunny day sessions over the next 40 days!