With the rivers closed for the next few weeks, and not much doing on the saltwater scene, as the water temperature is a little too warm for inshore cod, but still a little too cold for anything else that offers much sport, you may be wondering what you can do to keep your fishing muscles flexed, and stop your hookpoints gathering dust.
That point about hooks leads on to the first thing you can do during these quieter weeks; check over your tackle box, and see what needs to be sharpened, cleaned, straightened, or replaced. Angling is one of those sports where there’s always work to be done, and it’s usually not hard to spot what that work is, if you look for it! Perhaps it’s the case that your tackle box itself is a long way past its best, and it’s time to have a look at the range of options available through Angling Direct, either in your local store, or online, and choose something stylish and contemporary, that makes a positive statement about you as an angler, and sets the scene for the kind of fishing results you want to record.
A couple of quality, affordable options for a smart new tackle box that will last you for several seasons to come, and look at home wherever you’re fishing, from the shore to your syndicate lake, are the Advanta Carp Tackle Box, and the Grandeslam XTuff 6-Tray Double Sided Cantilever Tackle Box.
Which should you choose? That depends on how much kit you typically take fishing – are you the kind of angler who likes to have plenty of pockets on a luggage selection you can barrow along wherever you go, or do you prefer to rock up with a rucksack and a box, rods slung across your shoulder, ready to head down overgrown tracks to secluded swims, or scramble out onto the very edge of a rocky shore, gaining that vital couple of feet over the beach-based anglers.
Let’s have a look at both of them, while you get those hooks out, and get sharpening…
Advanta Carp Tackle Box
Available as either a small or large tackle box, and at a price that means you could easily buy one of each, the best feature of the Advanta Carp Tackle Box has to be the dedicated rig storage, which runs the length of both boxes, giving a safe, secure, organised place to keep your pre-made rigs close at hand, and ready to use once you hit the water.
Beyond the rig storage, the Carp Tackle Box comes with multiple internal sections and dividers, giving you a place for everything, and allowing you to effortlessly put everything in its place, meaning that, once you’re on the bank, getting hold of exactly what you want is a matter of a quick glance and grab, saving you time and hassle, and getting your rods out there faster, giving you the best chance of hooking in to a good, chunky fish that hasn’t been fooled recently.
The see-through lid is designed to maximise this at-a-glance functionality, and makes the carp tackle box ideal for match anglers, allowing you to effortlessly keep the speed and flow of your session going, ensuring you get ahead, and stay ahead, even when you’re changing up throughout the match, in order to make the most of every species out there.
A strong, compact tackle box, which can easily be slipped inside a rucksack, carryall, or jacket pocket, the Advanta Carp Tackle Box is designed for anglers who want value for money, effective durability, and equipment that’s designed around the way they fish. If it’s small and simple you’re after, then the Advanta Carp Tackle Box makes a functional addition to your commercial set up.
Going a little bit larger, we come to the Grandeslam XTuff 6-Tray Double Sided Cantilever Tackle Box, a large, deep tackle box which features a set of three cantilevered storage trays on each side, rising like bat wings from a deep main compartment, which gives you plenty of space for your larger tackle items, such as spare spools, and even smaller reels, whilst still keeping all your terminal tackle items organised and close at hand.
The cantilevered design makes it easy to get to all your terminal tackle, and gives you easy visibility of the whole of your tackle kit at a single glance, allowing you to keep fishing without being distracted by having to search for the exact piece of tackle you need to give yourself the best chance of the perfect result.
With a strong, solid, toolbox-style construction, the XTuff is a tackle box for all seasons, and all anglers, from those in pursuit of the perfect predator, to those looking to take on the worst that the waves can throw at you. This is a virtually unbreakable tackle box, making it perfect for the committed angler who’s out anywhere and everywhere, every chance they get.
A good tackle box is the start of a great angler. If you can’t easily find the tackle you need, you’re going to end up missing chances, and losing out on fish that could bring you a successful session from the jaws of a complete blank. Whether you’re looking for a compact box you can slip into a pocket, keeping just your rigs and smallest pieces of terminal tackle close at hand, or you want a beast of a box that you can easily toss in the back of a boat, or drop down on a pebble beach, the key thing to look for is strength and durability; it’s a lot of hassle to pick up rig plastics, small hooks, and slivers of hook material, when your box breaks, sending your tackle flying everywhere.
Meet Your Match
Have you finished sharpening those hooks yet? Decided which tackle box to go for? Still wondering what you can do that actually involves getting a rod wet, rather than just faffing about sorting your kit? Let’s move on to the kind of angling that takes over once the rivers close for the end of the season.
If you’ve not got into match fishing yet, then now is as good a time as any to start. If you don’t know where your nearest day ticket lake is, pop into your local tackle shop, and ask – always assuming you don’t see the details on a poster first! Angling Direct stores typically sell day tickets for local lakes, and our staff are usually able to advise you on the best tackle to take on your nearest water, and the best species that live there.
Every discipline has its immediate barriers, and, for match fishing, it’s typically the cost of the tackle.
However, look beyond the statement pieces of Drennan, Daiwa, and Maver, and there are some affordable, performance-ready options out there, including full-size match poles for under £500.
The MAP TKS 101 2G is a 13m pole, which gives you all the reach you need, and comes with a pre-bushed V1 puller match kit, and two pre-bushed V1 puller power kits, giving you the flexibility to quickly and easily switch between speed and brute force, taking you right across the range of species stocked on most commercial venues.
With sleek, understated graphics, and an anti-friction surface, this pole is great for those new to match fishing, and those who are simply looking for an affordable way to upgrade their tackle, and comes fitted with pure PTFE bushes, as well as side pullers, so it’s ready to hit the water as soon as you are.
Rated for up to 20 elastic, this pole packs plenty of power, while the rigid cupping kit allows you to easily take a precise quantity of bait out to exactly where you need it.
Match fishing is all about speed, and can be a good way to take your angling right back to basics, refreshing your mindset, so you’re ready to approach the rivers with fresh sight, and fresh thought, come June, and try a few tactics that you might not have considered if you hadn’t stepped into a discipline where intricate rigs and patient waits to see if a particular bait brings action into a swim are far further down the successful tactics checklist than you might expect.
Along with honing your speed and accuracy, taking part in a competitive angling match reinforces a lesson it’s all too easy to forget in these days of wanting the best catch picture for Instagram, or a thrilling catch report for your blog; every fish counts, and the determination and focus to keep fishing even when it seems that nothing’s happening can make all the difference – both important lessons, which apply equally well to the world beyond the water.
Whether you decide to try out a new discipline, or simply look into some new accessories, thinking of the close season as a time of preparation and experimentation, rather than a lull in your otherwise active angling calendar keeps your mind on your sport, and gives you the best chance of a successful first session at the start of the following season.
So, have a look at our range of tackle, accessories, and equipment, and see if anything appeals, and enjoy something a little bit different this close season. While you’re browsing, why not check out our Advanta bait range, and spend a couple of days a week switching the fish in your local, likely swims on to the tasty treats you intend to catch with come summer; fish will appreciate food while they’re spawning, and familiarity with a bait leads to relaxed feeding once you’re able to bring your rods into play again, which, in turn, leads to a better chance of catching on your first trip out once the season starts.