Top Tackle 2015

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Top Tackle 2015

2015 saw the release of many new and innovative tackle products, with the likes of the Ridgemonkey Sandwich Toaster, Guru Hybrid Feeder, and ESP Syncro Loaded Mono - to name a few. Recently, we caught up with some of our staff members to find out what their favourite tackle was from the past year. Here's what they had to say…

Richard Howland – Manager – Sittingbourne Jason Hodge and I had a great day of fishing at Broadoak Day Ticket Water, Canterbury, in early December. We caught a whole host of fish, including roach, carp, and lots of lovely crucian carp - up to 2lb 8oz. Despite all our catches, the real highlight of the day was our full English breakfast! Mr Hodge brought his new Deep Fill Ridgemonkey with him - what a bit of kit! Although it’s intended as a sandwich toaster, it cooked our egg, sausage, bacon, mushroom, and beans to perfection. It heated up nice and quickly, and we were warmed right through after our feast. It was the perfect companion for a cold morning fishing, and we enjoyed the full works!

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Alan Thornby – Manager – Ashford My top product of 2015 has to be the Advanta Discovery CX Rehab Cradle. I asked about this as soon as I saw it, and couldn’t quite believe when I was told it was only £44.99! Already thinking it was a great price, I knew I had to try it out. On the bank I noticed how big it was – it can easily hold a fish of 50lb – yet it can also fold down into a neat bag. The two kneeling mats and end pockets were huge bonus as I could see it was perfect to store a towel and forceps in. Once I got a fish in it I could really see how well it performed! I placed my catch on my Advanta weigh sling, which fit neatly inside the mat, meaning all I had to do was remove my net and it was ready to weigh. Because of the cover, I could keep the fish nice and safe while I finished up before transferring it back to the water. After an excellent day on the bank, I can honestly say this is the best value for money mat I’ve seen all year.

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Tommy Penfold – Shop Assistant – Norwich I was testing the Nash R3 alarm at Lenwade Lakes – a set of three with the receiver – when I caught my personal best. The alarms and receiver were all put together for me, though I did have a fiddle with them on the bank. Despite not having the instructions they were easy to use and the settings were easily changed. I spent a few days by the lakes in the worst weather I have ever fished in, but the alarms didn’t let me down. With some alarms they tend to fail in the frostier conditions, but these Nash alarms kept going throughout. I caught a lot of fish on them, but the biggest joy of the weekend was the last fish. I’d been trying for a certain mirror carp all weekend and, just as I was thinking about packing up, the alarm went. Out of the water it was confirmed, a 28lb 12oz mirror carp. It was the first of the bigger fish I’d caught, so I was really chuffed. I’d recommend the Nash R3 alarm and receiver for anyone in the market for a top quality alarm that won’t let you down, even in awful weather conditions.

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Mark Williams – Manager – Crayford I can’t just pick one product for 2015 as, for me, RidgeMonkey has been the standout brand. There’s only so much tackle you can make before you’re just re-packaging the same old products, but RidgeMonkey really seems to have created some excellent new gear which is totally unique on the market. Its Bivvy Lites have been stand out products for me, and have flown off the shelf in the last few months. With two light settings – red or white – and two brightness settings, customers have been raving about them and the shop can’t stock enough. It feels like they’re leaving the shelves as soon as we put them out! The toasters have been a real hit this year too, particularly the new XL Sandwich Toaster, which is large enough to cook a full English on! Perfect after a cold overnighter.

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Simon West – Manager – Halesowen As the weather kept so nice so late into the year, I decided to take up drop shotting on my local canal – Dudley Number Two, which offers a mix of roach, perch, and bream among others. Being a complete novice, I picked up the Advanta PS Drop Shot Rod and the Greys GFR Reel. They were perfect for me as I didn’t want to break the bank buying a tonne of new gear, not knowing if I’d enjoy the sport. Both products offer great value for money, especially for virgin drop-shotters like me. Considering I’d never done it before I’ve been fairly successful, and although I haven’t had any stand out catches I look forward to continuing on in the new year with these excellent products.

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Lewis Martin – Assistant Manager – Rayleigh The Nash Citruz Bottom Bait has been a standout product of the year for me, especially after it helped me catch the fish I’d been after for the better part of the last decade. The Priory Park Double Lin had been in my sights for last 10 years, but it wasn’t until I used the Nash Citruz Bottom Bait that I could temp it in. I was fishing in Mid November and I think the fluro element of the bait really helped, as it’s unusual to get such a bright bottom bait. The fact I was only on a quick overnighter was even more of a turn up for the books, as I’d expected to have to wait a while for it to take. After such a long wait, the Priory Park Double Lin – weighing in at 31lb – has definitely been the catch of the year for me, all thanks to the Nash Citruz Bottom Bait.

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Aaron Newport – Shop Assistant – Chelmsford 2015 was a productive year, and I caught some real stunners thanks to two great products. My fishing is only short session so I can’t afford to lose fish. With this in mind, I tend to stick to some trusted components for my rigs and bait in order to up my chances and give me full confidence while behind my rods. DT Bait is my favourite as it doesn’t skimp on the finer ingredients and has everything carp could want. Throughout the warmer months I like to use the Howler as it’s a very meaty and fishy bait full of attraction and essential ingredients to keep the carp coming back for more. As the weather turned a bit colder I began using the Cold Water Green Beast. Not worrying about bait lets you focus on other parts of your fishing, and this is one of the best. I also love the white and pink washed out wafters, as this hook bait really is exceptional. I like to keep things as simple as possible: the less going on with your terminal tackle, the less there is to go wrong. I use two rigs and I have honed them over the years. However, one of the rigs suddenly took a great leap forward when the Korda Krank Choddy hook was released. It has everything I want in a hook, and it made a great rig exceptional. Not a single fish dropped on it all season, which to me is remarkable.

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Jeanette Halliday – Manager – Beccles I’m an avid match angler, and have found the Guru Hybrid Feeders to be essential to my success over the past year. They have a great design, which not only makes them easy to use so you don’t waste time on the bank but it’s also ideal for use with micro pellets and ground bait. The camouflage finish shows that great thought has gone into the product to make it carp friendly. I particularly liked the weight forward design feature as it really aids accurate casting each time. There’s a huge variety of them too, as they are available in mini, small and large sizes, and as they have various weight loadings available too you can pick the perfect feeder for your fishing style. All of this has made the Guru Hybrid Feeders into a firm favourite, and a product you’ll always see me with it down on the bank.

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Darren Jukes – Assistant Manager – Willenhall My favourite product of 2015 is the Korum 12ft Barbel Quiver rod. This rod has brilliant value for money. The design is excellent and the subtle graphics are easy on the eye. This rod has a tremendous build quality on all components, which makes it the perfect tool for fishing powerful rivers. I am predominantly a match angler who does a bit of barbel fishing in the summer. This rod, therefore, has a dual application. It works well for long distance method feeder fishing as well as maggot feeder fishing. This is due to the different selection of tips, which allows me to set up for a variety of fish. This rod has served me well with multiple catches on the river, with plenty of fish just below double figures. At the end of my five hour session I had a net of chub and barbel that went just short of 100lb, with the average size of fish being around the 5lb mark. If this doesn’t prove that this rod was well up to the task I don’t know what does! All in all, this rod has great value, durability, and build quality at a really sensible price.

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Terry Edmonds – Shop Assistant – Colchester One of the products that has impressed me this year is the Harrison 13ft Aviator 3.5lb. This rod is one of the newest blanks from Harrison and is a compromise between casting power and playability, which is hard to attain. With distance rods it’s always going to be a challenge to keep the fun of playing fish because the stiffness is required in the blank to cast long distances, which isn’t always preferred for fish playing. This rod has proved to be a real fun distance rod to cast as it’s easy to compress, and fish up to low 20s have given me good feel through the blank when playing them. Cosmetically, the new finish on the full weave blank looks great. I used it with an abbreviated handle. If you are after a fun distance rod that looks great, I recommend looking at this.

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Len Goulding – Manager – Waltham Cross The stand out product of the year for me has been the Powersolve packs. Angling has changed a lot over the years, and gone are the days when you would be sat at the bank disconnected from the world with only the fish for company. Now, everyone has their phone, laptop, or tablet on the bank side, and I’m no different! For longer trips keeping charged is vital. The larger pack can charge my phone six times over, which is perfect for a long session. Not only this, but all the Powersolve packs are fully waterproof, so they are perfect for keeping by your side on the bank. They are super slim, so they are easy to transport too, and don’t take up vital space that could be used for other tackle. I often slip it in my pocket just as I’m leaving the house, and I’m always thankful that I’ve taken it with me when I want to photograph a big catch. All in all, the Powersolve packs are a great product for the modern angling age.

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