The basic idea of the clothing I wear for shore fishing is to keep as warm and dry as possible while still having the freedom to walk for miles and, if necessary, to wade into the sea. It is clear from looking at most other spinning/fly fishing anglers that I come across that they are all clad more or less the same. Of course, as in all walks of life, there are some who wear economy kit and others who spend quite a lot on ‘custom made’ gear but the principles are the same for everyone.
The most difficult thing is ‘temperature control’. You can NEVER get this right because if you wear enough shirts socks, jumpers etc. to keep you warm while you are wading and fishing you will always be too warm on a long hike – that’s life!.
So you will need comfortable chest waders, warm clothes and a light waterproof jacket. Most spinners/fly fishers carry their tackle in some sort of bag (in my case brightly coloured so it does not easily merge into the background and pretend to be a rock or a tree stump when I take it off.). Depending on your taste this can range from a small ‘bum bag’ with a few spare lures and link swivels, to a massive rucksack which would phase a trained SAS yomper. My bag is a compromise – a medium sized haversack (currently bright blue) which holds (I hope) bits and pieces for every possible contingency.
My problem is that I like to be prepared for anything, freshwater or salt. If I leave the fly rod at home I will find mullet feeding on the top. If I have no bait hooks the sea will be murky and just right for legering. If the spinning tackle is dumped, for certain the bass will be going mad. As a result I always take everything. I can run through the present contents of my bag, starting at the bottom.
A few wire traces, with clips at one end and swivels at the other, for pike, barracuda and the like. More wire traces with size 4/0 hooks for pike. Three small plastic boxes (came free with fishing mags) with partitions containing assorted float rubbers, small hooks, mullet flies. swivels, split rings, etc. Small plastic box with streamers, Delta eels, shrimp flies, small soft plastics and small plugs. Box (about 7″x10″x2″) with partitions containing plugs, poppers, spoons, rubber eels, Slandras, Slug-Gos, Mepps, sharpening stones, floats (corks, bubble floats, etc.). This box slides down the back of my bag and acts as a shield so that nothing else digs me in the back.
An old bum bag also fits in the haversack and contains old child-proof aspirin tubes. The tubes are labelled – small leads, swivels and clips, etc. The top pouch contains spools of Nylon for traces. Also my club permits, a pair of pliers and a pair of braid scissors. There are also small tubs of split shot. In the side pouches are a small, padded, double bag with a waterproof digital camera and a case with my Polaroid glasses.
According to where I’m going I may add a knife (for cutting bait), my little binoculars, spare trace wire, a tough glove (for dealing with toothy fish) and a few other odds and ends.
The whole lot weighs about five kg (10.5 lb) and is comfortable to carry all the time if I have to.
Dressed for spinning from the shore – note the hat, coat and chesties
The bag with two side pouches and a pouch in the flap. I always pick a bright colour so I can see it.
Lure and fly boxes, black bum bag and odds and sods containers. The poly bag contains a bouncy ball float and a trace with a couple of small plastic eels.
Coat, hat, camera bag, trace nylon, permits, pliers, scissors, glasses case and a few spare flies