Dr. Mike Ladle offers his thoughts on tackle and how keeping it simple can be the key…
When it comes to fishing tackle I’m a bit of a philistine. I tend to stick to the gear which I’ve used for years and despite the hard work and abuse which it suffers most of my equipment lasts for ages.
I tend to have rods set up all the time in my cupboard (where I’m ‘allowed’ to store the ‘smelly’ fishing equipment) so, for example, I have my old 11ft Surespin with a Shimano Stradic reel, 30lb Whiplash braid armed with a size 6/0 or 8/0 circle hook for bass bait fishing. Next to it is the Surepopper again with a Stradic and braid but this time a size 6 strong hook for carp fishing. Third comes the 4Surespin with my bass lure fishing kit, then the Surefly with its Okuma Fly reel for mullet and bass (and occasionally trout or salmon). Of course I’ll chop and change them a bit if I do some different fishing.
The fifth set of gear in line is a little, light-weight, *Teklon Concept, 2.5m, 15-50g rod with its Mitchell Magpro RZT 2000 reel and 20lb braid that I use for ‘all round’ spinning, mostly in fresh waters. This is a really versatile set up and, as I age and my sport-damaged joints ache more and more, I tend to use it quite a lot.
The thing is that not only is the rod light and easy to fish with but it will cast small, lightweight lures a long way and very accurately (at least as far and as straight as I am capable of). In my local rivers I tend to use this set up for plugging with a small Rapala (J7 to J11) fished down and across or a Mepps type spinner cast
upstream. The results are often excellent (I think) with perch, chub, trout, seatrout and the odd accidental salmon the main catches. Pike can be a nuisance (or a bonus) so I always use a trace of knottable wire in front of the lure. I don’t think it puts anything off.
For fishing in the sea I just remove the wire trace and use lures such as a single-hooked Toby for catching scad, mackerel, pollack and bass, a Redgill, a weedless soft plastic or a plug for bass, pollack and wrasse and so on.
Of course it is possible to have specific, tailor made rods, reels and lines for every situation and species of fish; some of my pals do just that. For sure it is worth having good quality, reliable tackle whatever you are doing. However, there’s no need to feel that you are handicapped because you can’t afford the very latest piece of designer kit. There are versatile set ups which will do almost any job well.
*Although some Teklon models have been discontinued, the Jinza Gemini range, also by Grauvell, are their direct replacements and can be found here