For a long time now, we have not been one hundred percent happy with the range of ready tied sea fishing rigs currently on the market. Trusting a sea fishing rig that you have paid good money for only for it to break when you rely on it the most is pretty soul destroying and poor knots, inferior components and generally ill though out designs are all to blame.
Basically, we felt that we could do better and went about designing our own range that we ourselves would be happy to use. Rig making takes time and not one of us at VMO enjoy making rigs. Time spent timing rigs is time that could be spent actually fishing and that’s one heck of a good reason to actually buy rather than tie. At best, rig making is okay-ish if you are in the right frame of mind, but unless you have time to burn and fingers or iron, it’s a laborious task.
So where did we start? Well, we all go fishing ourselves and are more than familiar with what is required when it comes to sending out a baited trace in the hope of a good catch. We decided that the components had to be the starting point. Cheap sub-standard clips and swivels are sourced with ease, but their inefficiency makes them a false economy. Luckily for us, we are the exclusive UK stockist of Seadra tackle. Seadra swivels alone are exceptionally strong, robust and small, so these were to form the back bone of our all new range of Premium Shore Fishing Rigs.
Established favourites such as Gemini and Breakaway were also called upon, not to mention our long standing legendary Varivas hooks from Japan.
Next, it was a case of deciding exactly what to design and with so many different variations of rig out there, this in itself was a minefield. We decided to keep it simple and eventually whittled it down to 16 variations-
2/0 Pulley Pennel (Choice of Breakaway Imp or Gemini Splashdown Solo)
4/0 Pulley Pennel (Choice of Breakaway Imp or Gemini Splashdown Solo)
6/0 Pulley Pennel (Choice of Breakaway Imp or Gemini Splashdown Solo)
3/0 Single Hook Pulley with Gemini Splashdown Solo Large
5/0 Single Hook Pulley with Gemini Splashdown Solo Large
4/0 Drop Down Pulley with Gemini Splashdown Solo Large
1/0 Two Hook Flapper (1 up – 1 down)
1/0 Three Hook Flapper (2 up – 1 down)
#1 One Hook Up & Over Long Range Plaice Trace with Gemini Splashdown Solo Large
#1 Two Hook Long Loop Plaice Rig with Gemini Splashdown Solo Large
#1 Two Hook Clip Down (Choice of Breakaway Imp or Gemini Splashdown Solo)
#1 Three Hook Clip Down (Choice of Breakaway Imp or Gemini Splashdown Solo)
When we inspected the knots on a selection of ready made rigs, we did actually cringe a bit. On some examples, it was possible to actually pull the hooks off of the snoods with very little effort. Not good- and you don’t want to imagine the fish of your dreams sliding off down the shingle and back in to the water!
So now the rigs were planned out to the finest detail, it was case of finding a reputable tier who could make them for us. Our contacts in the far east were keen to help and the prices were ridiculously cheap, but it did concern us that them having to learn knots would be part of that equation and could potentially compromise the rigs integrity. We need someone who understood the basic fundamentals of a shore fishing rig.
After a few brief phone calls with half a dozen or so UK rig makers, we asked each to send us a sample of their rigs and it’s fair to say that most, if not all, of them are clearly very talented with their handy work.
But the one that stood out for us was Somerset based Graham Hobden. Each rig had been meticulously tied to a set specification and clipped down exactly as it should do. Knots were snug, perfect and tied with attention, which is important when assembling rigs in such huge quantities.
Graham has been rig making for over twenty years and it was clear to see in his work.
Three of us took a selection of the rigs Graham tried and over the next fortnight fished with them hard. What can we say? They did everything we asked of them. With ninety years shore fishing experience between us, we probably know a thing or two about good rigs and what they should and should not do. These ticked all of the boxes and for the first time in forever, we actually felt like we were fishing with something as good as we could tie up ourselves!
Graham now ties all of our Premium Shore Fishing Rig range and we’ve already joked that we will no longer have to tie rigs ourselves when we can ‘borrow’ them from stock. Prices represent the quality and reliability of the range and although possibly not the cheapest, they wont let you down like some.
We are 100% happy with the range but would love to hear your feedback over the coming months. If you feel that there is a design that we simply must look at stocking, please let us know, but in the meantime, we hope you enjoy fishing with these rigs as much as we enjoyed designing them and putting them through their paces on the rugged shoreline of the Bristol Channel.