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Sunday, 21 September 2008 14:38

Traditional Handmade Floats

Traditional Handmade Floatsspan>

There are many occasions in life when you find yourself getting really excited in anticipation of an event, only to be let down when it finally happens.

Traditional Handmade FloatsI’m happy to say that this definitely was not the case when I eventually got round to ordering a few of the Traditional Handmade Floats from TackleBargains. I’d seen these floats available some time ago and was immediately drawn towards them. It was the combination of materials and colours, and the fact that they were hand made, that made me bookmark that page for a day when I had a few quid to spend!

I eventually ordered a few trotting floats, as I’ve recently been to a couple of Anglers’ net fish-ins, organised by forum members, and have been re-introduced to the delights of river fishing. With a heavy workload, a new baby and various other ‘things’ going on in my life, I’d neglected my local river. Not any more • I’m addicted to the place! The ones I’d chosen were the Balsa Bodied Avons and Fluted Body Trotting Floats.

When the floats arrived, I couldn’t wait to get them wet. They looked exactly as I imagined and I was over the moon! The photos on the site really don’t do them the justice they deserve.

They look hand made…..and I mean that in a positive way. I’ve since found out that they are made by just one man and you can tell that he has put years of experience and knowledge into each one. The paint finish, in my opinion, is fantastic. The Avons, in particular, are superb, as they have a few ‘bands’ on the tip that make spotting shy bites particularly easy. This has proven to be particularly useful with the roach on my local stretch. The perch, however, drag them straight under!

I’m not going to start pretending that a float, just because it’s hand made, will catch you more fish. What these floats offer is something a bit different from the usual production line products that you may be used to. For me, sitting there on the river at the crack of dawn seeing the effects of a small roach on my bobbing float is real Huckleberry Finn material. I just love it. I suppose I’m old before my time.....or maybe I was a decent angler in a previous life!! Having said that, these floats do perform well and I've already had plenty of fish using them.

Some of these floats may be a little more expensive than their factory counterparts (they range from £1.77 to £4.12), but they won’t break the bank. I think they’re worth every penny. You should have seen my face when I thought I’d lost one in a far bank tree!!

There are various floats available in this range, including Pike Sliders, Goose Quills, Porcupine Quills and Crow Quills. If coarse fishing is your thing, treat yourself! Click here to go straight to the Traditional Handmade Floats page.

Elton Murphy - www.AnglersNet.co.uk

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Sunday, 21 September 2008 14:26

Middy Rock Ard Camo Match Carp Net

The Middy "Rock Ard" Camo Match Carp Net - courtesy of Middy Tackle

Description:
The Middy Rock 'Ard Camo Match Carp Net is a landing net designed specifically with match fisherman in mind.

Light enough to handle with ease and be shipped in and out regularly which match fishermen need, but strong enough to deal with some of the larger fish, espcially carp that dominate many commercial fisheries these days.

RRP: £19.99

  • Available in match carp size and specimen match size.
  • Green Alloy Frame.
  • Extra strong alloy spreader block.
  • Straight front-edged frame design.
  • Soft camouflaged finish netting.
  • Also ideal for specimen fish like barbel, chub, tench, carp
  • Fish friendly, carries Kitemark assurance
  • Compliant with Environment Agency Bylaw 12  

Review:
I have been thinking about getting a new landing net for a while now so you can imagine how delighted I was to receive this quality carp match net from Middy recently.

I don't do any match fishing, although unlike some of our carp fishing friends, I am more than happy to sit all day catching small roach, skimmers F1s etc. This is where a net like this comes in real handy. Big, heavy carp nets are too big for this type of fishing and a smaller net like this Middy landing net which is tough but very light, makes landing smaller fish a doddle. No more aching arms at the end of a session.

As you would expect from Middy, this match landing net is well constructed to high standards and should last for many seasons of fishing. I'm not sure the camo design serves any practical function although it will defintely appeal to the camo lovers out there.

Finally, with fish care high on the agenda these days, it is essential to use nets that are fish friendly. This middy net carries the fish friendly kite mark of assurance and complies with Environment Agency Bylaw 12.

All in all I give the Middy Rock 'Ard Camo Match Carp Net a big thumbs up. A quality" product as always from Middy.

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Where to buy Middy Rock 'Ard Camo Match Carp Net:
Available from all good tackle suppliers or from Middy Tackle. For more information or to order this excellent landing net, visit www.middytackle.com

A big thank you to Middy Tackle for supplying UK Fisherman with this landing net for review.

Submit a Review: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our reviews. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would to submit a review of your own or submit an item for review at UK Fisherman, please visit the CONTACT page.

Sunday, 21 September 2008 14:17

The Middy Big Gob Keepnet

The Middy "Big Gob" Camo Keepnet - courtesy of Middy Tackle

Description:
Middy "Big Gob" KeepnetThe Big Gob is a totally new concept in keepnets that incorporates the use of camouflaged netting, this is to stop the net spooking carp when fishing in the margins, as many anglers do these days.

The “Big Gob” name is derived from the uniquely shaped top ring which is designed to aid transfer of fish from landing net to keepnet.

Further features include:

  • Full 3m length.
  • Internal pull straps.
  • Top-notch push button angle lock adjustment.
  • Special strong joints on intermediate rings.
  • Cushioned rings towards top of keepnet to protect fish.

Review:
I have to admit that it is quite while since I have even used a keepnet let only a quality piece of gear such as the Big Gob Camo Keepnet from Middy.

I used to use small top ring keepnets that quite frankly weren't the most fish friendly in the world. Not any more !! The Big Gob has a huge top ring which means you can release your fish directly into the net without fear of damaging the fish, and at 3m long it is more than adequate for even the most prolific bagging waters, designed to keep the fish in top notch condition.

Camo eh !! Well I have to confess that I am not the world's biggest fan of camo gear but I will make an exception in this case ... seeing as I don't have to wear it! If it stops other fish from being spooked when fishing the margins I am all in favour of it, especially as I do a fait amount of margin fishing.

Other quality features of the Big Gob inlcude:

  • the push button angle adjuster that enables you to easily angle the keepnet whichever way you want
  • internal pull straps that make weighing in a doddle
  • the overall sturdy design of the keepnet that should make it last for years

All in all I give the Middy Big Gob Camo Keepnet a big thumbs up. This keepnet just screams "quality" at you and I am certain that it will fast become number one choice of keepnets for match fisherman in the coming months.

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Where to buy The Big Gob Keepnet:
The Big Gob Keepnet is vailable from all good tackle suppliers or from Middy Tackle.

For more information or to order this excellent Keepnet, visit www.middytackle.com

A big thank you to Middy Tackle for supplying UK Fisherman with this Keepnet for review.

Submit a Review: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our reviews. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would to submit a review of your own or submit an item for review at UK Fisherman, please visit the CONTACT page.

Sunday, 21 September 2008 13:07

Middy Baggin Wagglers

Middy "Baggin" Wagglers - courtesy of Middy Tackle

Description:
The Middy Baggin wagglers come in two colours, white and camo. They are available in a variety of weights to suit all situations. Pre-loaded, they make casting and shotting a doddle.

  • the camo finish waggler is and ideal float for margin use or for up against reed beds
  • the white finish wagglers are great for attracting carp in open water.
  • interchangeable base weights ensure minimal extra shotting is required.
  • Each float is designed and tested for balance and flight in the air
  • An ideal float for commercial carp fisheries !

Review:
These baggin wagglers from Middy are amongst the best floats I have used at carp and general commercial fisheries.

Casting (even quite long range) is a doddle with the weighted base and with a range of weights available as well as the handy intechangeable base weights, you have a waggler suitable for all types of fishing. Available in straight and insert varieties, the Middy Baggin Waggler is suitable for all conditions.

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Where to buy The Middy Baggin Waggler:
The Middy Baggin Waggler is available from all good tackle suppliers or from Middy Tackle.

For more information or to order these excellent wagglers, visit www.middytackle.com

A big thank you to Middy Tackle for supplying UK Fisherman with these floats for review.

Submit a Review: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our reviews. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would to submit a review of your own or submit an item for review at UK Fisherman, please visit the CONTACT page.

Saturday, 20 September 2008 17:04

Sticky Sharp Rigs

Pre-tied fishing rigs from Sticky Sharp Rigs - By Marc

Firstly I would like to thank Paul at UK Fisherman & the guys from 'Sticky Sharp' for giving me the opportunity to try out these rigs, I have been carp fishing for many years now & have always tied my own rigs so when the sample rigs arrived I was semi cautious/excited about using them.

Rigs Tested

The Basic Rig, The Blow Back, The Line Aligner, The Withypool & The Combi-Rig

First Impressions

Dont expect any fancy packaging with these rigs. Each rig arrived in a clear logo-less plastic sleeve with just a brief description hand written on the sleeve.** I must say how nice it was to actually see the whole contents of the sleeve laying perfectly within & not a tangled mess you receive from other rig companies. All five rigs looked as if they had been hand-tied using top quality components & they even had the highly fashionable quick release hoops attached to the main line end.

** Please note that the rigs supplied for review were samples and not the finished article. All sticky Sharp Rigs are supplied with full graphic inserts with text on the reverse. (Paul, UK Fisherman)

The Tests

Would these rigs withstand the abuse of everyday carp fishing on the end of my Ballista's? fishing against snags & lily pads? fished with pva bags attached? More importantly would they pass the on the bank knot test?

At this point I must emphasis just how important it is to check all your terminal gear before casting out, knot checks, hook sharpness check etc

The Basic Rig
The Basic RigAs many of you will know this is a no frills rig, simple construction, simple mechanics, a rig found in many carp anglers rig wallets all over the UK/Europe including my own.

The hook was perfectly tied to the soft braided material, the braided material was smooth, kinkless & unfraid. As with any rig tied to my mainline a thorough test is undertaken on all knots. The rig passed all bankside abuse I could throw at it. Laying the rig in the shallow margins of the lake things looked good, hook link camoflage looked good & with the use of a pva nugget on the hook the whole rig came to rest nicely on the bottom.

With bait & pva bag attached the rig was chucked to around 70yds, things seemed to land in a nice straight line & the pva nugget floated up to the surface from the hook below ... I was happy. Thirty or so minutes later I was more than happy when a carp of around 15lb was lying on my mat, the hook had caught hold just off the middle of the bottom lip ... good enough for me. As I do with all my rigs after a capture, I recheck the setup. Bearing in mind the carp did take me through two lily beds all looked very good. I did however slip my sharpen stone lightly over the hook a few times. The rig was rebaited & recast to the same spot. I did get another run on this rig but lost the fish in the lily pads, the rig came back with a slightly fraid hook link, the hook looked good for another carp but was replaced.

The Blow Back Rig
The Blow Back RigThis rig is one of my all time favourite rigs. For many years I have used this type of rig. This is my favoured rig when used in conjunction with pop-ups or snowman baits. The rig was perfectly constructed, the only modification I made to this rig was the length of the hook link. I do prefer my hook links quite short & after some minor adjustments the rig looked good. Once baited & attached to the mainline I again dropped the rig into the margin to check the presentation. Again I was more than happy. It looked very good & blended in very well with the lake bed. A small counter balance was added under the hook just to sink the hook bait down & it was ready for the lake.

Cast out to the already baited area once again the pva nugget popped to the surface & I added a few freebies over the spot. It wasn't long before the delkim alerted me to some action, the bobbin rose then gently slid down indicating a drop back. I tightened to the lead & struck, the battle was short lived. On retreaving the rig Ii noticed the hair had become tangled around the bend of the hook. I'm not sure whether this was down to the length of the hair or rejection of the boilie from the carps mouth?

I shortened the hair & with the use of some pva string I tied the hair tightly down the shank of the hook to the bend, this should keep any tangles down to the minimum while casting out. Just to make sure & give me peace of mind I inserted the hook link into a pva stocking & recast. After three hours I had landed two carp on this rig & after the minor modifications I was 100% confident in the rig. If the hook hadn't felt & looked so dull Ii would of probably left it on!

The Line Aligner Rig
The Line Aligner RigThis is another very popular rig, not too much different from the Basic Rig apart from the use of the shrink tube at the hooks eye. Great looking rig, nicely constructed ... so I thought?

As with all the rigs, I put them under a knot test using the Korda Knot Puller. This is where the hook link parted about half way along its length. I couldn't see any visible fault/damage in the link it just snapped. Sadly this hooklink was taken apart, hook/QR link were saved for later use on my own hook link material.

The Withypool Rig
The Withypool RigPersonally im not a great fan of this rig but I gave it go on my third rod, the rig passed all the knot tests & looked good in the margin with a single 18mm pop-up attached. I was very impressed with the silicon/shrink tube used on this rig. After several pulls & tugs on it, it went back to its original pre-steamed shape ... well impressed. As I said earlier, a single pop-up was attached & cast just off the baited area. The reason for this being I was receiving several liners on the other two rods.

I sat there wondering about the rig, thinking how crude it looked, trying to understand why & how it works so well for so many anglers around the country when to my amazement I was in! Amazed & shocked when laying on my mat was my first twenty of the season & it fell to a rig I had little confidence in. After checking the hook & its components it was re-baited & cast to the same spot with greater confidence & high expectations. Within the hour I hand landed another carp just short of 18lb on this rig & quickly tied up my version of this rig & cast out just before night fall.

Excellant rig, thumbs held up high on this one guys!!!!!!!!

The Combi Rig
The Combi RigThis rig & variations of this rig have been knocking around for years and it has accounted for loads of carp up & down the country. Like all the rigs, it looked the business, nicely tied, hook sharpness 100% and the knot test passed with no problems. Not even any knot slip, which is quite common when using these coated hook links.

One useful tip when using these styles of rigs is to slightly heat the coated area of the link before casting out, just to make the link nice & straight & to stop any coils from occuring during use.

This was a very friendly rig to use, sadly no fish were caught upon it but it didn't tangle, the outer coating didn't start to peel off like some other brands do and it laid nicely on the lake bed. I did add a few drops of Tungsten Putty up the link just for peace of mind. I apply this tactic to most of my hooklinks nowadays.

Conclusion

When asked to test these rigs I was a little reserved as for many years I have tied all my rigs myself.

  • As I said before I liked the way the rigs were packaged, you could see what you were buying, no tangled messes at the bottom of a fancy looking display bag.
  • All the hooks were beautiful & sharp.
  • The addition of the QR hoop at the end of the link was a nice touch as well as the knots that were all shrink tubed.
  • Apart from one of the hooklinks snapping when testing i was pleased with all the materials used.
  • Some of the hook links were a little long for my preference, but easily adjusted.
  • To my surprize the Withypool Rig out fished the other rigs accounting for five carp including a twenty. Two carp fell to the Blow Back Rig & two to the Basic Rig.

So overall i was very impressed with the rigs & would have confidence in attaching them to my mainline.

I highly recommend these rigs. Thanks to the guys at Sticky Sharp for a great product.

Score:

Where to buy the The Sticky Sharp Rigs

Check out their website at www.stickysharprigs.co.uk where you can buy these excellent rigs online.

Submit a Review: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our reviews. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would to submit a review of your own or submit an item for review at UK Fisherman, please visit the CONTACT page.

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