Sunday 28 August 2011

Odds, sods and a quick rant...

This is another quick post from an internet cafĂ©.  I'm on holiday, you see, until tomorrow, so burglars you've got one last chance!  The house is actually the reason for both my blog-slackness and my wider angling-slackness for almost the entirity of the river closed season and beyond.  I finally took the plunge and bought my first place with my girlfriend, Jen.  Needless to say, there was a lot more to the whole process than I'd anticipated...

Still, I've finally started to get a few sessions in, which I'm pleased to say have yielded very few blanks.  So far I've had barbel to around 9lb off the rivers and a good few carp off the surface on some local lakes too.  I also took my 13 year-old cousin Fraser for his first-ever river session a week or so ago, where under my guidance he managed to land a clonking new PB chub of 4lb 5oz to simple groundbait feeder techniques. Not a bad first river fish at all; I reckon I was 19 before I'd caught a chub of that size.  The only thing was the pesky chub was very lively on the bank and every time I pressed the trigger for a photo, it jumped out of Fraser's hands onto the unhooking mat!  Below is the best shot; I wish I'd managed to get him a better trophy shot, but in the interests of the fish we returned it after a couple of far-from-satisfactory efforts.

In a very uncharacteristic way, that - along with the Fishing Magic news from my previous post - brings you all quite up-to-date with what I've been up to, in remarkably few words!  So, I've a little bit of time left to share a couple of thingsa I thought you should see.  The first is an item I could have done with during my unintentional angling hiatus, when I was being driven potty by not having the time to fish.  It's available from those always-enthusiastic geeks over at (or "IWOOT"), it's called the "Potty Fisher, the game for the avid fisherman". ...I'm sure you can figure out the rest!

If you're so addicted to fishing that you can't resist any opportunity, you can buy one ofor about a tenner from

The next object is a very handy-looking gadget for any angler.  I know I've come home from sessions with pockets full of coiled, discarded line which I've either had to cut from my own rigs or found thrown on the bank near a peg.  It generally tries top climb back out of your pocket, as if a living organism whose natural habitat does not extend to the inside of a pocket.  Well now there is a very simple, but at the same time ingenious solution called the "Litter Buggy".  It's a small repository which fits in a pocket, but it has built-in brushes at the top which prevents anything shoved inside from "climbing" back out again. 

You can buy them direct from Litter Buggy Website and I've ordered a pair, one for my tackle box and one for my fishing van.  I also have a tip for disposing of line in a manner which poses least threat to wildlife (all sorts of anaimals from seagulls to swans to foxes to fish can become snared in knotted loops of line) and that is to first wrap the line around four of your fingers, so it is wound into about 5" circumference loops.  Then cut the loops in half with some good scissors or braid blades, them trim the now straight bunch of line into 1-2cm lengths and throw in the bin.  This will pose minimal threat to all and any animals, except those with a penchant for eating 1cm nylon spaghetti.

Lastly my mini rant/idea for the fishing tackle industry.   Every year thousands of us spool up with new line which comes on rather over-engineered, heavy plastic spools which are only used once and then have to be sent to landfill.  As far as I'm aware they cannot be recycled (and if they can, no fishing line packaging I've ever seen states so) and they're made from a grade of plastic which would easily withstand repeated use.  This to me seems a massive waste of resources.  Why then, do the line manufacturers not operate a spool-return service through tackle retailers, where you can drop-off or post-back your empty spools once you've filled your reels, much like the battery recycling boxes at all battery retailers?  If cost or user-participation was an issue, why not operate a deposit system, where there is an additional charge of maybe 50p to a pound for each spool of line sold, but when you take your used spool back in you get that amount refunded?  All manufacturers of goods which are highly damaging to the environment, such as electrical appliances and motor vehicles are legally bound to take the goods off your hands and recycle all possible components when their serviceable life comes to an end; surely in this day and age we should expect more responsibility from our tackle manufacturers?

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