I'm not influenced by anybody or anything 'cos I'm a bloke

Information, how you access it, and what you do with it. Reviews. Recommendations. Heresay. Mates. Tackle shops etc. Why do you use the gear you use and how did you end up with it ? Why do you do the fishing you do ? Local fishing tackle shops are vital for the good of the UK fishing scene, but the fact is that with this whole growth in lure fishing and a lot of the more specialist gear just not being available in many of the shops, I often wonder how and why we end up with the gear we do. And yes, it's January and clear water ain't exactly the norm around here..................

Found ok water on Saturday and blanked !! The light was pretty though.

It strikes me that a percentage of anglers almost don't like admitting that they are using so and so bit of gear because they might have seen their mate catching fish with the rod/reel/line/lure etc., or they saw something in or on a magazine/forum/FB/other online resource and then bought the same thing for themselves. Why ? Is it not "cool" to admit to having been influenced in some way by other anglers or some kind of fishing resource ? I can distinctly remember a Sea Angler review many years ago about the then new SLOSH20 reel - I can even picture the photo, somebody's great big thumb clamped over the spool I think it was. Wow did I want one of those reels after reading that review - it just sounded perfect for the sort of fishing I was doing, and in time I ended up buying one. I first heard about the Conoflex Highlander from a Sea Angler review etc., and for all the "snobbery" I sometimes hear about magazine reviews, I know how much they help so many anglers out. Experts know it all anyway and I have always avoided them like the plague.

This photo is available to buy as a print/canvas/mousepad etc. - check here

I am also "influenced" by the people I fish with/spend time around the water fish. Pretty soon after starting to do some work with Nick Hart some years back now, I got a pair of breathable chest waders and wading boots. I'd never heard of the things until I met Nick, but from the off they made a lot of sense for a lot of what I was doing. In fact I blame Nick entirely for me liking (expensive) Simms gear.

What was the mullet rod and reel setup that I started using when these infernal fish began to pervade my life ? The Shimano Baitrunner and a Daiwa Porky Pig rod. Why ? Because the anglers I was fishing with were using that gear and catching plenty of fish. As and when I go mullet fishing, why do I do a lot of what I do ? Because I fished with very good mullet anglers and I learnt all I could. Who wouldn't ? I do exactly the same with lure fishing - learn from the people I fsh with. I know I ask a lot of questions, but I want to know and I don't really understand people who don't.

The Shimano Rarenium - how many are bought purely on reputation ?

I bet you there's at least one major item of fishing tackle you are using that you bought because you saw somebody using it and liked the look of it. Or you may well rely on forums, blogs, magazines etc. for some of your information. Obviously I review stuff on this blog and I really enjoy doing it - through what I do I get access to a lot more gear than most anglers, and as such I want to try and pass on information and ideas - but just because I write about stuff doesn't mean I am not scouring resources for information myself. I am also relying on people doing their thing and then not even realising that while doing it they might be "influencing" me at the same time. Would I have heard about those Five Ten boots if Charles had not been using them in Morocco for example ? Would I so enjoy wrassing with soft plastics if those Jersey lads and their unselfish attitude towards sharing information hadn't alerted me to the fact these "bait only" fish actually rather liked chowing down on plastics ?

I have made the decision with my work to move from PCs to Mac, in fact I pulled the trigger and ordered the gear yesterday. I did a lot of research, spoke to as many people I know who use the stuff, and of course visited the Plymouth Apple store to get as much help as I could - talk about excellent service. I got to play with my youngest brother's MacBook Air 11' over Xmas and because it impressed me so much I have gone with one for myself as my travel laptop. His bit of gear and his experiences with it directly influenced my own decision. I have also gone for a 27' iMac as my office desktop, to which I will add one of my "proper" photographic monitors for a dual monitor display (can't work without this). Various peoples' experiences with Apple gear have no doubt influenced my decisions, and it's no different with a lot of what I use in my fishing and indeed how I go about my fishing. Ask questions and learn all you can from all manner of resources, because it will make you a better angler. And of course we learn more and more the more we are out there fishing.......................