Wednesday roundup - 21.03.2012

There is a brand new fishing tackle shop opening up in Plymouth this Saturday, 24th March. The people behind The Art of Fishing over in St.Merryn on the north coast of Cornwall have decided that Plymouth could do with a bit of their lure fishing magic, so from this Saturday the greatest city in the world (and that's official) is going to get a new tackle shop that will sell lure fishing tackle only. The new shop will also be called The Art of Fishing and it's in a fantastic location down on the Barbican - check here for all the details, and I hear that there will be all kinds of new brands and special offers on over the opening weekend. I take my hat off to the people involved to come to Plymouth with a lure fishing tackle shop and I wish them every possible success with this exciting new venture. I heard a rumour that the new staff members know a thing or two about lure fishing, but don't quote me on that !! As for me, it's going to be a potentially dangerous place to go and visit with my various weaknesses for the shiny stuff............

I did get that rod I was getting so excited about on my blog post here from the other day. Thanks to John at Lure Heaven for allowing me to play with it again and check that I had not gone mad with my initial findings. Yes, this Graphiteleader Tiro 832M-MR is a specialist bit of kit that from my understanding is purpose designed to do stuff like bump soft plastics along the bottom on say a jig head or a Texas rig, but I also seriously like it for fishing top water lures, bigger weightless plastics and blasting minnows - I really get how this rod is so ridiculously good at bumping plastics, but I reckon it can do the lot if needs be. I have never yet fished with a lure rod that has an action like this GL Tiro and it has amazed me - it's very fast with lots of grunt nearly all the way up the rod until you get to that sublime tip, but in no way is it just stiff for being stiff's sake. I knew I would end up getting it. Wrassing with plastics on this rod is insane, and I guess that this new rod will be going out with me either when I am specifically going wrasse fishing, or when I am going lure fishing over ground where I might target both wrasse and bass for example. Or pollack of course. But then I also have a feeling that I will enjoy fishing with it so much that it might come along all the time..........

I have just started to play with a brand new spinning reel that comes in at a little over the £150 mark, and from a few hours with it so far I can't tell you how impressed with it I am. No, I can't speculate on how it might do longer-term yet, but give me a while and I will report back. I see no reason why this new spinning reel will not last well, but from a purely going out and fishing with it point of view so far I think it's a quality bit of kit. As you can tell from this blog I get to play with a fair bit of gear (and believe me, I see a lot more stuff than goes up on this blog), and I think this particular reel might well end up being something pretty special.

I bought this pair of hiking boots the other day to see how they might do for me as wading boots. I wear a size 11 shoe and first off I ordered a pair of size 13 hiking boots to try and allow for a sock and then the neoprene sock on the waders, but they just felt a bit tight and I sent them back for a refund and ordered these ones in a 14. Yes, I would have rather had fabric than leather (or whatever it actually is on these boots), but I looked around and there does not seem to be a lot of choice when it comes to size 14 hiking boots. A wider-soled 13 would probably have worked ok for me. I have screwed a bunch of studs in the soles - I really like these studs that a company called SupaTracks do and the other day I bought a 50 pack of their 3000A size. I have used their smaller studs before, but for me it's these longer 3000A ones that grip the best and seem to last the longest. I screwed 10 into each sole of the hiking boots and wore them out fishing for the first time on Sunday morning. Now I do accept that using hiking boots as wading boots is going to trash them, but I just want to see how they last compared to wading boots on the sort of ground I tend to fish over, and especially considering the different costs involved. They worked great on Sunday morning and I have washed them off in fresh water and dried them out and they look just fine. We shall see.......................

Ask nicely and ye might actually receive !! A while back I asked DUO lures if wouldn't mind sending me some of their lures before they are glued together and painted so that I could photograph them for a Sea Angler feature I am going to do, and hugely kindly I might add they went and sent me a bunch. Aside from taking photos of these "half-lures", I find it fascinating to be able to see the guts of a lure such as one of their Tide Minnows. I am actually waiting for the replies to an interview I sent to DUO the other day so that I can include the views from their lure designers in my article - and then I noticed on their blog the other day that they are inviting interested anglers to send in their own questions - check here for all the details. I deliberately kept my interview as short as possible to avoid too much hassle as regards translations etc., but in truth I can think of about a million questions I would love to ask a professional lure designer.