Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Are we all looking for some sort of feedback, reviews, “first hand experience” etc. on fishing tackle?

The other day I received a refund on those sadly and rather annoyingly rubbish Simms G3 Guide boots that failed on me with saltwater use (twice), and I was looking around for a pair of boots to use for my lure fishing. I did in fact order a pair of the hiking boots that were recommended to me (check here), but even at two sizes over my usual foot size they were just a little bit too narrow and I sent them back. So what should I get?

My love affair with Simms waders and wading boots is over so I am not going down their route anymore, and when I asked the “any ideas on some new wading boots?” question on my Facebook page the other day I kindly received a bunch of suggestions. And this got me thinking. How do you go about buying your fishing tackle? Do we all look for reviews and feedback to help us make the decision on what to buy, or do you like taking a punt on something and seeing if it might work for you? I must admit that I do enjoy trying new stuff that I have heard essentially nothing or very little about, but then I am a also a consumer who goes looking for reviews and feedback to help inform my buying choices. I can’t ignore it when a couple of anglers who I know are out there using and abusing their gear recommend something because so and so item is working so well for them.

My telling you that I went and bought a pair of Patagonia Ultralight wading boots with their “sticky” soles is merely an example of me looking for help and information and then acting upon it - and I am pretty sure that a lot of you here are just like me in that respect. A couple of anglers who I know are fishing a lot over some proper bass ground tell me that the Patagonia Ultralight wading boots have been doing really well for them and therefore I’d be foolish not to at least take note. OK, at the end of the day I have to make my own mind up and pull the trigger on buying something, but with my multiple issues concerning wading type boots it would be daft of me not to go looking for some first hand experience from anglers who I know are actually out there and doing it. If the boots fail too quickly on me then so be it, but at least I tried! They are light and comfortable and the grip with a bunch of those Orvis wading studs in is outstanding, but as ever, time will tell………..

I am asking the questions mainly because more and more of the increasing traffic through this blog and website of mine is based around my fishing tackle reviews, and as a result it kinda bangs home to me that more and more anglers are looking for some kind of help with the choosing of which fishing tackle they should buy. It can be confusing of course. At the end of the day a review can be no more than a personal opinion, and whilst I would hope that the majority of people reading my reviews trust what I say, just because I say something doesn’t suddenly make me some kind of authority on the subject. But at least it’s a start if somebody goes looking for gear and I happen to have used it and then written about my experiences with it. Those lads who kindly recommended the Patagonia wading boots to me aren’t wading boot experts just as I am a not say a lure rod expert, but at least they have used them just as I have used the fishing tackle reviewed on this blog.

How do you go about buying stuff? Is it more of a bloke thing to do as much research possible before pulling the buy it trigger? Do you all look at reviews as a matter of course, trying to figure out if said review is genuine and based on proper experience with the product? Fishing tackle can be a bit of a minefield just like many other stuff, but if you go looking and of course asking then there’s usually some sort of info out there that can be broken down to help the decision process. Magazines, websites, blogs, good tackle shops, social media etc. are all ways to find things out about products, but at the end of the day, for all the information you can find, still it comes down to how you use something and whether you yourself like it. If those Patagonia wading boots work out for me then I will be forever grateful to the lads who recommended them (and I am grateful anyway for their honest advice), but if the boots fail then it was my decision to buy them and so be it. We are all different, we all have different opinions, and with a hobby/obsession like fishing where we are so invested in the gear we use to go and do what we love to do, it constantly bangs home to me just how differently we all end up using that gear. I am off to France tonight to do some stuff with Fiiish for a few days, so please bear with me if I can’t keep the blog updated this week as I would like.