Do you find yourself wanting to slightly change or modify most items of fishing gear?
However long an item of fishing tackle may or indeed may have not been tested for before it comes to market (and believe me, I have come across some pretty "interesting" practises over the years), at the end of the day we all fish in slightly different ways, and as such I am sure you are no different to me - give me a decent amount of time with most items of fishing gear and I will come up with a change or two that I would love to be able to make. I don't mean to say that I know best and that my imaginary changes would make a product any better, rather that we are so invested in our fishing that we can nearly always think of something that would I suppose make the said product work that little bit better for us. Here's a few ideas of mine, and in truth I could come up with a hundred more...........
Simms Rivershed wading boots - I don't know for sure, but I have a horrible feeling that they have been discontinued. Whatever the case, they are the best wading boots for saltwater fishing that I have ever come across - so why sell them with the most perfectly useless laces in the world? If you get a couple of trips out of them before they start breaking I reckon you have done pretty well, but of course the paracord I was recommended has completely sorted this issue for me.
The new Daiwa Exceler 3000-HA spinning reel - this spinning reel is really growing on me, and the fact that you can find it for around the £75 is almost a joke. But already I would prefer the reel to have a slightly slower retrieve (although to be honest the fishing I do with soft plastics has so helped me to be able to slow my retrieve down anyway), and in a perfect world it would have the sublime handle that the older blue Luvias 3000 has, as in the photo above. As I said earlier, these are not remotely faults with the product, rather it's me as an angler wanting something just that little bit different.
Shimano Sustain 4000FG - I love this spinning reel, but to get at a couple of the bearings inside I must ask whether the designers were having a particularly sadistic day and decided to make it necessary to source and then buy one of the smallest Allen keys I have ever seen to get at them. Awesome bit of kit, but without doubt the bearings need a fairly regular dose of oil, and it drives me absolutely loopy that on this particular reel you need that one tiny little Allen key to get at some of them. Why?
Why can't all spools of leader be as easy to get line off as say the excellent YGK Nitlon Nitlon DFC spools, or those brilliant Sufix ones where the line is held in place by the two circular halves that enclose those larger size spools, and then you simply pull off what you need. I have now fished a bit with the rather nice Asso Super Fluorocarbon, but in my opinion the spool the line comes on is about as badly designed as it's possible to make it - one wrong move and a load of fluoro literally flies off the spool. Why?
Graphiteleader Argento Nuovo lure rods - Awesome bits of kit, but after a while I started to question why the handle is the way it is, and I can't help but want a handle design where the the back of your right hand is at least sitting on duplon or cork etc. I accept that in these situations there is going to be a reason for things being the way they are, but that doesn't stop the likes of you and I from sometimes wanting something to be just that little bit different.
Stormr Fusion jacket - This is one serious bit of kit, but if I was to change stuff, it would be the length of arms for starters - again, there must be a reason why they are a little short, but I would love to make the arms on the jacket a little bit longer. The actual "sealing" bit of the sleeve is the right length, albeit if you go sticking your arm in the water (cradling a fish for example) you will still end up with a soaking wet sleeve - nope, it's the "covering" bit of sleeve about this that is too short and then always rides up if that makes sense. I also think that the sizing of these Fusion jackets is not quite right either - an XL Simms wading jacket fits me perfectly for example, but I have got the XXL Stormr Fusion jacket here and I still think that it could do with a tiny bit more room in certain areas.
And then you come across those bits of kit that I have spent plenty of time with but for the life of me I can't think of anything I would change. This doesn't make them perfect, rather that I have found them to be perfect for me. I have tried and tried, but I can't find one single thing I would like to change about the 9'6'' 10-30g Major Craft Truzer for example. Every single thing about the rod seems perfectly suited to me and the way I fish, but of course we are all different. For years and years now I have used the LowePro DryZone camera rucksacks, and for a lure fishing/camera rucksack, I can't find a single thing that I don't like about the smaller Rover model. I wish it was cheaper I suppose, but that is all. The HPA lure bag is a really simple product that I can't really find anything wrong with - sure, it could have a bunch more features I suppose, but as a pretty cheap and effective way to carry a couple of lure boxes around my waist I have yet to find anything I like more. But yes, I'd love a crack at coming up with the "perfect" lure carrying waist bag thing.
And of course I can't go without mentioning England's rather momentous win on Friday evening. I happen to think that it's the most important win of Stuart Lancaster's tenure. Sure, it was bloody awesome when England turned the All Blacks over, but if you take where the England team is, the fact that it's a World Cup year, it was the first match of the Six Nations and without a doubt Wales were the favourites, and loads of players were out injured yet this might well have been a blessing in disguise with the combinations that were thus allowed to come together. That second half was something else, and as much as I reckon the Welsh team has got some incredibly talented players who have done some incredible things over the last few years, without a doubt they had no Plan B, and England were by far the fitter side. I am not getting ahead of myself, but that was one vital game of rugby I reckon. Be still my beating heart!!