Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Obviously I don’t need it, but that’s missing the point - I want it, which is another thing entirely……….

Needing something is one thing, but wanting something is completely different, and for all the shiny fishing tackle I either own or that passes through my hands and ends up as a review on here, there is always something else out there that I haven’t seen yet but could be “the one”. Damn right, I don’t actually need a new lure rod or spinning reel or whatever, but for some of us there seems to be this twisted little part of our brain that likes to play with us and our weaknesses for the shiny stuff. Read on and I will describe to you how a grownup man with a wife, two children, a mortgage and a Citroen Berlingo couldn’t get to sleep the other night because he is churning forth the eternal question in his head: “Do I really need it?” And then the little voice from the darkest corner of my mind pipes up: “Obviously you don’t need it, but you want it, don’t you?” Help……………

On Wednesday I am passing by Wadebridge so of course I have to drop into see Ben at his scarily impressive Art of Fishing tackle shop, and especially because he’s texted me earlier in the week to tell me (ruin me?) that he’s got a couple of new lure rods in that I really should see - and note here that he’s mentioned lure rods and nothing else. I can just about deal with that. Sure, I end up wanting far too many of the rods that pass through my hands for review purposes, but I am getting to the stage that I have been lucky enough to have fished with that many that I don’t then want every uber impressive lure rod that I get to try out. Or at least that is what I tell myself.

Anyway, so I open the door to the Art of Fishing, say hi to Ben, and we get down to the serious business of waggling some new lure rods. Crumbs. But it’s ok, I am breathing fine, I haven’t got that sense of panic like I get when I walk into a BassPro store in the US and know that I will never actually have enough time to see it all. I love seeing Ben’s amazing array of lure fishing rods and he is kind enough to let me sometimes take the odd rod away to fish with and write reviews if I want to. All is cool and of course I also re-pick up some lure rods that I have waggled before.

Have you ever read that Stephen King book “Needful Things?” I have read most of his books over the years, indeed “It” by this author is in my top three books of all time, and yes, I can’t wait to see what the soon to be released film is going to be like - loving the look of the trailers. Anyway, the plot of “Needful Things” from Wikipedia is as follows: “A new shop named "Needful Things" opens in the town of Castle Rock, Maine, sparking the curiosity of its citizens. The proprietor, Leland Gaunt, is a charming elderly gentleman who always seems to have an item in stock that is perfectly suited to any customer who comes through his door.” OK, so Ben at the Art of Fishing is not elderly, but do you get my drift here?

So we’re waggling rods and talking about world peace and currency exchange rates etc. OK, so that last bit is a lie, but we are purring over lure rods like a couple of junkies dealing smack in a dimly lit car park - and then Ben casually goes over to his counter and drops this question into play as easily as my hands might literally stroke a new lure rod: “Henry, have you seen the new Shimano Twin Power reel?” As he is oh so casually asking me this question, he is pulling one of the sexiest looking spinning reels out of a box that I have ever laid eyes on……………

“No Ben, I haven’t, but I am guessing this is it? The thing is Ben, I just don’t think that it’s really worth spending so much money on a spinning reel with how long it’s going to last compared to cheaper spinning reels which these days are mostly so damn good”.

Or some horseshit along those lines, and please excuse my French here.

I do actually mean that about expensive versus cheaper spinning reels by the way, but you need to understand what has happened here - like the purveyor of fine filth that he is, Ben has almost matter of factly put a brand new Shimano Twin Power XD C3000 HG spinning reel into my hands, and like the tackle junkie that I so obviously am, without even realising I am turning that handle and cooing over the (to me) perfect reel handle and how ridiculously smooth and together and light and sexy the reel is.

The regular part of my head is saying to me that of course I don’t need a new spinning reel when I have enough already, and that how on earth could I justify spending that sort of dosh on a reel that could probably stop a horse dead in its tracks and is of course far more than we could ever actually need to catch bass and so on. That logical stuff is easy, but the simple fact is that I am holding (caressing?) in my hands one of the loveliest looking and feeling spinning reels that I can recall picking up. I know it’s not going to stay that Shimano out of the box smooth for ever, and yes, you don’t get a spare spool with it, and yes, it’s way overgunned for a fish that might reach 10lbs if I am lucky.

But all that logic is completely beside the point now, because I want it. Sure as night follows day I don’t need this new Shimano Twin Power XD C3000 HG spinning reel, but I am weak around nice shiny fishing tackle, and the seed is now sown - and I can’t unsow it. On Wednesday night I simply could not get to sleep with churning the “obviously don’t need it” thing through my head, while the little voice threw endless reasons why I do actually now need a reel like this at me. I am lying there in bed mentally turning that perfect reel handle as I fish perfect bass mark after perfect bass mark, and it’s gone 1am before I drift off - to then wake up at 5am with this blog post bouncing around my brain. Welcome to my head dear readers!

You all have a good weekend. I am off to the Isles of Scilly on Sunday with my wife and Storm our sheepdog. Our two girls will be in France with their French friends and it’s the perfect chance to spend a few days in one of our favourite places on earth, and yes, obviously, the fishing gear is coming with me. I will blog when possible, but it’s me taking a few days off so things might be sporadic next week. How many more nights though will be consumed with turning that reel handle?

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