FL09June - Page 122



Made in England
someone’s marketed the teaspoon
idea). How good was that old Harrison rod that I caught Jack on, all
those years ago? Bloody marvellous,
and bloody good value, but since then
I’ve had a dozen different rods. Some
I’ve paid for, some I haven’t, but I’m
still tempted by the bright new
things, just like the rest of you. Jack
Hilton hooks – do you remember
them? Good enough for Jack Hilton
and his peers – all we needed to do
was sharpen ‘em a bit. I wonder what
the ratio is; carp angler for less than
ten years to carp angler for more than
ten years? This sport is getting busier
and busier, so I’d say the ‘less thans’
outweigh the ‘more thans’ by about
5:4 at the moment, but it won’t be
long before it’s 2:1. Then it’ll soon be
less than five years that is in the
ascendancy. The point is that the
knowledge in depth is being watered
down, and there are so many points of
view and opinions being voiced that,
in the rising din, all that people are
doing is putting their fingers in their
ears.
So then what happens? I’ll just go
down to the lake and tie this on, it
seems pretty straightforward. I’ll just
follow the instructions on the packet.
Bugger, wish I’d brought my glasses
with me; this print is so bloody small.
Oh well, that looks okay. I can move it
up and down fairly easily, so I’m sure
a carp’ll be able to do it as well, what
with it being so dextrous. I’m sorry
Danny, it doesn’t wash. We’re all culpable. The guys who appear in CarpTalk make it look like it’s so easy, and
the bulk of them are sponsored by
this, that or the other company, using
these rods, those hooks and that bait.
I write about Mainline bait, and people buy the stuff on the strength of
that. I’ve got to say, though, that I’ve
been using it for almost as long as
they’ve been going, which is coming
up to two decades, and the reason I
use it is because I have the utmost
confidence in it. How can someone
have confidence in these rods and
these hooks one week then, with a
change of sponsor, eulogise about
totally different tackle items the very
next week? It’s hypocritical. That’s
the word – hypocrisy. So, rather than
trying to defend the indefensible, why
doesn’t someone suddenly say, “Hey,
I’ve got an idea, let’s not have any
new ideas this year. Let’s stick with
what we’ve got. In fact, let’s thin it
out a little so the customers’ only
choice is a simple one.” Bloody hell,
that would be something. Much better than a free underwater DVD, don’t
you think? Hello? Are you still with
me? Sorry about that. Well, actually
I’m not, but it’s such a huge subject
that little old me won’t make a dent in
it, but we have to try, don’t we?
On to more pressing matters, and
that is the painful fact that, despite all
the obvious facts to the contrary, the
likes of Dick Walker, Peter Stone and
probably good old Jack Hilton himself
just wouldn’t have cut it in this new
era of carp angling. What, you doubt
me? Well, I’m sorry, but I have it from
the highest authority – Mark Gnomes.
Sorry? What? Oh, sorry, okay. Mark
Holmes!
What do you mean, ‘Who?’
Have you no breeding, know you
nothing of this vanquisher of huge
carp from far and wide? Well, not very
far, actually, and, if truth be known,
not too wide either. Allow me to elucidate… Thank you (clear that up will
you, dear?).
Where to begin? Well, let’s start
(Top) Someone who would have
thrived 40 years ago.
(Left) Neil and Alice, a perfect end to
the season.
122 FREE LINE

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