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When Horseshoe carp had mouths.
they are sponsored or not because
some of it could and will be useful.
Let’s set things straight; I’m a sponsored angler, and as with most other
sponsored anglers that I know, I
wouldn’t be involved with the companies that I am unless I had total confidence in most of their products. I say
most of their products because there
is always going to be the odd product
in the range where you prefer someone else’s. I can remember doing the
filming with Terry Hearn. At the time
Terry was sponsored by
Drennan/E.S.P, yet for his own fishing
preferred to use Gardiner’s GR60 line.
Now Terry never made this a secret,
and although for obvious reasons he
couldn’t put it in print, if anybody ever
asked him what line he used then he
was always very honest and said
GR60. I think what some people are
always a bit sceptical about is anglers
who are continually moving from
company to company, and to a degree
I can agree with that. Take bait companies for example; in truth probably
all of them produce good quality baits
for the price that they sell them for. In
fact it is probably more difficult to
produce a bait that doesn’t catch
carp! What you do hear on the bank
though is anglers disbelieving what
bait company sponsored anglers are
saying, as they have jumped ship
again. From a personal point of view I
have never chosen to get myself
involved in any bait company spon-
sorships, mainly because I much prefer the freedom of being able to use
whatever I like.
I can remember back to when the
late Alan Smith and I had a little bait
company, Ultima Baits. It was a bit of
a nightmare really, because although
the bait we produced was real top
quality, it was at the time when the
frozen Richworths were being fired
into waters by the shed load therefore
we just couldn’t compete catch wise
with the anglers that were using
them. Due to availability of food, the
carp viewed the Richworths as a nat-
Keep ‘em looking like this.
ural food and part of their staple diet;
it was as simple as that. Had I not
been involved with a bait company
then I would’ve jumped on the bandwagon and undoubtedly caught more
as a result. So that’s my advice really
– most tackle and bait companies
produce good quality products, so by
all means listen to sponsored anglers’
advice, but also have a look round the
banks for yourself to see what the
successful anglers are using.
Regarding mouth damage, I cannot
stress enough how important it is to
be using rigs and end tackle that is as
safe as possible, and if in doubt, then
ask. Ok, no rig can ever be completely
safe and there is always going to be
the odd little unforeseen accident, but
there really is no excuse nowadays
not to be using something that is as
safe as possible as there is so much
written on the subject. Perhaps my
biggest gripe is with barbless hooks,
as on most of the fisheries that I have
fished that have a barbless hook rule
the carp’s mouths have been in a terrible state. I think it’s fine to fish for
smaller species such as roach and
perch etc using barbless hooks, but
with bigger species such as carp,
because the hook can and does move
around quite a bit during the fight,
loads of irreparable damage can be
caused. So that’s it really, be safe
rather than sorry; the carp we catch
are the reason we go fishing for them
so they need to be treated with the
utmost respect that they deserve. See
you next time.


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