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Big Carp Now and Then
do now, I reckon I would probably do
it all again and still love every minute
of it, although I would probably buy a
few shares in Nokia and Apple as
soon as I got back there!
Now and Then
– Kevin Nash
I was quite taken aback to learn that
Big Carp Magazine is over 20 years
old. I guess I shouldn’t have been,
because if I had thought about it, I
would have known it. I remember
when Rob started the magazine, or
rather, when he twisted arms and
nagged as many as he could to put
pen to paper for him. He would then
collect all the articles up and hand
them over to this guy who would turn
up once a month at Farlows, to
‘organise’ and make it into a magazine. I never could quite understand
Rob’s interpretation of the role as editor, but I guess he had his priorities
right. Carping first, work later – or
dare I suggest no work at all?
I was there to witness Rob Maylin’s
rise to fame. I guess it came about at
precisely the time when the world
woke up to carp big time, in the 80s. I
have some fond memories and amusing moments to relive; with quite a
few stories about Rob, the Famous
Five and we friends, many of which
couldn’t possibly be put in print –
shining times, and Rob stood out.
Not only was he one of the biggest
charmers and stroke pullers I have
ever met; he was one of the greatest
thinkers and best anglers of this time.
I think Rob’s contribution to carp fishing has not been recognised as much
as it should have been. If you said, for
example, Rod Hutchinson and Kevin
Maddocks were the greatest carpers
of the late 70s and early 80s then I
would suggest that Rob took up the
crown for the late 80s. Funnily
enough, in my book, The Demon Eye,
Rob is mentioned in the Harefield
chapters, and in fact, after I left Harefield, he made a successful video of
the lake.
Rob started his magazine, from recollection a year or so after I brought
out the Nash Tackle Annual, which I
think set two milestones. At the time
it was the peak of the all encompassing Nash Tackle range supplying
everything (well, almost) that a carp
angler would need, and it was the
peak of Nash Tackle’s dominance, or
should I say, virtual monopoly of
the carp tackle trade. Just like
Rob, I was trying to balance my
life in an out of control business,
where suddenly the whole
world wanted to go carp fishing
and wanted to buy gear, with
only one real desire – to be out
on the bank carping. It’s fair to
say that neither Rob nor I made
a good job of this juggling act,
and both our businesses went
through troubled times. This
opened the door for other concerns to nick some of my market, but it didn’t matter, as carp
fishing was growing quicker
than I could ever have managed. So in a way the copiers
were doing me a favour by taking some of the pressure off me
so I could go fishing.
Some of these, shall we call
them the new breed of carp tackle
companies, have been amazingly
successful. In fact, depending on how
you measure success, far more successful than Nash Tackle managed to
be in the forthcoming decade. Why
was this? It was because of a subtle
difference – these were businessmen
selling carp tackle, whereas I was, and
always will be, a carp angler making a
living selling carp tackle. So, dozens
and dozens of my unique and innovative designs were stolen from me and
earned fortunes for others. You may
think I would be pretty pissed, but
actually, that is not the case at all,
because I have the benefit of being
Awesome carp.
The Lane.
able to look back now, some 20 years
later, and share this milestone with
Rob of his 200th issue of Big Carp
magazine. Both Rob and I have had a
great journey. We lived it, enjoyed the
crack, and managed to survive. Now
we can look back – we are still in
business over 20 years later, but the
difference to most other companies
currently in the game is that it wasn’t
business for us; it was life’s journey.
The gear I sold and the thousands of
magazines and books Rob has sold
financed our fishing – the party – and
we have caught an awful lot of big
carp along the way.

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