What do you need from an electronic bite alarm?
- It needs to register bites and tell you about them.
- It needs to seat your rod firmly.
- It needs to be able to take any accessories that you want to add.
- It needs to be waterproof, especially in the UK!
- It needs all the adjustability that your fishing entails.
- It needs to be affordable.
There are a number of alarms that fit the first five criteria, but how many fail on the last one?
First impressions of the GFM from Good Fishing was that it was very compact. This is certainly no bulky piece of kit and certainly ‘looks the part.
In went a 9v battery and the obligatory ‘turn it up as loud as possible’ test. The GFM is perfectly loud enough – if you need louder, then you’re not fishing responsibly. If you’re a really deep sleeper, then you’ll be using an extension box.
The GFM is compatible with most other brands and, if you haven’t got one already, GFM supply their own extension boxes. We haven’t tested these, but their website gives details of how they work in perfect harmony with their alarms. Oh, and a quick note about the battery compartment - there's no fiddling around with it. Simply pop off the cover and away you go - you can even change the battery whilst it's attached to your pod/bankstick.
There’s no better test for a piece of kit than to get out there and use it. The GFM has accompanied me on a number of trips so far, some for pike and some for carp. On two of those occasions, it tipped it down! This is where inferior bite alarms often fail, having been made without due consideration to our climate. The GFM that I have has been outdoors for days in the rain and still works perfectly.
So why is the GFM so cheap, at just £39.90?
To be honest, I don’t know. I can only assume that because it’s not one of the ‘sexy’ brands, it sells at a more realistic price. The pike world have been aware of Good Fishing alarms for some time now, but dare I say that many carp anglers are influenced by the strong marketing of other brands? Indeed, a fellow carp angler showed a great deal of interest in the GFM recently – his opening line was, "Isn’t that one of those alarms the pike boys use? Mind if I have a look?" A short while later, the alarm sounded, I grabbed the rod and my pb 26lb 8oz carp hit the net! What a dream test for this alarm! You should note, also, that the GFM has been specifically designed with carp in mind.
So, if you’re looking for a fully loaded alarm that is very reasonably priced, take a look at the Good Fishing website and see for yourself that good quality fishing tackle is still being made in the UK. Oh, and if you only fish occasionally and want something even cheaper, prices start at just £19.90 and all of the accessories are very keenly priced, too.
As a parting note, Steve Burke, our features editor, was so impressed that he is now buying three bite alarms from Good Fishing!
If you need extra information that isn't on the Good Fishing site, please email firstname.lastname@example.org It would be nice if you could mention Anglers' Net.