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Angling advances and changes


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very little in tackle bar weight ,everything you own now has been around in the past tackle wise.

 

Spot on Chesters.

 

Braided line ? Does anyone remember Milward's Black Spider (and White Spider) available in the 1950s ?

 

Bite Alarms ? I still have a pair of Heron alarms I bought in the early 60s. Have not used them (or any other electric/electronic alarm) since the late 60s !

 

Soft lures ? ABU did a range called the CELLO in various colours in the 60s, and before that, a small dead fish presented on an Archer mount was as good a soft lure as anything else.

 

Boilies ? Chris Plumb will tell you Izaak Walton used them. Certainly a sort of hair-rigged boilie (called a noquette - a cube of flavoured hemp held together with gum arabic and suspended from the hook by a short thread) was being written about by Raoul Renault - a French angling author - in 1938 - yes that's right, 1938 - 33 years before the "invention" of the hair rig.

 

Carbon rods - well, I welcome them in two contexts - firstly as multipiece travel rods they take a lot of the pain out of carrying rods by air. (Airlines love to hassle passengers with overlength baggage) and secondly, as sea rods they are more salt resistant than cane rods - and in the big game range (50 lb class and upwards), a lighter rod for the same strength is useful.

 

However, for virtually all my freshwater fishing (which includes fly fishing for trout and salmon) and light sea fishing I own carbon rods, glass rods, splitcane rods, greenheart rods, and even a couple of rods made from native British woods. I catch fish on them all, but I use and enjoy my split canes most.

 

...and yes carbon is lighter than glass, which in turn is lighter than cane, which is lighter than greenheart - so what? - NONE of them is particularly heavy in the first place. I have fished a single-handed 10 foot greenheart fly rod all day since age 70 without dropping from exhaustion - what is all this obsession with lightness - are we men or mice?

 

Chesters talks about tackle weight - ironically, although individual items might be lighter, the total poundage humped round the lake by yer average angler is about six times greater than I used in the fifties.

 

"Luggage" - what a revealing term that is - I'm amazed tackle firms promote it as such.

 

"Luggage" is also used in the sense "met this raver at a disco - got it together until I found out she carried too much luggage - three kids in care, two ex-husbands who still had visiting rights, a coke habit and a psychotic girlfriend who's into martial arts"

 

 

RNLI Governor

 

World species 471 : UK species 105 : English species 95 .

Certhia's world species - 215

Eclectic "husband and wife combined" world species 501

 

"Nothing matters very much, few things matter at all" - Plato

...only things like fresh bait and cold beer...

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Fair point Vagabond regarding braided line, bite alarms and boilies being around BUT how widespread was their use?

 

Were they things that you expected every angler to have even heard of let alone have? I doubt it back then whereas now I would be surprised if any angler didn't have/hadn't used at least one of those three.

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There's a world of difference btween Dacron and gell spun pollyethelene.

Species caught in 2020: Barbel. European Eel. Bleak. Perch. Pike.

Species caught in 2019: Pike. Bream. Tench. Chub. Common Carp. European Eel. Barbel. Bleak. Dace.

Species caught in 2018: Perch. Bream. Rainbow Trout. Brown Trout. Chub. Roach. Carp. European Eel.

Species caught in 2017: Siamese carp. Striped catfish. Rohu. Mekong catfish. Amazon red tail catfish. Arapaima. Black Minnow Shark. Perch. Chub. Brown Trout. Pike. Bream. Roach. Rudd. Bleak. Common Carp.

Species caught in 2016: Siamese carp. Jullien's golden carp. Striped catfish. Mekong catfish. Amazon red tail catfish. Arapaima. Alligator gar. Rohu. Black Minnow Shark. Roach, Bream, Perch, Ballan Wrasse. Rudd. Common Carp. Pike. Zander. Chub. Bleak.

Species caught in 2015: Brown Trout. Roach. Bream. Terrapin. Eel. Barbel. Pike. Chub.

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Obviously, the most important advance in angling over the past few years, is the camoflaged Carp fishing hot water bottle I spotted a few days ago! What with the toilet bags for bivvies I saw last season, I really think we're better off!

 

Seriously though, the most important thing to me I suppose, has been the more widespread use and creation of better Polorised glasses. This enables anglers to improve the best tactic of actually spotting the fish before you cast to them. You can have the best bait/rod/bite alarm/rig combination in the world, but if it ain't in front of a fish, you ain't gonna catch! With decent specs, the fish find it harder to hide.

Dunk Fairley

Fighting for anglers' rights - Join SAA today at http://www.saauk.org

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Fair point Vagabond regarding braided line, bite alarms and boilies being around BUT how widespread was their use?

 

Were they things that you expected every angler to have even heard of let alone have? .

 

In the early days of AT (the 1950s) Milward advertised their Black Spider line every week ! So it was widely read about and a lot of anglers used it.

 

I used it - and KenL, it might have been very different in strength-diameter ratio from gel-spun polyethylene, but it does have something in common with it - I've caught decent fish on both.

 

...and there were letters nearly every week in AT about bite alarms and night fishing. Almost everyone was talking about them. Dick Walker and his mates catching fish at night with their alarms, and the old brigade banging on about fishing at night being akin to poaching, and bite alarms being unfair, unsporting, and detracting from the true spirit of angling. (Just like Peter Waller when Wordbender winds him up :D:D )

 

So both braid and bite alarms were well known in the 50s.

 

....and of course from early Victorian times, a bite alarm in the form of a ferret bell clipped to the rod top was standard seashore fishing equipment.

 

Boilies were not known as such, except in France, where the use of noquettes was fairly common before WWII. - but plenty of people were messing about here with hard pastes - I remember making a Hovis and honey paste and leaving it on a sunny windowsill to harden up - caught some wildies on it too.

 

...and back to sea fishing, the principle of the hair rig was applied every time someone presented a long strip of mackerel hooked through one end - a practice which has been going on for at least a hundred years.

 

....and the principle of the bolt rig was applied every time someone chucked out a 6 oz lead from the seashore with either a paternoster or a flowing trace attached - again methods going back into the mists of time..

 

Its amazing how long it took carp fishers to realise their quarry could be caught with cod tackle!!!

 

PS Just read Dunk. LOL

 

I haven't much use for a camouflaged hot water bottle, as I belive in inner warmth - so where can I get a camouflaged hip flask ?

 

It's not the fish I wish to hide it from, but my thirsty fishing mates!

Edited by Vagabond

 

 

RNLI Governor

 

World species 471 : UK species 105 : English species 95 .

Certhia's world species - 215

Eclectic "husband and wife combined" world species 501

 

"Nothing matters very much, few things matter at all" - Plato

...only things like fresh bait and cold beer...

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Dacron,buzzers etc etc definatekly fit in the 30 year period you laid down Ken.Im only 47 so in the 70's was a teenager but I used Black Spider for both hook lengths and as a main line for trolling.Also used the IGFA "Green Dot" stuff for boat fishing.Had Herons long before my first Optonics.

 

Back to the main question.

 

After some thought the greatest change is the explosion in carp angling and its related angling ethos that this has brought about.

 

I remember when everyone started off catching small fish (in fact whatever came along) on light float fishing tackle.This taught you how to play fish on light tackle (as every now and again a big fish would be hooked by accident).It taught you the basics of the two most important fish catching skills ie feeding and general watercraft.It also gave you a love (and respect) for fish of all sizes and species.

 

As your experience and skill grew you would be tempted to try and catch more bigger fish by design or match your ability against other experienced anglers in matchs.Both would greatly add to your knowledge.Some would choose to specialise in one of these two disciplines others would carry on being "all round" anglers.Either way by this point in their angling "careers" they would have gained much knowledge and all round experience of angling.This would help them be able to use a wide range of techniques for a wide rande of species in most conditions.I suppose this amount of experience really did qualify them to be classed as "experts" to a certain degree.As I know several top matchmen who later moved into specimen/carp fishing (but very few specimen/carp anglers who did the same match wise) I suppose you could have said the carp angler was at the top of the tree and a true expert..............

 

These days thanks to the likes of KM's "kiss and tell" Carp Fever etc and the commercial exploitation of both carp tackle,baits and fisheries we have the modern situation of the "Instant carp angler" sadly this also gives rise to the "instant expert" phenonomem as well (I carp fish/carp fishers are experts/therefore Im an expert).It has also made all of what I wrote in the previous paragraph now untrue or at best unusual.

 

The long session,multi rod,boillie/pellet,bolt rig,buzzer and bivvy aproach spawned by carp angling has now become a standard method for a lot of angling.I honestly (allthough please note Im not knocking it as I indeed use it and have done for many years in certain situations) dont believe that this is because it is such an effective method sadly more likely that it is the only method known and used by many!

 

Despite all the good things ie tackle and bait development that has come from this carp boom I dont class it as a good thing in general for either anglers (in the long run) or angling as a whole.The detrimental side far out weighing the benifits.

 

Undoubtedly the major difference/change that Ive seen in angling in the last 30 years.It being the driving force behind most if not quite all of the other changes mentioned by other posters all ready.Also the main or at least contributing factors behind a few other changes that I have noticed.

 

The second big change is the general increasing in size of most of our freshwater species.Any talk of catching 60lb Carp,50lb Cats,15lb Bream,20lb Zeds or Barbel,4lb Perch etc etc would have just made you a laughing stock back in the 70's! I feel that the main reasons behind this have been the increase in chemical (fertalizer) run off from the land into our water tables and changing trends in our climate.But once again carp angling with its many extra tons of high protein food being introduced on a regular basis must have its contributery factor.

 

The third biggest change (all in my opinion of course) is the much denied decline in the UK's shore fishing for especially Cod.I dont care what the officials say,I dont care what todays modern beach anglers say (after all how can they compare when they werent doing it back then?),more importantly I dont care what the charter skipper who finds a remote wreck then rapes it says,UK shore cod fishing has long gone.Well to the standard that I experienced back in the 70' and to an extent the 80's anyway.I seriously doubt that it will ever be seen again in not just my life time but my grand kids either.

 

The fourth change is the change in the "finnancial pecking order".What I mean by that is in the time period being disscussed Ive seen the most expensive (other than salmon or wild trout of course) day ticket fishing switch from still water trout fishing to some coarse fishing.Partly due once again to the carp boom and partly to the fishery managers realising that its a lot more easier to make a commercial carp/coarse venue pay than a put and take trout fishery.

 

The fith and final being tackle.I tend to agree,in fact I agree strongly! with others here who say that tackle wise there have been no really major break throughs.Basicly I cant think of a single "new" piece of gear that has really meant the difference between catching and not on a regular basis.Yes things have been refined/improved but nothing new.The tackle and tactics used by a good angler back then would still catch today.

What has changed though (and dramaticly at that) is the price of functional gear.I have never known it to be so cheap.It wasnt that long ago when a standard carp rod or match rod would cost over £100.Now you actually have a choice of perfectly good rods of at least the same standard for around £30! absolutely amazing! I dont care if the Chinese arnt "developing" "new" tackle and just copying existing gear! After all whats so devistatingly new about any of the tackle from the companies who justify their high prices by claiming to do "development"? Im more than happy with both the "technological" and "quality" level of modern cheap tackle.If I need new stuff or to replace older gear I will hapily buy it! I cant buy a set of decent rings for a rod for the same price as I can get a ready built one.

 

So thats my five changes.Some are "advances" and others sadly not.

And thats my "non indicative opinion"!

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With you all the way there Budgie, but you have not included the huge advances that matchangling has contributed, or indeed the complete transformation in sea angling tackle and techniques.

 

Den

"When through the woods and forest glades I wanderAnd hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,And hear the brook, and feel the breeze;and see the waves crash on the shore,Then sings my soul..................

for all you Spodders. https://youtu.be/XYxsY-FbSic

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I know what you mean about tackle prices.

I remember match anglers paying the price of a new car for a pole that was a bit longer or a bit lighter than their competators. Now, a good one can be had for the price of a quality pushbike.

Species caught in 2020: Barbel. European Eel. Bleak. Perch. Pike.

Species caught in 2019: Pike. Bream. Tench. Chub. Common Carp. European Eel. Barbel. Bleak. Dace.

Species caught in 2018: Perch. Bream. Rainbow Trout. Brown Trout. Chub. Roach. Carp. European Eel.

Species caught in 2017: Siamese carp. Striped catfish. Rohu. Mekong catfish. Amazon red tail catfish. Arapaima. Black Minnow Shark. Perch. Chub. Brown Trout. Pike. Bream. Roach. Rudd. Bleak. Common Carp.

Species caught in 2016: Siamese carp. Jullien's golden carp. Striped catfish. Mekong catfish. Amazon red tail catfish. Arapaima. Alligator gar. Rohu. Black Minnow Shark. Roach, Bream, Perch, Ballan Wrasse. Rudd. Common Carp. Pike. Zander. Chub. Bleak.

Species caught in 2015: Brown Trout. Roach. Bream. Terrapin. Eel. Barbel. Pike. Chub.

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I gave it a lot of thought Den but as we were limited to just 5 things I didnt think that the changes you quite rightly mention came above any of those I mentioned.

 

There have certainly been big advances in sea angling both from the shore and boat.Modern techniques and tackle certainly enabling you to fish further out and more efficiently......but compared to coarse angling only a relatively small minority of sea anglers seem to have taken these things up or indeed bothered to learn about them! It is now relatively easy to fish a bait from the shore at 120m (an important distance on several beachs I used to fish regularly) but despite many tournement casters being able to put a lead over 200m on grass regularly how many actual beach anglers do you see who can even fish or cast anywhere near a 100 still? Just havnt bothered to take up the advances.

 

Most (if not all) boat anglers who used wire (to overcome tide pressure and the need for big leads) have switched to braid....but how many never used wire anyway? still many struggle with mono. See what I mean? Ive often thought that the percentage of truely competent sea anglers is a lot smaller than the percentage of competant coarse anglers? Sea anglers have allways seemed reluctant to take on anything new that requires any effort to learn/master.After all look at your own inovation! how many simply did not bother?

 

Match angling has changed a lot but I feel that most of these changes are a result of the carp boom Ive all ready mentioned.I also feel that a big change (and not for the better) is the "specialisation" that a lot of todays match anglers show. I often wonder if the likes of todays commercial "power pole and pellet" or "method feeder" guys coul;d hold there own against the skills of the older matchmen when it came to fishing the far bank with a waggler for chub or trotting a stick float for roach let alone amassing a winning weight of bleak? Down to specialisation and carp fisheries I suppose.Allthough many of the series of big matchs are held on the same type of venue unlike the old leagues that would/could see compettiters on cannals,lakes or rivers over the series.

 

Could list lots more changes both good and bad but as I said the ones I gave were my "top Five" at least in the way they have personally affected my fishing.

 

The 30 years was a good time period for me personally to reflect on.The amount and indeed impact of the changes in the period is amazing. I cant even begin to imagine how some one of your age and angling experience must regard the changes youve seen during your time.

And thats my "non indicative opinion"!

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For me the biggest change is the introduction and development of the pole, (a far cry from the home made tank aerial rod I made back in the fifties :rolleyes: )

Everything else has been a fairly steady evolution, from legering with an arlsley bomb to the method feeder for example.

True, commercials have proliferated and that is not necessarily a bad thing as many seem to think

I well remember fishing Old Bury Hill back in the sixties.

The pole however, to me, has been quite a dramatic change, and one that I thought I would never have taken up. Just shows, you can teach an old dog new tricks :thumbs: :thumbs:

As no man is born an artist, so no man is born an angler. Izaac Walton

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