Colin Mitchell, in his popular no-nonsense Sunday blog, talks tackle. If you like this blog, click the social media share buttons above.

YOU’VE all got your favourite rods, reels, hooks and baits. But over the course of any 12 months some of these things can change.

New tackle releases or just discoveries of things that are new to you change the items in your tackle or bait box.

Here, in no particular order, are some things that became new or invaluable to me during 2014…

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  1. 911 and Animal hooks

Kamasan Animal hooks have been one of my favoured patterns for some time now. They are totally reliable and super strong. But for a little bit lighter work with smaller baits the Kamasan 911 came back into my armoury this season. A great barbless pattern with a bend that helps retain both bait and fish.

 

  1. Quick stops

There are scores of bait stops on the market that cover virtually every sort of fishing you are likely to do. But the Quick pattern from Preston is just so neat, tidy and easy to use with the special needle that pushes the stop through your bait. I also love the Rapid in-stops with the ‘feet’ that are brilliant for meat.

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  1. Micro pellets

As an all-round feed I don’t think you can beat micros. Put in just a few when the fishing is hard or you don’t want too many fish in your swim to prevent foul hooking. Feed heavier if the fishing is better. The fact there are hundreds of little pellets for fish to root among can keep them in your swim longer. And of course soak them just right and they are fantastic to mould around a Method feeder.

 

  1. Pulla kits

Side pullas, end pullas…no longer do we have to have metres and metres of carbon stuck up in the air with loads of elastic stretched across a lake as we try to control big fish. What a simple but fantastic invention that has now developed further with special PTFE bushes, wheels and a whole load of other accessories.

I'm a fan of this stuff!

I’m a fan of this stuff!

 

  1. Preston Reflo Power Line

This found a place in my tackle box some time ago now and it’s retained my confidence for yet another year. It’s not unusual for a brand of line to have a subtle change which affects its performance or what you expect of it. No change in this line’s performance or ability to do what I ask of it, particularly for strong pole rigs.azur-matrix-azur-rod-holdall

 

  1. Frenzee Pro feeder rods

Light, strong, lovely to use commercial-style rods that cast as well as they fish. Even better, they are quality at the right price. I can’t say any more other than they have quickly earned a regular place in my holdall!

 

  1. Matrix luggage

It looks good and it works! Having bought a medium carryall that caught my eye at The Big One Show, I realised the Azure luggage wasn’t just good looking! It’s got great zips, is made of strong material and holds everything I want. So a stylish medium sized holdall has been added.

 

  1. Re-sealable bags

If your other half cooks stuff and stores it in the freezer there’s a good chance she uses re-sealable plastic bags bought from a supermarket. They come in different sizes and I use loads. They act as litter bags, bait bags for corn and meat, and especially left-over bait that’s going in the freezer. I just wash out the bags my missus has used and recyle them for my fishing!

 

  1. Short No.4

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    Colin Mitchell’s tackle choices have helped put a smile on his face over the past year. Read his blogs on the AM website!

I’d carried a short No.4 section for my Daiwa pole for ages but had always stuck to the longer conventional one. Then something trigged me into trying the short version and seeing if it really did do as it said and stiffened the pole Bingo! Not only stiffer but also safer from potential section breakages with bigger fish. In fact I noticed the difference so much I’ve now got a second No.4.

 

10. Microfleece

I do a lot of walking in the wilds and have always thought how my gear for that would be ideal for fishing. So a specialist lightweight microfleece has become a replacement for a sweatshirt or even a jacket when it’s not raining. Warm and light it makes casting and movement so much easier when fishing. And now the weather is colder it’s become a base layer under my normal fishing clobber.