IT’S time for our must-read Sunday blog. Every Sunday we welcome coarse fishing all-rounder Colin Mitchell.

For many years Colin was a senior Angler’s Mail magazine staff man and he has enjoyed a long, interesting journalism career.

He understands match fishing, pleasure fishing, carp fishing – the lot.

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GETTING SORTED FOR SPRING AND SUMMER

RIVERS closed, frosts, snow showers – it’s not really been great weather for fishing so instead those repairs that should have been done ages ago have now been completed.

I’ve been sorting out my own gear, and here are 10 tips from some of the jobs I have just completed:

  1. I’ve just bought a new centrepin, still the best tool for great float control on flowing water and excellent for down the edge fishing. Don’t overfill with line, put on just what you need so that it doesn’t bed in on itself and you will get a much better performance.

    Colin’s got a new centrepin.

  2. Watch those pole joints! It’s usually the second, third or fourth ferrule that gets the most hammering, especially on put over poles when it is the male joint that shows wear. You should insert pole protectors but if you don’t, or can’t, do what I do…slide an old piece of pole inside the joint, carefully cut it flush and then Superglue in place. Repairs cracks and makes joints much stronger.
  3. Also clean the pole, inside and out. Wipe down with a soft soapy cloth and clean the insides with a specialist pole cleaning brush, by leaving sections in a bath of water, or by pulling/pushing damp kitchen roll carefully through sections.
  4. Ditch old bait! It’s great having a bait fridge and in the long run can save you plenty of cash. But if something has been lurking in there for a long time bin it. Flavours will have leaked away, the bait won’t be quite as effective or as tasty and it’s a good bet you won’t catch as much. Boilies and pellets often become hard or very brittle.
  5. Clean up reels and replace line that’s been on there for any length of time. Any line with knots should be ditched as that’s a weakness. Just soak or rub down reels with warm soapy water, allow to dry in a warm room and give a quick spray or two of WD40. Simple but very effective.

    No tackle overhaul would be complete without a few squirts!

  6. Go through your bag or box and see what bits and pieces you are missing. Get down the tackle shop and replace what you should have got ages ago – hooks, shot, trace line, swivels – and at the same time throw out anything you haven’t used and are not likely to use. It makes boxes lighter and much easier to find things in.
  7. Check rod rings. In these days of  superb rings and great rods at bargain prices it is so easy to forget to check for simple cracks in lined rings or grooves in metal rings. These can soon cut through line and cost you that great fish. Do the same check on bale arm rollers.
  8. I rarely use a keepnet nowadays but check both keep and landing nets for signs of wear and tear. It’s rare now for nets to rot but they could have been snagged on bankside debris. Repair simple small holes by using bits of old line if you must – but it’s so cheap to buy new replacements.
  9. Bet you’ve got some favourite floats…check them over. Replace those that have cracks or seal them with paint or, better still, a clear varnish. Look at side eyes on pole floats to check they are still firmly in place and replace all rubbers on top and bottom models. Check for loose eyes or swivels on the base of wagglers.
  10. Now have you thought about checking overtrousers, jackets and boots? Do it! Spring –and in English weather even summer – can be cold with downpours. Don’t get caught out. We all love that old clobber that is so comfy and fits like a glove, but all clothing eventually dies…

COLIN MITCHELL WILL BE BACK WITH HIS POPULAR PLEASURE FISHING BLOG NEXT SUNDAY, APRIL 14.

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