WELCOME TO the Tuesday blog. Tuesdays mean Steve Collett, the boss of leading online tackle retailers Harris Sportsmail.

Steve’s blogs focus mainly on match fishing but also delve into his styles of pleasure fishing and specialist angling. He also appears regularly in Angler’s Mail magazine.

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IT’S that time of year again, when the Halkon Hunts get beefed up with a windstopper and three-quarters combo, the thermal boots get checked for mouse nests, and a bit of de-frosting the car comes into play first thing as we head off to the draw.

But this time of year also means we get to see a few new goodies and trinkets that the manufacturers have been busy designing to make us drool and part with our hard earned cash.

So this week I thought I would take you through what I have seen, and what’s got me excited, and believe me it takes a lot. After many years in the tackle trade, I have seen enough carbon to make a space shuttle.

So its trade show time, and I will make the editor wince when he sees this but, trade shows are crap. It’s full of staff that don’t want to be there, showing people who don’t want to be there, stuff that won’t be in stock for ages. So I make no apologies when I am walking around looking like I have just broke all of my top 3s, and run my dog over!

So to get me enthused, I need to be intoxicated, and fed usually, but occasionally there are a few gems that raise an eyelid and snap me out of my current thoughts of self-harming, and this is what’s done it this year.


MAP 901


Mike Robinson from MAP is a nutcase. He dedicates his whole life into making things stiffer, I am sure his career would be better suited with a certain pharmaceutical company, but for us into our pole fishing, it’s a godsend. His latest offering is nothing short of spectacular, I’m not sure how he and his boffins have done it, but they have created the impossible, a long stiff light pole.

I thought he had done it last year with the 801, but side by side this thing has surpassed it. It is a real joy to handle, but, and it’s a big but, I have only used it in a showroom environment and can’t wait to have a look at one on the bank, but I am a sure this will be something special. Look to pay around £2999.



Preston Innovations Absolute compact box

preston compact neat ideasI love my Rive; it’s sturdy, it looks good, but I hate it, if you know what I mean. I have had to have a tachograph fitted to my car it’s that big, and with a few trays on it weighs the same as a Toyota Yaris, but I haven’t seen anything on the market that makes me want to sell it, until this came along.

I’m a sucker for innovation; when ride-on lawnmowers came out I bought one, I lived in a flat eight stories high, but it was new, and well, good, so I had to have it. I am the same with tackle, so this ticked all of my boxes with nice innovative touches like the under seat hook box storage, slip free footplate, and off course being totally modular you can pretty much pimp it up to how you want it.

If you are like me and use a barrow then the bracket system on this box that snugly fits on the space shuttle is a stroke of genius, thanks Preston boffin bloke. A definite on my shopping list, look to pay around £499.


Shimano-aero-match-reelShimano Aero 4000 match

I’ll admit it, I’m a reel pervert. I have far too many, and some have still got Bayer Perlon on that I purchased from Woolworths in 1975. Why? I don’t know, I just have to have them, but some seem to remain on my rods and get put through severe hell and hammering.

The Shimano Aero is one of those – it will stay on the rods, and if it’s anything like my old Baitrunners they will remain on them for a long time. Apart from its good looks it has a number of features that I really like. The spool reducer for one, because for me putting line on is like a game of Russian roulette, get it right and happy days, get it wrong, and the line is curly, or heaven forbid there is not enough on, and it’s all over, a hissy fit ensues, and I smash everything up.

So this very clever reducer takes the pain out of guessing, and fills the spool beforehand and fits most modern line quantities on with ease, phew. I don’t have to say anything about the line lay – it’s perfect and when you see one you will agree, it’s smoother than Gareth Purnell in a nightclub, and has a drag system normally found on reels costing twice the price. I can only advise you to get one of these in your life, you won’t regret it.


collett match awards

tony marshallSo after I have emptied your wallets, it’s time to choose a worthy recipient of this week’s Angler’s Mail performance of the week.

I have been in deepest darkest Downham Market this weekend practising for the forthcoming World Club Champs qualifier, and I have come back to a shedload of e-mails about great results, but as ever one stands out more than most, and this week it goes to a real river meister.

Somehow this man is in touch with every river he goes to, and this week on the Warwickshire Avon at Evesham he managed 19 lb of chub from peg 35 opposite the Isbourne mouth, and finished well clear of second placed Rob Wooton who had 9 lb. I am off course talking about Mr “Hemp” Tony Marshall who qualified, and will be a real threat in this year’s Riverfest. Tony take a bow for this week’s Angler’s Mail performance of the week.







This brilliant new issue of Angler’s Mail magazine is out today – be sure to get your copy!


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