ANGLER'S MAIL MAGAZINE'S Facebook page ran a live forum starring Dr Paul Garner, one of the nation's top all-round specialist anglers. His answers and fishing tackle tips will stand the test of time....
WHAT ITEM OF FISHING TACKLE WOULD YOU NOT BE WITHOUT?
This really got me thinking, and perhaps surprisingly, my answer isn’t strictly an item of tackle at all!
It would have to be a good pair of polaroid sunglasses – preferably two, as I am always losing them!
I absolutely love being able to spot fish in the water, and OK on a lot of venues you can’t do this because the water is too murky, but where you can see the fish it is such a thrill. Plus I have honestly lost count of the number of times that I have caught fish only after I have spent some time looking for them.
Even on a venue where you can’t see the fish a pair of polaroids will help you concentrate on the float tip, or quiver tip, so I would be lost without them.
IS IT WORTH SPENDING A LOT OF MONEY ON TOP GEAR?
Well like most things in life, you generally get what you pay for BUT that doesn’t mean you have to be using all the latest gear to catch a lot of fish and some items are much more important to spend your money on than others.
Firstly, make sure you have the right bait, you aren’t going to catch much if you don’t get that right even if you have the best gear in the world.
Secondly, do not skimp on the terminal tackle items. The bits that actually connect you to the fish. Always use the best hooks, line, floats, swivels, etc that you can afford. When you are connected to that special fish you really don’t want to be worrying about whether you hook is strong enough or if your line is going to let you down.
I was also asked about asked about hook sharpness, and this sort of fits into this answer as well. Yes, hook sharpness is MEGA important for almost all kinds of fishing, so keep checking the sharpness, and along with other items of terminal tackle if you think they have suffered any damage then change them straight away.
The bigger items, like rods and reels, there are some great products out there at all prices and the best advice I can give you is to ask other anglers on the banks of the venues you fish what they are using and what they think of it. After all, every venue is different, and what may work great on one, might not be the ideal choice on another.
HOW DO YOU AVOID TANGLES ON METHOD FEEDER RIGS?
This normally happens on the cast if you are not putting the hook bait actually in the bait that goes around the feeder.
If the hook is hanging loose then it tends to be dragged through the air on the cast and can tangle with the main line at the back of the feeder.
Several companies now make flat feeders that come with a mould, and these do make baiting up dead easy once you get the hang of them.
I know a lot of people worry about putting the hook and hook bait actually in the groundbait or soft pellets, as it could make it difficult for the fish to actually get at the hook bait, but my mate Stu Morgan and I have actually filmed method feeders falling through the water and most time the hook and hook bait break free as the feeder hits the water surface.
The other thing worth trying is shortening the hook length, for carp I normally use around 4-5 inches, but go up to about 8-10 inches for bream, the shorter you go the less chance there is of it tangling.