Thursday 28 February 2013

Tackle Tart?

A friend of mine, who happens to own a very nice tackle shop in this area, tells me I am a nightmare as far as his trade is concerned! Harsh words. Apparently I only visit to buy maggots, worms and the occasional tub of shot. He stated, rather worryingly, that he has never once known me buy line and more importantly hooks!

Avon Prototype by Jason White

Why should I? All the terminal tackle I own has served me well and in my youth I purchased far too much in the way of hooks - line however is another matter. My reel of choice for carp fishing only comes out on June 16th and then goes back in its box a few days later - my diary tells me that new line was added at the end of May 1992. I can hear the sharp intakes of breath as I write! It still breaks at the stated breaking strain and my other lines are well looked after and serve me well.

Floats by Jason White of Dorset

My fly box contains patterns from yesteryear that are a delight to use today and my rods are as good as the day I purchased them again when my waist was smaller and hair thicker -  what I do have a weakness for, and this does not help my friend in the trade, are the wares of the artisan tackle maker and those of the bric-a-brac market stall.

Small stream trout net by Jason White of Dorset

The delightful net you see pictured was purchased in a moment of weakness and smuggled through our door in brown paper - it is perfect for my small river chalk stream fly fishing.

Jason White of Dorset is such an artisan - a trip to his workshop can see a day disappear in a blur of tea, varnish, cork, cake and cane. This is where I do my business along with the stall holders who so often have treasures for sale at our local markets and boot sales.

I have friends who service their habit at the tackle shop, they come home with armfuls of gear that I swear catches them and not their quarry, but I feel I am no different and that is what keeps us all coming back for more. I get my kicks from the hunt and the joy of seeing craftsmen at work.

I am visiting Jason on my way to the river this weekend. There is nothing I actually need, but I said that when I visited last time and look what I came back with!