A basic guide to sea fishing tackle.
Back to basics today is going to look at your tackle that you are using, It's really tempting these days to buy cheap terminal tackle from online sources and from abroad but nine times out of ten this tackle is inferior to what you can buy from your local tackle shop dealer with recognised quality brands, I get that it's a lot cheaper online but as I always say buy cheap ... buy twice.
I thought I would purchase some small amounts just for testing purposes and after trying random sellers online mainly from China off E-bay and Wish to mention a couple, hooks were not as sharp and some were even blunt!
A lot pulled/bent out of shape easily, some even turned up bent ( see photos) and some had dents or kinks in the hooks and this will cost you fish in the long run and if it's a new personal best fish or a fish of a life time you're not going to be happy when that hook bends out and it swims away or you haven’t hooked it as good due to not being as sharp as it can be and then losing the fish in the surf as your landing it!
As for swivels a lot pulled out well under what they claimed some were 80lb & 100lb fail which were failing at 30lb.... and 45lb (see photo) now imagine you’re about to power cast a bait out and you have other anglers around you... If that 6oz lead comes off mid cast it could go anywhere and cause a lot of damage, it could potentially even kill someone and again if you snag in some weed with a good fish on and you try and bully it through and your swivels give out you'll curse yourself for not buying quality gear for maybe a pound more. By buying online you're hurting your local tackle dealers and make it harder for them to stay in business, yes I get they are sometime more expensive but they have more overheads and have to make a profit I'm sure they have a family or mouths to feed just like yourselves! So why pay extra? Quality, Safety, Satisfaction it will do what it says! also Just remember your local tackle shop is a mine of local information as well as information on new gear & tactics and a whole lot more it keeps it local and a lot more personal which is always better, you can see gear first hand and give it a once over or test and hold rods or reels and see if it's right for you.
I like my local tackle dealers and wouldn't go anywhere else with Craig in Minehead & Steve in Watchet they know the local area so well and have some good hints and tips should you be fishing new areas you don’t know 100% plus any safety tips like the ocean cutting you off at some places!
As well as having quality tackle and baits all year around.
Sometimes items may be more expensive but you also have a face to contact should anything be wrong with any gear you purchase which is obviously not their fault as all manufacturers suffer a fault here or there from time to time.
So customer service to me in my opinion is needed and I value it!
Some of the larger brands (which I won't name and shame) which I have previously bought rods from direct or online really couldn’t give two hoots if you have a problem as I did upon inspection a damaged end rod tip and a reel seat which took 5 months and a lot of emails and aggro to rectify!
You also get to meet other anglers in these shops as well as local charter owners.
It's always advantageous and good to get to know other anglers the better ones you learn from and some that are not as advanced in their angling journey as you then you can help or pass on info you found helpful especially if it's kids that are up and coming into the sport.
So whether you end up fishing together with new found angling friends or just get to learn new tips or just making new social circles with like minded fellow fish brains it's worth buying tackle from local outlets for a little bit more.
Overall if you're looking to be a responsible Sea angler then I would certainly put safety right up there at number one along with the wellbeing of the fish were catching,
So landing that fish and then safely releasing it back to the ocean instead of snapped off traces and terminal tackle possibly harming fish or snagging it so it can't swim away is preventable just for a few pence more.
Not just that you’re keeping angling alive and well in the U.K for those in the future in your immediate area as well as the younger generation and supporting a local possibly family run business! This also brings trade to your town! We could go on but next time you think about ordering online pay a visit to your local tackle dealer and take a look around first…