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  1. #1

    Default Your most memorable pieces of tackle?

    Interested to know what people hold as there most memorable pieces of salmon tackle and the reasons, was just thinking of the fortunes of brass I spent over the last 30 years of proper salmon fishing.on all sorts of tackle and was thinking of the items that really made a difference for me.

    Thinking back some of most memorable items would probably be my first Hardy Rod fibalite 10 foot spin, bought for me in 1990 for my 10th birthday by late father. In July of that year I landed my first salmon on the river Liffey using it.

    The Original 5000 aero gte shimano baitrunner spinning reel , when I asked for this reel at xmas around the same time in early 90s, the reel was a game changer for bait and spin fisherman, it was the reel I learnt to worm and shrimp fish with and caught many salmon in Ireland using it, the reel gave me countless years of trouble free fishing.

    The original flying 'c' lure .
    The bait I caught my first salmon on bought in rory's tackle shop in 1990, probably the deadliest spinner ever invented imo, I have caught so many salmon on them over the years but also sea trout , trout and big pike just an amazing bait

    Sage graphite 3 piece 15 foot salmon rod.
    After learning my trade throughout the 90s with bruce and walker hexagraphs, I was fortunate to be given a lesson with the above sage rod very early in the 2000s, it basically destroyed every salmon rod I had tried I had to save along time to buy it, it was so responsive and light in comparison to every other rod I had used it completely changed my casting style and started me on my journey with shooting heads.

    Sage 3600D.
    Still the best salmon reel I have used and most expensive reel I have ever bought, I have owned abel, danielsson hardy's and system 2s, but I still use my sage 3600ds they have given me years and years of trouble free fishing, the reel was designed by Jack Charlton of mako reels probably the finest modern reel maker of all time incredibly powerful sealed drag and huge capacity.

    Carron jetstream spey lines.
    A complete game changer for me, I love fishing and casting proper spey lines and when these arrived on the market they performed like nothing else I had ever tried, still fish and cast with them particularly the twin line.

    The original guideline shooting heads.
    For me these lines took the salmon fishing world to the next level, for years I was making my own shooting heads cutting and splicing lines from double tapers what a chore that was, these lines revolutionised the salmon line market imho

    Moving forward to more recent times.
    The modern tackle that has improved my fishing has got to be my gaelforce destination spey rods, I couldn't possibly see how a rod action could be improved for my own tastes even better then the carron rods which I loved. Along with the next cast spey and and shooting heads they just changed the game for me.

    But my most memorable piece of tackle has got to be my fly tying vice I received for my birthday about 33 years ago, since then I spent most of my life fascinated with fly tying and flies, in particular salmon flies , I can say tying is an obsession for me I love the tying as much as the fishing.

    What pieces of tackle have made a difference to your fishing life?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    East Kilbride ( glasgow)


    That's a very good question!

    Few for me would be my guideline reaction! Loved it from the first cast to the present day, only rod that's every stayed the distance.

    I do have a soft spot for the loop multi, cracking action and very forgiving. ( pretty much learned to spey cast with a 14fter). Some might say not that well! Had the chance to purchase a 12ft 8# earlier in the year I had to snap it up . Really didn't need it, but it was a sentimental buy.

    Rio afs has got to get a shout out, they talk about game changers now, but the afs was and still is a stand out, or as a ghillie once told me a ability compensator

    UV flash? Can't explain it but works for me, tie very few flys without it.

    Cheers andy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011


    Not salmon gear, but a fibre glass rod of about 9ft and an Intrepid Black Prince fixed spool reel and some homemade quill floats painted with Humbrol paints. Caught my first fish in the local ponds, a crucian carp. One of the happiest days of my life. Spent most of the summer holidays fishing those ponds. Happy days!

  4. #4


    As a young fishermen and still at school i worked on the milk delivery float and had to save my tips to buy permits for local river and fish for salmon and if honest i was not very good at it but i absolutely loved being out and talking to the old buys and i only caught the odd salmon on the worm or toby. If i caught 1 salmon that day then you would normally find all the old boys and experienced anglers fishing the same beat as me that day would have caught 3 or 4 to their own rods. One day when fishing a local private beat there was a squad of Englishmen up fishing for the week and i arrived on their last day and i asked them how they had done and they said they had over 40 fish for the week between their 4 rods ???? I asked what on and they showed me these new lures "Flying Bucktail & Flying condoms" which looked amazing , these boys gave me some and told me they had got them from ireland and showed me how to fish them and i got a fresh cock around 11lb after a few hours.These new lures were a game changer and just seemed to help me catch fresh salmon from almost any bit of slack water , fast runs, necks of pools, tails of pools, they seemed to catch running fresh fish to old stubborn residents who had seen every fly and lure without reacting. Not long after these lures were doing the damage the beat banned the FlyingC and worm and i never seen this group of boys again.

    I prefer to catch a salmon on the fly but i still spin regularly if conditions suit and i still to this day always have these lures in my bag as they are absolutely deadly if there are a few fish around. Fished square,upstream,down & across they catch fish. PS i would also like to mention my old spinning reels which were the Abu Cardinal 157 , 55, 155 as they felt like fishing with a space age reel compared to my old mitchel 300 hand me downs which kept failing on me. Also a mention to my Hardy Bougle salmon fly reel as caught a 14 lb summer fish one day and the noise of this reel that day as the water was big was outstanding and made the fight more amazing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016


    A Scientific Anglers Wet Cel II line that is really a Wet Cel III. Dark green. I guess we would call it a spey line these days but I have had it so long that wasn't a name in those days, there wasn't anything else. I used it every year during the backend on the Tweed. How many salmon have I caught with it? Too many to count. I hope its retirement is only temporary.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    Terry Thomas 9'6" #8 built cane bought from Bennetts of Sheffield, mail order, for £6 15s 9d reduced from 11 guineas.. funded from paper round. Taught myself to cast (after a fashion) from a Durham library book in a field below Shincliffe using a huge 5 shilling sea reel - eventually got a Hardy Viscount, which helped.. Many years before penny dropped that this was a grilse rod. Last seen in Spain, 30 years ago, used to teach my squash partner how to cast on his swimming pool.

    Sage RPL+ 10' #6 for many years my core rod - caught every game species bar charr , including my first springer, off the Mawddach - first (and possibly still last, sadly) springer recorded for over 10 years. This stunning 12lb fish was 3rd in T&S fish of the month, beaten at the death by two late entries in excess of 40lbs - think they gave it to the Lochy fish.

    Harrison blank 15' #11/12. Martin Gresty, may he RIP, taught me to spey cast and I proceeded to do so for about 20 years before grudgingly spending more money 14' LPX #9, Carron lines and Lamsons.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Gods County


    I'm off grocery shopping just now, but I'll be along soon-right enough.
    Kettle on, fresh packet of Hob Knobs and sit down for a good read!

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by Chicharito View Post
    Not salmon gear, but a fibre glass rod of about 9ft and an Intrepid Black Prince fixed spool reel and some homemade quill floats painted with Humbrol paints. Caught my first fish in the local ponds, a crucian carp. One of the happiest days of my life. Spent most of the summer holidays fishing those ponds. Happy days!
    Good grief !
    You must be nearly as old as I am.
    Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill

  9. #9


    I've never been massively concerned about tackle. When I grew up I used what cast offs (if you'll excuse the pun) that I was given by my father. My first spinning rod was made from a broken greenheart fly rod of my grandfather's. I learnt a bit about patience when I smashed it trying to get a spinner out of a tree on the Taw. The tradition of make do and mend ran strong in my family and the best spinning rod I ever had was about 9' of a Caudle and Rivaz 14' fly rod that had been broken and repaired too much so was repurposed. I broke and mended it as a spinning rod a few times too!

    The first new rod I owned was a Diawa CF98 11'3 5-7wt when I was 14 or 15. I saved up for ages to buy it and a rimfly reel. I had a bin end sink tip and floater and I used it for everything. I caught salmon, sea trout, brownies, bass and pollack on it and even taped a reel seat up the handle and trotted maggots for grayling in the winter with it. Game changer? Maybe!

    Time moved on and my family became wealthier and I could afford decent gear. For my 21st birthday I was given a 13' G Loomis IMX 8/9, and an 11' IMX single hander. The double hander was a game changer for me and lasted 25 years before its spectacular death on the River Hope after landing a 10lb springer. I nearly cried. Actually I may have done. It remains the best proper salmon rod I've ever used. I didn't appreciate the single hander as much, but I do now. An 11' 8/9 wt single hander of 30 year old design is not for the feignt of hart or weak of arm!! I love it more now than I ever have and it serves as my monkey rod. 8 hours of stripping a monkey and you really feel you've done a days work.

    Fashions have changed and my tastes have matured. I used to think the Sage SLT 9'6" 8wt was the best small river salmon rod ever made. I still have 2 but they hardly get out now. When I realised most of what I'd learnt about salmon fly fishing was pure bull dust I had an epiphany. Salmon aren't great unthinking insensitive brutes whose capture requires good water and better luck. Now I fish in the lowest water or the highest with equal hope of a fish I have changed the game with my head and not my rod. I've settled on the magnificent Carbotec Omri Thomas deluxe 10' 7wt as the perfect fishing tool for me.

    I own a great many rods, maybe 100 or more, made from greenheart, cane, glass fibre, boron, carbon and even metal. They are made for fly, spinning, coarse, shore and boat fishing for all sorts of fish but none of them are much less than 10 years old and I can't imagine ever buying a new one.

    I have reels in abundance too. The system 2 was a game changer in its own way but now I use Lamsons and Danielssons but for most of my fishing the reel isn't very important, so long as it works.

    The stocking foot breathable waded was a game changer too as are really good polaroids.

    I guess the single biggest takle item that has improved my fishing is the Maclean's net. I like the weighing function, but after 25 years of making my living selling live fish for the angling trade I'm pretty good at judging a fishes weight, but it's big, handy and allows me to land and return fish very quickly.

  10. #10


    Shakespeare Graphite #6-8 10’6” Got it from the Gamefair in Aviemore / Boat of Garten in 1987. Cheap with a dodgy whipping It was a bit big for me and I cast it double handed for about 3 years. Thousands of tiddlers, hundreds of Finnock, quite a few ST, my first Grilse and a few stale Summer Salmon. All caught on the same cracked DT line. It’s not been used in nearly 20 years, but I might dig it out, as it would give Loxie’s Carbotec a run for its money in the ‘soft as shit’ stakes and it’ll do great with a Barrio SLX.

    Leeda Magnum 200d A Christmas present from the sports shop in Thirsk. It’s had a few fish and I’ll never part with it, but the reason it’s memorable is that it was the first bit of Salmon tackle that was mine. It got fished until 1999 with a 13’ B&W Cordon Bleau and a #9 DT slow sinker. It’s still got the bump on the rim that happened when I left it on the roof of the car when we finished at Grantown one night. This disappointment in my Dad’s voice; “Was that your bloody reel?” still gives me shivers .

    Barrio IFS / Rio AFS. 2 shooting heads which totally transformed my fishing. Not sure I’ve caught any more fish, but I certainly enjoy it more. What a revelation.

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