River Stripys on Lures

I have a little secret spot near my house that at certain times holds some absolutely cracking perch. Now looking at the stretch of water there’s no real cover or structure to speak of and I thought the river bottom was fairly even so what attracted these large perch here? Normally I fish this stretch in the autumn & winter months but now the river is down to its summer level is on went the chest fishing waders, a light plug rod and down off down the river to see if I could find some of the specimen strippy’s, wading into the river I found that the first few yards from the bank was a mix of silt and gravel but then the bottom changed to large rocks and boulders perfect hunting ground for the perch. In the colder months skipping a soft rubber lure over the bottom has done well but on this occasion I went for a floating Rapala plug which when cranked back will dive to about 5ft, reeling in till I feel it bumping across the bottom I then letting it rise back up a few feet watching the 15lb Tfgear Grunt braid that hangs from the rod tip for any movement. A slight twitch on the second cast and I strike into a solid feeling fish that puts up a great fight on the light 7ft spinning rod, the Grunt braid means I can feel every twist and turn the fish makes and within a short time a beautiful perch around the 2lb mark comes to hand, this seems to be the average size here. Over the next hour another 8 perch of similar size are landed great sport anywhere, then as the light starts to fade a really solid thump on the lure signals something larger, after a hard fight a superb stripy of 3lb 4oz is landed weighed and release great sport in just a couple of hours after work. Lure fishing is a great form of fishing and can be done with the minimum of gear.

Summer Pike Session

With the Pike season open it was time to head up to a secluded Welsh lake for a spot of lure fishing. Armed with a TFG journey man and Force 8 reel loaded with 30 lb Grunt braid and an ample selection of lures, I headed out into the lilly shore lined lake in a small rowing boat. My fishing partner and fellow TFG colleague Simon hooked and landed a feisty Jack within a few minutes, which of course always boosts the confidence. I let my soft plastic Roach imitation hit the bottom in 20 foot of water and reeled in with great anticipation. Within a period of 30 minutes I had several hits, and lost two in quick succession that thrashed off right next to the boat. A quiet spell of several hours followed, broken up only by a tiny Pike of about a foot long on a surface lure. I decided to hunt the deep marginal drop off by row trolling with two rods, the inside rod set higher up in the water to cover the deep margin contour in about 10 foot of water, the other on a long line set to run at about 18 feet. This soon paid off with a scrappy Jack. A few minutes later a thumping take on the outside rod indicated something of a better stamp – this very welcome double figure fish tail walked right next to the boat several times and gave an excellent account of itself. Another 8 or 9 fell to the technique over the next 2 hours, some of them absolutely slamming the soft plastic lures and almost ripping the rods out of the boat. Several times both rods got nailed at practically the same moment!
The sport cooled off with the rain that poured down and cut the session short.

Layers…

You’ve probably noticed that we have got quite a bit of fishing clothing in the TF-Gear range. What with the primal range, second skin and the latest ranges it’s quite a comprehensive collection. Designing and selling fishing  clothing for the British market is sometimes frustrating though, primarily because a lot of British anglers simply don’t understand layers.

The common misconception is that if you want to stay warm the answer is to wear something big, bulky and with plenty of padding – the old fashioned one-piece suit being a classic example. They are awful things! When you walk to your swim you sweat like crazy and then, when you arrive the sauna lasts for about five minutes before you start to feel cold.

Why? Well, the answer is body moisture or, to put it more bluntly, sweat. When we move we sweat. Our skin is breathable and can exchange moisture with the atmosphere. If we want to stay warm our clothing should do the same – hence the term ‘breathable.’ The beauty of layered fishing clothing is that it can be made breathable and because the layers trap air between themselves, the result is a warm, comfortable wearer. The other advantage of layers is that you can take them on and off to cope with changing weather.

The art of making breathable clothing is to ensure that sweat can pass through the layers but water molecules can’t. In many respects Gore-tex is the ultimate material but it does not sell well here in the UK because whilst Brits are happy to spend a fortune on fishing rods the same principle does not extend to clothing. We have worked very hard to source waterproof, breathable fabrics at a price that won’t break the bank and we have enjoyed great success with it. Seams are very important too – most clothing is let down by leaking seams. Ours isn’t.

Let’s look now at the layers and what they are designed to do.

Base or skin (second skin): this is a thin, breathable layer worn next to the skin. It forms the base layer and can be worn on its own on warm days or form the first layer on cooler days.

Mid- Layer : this is the layer that builds up warmth, usually in the form of a heavier fleece. Sometimes, if it is very cold, two layers of second skin and then the mid-layer are needed. Primal fleeces are perfect for this layer.

Top (shell): whilst most people love to wear padding, it is rarely necessary. Shell type jackets allow moisture (sweat to escape) but keep rain out. If you want to build up more heat, add more mid-layers. Some people prefer a lined or padded jacket and pants for the top layer and for less active styles of fishing this is OK.

At the end of the day, in addition to keeping you warmer and drier, there are other advantages to properly layered fishing clothing – notably that it is more comfortable to wear and makes you look less of a plonker.