The TF Gear MIDI Airbomb – Dave Lane Review

Dave Lane carp angler takes a closer look at the new Midi Airbomb – the revolutionary baiting up device from Total Fishing Gear.

Hard on the heels of the original Airbomb, we now have a new model, the Airbomb Midi.

As the name suggests, it is a smaller version of its already very popular big brother – it comes in at approximately 50% of the size and capacity of the original.

Dave Lane carp angler with the Midi Airbomb

Having used the Midi extensively I’ve found it to be superb at all ranges and if you are after something that will put bait accurately to extreme ranges the Airbomb Midi is the one for you, we have been hitting 150 yards with ease and the edge this has given me over everyone else has been massive.

Another huge advantage I should mention is that you really do not need a specialised ‘spod-rod’ to take the strain, the Airbomb Midi is light enough that it can be cast with ease on a normal carp rod. This makes baiting so effortless, and of course you maintain incredible accuracy.

I would still recommend a leader of some kind, just to be on the safe side and avoid any ‘crack-off’ disasters but, even so, my 3.25lb carp rods can launch one of these a long, long way and if you do use a spod rod, well you can cast this thing distances you wouldn’t believe.

The basics are the same as the larger model, you hit the clip in the air and achieve a far greater spread of bait than with other more conventional bait droppers and with none of the unwanted disturbance in the area you are actually putting your rigs and fishing.

Airbomb Midi – New size

They are also outstanding for delivering floaters without spooking the fish. When you put floaters out with the Airbomb it actually lands up to 30 yards away from where the actual floaters land, this is the stealthiest way possible to get fish feeding on the top, and I can tell you from experience that your surface fishing will be transformed forever.

As for actual baiting capacity I suppose you would get about 50% of the payload of the bigger version (about 15 x 15mm boilies or a nice handful of hemp) and this can be advantageous if you are just needing to top up your swim or fishing a small scattering of bait in a ‘single-bite’ scenario when stalking, mobile fishing or even casting at a showing fish.

If you do want to present your free-bait in a tighter spot, like a hole in the weed for example, you can simply over-cast, not against a clip, and then reel the Airbomb slowly back into position over the spot before flicking the rod tip to open it. This method will deliver a very tight packet of bait extremely accurately.

However you choose to use the Airbomb Midi, it’s one of those items that you really should have in the rucksack at all times.

For more about the Airbomb Midi bating up device, check out the video below!!

FishSpy & TF Gear Carp Fishing Shows 2019

The FishSpy and Total Fishing Gear team are pleased to announce we will be attending a number of the UK’s leading carp fishing tackle shows during the early part of 2019.

The unique FishSpy camera is one of the biggest products to ever hit the carp fishing scene – there simply hasn’t been anything like this before! So naturally we appreciate you might want to take a closer look at the innovative underwater camera that is becoming an essential bit of kit.

Therefore in early 2019 FishSpy will be on the road, giving you a perfect opportunity to ‘try before you buy’ prior to the carp fishing season kicking off. So why not come along and see what you’re missing?

In addition to FishSpy products and accessories, we will be showcasing select products from our parent company Total Fishing Gear, including the popular Airflo inflatable bivvy and Airbomb bait delivery device.

In running order, the 2019 FishSpy shows are:

Brentwood carp show

Brentwood carp show 2019

Dates: 26th & 27th January, The Brentwood center, Essex.

Packed full of exhibitors from all of the top carp fishing tackle brands, the Brentwood carp show is firmly established as a winter favourite. Make sure you check this show out – what else it there to do in January anyway!?

For more information and ticket prices visit the Brentwood carp show Facebook page.

The Northern Angling Show 7

Northern Angling Show 2019

Dates: 23rd & 24th February, Event City, Manchester.

This is the 7th year of the huge Northern Angling show, and a third appearance for FishSpy in this part of the country! A great opportunity for carp anglers based in the north of the UK to get to grips with FishSpy up close. The NAS has grown bigger and bigger each year and now boasts the highest footfall of any UK carp show. This year is set to have a record attendance and we can’t wait!

For more information and ticket prices click here.

The Big One

The Big One Shows 2019

Date: March 23rd & 24th  Farnborough, Hants.

Date: April 13th & 14th Stoneleigh, Midlands.

New for 2019 the Big One has TWO carp fishing shows! As well as the favourite Farnborough showground, there is a second venue at Stoneleigh park in the Midlands.

With the extra show The BIG ONE is going to be the largest carp fishing event in 2019 by far. This year will see the exhibitions jam packed with carp fishing celebs and top tackle marques – just in time for launching your full-on spring carp angling campaign.

For more information and ticket prices click here.

The FishSpy show stand


Thinking about buying a FishSpy, but cannot decide?

Seeing FishSpy first hand will truly open your eyes to what this ground breaking device can offer carp anglers. Discover exactly how it can improve your carp fishing and give you insights you had never dreamed of.

You will be able to speak to FishSpy’s designers, meet the Total Fishing Gear development team, see examples of actual FishSpy footage and on selected shows talk with Dave Lane, one of the UK’s foremost carp anglers who has been heavily involved in the intensive field testing of this product.

We will be able to answer all of your FishSpy questions and will have plenty of the cameras on hand for you to test and take a closer look at. FishSpy underwater cameras and accessories will also be available to purchase from ourselves at each show, so look out for super deals on the show days, including FishSpy cameras at just £99.99!

See you there

The FishSpy/TF Gear team

For further information please email: info@fishspy.com

Introducing TF Gear Airbomb: Shotgun Baiting

For the past 2 years we have been working on a project to improve the bait distribution market. After tireless testing, tweaking and design evolution our unique mid-air bait delivery device is now ready to take the carp world by storm. Introducing Airbomb and ‘shotgun’ baiting.

The Airbomb idea:

The Airbomb was the brainchild of Leighton Medway and Nick Rees, two Welsh carp anglers.

It was baiting up time whilst fishing Fendrod lake Swansea in 2016. Leighton Medway, 47 a Professional Golf Coach/Mechanical Engineer and Nick Rees 23 a Carpenter, both from Llanelli area South Wales had set up in tight swims with overhead trees. During their attempt at baiting up they kept catching the overhead obstacles which caused their payload of bait to burst and spread just yards in front of them. Unfortunately they were 16 rod lengths short of their mark.

This sparked the idea of trying to construct a casting style baiting tool which could offer them this spread of bait at any range they were capable of reaching. Both spent endless hours in Leighton’s garage trying to find a way of making this possible. After weeks of head scratching they managed to construct a prototype which was ready to be shown.

Fortunately Leighton had a good friend, Rob Williams, the Director of Total Fishing Gear. The natural path for this was to go there, and there was no better person to take this product to. Thanks to TF Gear and their staff’s knowledge, Leighton and Nick were able to work closely and endlessly with TF Gear to develop the Airbomb to what it is today. We hope you all enjoy using the Airbomb and it helps you bring more good fish to your nets.

The Airbomb official video

Product development – The TF Gear way

It took us a long time to get to the finished product. Over a period of over 2 years, extensive field testing and various prototype’s were used, abused and developed upon until a perfect combination was achieved.

Extreme product testing….

Built to last

The TF Gear Airbomb development team spent countless hours on the water, making tens of thousands of casts to ensure Airbomb was as durable and useful as possible. Many variables and designs were tested, and the final product bore fruit of literal blood, sweat and tears. Airbomb’s are made of a super resilient plastic polymer that is buoyant as well as almost indestructible.

How does it work?

Airbomb is triggered by a central pin, which controls opening and closure. When the Airbomb hits a reel clip in mid-air, the jolt is sufficient enough to open the chamber with such force that the bait flies out in a wide, beautifully scattered pattern several yards ahead, hence the term ‘shotgun baiting’.

Should you not hit your reel clip (or decide not too) Airbomb will not open upon impacting the water. So as well as giving you another chance to cast without wasting bait, this gives you the option of depositing your bait into an exact area. Simply overcast your spot, draw into position then open Airbomb with a shark jerk of the rod tip, thus allowing you to precision bait with incredible accuracy.

Why doesn’t it open when you cast?

We came up with an innovative system that transfers energy when the cast is made. A spring loaded rear clip takes the power of the cast, rather than the pin that triggers the Airbomb. During the cast, the spring releases a ring attached to a leader specially designed for distance casting. The transfer of energy through the leader ensures a smooth delivery without premature opening. As the clip is reached, the beads on the end of the leader trigger the Airbomb to open.

Airbomb casting

What is it made from?

Airbomb is made from a super tough and naturally buoyant plastic compound. It has been tested repeatedly in extreme conditions, including comprehensive destruction tests. We never had a single material failure during the testing process! We are confident the Airbomb has been built to the highest standard possible, meaning it will perform reliably time and time again.

Some advantages to consider

The two most common castable bait delivery products work by opening upon impact. This results in a narrow deposition of bait that can clump up tightly and even arose the suspicion of fish on heavily pressured venues. A wide bait spread can encourage confident feeding behavior and therefore more chance of a run. Some bait delivery products are prone to attack from nuisance birds; Airbomb has been shown to confuse these pests. Some other products have reliability issues, such as refusing to open, breaking easily or bursting apart early on the cast. Airbomb has been engineered to avoid these frustrating problems.

Additionally, in some waters carp have adapted to conventional baiting patterns, such as from baitboats, so we theorised this method of baiting would provide a completely new angle of attack for the carp fisher on heavily pressured venues. A wide spread of bait can encourage confidence, where carp feed and throw up silt and detritus which encourages yet more fish to investigate.

For baiting up tight to margins, snags and islands Airbomb is unbeatable. There is no risk of loosing your Airbomb through a careless cast. simply clip up and fire your bait tight onto the spot.

For surface fishing Airbomb has proved invaluable. spray biscuits and floaters at feeding carp without risk of spooking them.

Airbomb key points:

Airbomb is designed with the following functions in mind.

  • Airbomb releases payload in mid-air, creating a shotgun effect bait spread
  • Stealthy no spook baiting operation – Airbomb falls well away from the baited area
  • Spreads bait forward in a scattered pattern well beyond the reach of your cast
  • Aerodynamic design maximises casting range
  • Total accuracy every cast due to stable quad fin design
  • Massive load capacity
  • Easy and quick to fill – a once handed scoop operation is possible for efficient operation
  • Create vast beds of bait with speed and efficiency
  • Precision bait by drawing over weed gaps and localised feeding spots then jerking rod tip to open
  • No risk of spillage or wasted bait
  • Suitable for all carp fishing baits including boilies, particles and floaters
  • Naturally buoyant and effortless to retrieve
  • Heavy-duty and robust construction – will withstand extreme casting
  • Bait up far margins, snags or islands with no risk of losing Airbomb
  • Confuses nuisance birds and other bait eating pests
  • Perfect for floater fishing – release floating baits with no risk of spooking carp

When can I get one?

Airbomb’s are available from all good TF Gear dealers, priced at £14.99. or you can order your Airbomb through the website here.

Use Airbomb with any bait.

The Secret Diaries of Dave Lane

It’s what we’ve all been waiting for! The fishing has been on fire at the St Ives shallow lake over the past month, but as a tactical move Laney had to keep things quiet – and boy did it pay off!!

What you are about to see is a 4 part series of ‘secret’ carp fishing blogs, leading up to the capture of Colin, the 52lb 12oz St Ives lakes mega carp.

Watch part one here:

Watch part two here:

Watch part three here:

Watch part four here:

Dave Lane on Camera’s – Get your carp fishing self takes right!

I probably get asked as many questions about cameras as I do about fishing nowadays.

I suppose that I normally have a remote in my hand in most of my trophy shots and a lot of people would like to improve their self-photography as this is the main subject of the inquiries. The reason I take so many self-take photos is a mixture of two things really.

I do often fish alone and I much prefer it that way but, even when other anglers are on the lake, I tend to take my own pictures whenever possible. Firstly I do not like to drag other people away from their fishing, particularly not at the main bite times, which is generally when you have a fish to photograph.

If another angler has to reel in his rods to help me deal with a fish then I always think that I am depriving him the chance of a carp himself, which hardly seems fair.

Also, there are actually only a handful of people that I would trust to take shots that a fussy git like me will be happy with. This is not a slur on others photographic skills it is just that, once the fish has been returned, there is no chance for a second attempt.

A nice daytime self take

Photos are very important to me, I spend a lot of time chasing carp and I like to able to look back and see that magical moment, a sixtieth of a second, frozen forever in time.

Obviously the safety of the fish on the bank is paramount and yes, it is a lot to deal with when you have the camera and the carp to contend with but this is easily solved by forward planning, the correct equipment and a bit of practise without a real live fish in the equation.

All of this goes out of the window if I get a really huge fish, a target I have been hunting, a personal best or anything that really blows me away because, just like everyone else, I still get a bit flustered at the sight of a really special fish and then I will enlist some help.

Basically, you need to get into a routine where your camera is acting almost like another angler in the swim (without all the wisecracks) it should be in the perfect position, ready to take a photo at any time and capable of showing you the result without you having to move an inch.

To this ends I would only recommend a camera with a flip screen, one that actually points at you and displays either the picture you have just taken or, even better, has a ‘live view’ function so that you can frame the shot before pressing the fire button.

In the old days we used to have miles of cable for an air shutter release running across the ground but most half decent cameras nowadays either come with a remote or you can purchase one to suit.

Personally I like to use an SLR camera and my model of choice is the Cannon 70D, not a cheap camera by any means but I think it’s worth the outlay.

The previous model, a 60D is also incredibly good and I had one for years up until recently. You can pick up a second hand 60D for around £400 on e-bay, with a lens, which may sound a lot but, in reality, it is about the price of a new bivvy, or a couple of new rods and it will give you excellent results for years to come.

If that is out of the budget then there are ‘bridge camera’s’ like the Canon G series to consider, I used to have a G-3 that gave amazing results and I saw a second hand one on E-Bay for £40 the other day, boxed and complete with leads and a spare battery!

Bridge cameras are a halfway house between a full on SLR and a compact. Even compact cameras can be bought with ‘flip screens’ now and they are available in every price range.

A tripod is an absolute must have item but fear not, they are ridiculously cheap and I recently upgraded to a taller, telescopic, version for video or camera and it set me back a whopping £14 online.

So, with your kit sorted the next most important thing is composure, where are going to take the photos, and this should be sorted long before you actually catch a fish.

You need to pick a spot that will either have full shade or full sun, work out where the sun will be at the most likely time you will need to use the camera, pick two spots just in case one has got dappled sunlight in it because this is the absolute ‘kiss of death’ for fish photography.

Full on shade will give a nice, realistic, defined shot of the fish whereas full on sun can sometimes be a bit glary off the carp’s flanks.

Pay special attention to the backdrop, make sure that the skyline is constant and you do not have a quarter of the shot showing bright sky and the rest in shade, as this will confuse the light meter in the camera and darker the foreground, losing you and the fish in shadow.

As with the sun, go for one or the other, either open sky or totally closed background, such as bushes or trees.

For night time photography you will need the latter, an area where the flash will bounce back from, a solid background that is as close as possible to your back or you will end up surrounded by inky blackness.

This will make or break your finished pictures so make sure you have it right, take a look through magazines at some of the more impressive shots, or your own album at your favourite ones and find a common denominator that please your eye.

Look at the background of the best ones and see what is similar in each one.

Once you have everything ready, set it all up as if you have a fish and get some practise in, digital photo’s cost nothing and can be deleted at the press of a button.

If you set up the mat, the camera on its tripod, and even a bowl of the water you will need for the fish you can pre-create the exact scenario you are going to be in when the time comes and, this way, there will be no surprises.

Everything set up ready and a fish on the bank.

Hold a full gallon water bottle and use this as the fish and keep trying until you are totally happy that you have everything framed as you like it, even soak the bottle in water if you are using a flash to see how bad the bounce back is going to be.

Once you are happy with the results then mark them all down.

Take a landing net pole and lay one end in the centre of the mat and mark the distance on the  pole with a piece of tape to show exactly where the centre of the tripod should go, this will always be the same so mark it permanently and you will have one less thing to consider.

If you are using a compact camera then the automatic feature will work out the settings for you but, with an SLR or Bridge camera, you have a lot more options.

Thankfully nearly all of the better cameras will have either one or two custom settings, usually marked as C1 C2 on the control wheel.

I like to set one of these up for night shots and one for the daytime but, if there is only one then use it for nigh time shots as it is hard enough in the dark anyway, without having to change settings.

If there are none then use a notebook or a notepad app on your phone.

Every variable should be sorted out in advance, not necessarily every trip but, once you have a winning formula, it can be applied everywhere.

Before you even think about lifting the fish from the water you should have your kit set up, your camera turned on (check the settings to make sure it stays on standby as long as possible) the remote function enabled and the remote sensor in position next to the mat.

Take a trial shot first, just hold up your hand at the width you want include and check the picture for clarity, light, and composure. Make sure you do not have a branch behind you that makes you look like you have a set of antlers, or a gaudy sign stating ‘deep water beware’ make sure you are happy and confident and then retrieve the fish.

Your remote should always be held in the hand that has the head end of the fish as there is a wider area to balance on your hand, the tail end requires a more closed grip and it’s very awkward to work the remote.

Confidence is the key, you know the camera is going to work, you have practised enough times and you know the settings are correct, the only difference to having a photographer there with you is that one little button in your hand.

At night it is often the auto focus that really lets you down and, because of this, I NEVER use this function at night.

Firstly you need to use the landing net pole method to get the exact distance for your focal point, this is best done in the daytime and, once you have the exact focus and length you need to mark the camera lens with two little dots (tippex) one on the actual bit that spins to find focus and one on the fixed part of the lens. When these two dots are in alignment turn off the auto focus on the side of the lens and the camera will always be in focus for the correct distance, which is marked on your pole.

Alternatively, just place a water bottle where the fish will be, shine a bright light on it, and  focus the camera from the tripod and then turn off the auto focus (while the fish is still safely in the net).

And a night self take, with a bit of practise.

Practise makes perfect and you have plenty of time for that whilst waiting for a bite and practise will build the confidence that you need to take perfect self takes every time.

How Dave Lanes Uses The FishSpy Underwater Camera To Check Baited Areas

Our revolutionary FishSpy underwater camera is already proving it’s worth to carp anglers up and down the country, despite the wettest and windiest winter on record! Here leading UK carper Dave Lane explains how he uses FishSpy to check baited areas. What he reveals is astonishing!

One extremely handy use for FishSpy is to check baited areas; whether this is pre-baited spots or just the actual areas you are fishing before topping up the swim.

FishSpy screen shots showing uneaten bait on a variety of lake beds.

Uneaten bait can be a problem on heavily fished waters and nobody would actually chose to fish over it so, checking a swim out before you start a session has obvious benefits.

After catching a fish, however, there has been no way to know how much of your loose feed has been eaten and, in my experience in the past when using boats, I have learnt that this varies dramatically.

Sometimes, particularly if you are using a pop-up, it can be the hook-bait that goes first and the rest of the feed barely gets touched. On other waters, and in different circumstances, the fish can take everything and leave the hook-bait until last or even return later and take it when it is being fished as a single bait.

On one occasion this summer, during testing, I caught a thirty five pound mirror from a spot I had baited with two spombs full of whole and chopped boilies. The fish came during the early morning feeding spell and was my only bite of the day.

Later, when the bite time had passed I considered re setting the trap for the following day and applying a further two spombs of bait to the area. Using the FishSpy camera I checked the area first and found that most of the bait was still present.

This told me that I had either hooked a solitary feeding fish or that the other fish had spooked off as I got the bite, leaving the remaining bait untouched.

I could see no point in applying yet more bait and simply recast on top of the existing feed, hoping that the fish would return at some stage.

Had every scrap of bait been gone and the bottom of the lake visibly disturbed then I would have increased the baiting levels, hoping to create a situation where I received more than just one fish the following day.

In the video below Dave uses FishSpy to investigate his swim after a missed bite at 4.30 am, and discovers a spomb full of bait.

The implications of bait checking with a FishSpy camera are simply huge.

  • Save yourself a packet in the cost of bait over a year.
  • Save time by avoiding areas where fish are clearly not feeding.
  • Maximise your chances of a carp taking your hook bait with just the right amount of bait being present in the swim.
  • Check how successful your pre-baiting is, by seeing if those spots have been visited.
  • By using boiles of differing colours, shape and flavours it is now possible to determine a selection preference by checking baited spots.

I had always relied heavily on guesswork but the FishSpy has changed all of that. I can now see exactly what is on the lake bed and fish far more effectively because of it.

Tightlines, Dave Lane.

For more information visit www.fishspy.com

 

Dave Lane’s Top Carp Fishing Tips Competition

We recently ran a competition on one of our social media pages where carping legend Dave Lane asked for Facebook fans carp fishing tips for the month of May! The winner will receive a pair of TF Gear 10 foot banshee carp rods. We had a great response, and Dave has been looking through them all, and he decided that the winner is Paul Scott!

Here is Paul’s tip-

Paul Scott. This time of year the fish seem to be on the move quite a bit so although the key is to find fish, maybe take a bit more time in watching the routes they take and spotting traffic lanes they use. If your intending to fish that lake for the rest of the year, it will prove to be invaluable on the rest of your campaign!! Happy hunting.

The Key is to find fish – take time in watching the routes carp take.

Dave also liked Charlie Hallidays tip, so he gets a runners up prize of a TF Gear babes calander and baseball cap!

Charlies tip– When you want an accurate cast , mark your standing position and use a quick link to your lead’s swivel (for rig attachment) then un-clip your rig and cast to the desired area with just the lead , if you go into an snag or on an island you can get your setup back with ease and just keep casting until you hit the mark , then put your line in the clip and attach your rig ! Accuracy made easy with less fear of losing your rig don’t forget to use marker elastic for the next time and unclip after the cast for safety.

And finally the best of the rest-

Ashley Gray.
Make sure your bedchair is level before you attempt to go to sleep. It’s frightening when you slip down the end and then the bed tips up!!

Jonathan Ryder. I like to use solid bags but with a twist. Use a syringe to inject hemp oil and coconut oil into the centre of the bag mix. Has worked well for me!!

Anthony Bates. Coat your free baits in oil (i use tuna) then coat your baits in a good amount of salt its a big edge before they spawn.

Leigh Harmer. Keep mobile, watch the water and zigs are always a option

Dave Guy. Outside my bivvy I have three solar panel garden lights not bright but I can see my rods and nets and there not heavy and charge during the day.

Steff Parr. I found a pretty effective way to fish margins and near rushes if your able to lower your lead instead of casting and have your rig closer to the rushes than your lead and when baiting the area just plop a single boilie at a time and no more than 5 had a bite within minutes each time I do it now I always have one rig out and a popup near the rushes and if there is berry trees around the lake pick a few and use them as hookbait the lake fish know it to be a natural food.

Terry Robert Spurgeon. If using a long zig, loop the line then lick and fold over PVA foam at 2 or 3 places on the loop. Tangle free!

Kev Hudson. When using zigs I find placing a piece of pva foam below the hook , then cutting a few pieces of foam down and placing them a couple of feet apart down the zig line all the way to the lead negates tangling on the cast and makes sure your zig is sat correctly in the water column

John Buckingham. Always put my head torch in my boots at night!!! Or else I forget it.

Paul Jarvis. Check all your kit for wear and tear epically if it your first outing of the year, as mice can chew through anything

Glen Marshall. Don’t be afraid to move swims had one then nothing so moved swim had another two to 16lb…

Colin Smith. When zig or top fishing dip your bait’s in oil of clove’s work’s every time.