Certain major items of tackle, including design and modification, are detailed on this page.
All my fishing stuff relates to Barbel fishing. I use centrepin reels exclusively and my rod designs, where either I built my own or I modified purchased ones, are tailored to these reels.
My current self-designed/built rods are on an 11ft Harrison GTi blank, these rods are the optimum design to suit me. I extensively tested and used them for 4 seasons (I also built two for a couple of barbel angling pals and they tested them for 2 seasons or so) at which point I was happy with them. That was in 2002 and I still can't see that there's anything "out there" that will improve them, for me at least - If I lost or broke them I'd replace with the same (which makes a good self-recommendation).
They are on their website, see here for further details.
Note that the above (c'pins) article is changed as/when I feel it requires it, in order to keep the information up to date and relevant as a (hopefully) useful reference, if you'll excuse my presumption, rather than simply an article. I have written in the context of a centrepin used for barbel fishing by me, and I would not suggest that it is in any way pretending to be a fully definitive be-all and end-all article on the subject, and especially so as I make no attempt to do any evaluation of currently available reels - I have neither the inclination nor the experience for this. The article was last updated Oct 2020 and includes additional 'guest' contributions from some friends who are equally keen centrepin users. I feel another update is coming on ...
I am always happy to discuss the use of centrepins reels in general, or to receive comments about the content of my article - perhaps you might be asked to contribute something too.
please email me directly if you share the interest : email paul
.. or, if you are a member, you can contact me via a message on Barbel Fishing World here
See also the Centrepin Database on Barbel Fishing World, although unfortunately it didn't really get off the ground due to lack of input. Maybe I'll get round to having another go later ...
Unfortunately, I find I can rarely buy any other major item of tackle (seats, holdalls, rucksacs, bags, nets etc) that suits all my requirements so I have to modify everything (although in truth I enjoy doing so). Some of these modifications may later be detailed in case there are ideas which could be of interest.
I have always followed a certain principle I adopted for fishing, although slight variations may be needed depending on the time of year. This is to comfortably carry just three things - a seat, a bag, a rod-quiver - and these three things will, in turn, 'carry' other items. It used to be that where it is likely I will need an umbrella I carried that in the rod-quiver, but these days since I usually fish well into darkness (midnight or beyond) I always use an umbrella whatever the weather. Many say to me that they don't want to carry an umbrella due to its weight - they get caught out, I never do.
The umbrellas I now use have now been changed. Gone is the early 70s 45" with the broken spoke. Gone is the 50" Korum Stormshield with sides which was largely redundant.
Latest acquisition is a Aqua Fast & Light Mk.II 55" brolly. This is brilliant and great quality.
I also have a Badger 60" with sides if I tend to overnight it, and want that bit more room. Also when I fish with my best mate and we share a peg and a brolly, this is just that bit bigger.
I had just two bags - one is a 15 ltr Wychwood shoulder bag, the second is a 55 ltr Chub rucksac (soon to be sold) as I prefer a carryall rather than a rucksac.
But a while back I decided that although the 15 ltr Wychwood is fine, I wanted a slightly bigger one so I could get clothing and more food/drink in without having to spend ages packing. I bought a Fox Royale Medium carryall, at 56 ltr sounds big but then I don't need to fill it, this is now the bag I use for all of my fishing.
BUT, I have recently also changed my rod carrying methods and my requirements quite drastically. Gone is the carp-style holdall and I now use two quiver holdalls - one is (was, now given away to a pal) a Drennan 2-rod one for summer/autumn, and the newer one is a Drennan Specialist 3-rod one, which is longer and slightly larger, so the larger umbrellas do not tend to overbalance the holdall. These Drennans have also been modified - I have removed the velcro rod bands and replaced them with large black flat laces.
In fact the coats are gone, I never wear one whilst fishing. I prefer to wear layers, as many as I need given the weather conditions. I keep a goretex ex-army coat tied to my holdall and then over the back of my seat, just in case it's peeing down when I'm playing or landing a fish (it's fun getting it on from under a brolly with a bend in the rod and an angry barbel trying its best to defy you)
I carry the seat, but the seat carries the bait-bucket and squares of tarpaulin I lay on the ground (a good slug gatherer); I carry the bag, and the bag carries the unhooking mat. In other words I make sure items are clipped/tied together where possible to make carrying, and especially when moving swims, easier. I had too many years of struggling.
Unhooking mat is attached to the bag utilising (generally available) buckle clips (these carry a variety of names) sewn on to spare bits of webbing.
I also modify my landing nets and handles so that when moving, the net remains attached to the handle (velcro) and minimises snagging on bankside vegetation, but is easily available to use. This modification works well on a telescopic handle (pictured) as it just requires a shake to unattach, and the handle will extend to its full length. I still use the same on my Powerstretch handle but as this requires unlocking and setting at whatever required length for the particular swim, this is best done before fishing.
A handy one is to provide a 'tag' on my coat (two shown) to keep my forceps on, and a retaining loop to avoid them swinging in the way when crouching down (but then as I rarely actually wear a coat then this is a relic idea from days gone by).
last updated 26/10/20