Tackle shopping should be one of fishing’s most crucial elements

2013-08-17 00:00

GOING tackle shopping is a bit like going to the grocery store. If you don’t have some idea of what you want, then you will probably go home with a whole lot of non-essentials.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any 24-hour-fishing convenience stores that allow you to pick up hooks on the way out to the dam at 6 am. Now there’s an untapped market that I am sure would earn a discerning businessperson a quick buck or two.

It is important to focus on the essentials when purchasing tackle. Try not to get distracted by the rows of bright plastics on offer. Spend money on the big ticket items that will last you a long time. Buying the best basic tackle that you can afford is always money well spent. Shimano, Sensation and Daiwa all have affordable ranges that will offer you years’ worth of service. Quality hooks and line are sure to stand you in good stead.

You don’t want to drop a fish because you were angling for a bargain rather than concentrating on good value. Your wife can attest to the fact that goedkoop is almost always duurkoop. Although, her overspending will almost always be on shoes.

Only once you are kitted with the essentials should you venture down the eye-grabbing, pocket-depleting rows of pliable soft plastics and glitter encrusted crankbaits. They won’t set you back as much as the bling that catches your wife’s eye every time you pass a jewellery store, but they are likely to prompt a favourable reaction from the bass, which start spawning soon.

I recently spent a weekend in Johannesburg and couldn’t turn down the opportunity to take a quick look inside Mias. If you’ve spent any time there at all, then you’ll know that there is nothing like peeking into this angler’s fantasy. It is literally a warehouse filled with any and every type fishing paraphernalia imaginable.

We walked in, looked up and stopped, mouths gaping. There were more rods in there than there are types of tomato sauce in Pick n Pay. The selection of crocs was something to be laughed at and, in the end, we walked out with nothing. It was a feast for the senses and I was so spoilt for choice that I couldn’t decide what I wanted. I certainly couldn’t focus on what we needed, but, had I gone in there with a list of the things that we were short of at home, I would have had a field day selecting from the very best tackle available.

If you can’t be bothered to go through your garage and determine what you have and don’t have, then it might be a good idea to let your wife into your safe haven for an hour or two every month. I can’t guarantee that your fishing tackle won’t end up looking like an aisle in your local supermarket, but there is a lot to be said for walking through neatly stacked rows of lures and line, even if they are organised by colour and not by functionality.

Just make sure that you don’t leave any of those pesky tell-tale slips lying around, because you’re likely to end up sharing your bed with cold soft plastics for the next few months. After all, a fisherman’s greatest fear is that after he dies, his wife sells his fishing tackle for the same amount that he said he bought it for.

What better way to test out your new tackle than to take it for a little spin at some of the approaching local tournaments. The Annual Albert Falls Bass Tournament is coming up in two short weeks and Mnini Dam, located just 10 minutes south of Amanzimtoti, is hosting its seventh Annual Bass Classic on October 5 and October 6.

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