For me it was a slightly different visit to the Carp Society's show at Sandown this year. Having been invited to spend the day on the Mpress stand to help promote our own publication, The Osprey Specimen Group & Friends book, it didn't leave me a lot of time to wander around the stands as I usually do and check out what was new from the tackle boys.
Not that I can complain, as on the day there was Martin Bowler, Martin Clarke, and Terry Hearn, all sitting within a few feet and very happy to have a chat whenever they weren't talking with the public. In fact I had quite an in depth discussion with Martin Clarke on fish predation, rod licencing, young anglers, and even fishery management!
Whereas Terry and myself seemed to be getting a bit more practical with him relaying how he changed over from slide photography for recording his fish captures to the more user-friendly digital format... and when he nearly lost a whole years worth of pictures, which is probably everyone's nightmare, so all very interesting stuff.
I was well looked after by Cliff and Paul Moulder and my thanks to them for inviting me, and I did actually manage to sell a few books. Though not as many as Mr Bowler, who by the end of the day had sold all his stock of Totally Immersed!
But I did sneak off for an hour to quickly sort out a few nice bits that I'm sure will be picked up on by many anglers in the next few months. Here's what I found.
As the Taska display was just opposite the Mpress stand it seemed the obvious place to start and I was soon being shown their latest Deceptive Fluorocarbon mainline and hooklink range.
I peeled off a length and it felt amazingly supple, and when placed in one of their tanks it sank to the bottom in seconds, and was almost invisible. Then there was the Evolve Shurlink, a sort of woven fluoro that's coated for a really slim diameter hooklink, that also has a great deal of stretch in it.
Finally I was given a quick demonstration of their new leader material being folded and squashed into one of the lads hands, then squeezed tight, only for it to drop out without a kink or bend in it as his hand was opened again. Top quality gear from the lads as usual.
It was then over to top bait suppliers CC Moore and I asked what was the hot product they had at this year's show, and they took me straight to the new Geoff Kemp flavours.
A big name back in the 80s, and known as one of the original bait flavour manufacturers, his ingredients accounted for many large carp, so CC Moore's are very happy to be sourcing these great flavours from the man himself.
On sale at the show and on general release from the 1st December, I was told that further projects were now being talked about with Geoff. All sounds pretty interesting?
Then a stroll round to the Munch Baits stand and I soon spotted that the guys are adding to their excellent product list with the addition of the new Active Stix range.
Designed to complement their boilies, pop-ups, and glugs, the stick mix mirrors their three signature recipes PH1, Entity, and The Compound.
Sold in 550g tubs it's ready to use and boasts high attraction and a fast breakdown, and of course is made with purely natural ingredients continuing the company ethos.
My last port of call was to the Gardner lads, and first up was the new Glo Pro liquid line marker.
Available in four colours, this luminous paint on indicator helps you get your baits back on the same spot when re-casting. Once you've clipped up to a distance just paint an inch or so of line near the reel, then every time you have to recast all you do is find the Glo Pro mark and clip up near it to match the same distance.
With a good blast from a headtorch or UV torch the liquid will glow for 10 minutes. It's sold in single bottles, or in twin packs, with a UV torch included.
Then last in my quick look at new stuff at the show was Gardner's Ultra Skin hooklink. It's a finely coated braid that is seriously thin through all the 15lb, 25lb, and 35lb range, and can still be stripped easily. Got to have a play with this for my carping, and possibly for the barbel too!
Hope that's given you a few things to look out for when you're next in your local tackle shop, and as always I'll put links below to the manufacturers so you can get specific product info if you need it.
For Taska go to www.taskacarp.com
For CC Moore go to www.ccmoore.com
For Munch Baits go to www.munchbaits.com
For Gardner Tackle go to www.gardnertackle.co.uk