Off we go again, and we're at Farnborough airfield this weekend for the Big One.
And it was an exciting day, if not just for the fact that the huge temporary structure the show is housed in was creaking and groaning as each gust of wind outside caused the ceiling to rise and fall as if the whole place was breathing… !!!
Anyway, I survived as did everyone else, and enjoyed a great show with plenty of tackle to browse through.
Some of the first items I saw were the latest versions in the Fox Supa Brolly range. They're feature packed and obviously include the self-tensioning system that made the original Supa Brolly such a hit.
Displayed with a full overwrap this one had a Flatliner Kingsize bed chair inside and there was still loads of room for your gear to be stowed away.
I also noticed over the other side of their display a manikin who was obviously worried about the roof blowing off, but at least he was dressed ready for such an event, wearing the new Fox Carp Rain Suit!
A waterproof, lightweight outfit with protected pockets and zips, adjustable cuffs and detachable hood, and comes supplied in their own stuff bag.
Next it was along to the Wychwood stand, and were they happy! As this weekend they'd announced that Nigel Sharp had joined their consultancy team. A top carper and author of 'Living the dream' I've bumped into him a couple of times on the Calm Productions book stand at various shows and he's a really nice guy... but enough of that, as I was dragged away by Wychwood's marketing manager to have a look at the new Solace 6 reel.
A compact, well balanced tool built for the specialist angler, free spool facility, double handle, and I'm told will pair up nicely with a new range of specialist rods due out sometime in March.
Moving along to the lads on the Gardner stand and I was asked what I use to cut and trim my hooklink material? Scissors was my reply, and added that they didn't always cut clean, so what did they have? Well how about these Ultra Blades, that will cut neatly through coated hooklink, fluorocarbon, braid and mono.
With one serrated blade and one smooth, the material is held in position and cut cleanly and easily. Got to be one of the essentials in any angler's tackle box, a good pair of scissors!
Further along on the stand I was shown Gardner's new ultra supple leadcore Camflex. Available in two breaking strains, 35lb and 45lb, it has a heavy lead inner core that felt just that as I unwound a length and laid it across my hand. It has a 'broken flecked' pattern to help camouflage it on the bottom and comes in green, brown and silt.
Now something for the match and pole anglers amongst you, and the show had some of the big names like MAP, Preston Innovations, Garbolino, and Maver UK all present.
My first chat was with the lads at MAP, who had their latest luggage range on show, the Dual Storage holdalls and carryalls. With a neat clip system that once undone you just flip the top section of your carryall over next to the base then unzip the top for access to your bait and gear.
Much the same idea for their Dual Storage holdall, with your pole stored in tubes one side and your rods in the other. But if you only need one or the other just unclip them and attach the shoulder strap to the relevant side and away you go!
I also got to see their latest FD reels, the P3000 and P4000 models, with front-drag, shallow wide spools, and their patented Auto Clip System which allows you to clip up at a set distance for accurate casting, but should you get a run the clip will automatically release as the fish pulls away… very clever.
And new luggage was the thing over at Maver's stand with the eye catching Super Seal EVA holdalls. Heat welded seams make these bags water-tight and able to transport loads of gear. Or the latest MXi Series of single or double net bags, jumbo carryall, 4/8/10/12 tube holdalls, reel case, rod holdall, and accessory bag will surely cover most of your match needs.
So its well worth the trek as there's plenty to see in this BIG show, in the BIG tent!
And I'll give a final shout to my chums at Davies Angling, who's stand was busy all day... and if you'd like to win one of the super People/Davies Angling goody bags which are stuffed with £50 worth of top terminal tackle just send details of your latest big catch to firstname.lastname@example.org