And so we're here at the last show of the winter season.
It's the 2014 Carpin' On carp angling show at Five Lakes Resort near Colchester.
And one of my first thoughts is that it's not so busy here as it was last year, and when I chat to the exhibitors they confirm this, what with three matches in the Six Nations rugby tournament happening almost back to back through most of Saturday and the start of the F1 season Sunday morning, I wonder if they kept a few of us indoors? Any thoughts guys?
But there was still plenty to look at and I found some interesting items to tell you about.
My first port of call was the Chub stand where a nice shiny rod pod caught my eye.
Part of the Precision Stainless range this Precision Lite Pod Base works with Chub's banksticks turning them into a stable pod system that's perfect for fishing on a platform or hard ground. I was invited to pick up the whole set-up and it weighed next to nothing and remained very rigid.
With anti-loss thumbscrews and an extending centre bar for adjustment to most lengths of rod it was a nice bit of kit.
It will retail at around £99.99 and come into the shops in April.
The guys also showed me their new barrow which had all the features you'd expect, and I also had a play with their Vantage Barrow Bags.
Basically made of two bags stacked one on top of the other, so when clipped together they're easy to transport, and when taken apart the low profile design allows you to slip them under your bed chair with ease.
They're equipped with adjustable dividers, removable insulated pouch, mesh and zipped outer pockets, and come in medium/large sizes.
Next was a quick chat with the lads at Avid Carp and they were mostly showing off their standard ranges of gear, and fine though it is, I was looking for new tackle!
Even twisting their marketing man's arm he had nothing to show me, and was very coy about some of the new stuff they have coming out in the next few month's… looks like we'll just have to wait then.
The only thing they did point me towards was the Code Red range of baits from Sonubaits.
Tested and developed over three years this boilie was made to have the best qualities from both freezer and shelf life baits. With pre-digested fishmeal and liquid liver, plus high levels of liquid food attractors, the bait starts to release food signals as soon as it enters the water with carp soon recognising the bait as a valuable food source.
Avid's Ian Russell certainly showed what it can do landing 17 carp in a session at Linear Fisheries, topped off with a 43lb'er!
Now I have to say the next item I found was the business, it's the latest indicator from Solar Tackle.
Called the Titanium Multi-Functional Indicator System, it has (right deep breath here…) a choice of two sizes of Titanium indicator arm, 7" or 3", plus a range of indicator heads, adjustable line clips, isotopes, drag weights, that can be put together to make your indicators just as you want them.
But what impressed me was the clever engineering on the arm itself that allows you to unscrew a knurled sleeve and quickly change your indicator from a tensioned one into a simple hanging one! Great thinking, and great design.
They should be available in a few weeks time.
My last visit was to the Kryston stand and there I met Dave Chilton.
After asking my usual question about 'what was new?' I was then given a captivating 10 minute lecture in the manufacture of coated braid!
And boy did this man know his stuff, and the product we were talking about was Kryston's latest addition to it's Synx range.
So Dave explained that the new 30lbs Synx Dark sinking micro braid has extra fibres woven into it's weave giving it it's strength, but without dramatically increasing it's diameter, as he held up a strand of it against the standard 20lbs braid, and I couldn't see much difference.
With a 30 layer coating that makes it carp friendly, and very durable against the attention of weed and snags, I can see me trying this out on my rigs.
Well that's it for another winter, and the tour around the shows. I hope I found some innovative tackle to bring you… and we'll start it all again at the end of the year!
For more tackle info on the companies mentioned, here's some handy links: