As I'm always banging on about having limited time to get out fishing (let alone other angling related trips!) as family, work, and life generally seem to get in the way, it may come as no surprise that during the recent half-term I was busy again as we ended up going away for a few days, chucking ourselves down the sides of mountains…. on ski's of course!
Which was nice, but it stopped me doing my write up on the Brentwood show, so as they say, it's better late than never and here's what I found!
I popped over to the Brentwood Centre on the Saturday, getting there mid morning and it was nicely busy. Entering via the main entrance which leads straight into the marquee that sits just next to the main building and houses the overspill of exhibitors from the main hall.
Not that these guys are after thoughts, with the likes of Taska, Free Spirit, Trakker, and Diem, all having large displays in here, in fact I think they'd crammed in more stands than usual.
So there was plenty to have a look at and as the place filled up I made my way into the main hall. Here you had more big names like Fox, Nash, Gardner, and Korda all adding to the 100+ exhibitors at this years event.
I don't know what it is but this show always feels a little more intimate and friendly, and with a strong turnout it certainly had a good feel to it.
And as usual I kept my eyes open for new gear that might be useful in the coming season.
Sensas have been one of the big players over in Europe for a number of years, and we in the UK have enjoyed using their bait amongst other items, but now they're expanding their fishing tackle range through the Starbaits brand.
From bivvy's to rods, luggage, alarms, and rig materials, there's a lot of interesting gear to watch out for. I played with some of their M5 rod range which is designed for the all round carp angler, built with an action soft enough to enjoy playing the fish but strong enough to put a bag out at distance. They come with full Fuji SIC fittings throughout, from a 50mm butt guide to 20mm tip ring.
I also liked the look of these Preparation Bright Tigers bait.
They're carefully selected tigernuts that are highly coloured then soaked in a heavily concentrated feeding stimulant, which I think will work well either as a single hookbait, or tipping off a boilie.
And if you're targeting the carp with maggot this coming season the Starbaits LayerZ Golden Maggot might be of interest. Being PVA friendly this glug is made of real maggot carcases and ground up maggots, so could have a lot of uses, and is the latest addition to the LayerZ range.
Right, and now it's on to a hefty, but very necessary bit of kit, and I've wandered over to the Wychwood stand. Amongst the many bivvies and brolly systems around the show this beauty stood out.
With developement involving some of the top anglers in the UK Wychwood have produced the lightweight, quick to erect D-Ploy shelter. Using a spreader block engineered by those clever guys at JAG, it has reinforced aluminium ribs, a quick-strap overwrap system, and if I'm getting this right, a membrane that is much more waterproof for much less weight!
It also comes with a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty, so that may help you to forget the price!
The last item that took my eye was an addition to their already successful range of baits on the DT Bait Developement stand.
Having monitored many of their competitors ranges, that had pop-ups which finally sank, and wafters that floated way off the bottom, these critically balanced baits from DT are the perfect complement to the already successful Howler and Supa Fruit flavours.