So after missing the Sandown Show at the end of last year I was definitely going to get myself along to the Brentwood Carp Show, which I did, turning up on the Sunday morning.
And of course it was a cracking show. Plenty of top name exhibitors and loads of interesting kit to check out.
But first it had been advertised that there would be more parking and upon arrival I was directed round behind the Centre to an overflow car park, and as I hadn’t turned up particularly early I ended up at the back of a field, which was still filling up pretty fast as I made my way back to the show. So good on the organisers for getting the extra space sorted, it was obviously going to be much needed at this well attended show.
Once inside I met up with my fishing buddy Bob Hornegold. He’d arrived almost as the show started, around 9am, and had already checked out many of the stands. But now it was time to have a leisurely stroll round and have a proper look at what the exhibitors had on offer.
My first stop was at the Gardner Tackle stand to have a word with the very knowledgeable Lewis Read. After a general catch-up I asked about the latest line they’ve put out, the GT-HD.
I’ve been using their GR60X for the last couple of seasons and never had a problem with it, but recently I’d heard some good things about this new line and so Lewis was soon running through its unique properties for me.
One of its main advantages is its lack of stretch, up to 20% less than other top selling lines, he was slightly frustrated at not being able to show me any as they had literally sold out days before! Not to worry Lewis, I’ll be getting some to spool up this Spring.
I then had a good look round the stand at all the great bits of terminal tackle available and at the growing selection of pre-tied rigs on show. Now I know a lot of you prefer to tie your own rigs, but there’s always times where having a spare pre-tied rig can come in handy, and the range is growing to cover plenty of fishing conditions, they’re worth checking out.
Hopefully all of us as anglers put fish care high on our priority list and as I was about to move on I grabbed a bottle of Gardner’s new Intensive Care anti-bacterial/anti-fungal spray. With five active ingredients it’s perfect for treating hook-holds, grazes, and sores, and with a pump atomiser it’s quick and easy to use. And for a few quid a bottle we should all have one in our bags.
I’d mentioned Starbaits in my review last year, and they had more interesting gear this time round. But the first thing I found out was the company have split their bait and tackle branding so that the bait still comes under the Starbaits banner, while SB Tackle now handles all of their fishing hardware.
On display was their new shelter, the 1-Night Bivvy System. It takes minutes to erect, is very spacious inside, and weighs very little when transporting.
After listening to their customers the team have come away from a central ‘door’ and gone with two main opening flaps. The idea being to make it easier for the angler to see his rods as he can open the one nearest to the ‘head’ end of his bed and have a direct line of sight to his alarms and indicators. They retail at £199.99 but you should be able to pick them up cheaper, as always, by shopping around.
Another product I spotted were the new Black Ops rods, which are a budget version of the M5 range. They’re through action, light, with nice slim blanks, and start from £59.99.
On the bait front I noticed the Pro Coconut range of boilies, which are obviously picking up on a top flavour, but with Starbaits own twist, and I hear they’re selling very well.
Next thing to catch my eye was at the Bank Bug stand, it’s their new Rock Steady Back Rest System.
If you’re fishing to open water without snag ears, or just don’t like fishing with them generally, you do run the risk when doing an overnighter of having your rod pulled off your pod or rod rests before you get to it. Or like me you might use the clamp style rear rod holders, only when I get a run I grab the rod to quickly and end up dragging the pod with me!
So seeing this nifty ‘boss’ and ‘locking point’ set-up seems perfect. The boss is secured to your rod with two ‘O’ rings, while the locking point screws into the top of your pod or bank stick.
Once your rod is positioned with the boss slipped into the locking point it can’t move forwards, backwards, or from side to side… but once you get that take, the rod just lifts straight out and you're playing the fish!
Over on the ATT stand I was being shown their latest Deluxe RX Receiver, which has 10 channels, 20 tones, a stub antenna for better reception, and changeable LED lenses, which makes it a superb piece of kit and they retail at around £135.
But what I liked was the deal they are doing with the many anglers like myself, who have already bought and been using the earlier version receivers and alarms for some time. If you return your old receiver they’ll upgrade you to the new Deluxe version for £80.