A depository for information on the history of fishing tackle.

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David Slater

Many of you who know me are aware of the fact that I have been working on a book on the history of the Nottingham fishermen and tackle makers for many years now.
David Slater is one of the characters central to that work. Many people have asked me when the project will be completed, as they want to know more about the man and his work.
The short answer is that it is nowhere near ready and there is still an unbelievable amount of research to be carried out. So in the meantime for those readers who do not know who he was – an introduction.

David Slater 1849 – 1917

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February 23, 2017   No Comments

Tay Fishing Floats

Alfred John Tay was a float maker in Victoria Street Redditch when he invented a rather ingenious method that would enable the angler to change from one type of float to another quickly.
Hi invention, a double loop staple — a bit like a paper clip, also combined a pin to loop the line around so that the depth at which a float was fished could be easily changed.

A Tay Float from the 1912 catalogue.

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February 19, 2017   1 Comment

Aberdeen Fishing Tackle

“Why collect tackle from Aberdeen?” is a question I am sometimes asked. Well – I was brought up in the area, fishing mostly on the rivers Don and Deveron, so when I started collecting it seemed to be the most obvious place to concentrate on.

I had a brief flirtation with Hardy tackle but luckily managed to trade most of that on a couple of years ago. I still get tempted by some of those wonderful Perth style wooden reels, Sun and Planets and, oh yes, a Malloch trout in a biscuit barrel case and a Pirn would be nice too! But in the main I stick to Aberdeen tackle and the old tackle catalogues.

So why collect tackle from a particular area? An advantage is that your collection can comprise the whole spectrum of piscatorianna, rods, reels (including fly and spinning), flies, lures, gaffs, nets, ephemera etc. You could amass a selection of the major British manufacturers.

Robert Catto & John Davidson crank wind reel

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February 12, 2017   No Comments

The Men of Trent

I would just like to announce that I have finished the book on the early history of the Nottingham Winch.

More details to follow.

January 23, 2017   1 Comment

Angling Auctions Chiswick London

This Saturday 2nd October, will be the autumn sale at Angling Auctions taking place at Chiswick Town Hall, to view the catalogue online click here.

You will have to register to view all the lots.

September 30, 2010   2 Comments

Hardy 3 inch Wide Drum Perfect.

This article begins with an extremely rare version of the 3” wide drum Perfect, It is fitted with Hardy’s Patent revolving Line guide. As far as we know this line guide was never catalogued or offered for the 3” wide drum Perfect. Though out of sequence it seemed appropriate to make it the leading reel. Its check work is covered amongst the other reels shown below.

Hardy 3 inch Wide Drum Perfect with revolving line guard.

Hardy 3 inch Wide Drum Perfect with revolving line guard.

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September 15, 2010   6 Comments

Hardy Tapered Spindle Reels

It is well known that from the early years when Hardys began the manufacture of fishing reels – that they would produce any item to order for their clients. The only criteria being that the client should meet the cost of the article’s production or modification.  Where these requested variations resulted in worthwhile improvement to the reel with potential for economic advantage in the market place – Hardy’s would often produce the reel in quantity and give to it the name of the person from whom the suggested change had originated. The ‘Barton’ and ‘Davy’ reels are just two examples of this policy.


More importantly, certain of these customer requested variants did not continue into the general production output – presumably because it was thought that no commercial benefit would result from their inclusion.  [Read more →]

August 11, 2010   4 Comments

Mullocks Auction

This Saturday will see the summer sale by Mullocks at the Clive Pavilion Ludlow Racecourse. Unfortunately I will not be there but there are some great items for sale. A friend will be carrying a couple of bids for me.

Hardy Trade Reel at Mullocks Auction

Hardy Trade Reel at Mullocks Auction

John Mullock has revamped the online catalogue and it looks great.

For further details  click here.

July 23, 2010   1 Comment

DAM, Heddon, Creek Chub, Gobel & Ever Ready Lures. Part II

The last article certainly did cause some interest and I want to thank all those people who where kind enoughto supply information.

Various information came to light and here we will just tie up all the loose ends.

Goble & Celluloid Baits

Goble & Celluloid Baits

Walt Hickerson from Tulsa is a collector who specialises in Goble baits and was kind enough to get me a copy of the paper work that came with a bait. This piece of paper belongs to Louie Tate who acquired it from a guy called Kent Clarke also known as Superman by some. [Read more →]

May 31, 2010   3 Comments

Redditch Review.

I arrived nice and early in the hope of finding something nice to add to my collection but unfortunately despite a few hours looking I could find nothing.  There were some fantastic items including a David Slater made Combination reel in gun metal with its original leather case retailed by Forrest of Kelso. At £450 it was too much seeing as I have three models of the same reel and would in effect be paying only for the leather case.

I have started looking into Malloch Sidecaster reels, having previously given them scant attention, due to the fact that they were not the only people making them. The patent expired in 1900 and having seen an advert for a sidecaster by Smith & Wall I wondered who else made them. Certainly there were a few, the Forrest of Kelso one differs from the others in the fact that there is a rim mounted on off check button. Les Shaw had a Foster of Ashbourne model and Andrew Race had a Reuben Heatons model. Just how many other makers are there? I would be interested in receiving pictures and information.

After the show I joined a friend fishing for carp, well he was fishing as I am a bit of a traditionalist and follow the close season. He has found a great lake where the fish just cruise around and its possible to stalk them. He told me that he uses pet food and visited a site which had a very large selection and somewhat baffling. Eventually we settled on dog biscuits and found a nice advantaged position overlooking the lake and started throwing a few free offering to the cruising carp.

It was fascinating and after a short time Ray baited his hook with a dog biscuit and cast out and I followed with the free offerings, the carp homed in on the bait and it was heart stopping. After 5 minutes all the free offering had been taken but they showed little or no interest in the hook bait.

Two hours later with half a bag of dog biscuits gone we still had not managed to get a carp to take the bait. We discussed it and started crediting the carp with super intelligence, surely they could see that the hook bait was sitting lower in the water than the free offering? maybe.

I will return to this lake and try again possibly with floating bread flake, with a split cane rod and an Aerial reel.

May 23, 2010   No Comments