A depository for information on the history of fishing tackle.
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — Antique Tackle Observer

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

[Read more →]

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.

[Read more →]

February 19, 2017   1 Comment

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

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

Graham Turners Book

I was asked if I was interested in doing a book review for Classic Angling, I was and it was published in issue 63 January 2010.

Click on the thumbnails for a better view.

Book review

Book review

Book review

Book review

February 28, 2010   No Comments

Has Europe gone mad?

A friend of mine asked me if I knew anything about a proposed law about to be introduced through the back door that would affect anglers?

No, tell me more. He directed me to the UKIP website, let me say politics is  something I do not usually indulge in. However this “fringe” party is the only one that is making any effort to overturn this bureaucratic nightmare.

Just picture this scene, some guy out with his children on a typical British seaside Pier catches a fish, BANG the fishing police arrive and deduct his catch from the UK’s quota – idiotic?

Click here to see what they are trying to do.

March 26, 2009   No Comments

Mullock’s Auction

Mullock’s next auction of fishing tackle will take place at the Clive Pavilion Ludlow Racecourse on SUNDAY 22nd of March. Please note this is also Mothering Sunday so have your excuses ready.

To view the online catalogue click here

March 6, 2009   No Comments

Hello world!

The site is having a facelift, please bear with us!

February 18, 2009   No Comments

John Andrews Antique Stall

After working late nights and long days for the past two weeks I drove to London to view and bid on a few items at Neil Freemans Angling Auctions. The first person I saw as I entered the room was John Andrews who had some great news that he could only tell me.

Apparently he was sitting in a dug out with Brain Clough on one side and Peter Taylor on the other and guess what?  they did not know who he was. He would have been better off inviting me along to the conversation then Brian Clough could have been telling his mates about sitting between us two.

The auction was great and a few items were purchased but as always the better items sold well. With the present economic climate it makes sense to withdraw money from the bank and invest it into fishing tackle or wine.

When I got back home I had a nice bottle of wine, gradually the tiredness and alcohol took hold but I had to look at John’s Trade Card as it has a very nice picture of gaff and a Pike. Well at the point that I clicked on his web site an advert came on the TV for a free copy of Julie Andres The Sound of Music, which set my mind off at a tangent to Demis Roussos and a song I remember from my days in Germany Lovely Lady of Arcadia.

Anyway tiredness alcohol can play tricks with your mind but adrewsofarcadia.co.uk is one site I will not forget. Follow the link to see what items of tackle John has for sale. 

October 7, 2008   2 Comments

Caught By The River

I came across this site recently and I must say it makes great reading the tag line “an antidote to indifference” is very apt. The guys write not only about fishing but the other things  that make life worth living and I even managed to list to the Doves singing Caught By The River, technology eh what will they think of next. If they only had a section on Nottingham Forest it would be essential reading.

Anyway here is the link try it.

September 10, 2008   No Comments