Firstly apologies (or more probably sighs of relief will ensue) but the planned pocket-by-pocket and item-by-item explanation will have to be foregone – struggling with time and need to re-fill the now empty jacket pockets – and then finish off rest of tackle – for tomorrow’s planned sortie on the canal with the drop shot rig…
So without further to-do lets make a start with the main item – the jacket!
As can be seen from the picture this is a Ron Thompson branded jacket. Bought for me by Liz for Valentine’s Day 2011. Since then it has been worn on every single trip to the water’s side – was re-waterproofed with NixWax(?) tent waterproofer in July of 2012 – and has always provided sterling service proving quite wind- and water- proof over all that time. And the velcro fasteners on the wrists allow a nice fit without flapping or sleeves falling over the hands. In all it has 17 pockets of various sizes – 16 are visible in the picture and the 17th is a large pocket on the back capable of holding scales, towel, weigh net and small unhooking mat all at once (albeit it bulky!) so great for roving/stalking duty. Also the sleeves are detachable via zip fasteners and so in the hotter weather it can become a waistcoat…
OK… that’s it for the jacket – let’s start on those pocket contents…..
The main contents are these compartmented pocket-sized plastic boxes and tobacco tin which are used to draw upon for various items on most trips. The plastic boxes contain various weights, Enterprise Adjuster-Stops, quick change link connectors, various large shot (2SSG + 3SSG mainly), swivels, and small (15mm) and large (30mm) Stonfo Bait Holders which are latex pieces that attach to the bend of the hook and are like hairs that can be attached/removed easily – not easy to find but can be obtained from http://www.pkangling.co.uk. The tobacco tin contains my hooks – mainly Kamasan B981 barbless in sizes 2-16 although there are some Mustad Carp Maggot hooks and others down to size 20… basically the hooks smaller than size 16 are a throw back to my match fishing experience that I undertook for a year before deciding it wasn’t for me. My usual hook sizes I use for legering, freelining and floating baits fall between size 2 and size 6 on pools and rivers, for canal I usually look at 8-12’s for the same tactics and floatfishing anywhere it’s 12-16’s.
Next items – above pic and from top row left to right – are plastic sleeve holding both mine and Liz’s licences and permits (why are the EA cards so cr*p? I laminate ours to prevent water damage), notepad with pen for quick notetaking (but generally only used if the next item is full or not available), Dictaphone for verbal notemaking (much easier than writing – and thus more likely to make notes), digital indoor/outdoor thermometer with clock display (outdoor probe is on a 3 metre lead to make throwing into water easy – clock is convenient for for reminder of hourly updating of temp records on the Dictaphone). And bottom row, left to right again… links for legers (ca 4″ long, 6lb nylon terminated with a swivel at one end and a swivel’n’snaplink at the other, the line being encased in shrink tube – helps prevent tangles on casting and also allows the running swivel to sit above soft silt if lead sinks down), back leads for canal legering (saves having to rewind/recast each a boat passes when canal legering as they hug the line to the bottom and the boats pass over without problem), cigarette lighter (various uses except lighting cigs as I don’t smoke! Eg shrinking shrink tube, melting tag ends of knots to create a ball to ensure knots do not slip, etc), tub of small beads (various uses), hook tags for pike fishing and for attractors on hooks of perch spinners), 2 made up link legers inc the attached leads.
And there’s more!…
OK… here we have a pair of scissors, wire cutters, sharpening stone (for hooks and knife), disgorger/loop tier, spare disgorger, 2 small files (hook sharpening 2), small screwdriver – and a bunch of elastic bands that are cut into small pieces to keep live baits (maggots, worms) from wriggling free on barbless hooks.
Next item is a black leather purse and its contents… ring clips (as used on bracelets – useful for adding things to the maninline without breaking all the terminal tackle down – just open sprung slider, slip on line – attach items to loop on ring), split link clips, meat spikes (add to hair rig, poke into meat and barbs hold meat securely), plastic pouch with small ordinary scissors, braid scissors, boilie drill, baiting needle, and needle threaders to aid attaching small hooks to line, bait pins (for hair rigging maggots – actually us older folks will recognise these as an item that’s done a ‘Listerine’ (originally a general antiseptic, then a floor wash, now a mouthwash – and the formula has never changed!) as they were sold in the 70/80’s as eyes for homemade floatmaking purposes!) and finally a selection of silicone rubber sliding float stops of various sizes which are also used upline when river legering to prevent crud catching on the line and being washed down to the lead and hook.
Now we have a split shot dispenser (SSG to No 6, I think), Mucilin silicon to make line float, sheathed 15lb BS braid (various uses inc hook lengths), power gum (various uses).
And finally – but not really ‘pocket contents’ as they are worn around the neck on lanyards are my forceps (unhooking) and a compass for determining wind direction, etc.
And so there ends the ‘jacket’ saga!!!
And so we come on to today’s shopping exploits – one success, one failure…
The failure was the Dinsmore’s threaded umbrella poles – on Go Outdoors site at £2.97 each (cheapest spotted elsewhere being £7+). Did a ‘Reserve and Collect’ for 2 of these last night, got an auto-confirmation back to say they’d contact me if the items were out of stock. Anyway, no e-mails arrived but just before heading out of house this morning I discovered a missed call from them on my mobile… so I ring them up and discover that the call had been to say that a woman had called to pick them up and they were checking that they were being collected for me… however, as I say, I missed the call (deaf and phone in hallway on charge at the time) and so in the absence of contact they sold them to her!! And no more in stock :( Saved a journey though, I suppose. Dunno about the GO ‘RnC’ thing at all though! – their systems are just not up to it! 4 times I’ve used it and 3 times been told items are out of stock despite showing in stock online… and the 4th time I’d seen a set of scales I liked in there on a visit but at £20 I ooh’d and ahh’d and left the store without them… got home and later that day decided I would get them and so did a ‘RnC’ online – only a little later to get an e-mail apologising that they were out of stock – which I thought strange as there were 5 sets on the stand earlier that day. So next day I went there anyway… and lo and behold on the stand there were still 5 sets!!!
Success was with the 3-rod Korum quiver from Fosters of Birmingham – so soon my old but excellent condition 2-rod one will go on eBay to recuperate some of the expense of the new one :)
Tomorrow – off on the Staffie. A stretch I’ve never fished before *EVER* – and although I know where it is, I don’t know how to get there in the car – so looks like M. Poirot solving the case of ‘The Big 4’ will have to have a rest from being my bedtime reading for the night as I peruse Google and/or Bing Maps instead :D.
Right… looking at my watch now… got 30 mins to reload those jacket pockets and to check all is OK tacklewise for the trip tomorrow – before ‘Elementary’ is on the TV and we get the ferts out for their scamper around the living room… :)