Trafford Angling Gear Reviews
Trafford Angling in Manchester reviews the latest fishing gear available in the UK, no holds barred, if it's cra* we tell it like it is! Links to the Website and Trafford A.S forum on this page. Hints, tips and tricks, fishy tales and more . . . . . . .
Back from Hibernation . . . . . . .
Been quite some time since our last post, almost feels a bit like coming out of hibernation !
An awful lot has gone on and an awful lot is still going on !
Latest breakthrough would have to be a look at the new TBR2, hard to improve on a product which has now been around for over three years would you believe . . . but we have .
We have now added this little beauty to Europes best selling Barbel Tripod !All aluminium construction, this is the new 'spreader block' at the top of the pod, eliminating the previous plastic block. It is milled flat on one side and the top bar now just attaches with a simple wing nut as you will see in the picture below . . . . . . .
Very simple and very effective, no movement either so it all locks up just as solid as the original version but with the added security that, should you ever have an accident . . . . you're more likely to come out of it with your prized pod intact.
There is no good reason why this still british made pod shouldn't last forever if you look after it !
And best of all, these improvements have not cost you another penny !
Yes, unbelievably, in this time of doom and gloom and credit crunch recession . . . . our pod is STILL only £ 39.99 and it's better than ever !
Fear not though if you have the original TBR2 ( as i have ) if you ever need spares they are all still available and will be for the foreseeable future.
Either through our website www.traffordangling.co.uk or www.traffordangling.com or you can even buy online from our eBay store here . . . .
where you can find loads of goodies, and all the latest gear, which you will also be able to find on . . . . . . . . . . . .
the new Trafford Angling website !
This is currently a 'work in progress', the older site is still alive and doing us proud but we thought we'd like to bring it up to date with a host of new features and we'll be migrating to that over the coming weeks, trust us, you'll know when it's happened if you've visited us before. . . .
Thanks for reading, hopefully we'll be back soon with some more exciting news and reviews for you, watch this space !
Team Trafford :)
cheeky little tips part 4 . . . . . .
Maybe not a totally knew idea to some out there, but hopefully it will be . . . . to a few of you . . . . . . .
With the recent floods of late comes all sorts. . . . .
and after a long dry spell through the closed season, that usually means when the rain eventually comes - so does all the debris that's built up over the weeks/months.
Usually, the scenario is like this . . . . . summer finally kicks in, the water levels are low for weeks on end, causing low oxygen levels which in turn, causes mother nature to try and compensate by growing oxygenating weeds.
Then the rains come . . . . . and boy have they come !
Fishing yesterday . . . . the river was a good 2 foot up, probably more like 2 and a half . . . . .
as you can see . . . there was a little extra water . . . .
And with that comes . . . . the dreaded weed . . . . . . .
And it's a right pain in the A**e !
Stops your feeder from emptying, has your lead dragging round 'till it will only settle under your feet and let's face it, not only looks a mess but you do have to wonder if (when a barbel/chub comes along) any self respecting fish would go near it !
Plus there's also the fact that if this cra*'s all around your lead/ feeder, will the fish actually be ABLE to even find your bait . . . . . . . . . .
so . . . . . what's the solution i hear you say . . . . . . ??????
This little weapon . . . . . .
Might not look much, but it really does the trick . . .
They are . . . . Fox Braid Stops . . . . . very slim silicone sliding float stops that really grip the line well, which is important 'cos you don't want 'em sliding down the line to the lead/feeder as that'd kinda defeat the object . . . . . . and I've used a few and believe me, these are by far the best.
And this is exactly what the result should look like if it's doing it's job properly . . . .
The Cra* as i lovingly refer to it, is firmly up the line, it really seems to stop 99% of weed/leaves/grass etc from getting anywhere near the hook bait - leaving that free for old billy barbel to find . . . . . . . . (hopefully)
The pic' below show the rig/stop in a little more detail, the stop has obviously been slid right down the line for the sake of the photograph, i normally tend to have the stop anything from a foot to 4 or 5 foot away from the lead/feeder - working on the principal that the heavier the flow and more cra* coming down river, the further i have it away.
If the Cra* coming downstream is so heavy that it's pushing the stop down to the lead. . . . . . . . . . . . i would highly recommend packing up and buggering off home !!!
Happy flood fishing people !
Oh dear . . . My Pole Sections Are Stuck .....
Hmmmm . . . . . . happens a lot . . . .
in wet weather, usually on a match, usually when packing up, and usually . . . at just about the worst time it could possibly happen. . . . . . . .
There you are, with your shiny new pole out to impress on the banks, next thing you know, you got 2 metres of your shiny new sections sticking out of the sun roof . . . that's if you got one . . . . a sun roof that is . . . oh yeah, and it's not raining . . . .
So, hmmm, why did that happen ??? . . . . . .
Let's start with the technical term . . . it's called . . . . .
this is the force that basically sticks things together when it involves a liquid i.e rain water and water in general when it's related to fishing, as we do come across rather a lot of it really . . . . . ( think of two sheets of glass with water between them, you won't ' force 'them apart in a month of sunday's )
Technical answer above if you click on the link . . . . . .
Generally when you're fishing in the rain or just have wet hands, it is dead easy to just push the sections that little bit too far in. Next thing you're stuck and the most likely scenario is 2 to 4 anglers on the bank having a tug of war with your hard earned pole sections . . . . not always a good idea . . . sections can easily be crushed and shattered by overdoing the tugging and pulling ! ( insert your own double entendre's for comic effect ! )
Best thing to do if your stuck is . . . . . . nothing. . . . . if a simple twist or pull won't free the sections up, take them home, leave them in a warm room
TO DRY OUT !
Worst thing you can possibly do, and trust me on this one, ( i've seen enough stuck pole sections to fill a warehouse) is start spraying WD40 on it !
Let me just run that by you again . . . . .
DO NOT PUT WD40 ON YOUR POLE SECTIONS !!!
OR BOILING WATER
OR PLUMBERS MATE (IT WONT BE YOURS)
OR ANY LIQUIDS WHATSOEVER !!!!!!
Note lots of exclamation marks for added effect !
You can't freeze half while pouring boiling water on them, no they won't expand and slacken it off and no they won't contract either and no to all the other barking mad ideas that people come up with !
Dry them out, try again with dry hands and dry sections.
They can be carefully ' rattled out '
They can be carefully ' tapped out '
They can be brought into the shop and we will have a go for you ! You may phone us up, and we will explain to you how to take them apart ! ( 0161 864 1211 )
Don't listen to half the numpty's on the bank that come up with weird and wonderful ways to get them apart, literally,
if they don't come apart easily, pouring liquids on them is
going to be about the biggest mistake you'll ever make !
Come see the boy's at Trafford, and we'll see what we can do for you . . . . . . happy pole fishin' !
Fox lay down the gauntlet with the new Stratos 7000e Reel !!!
Here's one to look out for this season if you're after some new reels!
This is without a doubt, the first serious contender to take on Shimano's stronghold on the 'baitrunner type' reel market . . . . granted you've already got a few decent makes around that have been established for some time now, such as, Daiwa and Okuma to name but two . . . .
This little package though, is one that they'll all find hard to beat !
So what have you got straight out of the box ?????
This . . . .
It's an impressive little package. . . . . . . and that's just reading the spec' on the outside of the box !
It boasts no less than 8 Ball Bearings plus a Roller Bearing, a balanced rotor with a twist reducing line roller, it is incredibly smoooooth and has a fantastic, flat as a pancake line lay which can be ' profiled ' by swapping around the spool shims, but that's for the serious casting boys . . . . realistically speaking, you wouldn't need to bother 'cos its good enough as it is out of the box . . .
Not only that but it looks good too which ain't a bad thing . . . . all black with nice, easy on the eyeballs graphics.
Now then, let's not beat around the bush . . . . this reel is aimed at taking a slice of shimano's market, it's aimed straight at the 6000 and 8000 RE standard baitrunner, so what do you get with the 7000e that you don't with a Shimano??
Firstly the spare spool as pictured above, which incidentally, both spools are both fitted with spool reducers so when you're fishing lighter lines, say 6 and 8lb, you dont have to fill it from top to bottom with hundreds of yards of line, you pop a reducer on and. . . . . . . . hey presto, it goes from 518 yards of 6lb to 335 yards ! Saves you a few quid on spooling up eh !
Plus, the other gem people don't realise is that if you're going to fish braid . . . . . . . . yes, just think how much that will save you on filling up !!!
Then there's the spare handle, well, it's more of a choice of handles. For anyone who still can't get their heads around a double handle (makes it even smoother again, you don't know what you're missing!) fox have included a single handle and a double handle, and not only that but a cheeky little tool to tighten the handle up nice and tight, no more sore fingers in winter !
so already, an impressive list of ' extras ' over and above what you get with a bog standard shimano . . . . .
You also get this . . . . .
a rather fetching little bag to pop your new reel back into if you don't leave it set up on the rod . . . . .
and you get these . . . . . . . . .
now then, on first look this might not look much, but there is a hidden gem !
Firstly you have a full Fox Warranty and Warranty card which you send off to register your reel (s), and then you have some instructions - very easy to follow, very concise and very practical.
Hidden within the pages though, is the gem - why nobody else does this is beyond me but, Fox have actually done a little diagram of how to spool your reels up with line PROPERLY !!!
Now i'm sure there is much debate on how people think this should be done but the Fox method is how i've been telling people to do it for years ! and it's RIGHT ! It will give you the least amount of twist when spooling and you'll get far better performance out of your gear if it's all been set up proper in the first place, so full marks to Mr. Fox!
Ahhhhh but how much is all this going to cost me you ask???
Well, this is the easy on the wallet bit !
The 7000e, which incidentally is your barbel/ lighter carp/ big feeder rod size reel goes out at only £49.99 - clearly this is going to give the boys at shimano a headache !
The larger 10,000 size reel is the one for the long range carp and pike anglers and will better suit rods with a test curve of 2.5lbs +. With line capacity at 304 yards of 15lb without the reducer on the spool, all but the biggest waters will be suited to this reels capabilities. The 10,000 sells at £54.99 so still, even against the shimano 6000 RE special edition, you're getting a lot more reel for your money . . . . . .
Without a doubt, if this is your price range for reels, you want to seriously consider giving these reels a good look. . . . . .
Links below to bigger pictures and the Fox Micro website with some more technical specification for the tech' heads out there !
Fox Stratos micro website
Labels: fox stratos 7000e reel carp barbel specialist
New Big Fish Weighing Tripod ! Another new product from the Trafford stable !
Hot new item just in for the big fish boys !
Jumpy scales and struggling has just been eradicated by the new Big Fish Tripod from the boys at Trafford A.S !
Never one to miss a trick, we have noticed the poor choice on the market for big fish weighing. What choice is there out there??? . . . . . . Erm, at the last count we think there's 1 !
And that one's limited . . . . . fixed length for a start, at around 4' 6" and about £15.00 dearer than ours, hmmmm need we say more !!!
Our new tripod stands at around 5 foot and has extending legs, letting it open up to approx ' 7 foot 6, making sure that even with a large sized weigh sling on, the sling is well off the floor.
The legs lock via nylon locking screws so they only require finger tightening to get a secure lock on the legs, they don't become a nightmare in the winter when everything's freezing up and, they don't damage the tripod legs . . . . .
Pictured below are the solid turned points at the bottom of the tripod legs, these can be dug into the ground for extra stability when weighing your (hopefully) new P.B !!
The top block on the tripod is the bit where the stability comes in, the whole setup is machined out of aluminium and stainless steel, no cheap and chearfull plastic bits on this pod . . . . . this also houses the hanging hook for the scales to go on (pictured below).
The pod should take almost any large popular dial scales, reubens, nash etc that have a rounded or pointed top to them.
The pod weigh pod will really come into it's own for people wanting to accurately weigh big fish when they're fishing alone as you can support the fish on the pod while you get your camera gear etc ready, no need to be in and out of the water/sack while you're trying to organise yourself .
Lads fishing abroad will also appreciate the usefulness of the pod when weighing large carp and cats .
All the leg components are the same specification as our now ' nearly famous ' TBR2 Barbel tripod, so no worries about strength or stability as the parts are all of the same standard - made for us by a British manufacturer ( yes a rarity these days! ) and come with a full 12 months guarantee, as you'd expect . . . . .
So . . . if you're in the market for a weighing tripod . . . . . come and check it out, they're just into stock now, and match, carp or specimen anglers will all find it an invaluable aid to getting a proper, accurate weight every time - there is no better way to weigh . . . . . . . . sorry . . . . couldn't resist . . . . . . . and . . .
at the super dooper - cheaper than the others on the market price - of only £44.99, you can also save yourself a few quid on the 'brand name ' products that are around, and at this price, is it really worth butchering an old sea tripod and making do ??? . . . . . . . . .
links to larger pictures are here if you want to see any of the components closer up, you can always save them and blow them up in windows picture viewer . . . . . .
or simply follow this link that takes you directly to the shops website page that features the tripod . . . . . .
Trafford Weighing Tripod - Click Here . . .
Labels: tripod weigh big fish carp catfish matches specimen
Pete's Mega Manor Session . . . . . . . .
A fine end to the season . . . . . .
Well folks it's here . . . . . . . love ot or hate it, the closed season is now upon us . . .
Personally, i'm starting to garner a distinct dislike to the closed season, for numerous reasons;
firstly, just as the light nights are upon us and you get a chance to actually set up in daylight after work. . . . . . it's over . . . .
then there's the alledged effects of ' global warming ' making the seasons go all out of kilter (personally i don't subscribe to the hype and believe it's just a natural bit of evolution going on here that all the airport and 4 x 4 and long haul flight taxes in the world won't fix) that mean if the weather's pants through may and june, the fish are spawning late june, july and into august . . . . . . as i have witnessed on the dane and ribble on more than one occassion in the last few years. What do they do with all that ' green tax ' money they collect anyway??? . . . . . . . Ever feel like you're in the wrong business? . . . . hmmmmmm
And why does it always seem to fish its nuts off just as the seasons ending ! Aaarrrggghhh lol !
Drives me mad it does . . . . . . plus it forces me to go stillwater fishing and ' fluff chuckin ' for trout i can't catch ! I'll get one though this year i swear . . . if it kills me ! And i'll learn how to actually use this trout gear, erm probably . . . . but . . . . it does give the banks a rest . . . and after yesterdays circus on the stretch i fished, the banks will surely need a rest.
There is though, something nice about going down a stretch of river after it's re-opened and working your way through all the fresh foliage that makes you feel a bit like an intrepid explorer working their way through unchartered territory . . . . . after you've finished hacking away and working up a profuse sweat in the process !
Roll on summer . . . . . . . .
So anyway . . . . my last session of the season was on the ribble on the wigan aa stretch . . . . and it ended up a much happier affair than my previous 3 outings where i'd only managed to scrape out 2 chub between the sessions . . . . i was seriously starting to think i was going to end the season on a proper downer, coming off the river with my tail firmly tucked between my legs, head bowed and dragging my feet. . .
I'd fished a stretch of PAA's water twice and had just one chub and a blank, and fished wigans water another occassion in what i would describe as the most perfect conditions you'd get if you'd paid for them . . . .and blanked !
Why is it there's always someone bank walking that tells you they had two doubles out and 17 fish the last time they were on just as you're contemplating packing it all in and taking up golf ! Yeah stick the knife in why don't ya mate, oh and don't forget to kick me while i'm down !
But back to the session . . . . .
The weather was absolutely beautifull . . . typical eh . . . . it looked . . . . . . just like this . . . . . . .
And this . . . . . . . . .
The water was clearing up after its recent bout of colour, the swim i was fishing was deep down the inside shallowing to the far side so i fished one long and close in, one 2/3's over and straight across. Boily and paste over, pellet and paste down the inside . . . . same tactics as i'd been blanking with in the last couple of weeks !
But this time, it worked . . . . . so my sanity was saved and i could now stop worrying i was ' losing it ' lol ! Took those snaps about 5 ish after i'd had two barbel on the bank within about 6 or 7 min's of each other and a 'charlie chub' about two and a half pounds. So a hectic 20 min's from out of nowhere just as the sun was starting to drop in the sky.
The average stamp of the fish looked, like this . . . . . . . . . .
That's me modelling my new Trakker thermal fleece top i'd managed to scrounge off our rep' (sorry, 'agent') clive just a few hours earlier ! Lovely lad that clive . . . . . . i've always said that . . . . . ;-)
Most of the fish came from the inside rod to paste wrapped pellet, think i had just one small barb, a chub and a lost fish to the far rod, and 4 barbs and a larger chub about 3 and a half to the inside rod, as well as dropping another due to me sitting drilling out pellets as the rod near took off and i didn't quite get to it quick enough . . . . . .
Ah well, that's one to look out for in the new season eh . . . . . .
The last fish banked was also the best fish of the session and indeed season - not a monster but still a quality fish in cracking condition that put up a fantastic account of itself, just into proper dark at about half seven(ish). The way it ploughed through the swim could quite well be the reason the swim seemed to go dead after that !
Weighing in at 8lb 2, it was just a good size fish, not to be sniffed at, that ended my season on a high rather than a downer ! Many thanks to that fish . . . . . . . . . .
Would have done another better shot normally as this is a bit erm, crap but . . . the fish fought hard, it was dark i was on my own and self portraits are tricky with a lively fish at the best of times, so when the batteries gave up after that shot - rather than change em', i just popped her back in and off she went . . . . .
So that's it 'til june then . . . . . looks like the only river banks i'll be walking will have to be with fluff chuckin rod in hand for now, wish me luck i'm gonna need it . . . . . . .
Labels: Barbel, chub, closed season, river ribble, tripod