Lesson learned yesterday. Stick with what you know.
Plaice season is in full swing on the South Coast where I fish and in recent seasons we've changed the way we fish for these handsome flatfish - namely with spreader booms.
Although slightly cumbersome out the water, fished from the boat these spreaders do appear to hold an advantage over our preferred tackle of previous years - running ledger, spoons, etc. Whether that's because they facilitate a wider scent trail (the width of the boom), enable two baits to be fished relatively trouble free side by side, or the metalwork offers some kind of attraction to some species of fish, it's hard to say. But a number of us have experienced better results using this tactic for Plaice again and again.
Spreader booms aren't a new thing - quite the contrary. I've read about spreader booms in old sea angling books from the early 20th century. Actually it feels like we've out-evolved the tackle manufactures somewhat as finding good spreaders can be quite hard. I would estimate that half the number of spreaders in use today are homemade.
My preferred brand is that of Mustad (and I'm sure I've seen another brand distribute them under another name). These are easily identified by the use of a black, plastic body in the shape of a diamond. Nice bit of kit... if you can get hold of them! They're not produced any more.
Unfortunately I don't have the time to make my own so have been looking for a replacement.
I noticed that Tronix Pro were selling the Twin Spreader Boom (40cm) a while back but was put off by their over-built form. More wrecking than finesse Plaicing I thought.
Well I succumbed a couple of weeks ago as sometimes I get put off by having to buy 'everything' online or over the telephone. The local tackle shop I was in actually had the Tronix spreader booms in stock so I snapped up a pair against my better judgement. I should say I am clearly biased in opinion as obviously I already had my doubts but sometimes ease and accessibility of gear rules over function... sometimes!
Well unfortunately all I can report is that the first one I tried failed on its first visit to the sea bed. I didn't hammer it, in fact I was going easy on it with a 3oz lead and worm baits. If anything, the boom looked over the top. Fishing on the drift as we always do I snagged something on the bottom - goes with the territory - and when it pulled out I assumed the Aberdeen hooks had done their job and pulled straight saving the rig. They had, but not before the welded/bonded(?) stop that secures the jumbo swivel in the centre of the boom gave way, making the boom un-resurrectable and destined for the bin. I was disappointed. Especially as my concerns were over the lack of finesse from this product - not the build. If they can't take a snag on light gear with 10lb mainline and a 3oz lead I can't see them being very good for what they're most probably intended - wrecking and bigger quarry.
As I say, disappointed and will defintely work harder to find a source of my tried and tested spreaders - and buy in bulk next time!
If you've had a different experience with Tronix Pro Twin Spreader Booms - or the same - please let us know in the comments section below.