48-hours after the Tackle & Guns Show and I'm left with the opinion that perhaps saltwater anglers have done best in terms of new tackle developments this year (maybe carp anglers last year). The sheer volume of new sea fishing gear, from budget to ultra high-end was noticeable and I've been trying to understand, why 2010/2011? First thoughts were towards a trend caused by the economy - but what? I guess sea angling stands out amongst other disciplines because it is perhaps the most accessible area of the sport where you can actually catch food for the table - that certainly seems plausible given the trend in home grown fruit and veg. Maybe all those celebrity chefs have actually made sea angling fashionable here in the UK.
Or perhaps the focus in sea fishing tackle is purely commercial. Perhaps because it has the most remaining potential for further tackle growth and development. If you look at the amount of tackle innovation that the carp area has seen over the past few years, surely it can't go on forever, and the industry still needs to grow so perhaps the tackle industry is looking elsewhere.
I did a bit of research looking for supporting evidence and found the following on the Angling Trust website:
Sea angling is a fast growing pastime in England and Wales with 1.9 million men, women and children over 12 taking part last year.
In a report out this week (09/07/2010), the Environment Agency says this is a rise of 26 per cent since the Government’s Drew Report in 2003 when the figure was 1.5 million including children under 12.
In the past two years 2.8 million people over 12 said they had been sea fishing.
Certainly seems like a decent bet for the tackle manufacturers.
Tackle manufacturers have been looking for a growth area in saltwater angling for some time. Vertical Jigging was a new discipline with specialist rods, reels, line and lures, but for whatever reason hasn't really exploded like it has in other European countries (maybe they should have called it Vertical Pirking for the UK market!) But this past season there seems to have been a real assurgence in modern Bass fishing tackle driven by well regarded angling celebrities (Henry Gilbey comes to mind), with the support of the UK press (Sea Angler's new Bass section stands out) and backed up by brave investments from trusted tackle retailers (thinking Veals' 2010 range primarily, as well as support by a growing number of specialist lure retailers). All this was backed up at this year's Tackle & Guns Show. It was incredibly exciting to see distributors and resellers like Mr Fish, Pro Lures Direct & Fishing Matters bringing quality, specialist tackle from manufacturers like Tenryu, Molix and Cultiva, to name but a few.
To find out more about next season's sea fishing tackle keep coming back to Fishing-Tackle.co.uk over the next couple of weeks.