Those of you that follow my Twitter posts (Tweets) will know that I have just returned from a break in Corfu, Greece. As ever, a highlight for me in any trip abroad is a visit to a Tackle Shop – in this case I visited a couple of stores in Corfu Town.
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of kit on offer. In terms of lures there were the expected brands like Rapala and Yo-Zuri, but also Lucky Craft, Smith and Shimano Butterfly Jigs. I also found a Ryobi Safari big game fixed spool which really is top-flight tackle. Rod choice on the other hand was a bit limited where I looked.
I had one item on my shopping list and I’m glad to say I got what I wanted. I’ve been attracted by a new type of jigging, originating in Japan. I’m not actually sure what the official name for it is yet but Shimano’s range of suited lures is named ‘Lucanus’. There are also ranges from Daiwa (Conch Jigs) amongst others. The only kind I’d managed to purchase in the UK was a Yabai Jig from Williamson – set me back a pretty penny too (£9). In Corfu I managed to purchase one of these jigs from a brand I’ve never come across before now – Alpha Tackles – the packaging says they are Japan made. I’m not so sure the quality is up to that but either way I was happy with a 100g version for 7 Euro. The model is a ‘Sea Grand – Salty Rubber Jig’. I’ll hopefully report how these perform next season.
Also while on the subject of jigging, I bought two new, more traditional vertical jigs that I liked the look of and were good value. Again from an unknown manufacturer for me. Packaging just says ‘Mega Series’ and the product code is LFN02. Quality on these 160g models looks good. They come with two assist hooks each, although I’ll probably swap these out for something a little more dainty for my UK fishing. They have a holographic finish and glitter covered backs. Despite this being lacquered on, it’s still rough to the touch and I thought this may give some kind of action in the water column. Looking forward to giving them a try at the next availability. Price was a very reasonable 6 Euro each.
In a another shop located in the centre of Corfu Town I found an item of interest. Again, from ‘Mega Series’ and simply named ‘Breakers’ I found what appear to be very close copies of Breakaway’s Escape lead links. Interesting. Price was only 0.50 Euro for three (about 40 pence).
Other than that I purchased some very nice, finesse type paternoster rigs tied with fine diametre monofilament and spade end hooks. Very nice for pre-tied traces in such light line. Packaged as ‘Uno – the reliable firm in fishing tackle’.
Last note was that I picked up that Awa-Shima was fairly visible in the shops I visited. Awa-Shima produce Japanese made tackle at good value. I’ve seen them making good headway with the UK retailers so they must be keenly priced, which is a good thing as the availability of a funkier-style of tackle from overseas, at an affordable price has to be good for the development of our sport here in the UK. In my opinion, we’ve been left behind somewhat by our European neighbours when it comes to new tackle advances (vertical jigging for example) and UK pricing leads a lot to be desired in terms of sparking off a new sector – £9 for a single jig is not going to tempt enough anglers into a new area of the sport, never mind the cost of the specialist rods, reels and lines ideally required.
Perhaps, with someone like Awa-Shima now on the seen it won’t be long before I no longer need to visit the other side of Europe to buy a reasonably priced jig!