Vass waders – maybe time for a cultural exchange…

Vass LogoSome fly anglers, I know, would be more drawn to a trade catalogue with seagull droppings on the cover than one adorned with coarse fishing imagery. If that’s you, I implore you to hold your nose (you shameless snob) should you be in the market for new waders, and at least give Vass Textile Group some thought.

I owe the Milton Keynes firm an apology. Specialists in waders and rainwear, mainly for the coarse and sea markets, I happened upon their stand at the Farnborough’s ‘Big One’ fishing show in March, and have had their card on my desk all summer, with a view to giving them a mention.

You can quickly develop ‘product fatigue’ at these shows but Vass’s waders, in particular, stopped me in my tracks. I’m no authority on fishing gear but I had a more seasoned angler with me at the show and he confirmed my initial impression that Vass waders had a distinctly ‘top-end’ feel to them, suggesting material that is comfortable yet also laughs in the face of jagged branches. I also recall their price range sounding competitive alongside some of their more specialist flyfishing counterparts.

Before this begins to sound like Alan Partridgesque product placement, I hadn’t heard of Vass before Farnborough, and were I on commission, I certainly wouldn’t have left it five months before writing about them.

My humble opinion is that they are at least worth a look; I’ll leave it at that.

Spool-Minder the answer to lost leader

It’s one of fishing’s mysteries. Wind leader nice and tight on each of those spools in your spool container. Stick the container in your bag and leave it there undisturbed for a week. Then return to find that leader has not only worked itself loose on each spool but has somehow seeped out of the spool bag, leaving the latter looking like it’s been immersed in a spider’s web.

By that stage, the first two feet of leader on each spool are so kinked and coiled as to be good only for early retirement.

This home-made gizmo, while employed on tying thread in this demo, looks like it could be easily adapted to bring that leader nightmare to a close…


Fishing vehicle? I’m inclined to take the bus…

pexels-photo-191327.jpegJust one of those days when the fly fishing newsfeed happens to churn out polar opposites of the same theme.

At the premium end, hard on the wheels of the Bentley Bentayga [TF487] comes Rolls-Royce’s debut in the SUV market and I have to say I’m underwhelmed. You can’t stick that iconic grille on just any automobile genre and think, “Nailed it…”

Well you can, but I’m not sure you’re right. Looking at the Cullinan is like looking at the family butler as he whizzes past you on a skateboard on his day off, complete with back-to-front baseball cap. Something’s not right.

Give me Sam Soholt’s inventiveness instead, transforming an old school bus into a field sports motorhome with a difference. I was about to refer to it as the ‘budget’ end of this mechanical tale but mulling over the costs his labour of love is likely to have incurred, you’re probably looking at half a Jag’s worth, as it is.

Fishing ads of distinction

Take this to a hundred other companies in the fishing trade and they’d spit the dummy.

“Where’s the product?!”

“It doesn’t even mention fishing?!”

“What the *** are you morons on…?!”

If that’s you, allow me to offer you an alternative view of this sales pitch.

Some of us like the soft sell, just as we like being told a nice story in a world full of ugly ones. Nor do we regard “less is more” as an accidental oxymoron.

So we read this, enjoy the whimsy and may well subconsciously remember the firm responsible next time we’re in the market for eyewear.

And there are more of us than you think.

Banana Ad


The ultimate camera case? I was persuaded…

Secondary reason for posting this: those of you serious about your fishing photography have probably spent enough on it to make protecting your gear a priority while on the road or in the air. For you, the people at Pelican Cases believe they have the answer (hat tip to Moldy Chum for the link)…

Now, the primary reason for posting this: those of you in your mid-50s and older, who grew up watching British TV – how far did you get through this video before a certain episode of The Persuaders came to mind (where the denouement starts at the 49:07 mark)?

“You wouldn’t believe what I’ve been doing to that case…”

I set the bar at five seconds…

How’s your freeloading skill set?


Image by Scott Maxwell

What starts as an innocent enough eulogy to blagging freebies at fishing shows turns into a shameless masterclass in the art of proving that there is indeed such a thing as a free lunch.

Were the GoFishing Show still in existence, I and my colleagues manning the stands would have had a field day using the Golden Beetle’s pointers to unmask any copycat impostors.

As it is, should you be in the market for some top-of-the-range gear at this year’s CLA Game Fair, you might be well advised to leave your polo shirt in the wardrobe…