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Ronan's report

Tuesday August 1st, 2006

Well not really, but if I had a small say at the CLA Gamefair things would be different.

I’d move teaching to the wings and bring casting competitions to the centre. To excite anglers we need spectacle and excitement not demonstration and certainly not a few dozen novices making it look difficult.

Only Spey casting needs water so all other casting competitions would be on grass, easier to measure and I’d move the casting direction to suit conditions. Oh and I’d introduce an open 5-weight challenge with a huge prize pool.

There would be a very large area for rod testing where casters could warm up and where small groups could form and CAST.

Casting is a central part of our sport, even those boring gits who bleat that all fish swim within a yard of their feet must get their fly to the fish. Ok they don’t need to cast far, I’m not that lucky.

Lest we think things are different in the field of DH rods. I was assured that the lines that simply dominate distance Spey casting are unsuitable for fishing. What a crock! In competition, to match their 18ft rods the top casters use lines with long heads, some over 100ft long; when fishing they use 15ft and 16ft matched to 65ft and 85ft versions of the same lines.

As always at Gamefairs I get the chance to see and try rods reels and lines – some great stuff on show.

While standing open-mouthed watching the spey casting I was pulled along to try a couple of Streamstix rods fitted with Carron trout lines – excellent!

Until recently the only Scott rods easily available in the UK were the rather sexy S3 range, Way Yin had me casting a V2 and G2 – delicious!

Hardy had me trying a rod to be released next year – looks fabulous, feels great!

Rolling out of a sleeping bag at 6.30 on the final morning, I stumbled towards the river where Jim Fearn was throwing a fantastic loop. Yeah the XP is a great rod.

Yes, I am a tackle tart!


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