The bit you should read.

I’ve always been an angler and after around the country moving I wanted to discover and document the best places to fish (where ever I might be) in the way of rivers, lakes, canals and ponds. When previously fishing in South Wales I often fished in club and winter league matches, however living up north presented me with new challenges, venues and angling clubs that I acquainted myself with. Now down in the South West I plan to do the same.

This fishing blog details my angling adventures around the UK (although depending where I am in the country I also sea fish from both Boat and Shore, Carp, Pike and Fly fish). I will be giving a summary of 3 values considered by most anglers as well as the additional Disabled Access rating. Since being diagnosed with CIDP and regaining my motor function Disabled angling and Disabled access is now something I always consider when visiting venues. They will all be rated on a scale of 1* to 5*;

1. Fishability *****

2. Accessability *****

3. Value for Money *****

4. Disabled Access *****

I think these 4 points are the key issues which are readily identifiable with all anglers. Feel free to take a look and add your own comments along the way!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Tackle Store Review - Weymouth Angling Centre

With the knowledge that my father and I would be fishing Seatown beach the following day, we decided to visit Weymouth Angling Centre to buy some bait, while we were visiting the city. A stone’s throw from the harbour, the store would undoubtedly be a haven for beach and boat anglers alike, but I was curious as to what else this sea side store would offer in the way of other fishing disciplines.

Entering the store you notice it is very much split into 2 halves. The left (and smaller) section has the majority of the coarse/carp equipment, and the right contains the sea fishing gear. Rods are set out on racks along the middle of both rows with sea fishing reels on shelves near the till on the right hand side.

Walking down the left hand side of the store, there is a reasonable amount of carp fishing equipment. This gear must be the bread and butter of fishing shops these days, and more often than not you will find it takes up a quarter or more of the floor space. With that said, there were enough bits on the walls to fill several tackle boxes, and any carp anglers in the area would surely be able to successfully resupply themselves with ease with the selection on offer. This store stocks all the mainstream brands and one or two up-and-coming brands like Pallatrax. There was also an array of long-life baits in sealed bags along the bottom shelf, which would undoubtedly provide you with a varied bait arsenal to keep all bait options covered over the winter months!

The rods in the middle of the room ranged from basic quiver tips to 3lb T.C carp rods, but the shop could well have had more in the stock rooms behind. There was also a surprisingly good selection of basic coarse fishing equipment given the stores proximity to the sea, with floats, split shots, hooks, lines etc all displayed and available on the pegs in the wall. Below these there was also an ample selection of ground baits to choose from, with a lot of the main brands (Sensas, Baittech etc) available to purchase. I’m not sure about the quality or quantity of coarse fishing bait available, but you would have to assume that at the very least maggots and worm would be sold on the premises.

A good selection of groundbait, for a store so close to the sea!
Heading round into the other half of the store my father and I started to look through to sea fishing equipment. Unlike the tackle shops of South Wales, there is a lot more focus on salt water lure fishing on the South Coast. There were Rapala lures which I’ve rarely seen, numerous sizes and colours of Redgills and Storm lures (synthetic sandeel/fish shaped lures), and brands and designs of spinners, plugs and lures I’ve never heard of. Not to mention several brightly coloured squid jigs. A lot of these lures could be successfully used as Pike lures so it would be well worth a visit to the store just to check them out if you are in the area, and that is before I even get on to the vast quantity of frozen baits on offer. Catering heavily for sea anglers, a chest freezer was full of whole squid, sandeel, and various types of crabs and clams. There were also baits including herring, mackerel, and lamprey which can (and are) all used to tempt out an elusive Esox. 

Plenty of lures on sale at Weymouth Angling Centre
The store also had an excellent range of monofilament and braided lines, with spools of mainline, trace line and shock leader varying in distance from 50 meters to 10’s of thousands, with the majority of main brands being stocked. I did find that the cost of the basic bits that would “get you started” were a bit steep, however, having a store so close to the shore means that you will undoubtedly pay a premium for the convenience and location. The rods on offer included the standard beach casters (and telescopics) to the imported 15ft “continental rods” which are more like beach quiver tips with their corresponding and equally enormous fixed spool reels. The selection of multipliers on offer had all bases covered, with the majority of the Abu range including beach and boat reels (6500 and 7000’s), as well as old and new models of my favourite sea fishing reel, the Daiwa SL20SH (rebranded as the Sealine 20SHX). The store also stocked most of the more recent Penn reels, which all looked competitively priced. Unsurprisingly the sea bait on offer was of a good quality and reasonably priced (£12 a lb). We left with 1lb of ragworm, a packet of sandeel and some squid to see us through our session the next day.

For a store so close to the beach, Weymouth Angling Centre boasts a surprisingly mixed array of equipment to suit a lot of anglers. While I didn’t notice any fly fishing gear in the store, that’s not to say you won’t find any if you have a root around. The range of lures alone makes the store a worthy visit if you are in the area, and they would be able to cater for all sea fishing needs and wants. For more specific coarse fishing equipment it may be worth looking further afield, as the stock range was good but basic. 

As a rating I would say *** ½


casternets said...

Paul. There is another tackle shop in Weymouth that is more for the course angler "Reels& Deals" on the high street. I have used it a fair few times and always got what I needed. There are two in Dorchester and the one I use most is Wessex Angling in Poole. They are all on the net. Pete Newbold

Paul Murphy said...

Hi Pete, thanks very much for this! We called in because it seemed liked a reasonable shop with a good supply of sea gear (the old man is a keen sea angler). I personally live closer to Yeovil and will be checking out Tackle UK very shortly. Hopefully I'll visit Weymouth soon, and check out Reels & Deal as you suggested. Thanks so much for your recommendations and commenting. All the best.

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