31 Jul 2015

Pre Retirement Sale - Many items already reduced to below trade cost

My partner, Sue, was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. We have therefore taken the decision to wind down the site and clear all of our remaining stock.

We still have several hundred items in stock that are awaiting listing. We expect to clear this backlog over the next couple of months. After that there will be no more new items.

In the meantime we are gradually reducing prices and clearing stock, though naturally only as fast as our packing staff can get your orders processed.

During this period we expect to be very busy shipping orders so if the shipping backlog ever exceeds 5 working days we will temporarily suspend ordering to allow staff to catch up and of course to avoid excessive shipping delays. All we ask is that if you need items quickly please select express carrier.

We hope you will take this final opportunity to grab some really great bargains. Many items have already been reduced to below trade cost and many more will follow just as fast as we can get your orders processed. Please don't delay though, as once its gone there really will be no more.

We are no longer replacing stock or accepting orders for non stock special order items but, as always, if you need an item that we don't have we will point you in the direction of a supplier if we can.

Once stocks have reduced sufficiently we will be donating any un-sold items to charities and clubs that actively support junior and disabled anglers. Once we have a closing date and before we finally close the site we will post a message on our home page with as much notice as possible.

All of our suppliers are now fully aware of the situation so rest assured that once we are no longer trading any outstanding warranty issues will be dealt with by the supplier / manufacturer. We will publish a full list of contact details when appropriate.

A personal Thank You to all our customers, friends, suppliers and staff for all your support and loyalty over the years.

Tight lines


21 Jan 2012

Close Season Blues

Funny thing the 'Close Season', that time of year when the 'Dark Months' (both physical and literal) come around again and all us anglers traditionally spend the hours cleaning and checking gear; rods, lines, reels, waders, nets and clothing. Many hoping Christmas will bring a new toy or two.
Angling books read and re-read, and fly boxes replenished.

All the traditional things we do to while away the 'Winter Blues' while we sit and wait for the days to tick away until the new season finally arrives.

Aye Right.

Close season for browns maybe, but open season for rainbows (and grayling for those lucky enough to live within reasonable striking distance of them) and a change from the 'Far Flung' wild trek over the moors and peat bogs, to the more sedate stroll around well tended grassy banks, gravel footpaths of the local fishery with coffee and bacon rolls at the best of them. (And civilised toilets, it can be cold in the woods)
Nowadays 'Close Season Blues' refer to a certain colour strain of rainbow trout.

Ok not for all is the 'Artificial' style of angling found at a put and take fishery and some may choose not to venture forth as in 'Days of Youre', and others, as previously suggested, may be blessed with good accessable grayling close by. But for us lads in Scotlands North East it's away with the 'Traditional Flees' and out with the 'Okay Dokies', 'Damsels', 'Vivas', 'Apts Bloodworms' and, dare i say it 'Blobs' (along with a host of other things only fit to grace the Christmas Tree)
Dark in days and dark in nature to the traditionalist are these days of the Winter Blues, but if you've read this far then too late. Maybe i should have said at the start if you're not a fan then look away now.

'Fat flabby and not very fit,' (aye ok i really do need to go to the gym more often) is the often used description of the put and take rainbow quarry, but thankfully more often than not nowadays this isn't the case.
Moral dilemma? Chasing the artificial on my concience? Not really. Fact is i enjoy it and treat it as a wee break from my March to October wild troot chasing norm. Yes it looks like fishing but it isn't real (as quoted by old pal Bob Wyatt) but it's fishing none the less, a different style and different aspect of the sport.

Live and let live, we're all 'Brothers of the Angle' afterall are we not?

What a good quality Rainbow Trout should look like. 

Article written by Allan Liddle.
In association with the fantastic Scottish Angler forum discussing all things fly fishing.

31 Oct 2011

How to Get Started Coarse Fishing - Video Series

Check out our Video Series covering all Beginners Guides of Getting Started Coarse Fishing.  These include Choosing the right Rod and Reel, Picking your Spot to Fish, Setting up your Tackle, and much much more.

Watch them now at Tacklebargains Facebook or alternatively on the Tacklebargains YouTube Channel

More videos will be added over the coming weeks, so keep checking us out for your number one fishing resource.

18 Aug 2011

Extreme Angling in the Amazon

Not many people realize what it's all about. Mention the Amazon to anyone and most folks think of Mosquito-ridden, snake-infested bogs and swamps. It couldn't be any more different. We fish in pristine, tannin-blackwater rivers, crystal-clear, roaring whitewater rivers, big lagoons with huge trees surrounding them and with such a hugely diverse watershed, we can offer any type of fishing to anyone. 

With over 2,500 documented freshwater fish species to date, quite simply, the Amazon offers the richest and most diverse, spectacular freshwater fishing anywhere in the world!

Here's a bit about some of the fish we catch:

The three-bar Cichla temensis Peacock Bass is the most well-known sportfish here and is a true adversary in every aspect. Similar to the American Largemouth Bass in shape but by no means in size, this wonderful fish will stretch your string to the limit. Even when using 80lb braided main line, they can break line just with the topwater strike! Better known for their tremendous topwater action, they are also caught on sub-surface lures and jigs and by flyfishermen also. These fish reach an impressive 30lbs with an average size of 10-15lbs. There are at least 15 Cichla Peacock species and the list grows each year. The colouration of these fish is spectacular, yet another bonus in catching them.

The all-silver Payara, being a slash and grab specialist is probably one of the fastest and acrobatic freshwater fish in the world and a big fish can easily strip off 100m of line in seconds. This silver missile is also known as the Vampire or Dracula Fish and has an impressive set of gnashers worthy of its name. Two massive sabre teeth in the bottom jaw disappear into conical nasal cavities in the top jaw. They nearly always strike fast and furiously from underneath and grab any unfortunate fish in its path. Lures, flies, livebait and even fish strips will entice this amazing predator. Average sizes for these 'Salmon-with-teeth' is 12-18lbs.

TraiarĂ£o or Wolf fish are big, dark, sinister predators that lurk in slackwater or behind rocks and in eddies in faster current waiting for any baitfish to enter its territory. They will literally blast a topwater lure like a Spook or Popper with abandon and are true dirty fighters. They live in the same waters as Peacock Bass and Payara and are caught with many similar methods. Even a 20lb fish is just huge in size with its tubular shape and large, wide fins. It is the real bully of the Amazon watersheds and grows to an impressive 40lbs.

The strange-looking, Pike-like Bicuda is a pointed-beaked, elongated fish that can reach 15lb fish and get to over 1.25m long, with a beautiful red/orange tail and a gold/silver body. They take smaller lures and flies in their serrated teeth-filled mouths with abandon and will leap and twist until finally landed.

Not to be left out of the impressive list of fish on offer, the most infamous of them all, the Piranha has to be included on our hit list. With many different species here, the largest is the Black Piranha. With big bulldog jaws filled with an impressive array of triangular razor-sharp teeth, these fish are what nightmares are made of! Although we swim all over, there are some deeper haunts we simply just stay clear of. We catch these brutes to over 9lbs! Yes, 9lbs slabs of big, muscular Black Piranha. We use these fish for cutbait strips and chunks for Catfish and other species and also cook them up for a shore lunch on a home-made wood BBQ. They are just so big and easily destroy lures. Many times we hook them using huge circle hooks and cutbaits meant for Cats of over 200lbs!  Click on the Piranha video on our video section: http://www.amazon-angler.com/ to see an average-sized one! 

And for those dedicated to catching Catfish or who just want to relax during the day under a tree in the shade after casting lures all day, the following Cats make up an impressive list of species too:
PirarĂ¡ra or Redtails are like giant Tadpoles with bright red tails, hence the name! They are some of the strongest fish in the Amazon and can spool you in seconds. They grow to over 250lbs.

Jandia are the chicken of the water and stewed, grilled or fried, they are quite simply the best tasting fish you will ever encounter in freshwater. For a Cat, it's a pretty fish with honey-combed orange/brown body and fin markings and a perfect-sized table fish is around 20-25lbs.

Jau Cats are like the Amazonian Rottweillers on steroids. Big and ugly and marbled-coloured like the European Wels Cat and with a real mean attitude, they can also strip your reel bare in seconds. They love fast deep water and are often caught below waterfalls and cascades in water over 30ft deep. They reach over 100lbs in some rivers.

Surubim or Striped Tiger Cats are mostly pack hunters and are some of the Amazon's fastest predators and will often be caught on minnowbaits and jigs/flies. With silver/white bodies flanked with beautifully hiroglyphic markings, they are the camouflage experts of the waterworld. They are more often caught on small cutbait chunks in sandy, shallow areas and can reach over 100lbs.

The King of Kings, the massive Piraiba Catfish is the one that everyone wants to catch. Known to reach over 600lb, an average Piraiba is over 100lbs. This fish is like a shark with long whiskers! They can often be seen breaking the surface like dolphins while hounding large baitfish but are found mainly in deeper holes and sluggish water.

Another strange but impressive fish is the Pirarucu or Arapaima. This enormous-growing fish is threatened throughout the Amazon Basin. Their downfall is that they are air-breathers and give themselves away all too easily each time they break the surface to take a gulp of air and are therefore harpooned easily. Although rarely fished for as sportfish, they are spectacular fish to catch. They can reach 1.75m and 100lbs in 5 years and grow to well-over 500lbs. Targetted using cutbait, lures and flies, once hooked they will jump like a Tarpon and never give up. They are incredibly strong and muscular and even when landed they can easily give you a broken jaw or leg with a good headbutt or a slap with their huge bodies unless held properly. Although we do fish for them in Brazil, we are presently negotating to sportsfish for these beautiful creatures in a remote river system in Bolivia and only accessible by floatplane.

There is also an enormous list of 'coarse' fish to be caught here ranging from a few ounces to over 50lbs! Any angler used to 'bagging' 100lbs of fish in the UK could easily exceed this amount in a day. There is no other place that has such a variety of colourful scaled fish readily taking small baits, nuts, fruits, grain, worms, fish strips etc.

Nowhere else on this planet is there such a diversity of wildlife. It is literally all around you, everywhere you go. You can see freshwater Boto and Tucuxi Dolphins breaking the surface, Giant Amazonian Otters barking from afar as you invade their territory, Turtles laying eggs on white sandy beaches, multi-coloured birds fighting for the right to make more noise than the Amazon's army of insect at dawn and dusk. Green Parrots will shriek non-stop whenever they see you and Red and Blue Macaws are often seen and always flying in pairs, never solo. Toucans call to eachother from the tops of trees and sound like puppydogs yapping. And if you're lucky, you could even see the occasional Tapir, Capybara, Agouti or wild pigs at the water's edge and even Jaguar crossing the river. Although most Amazonian mammals are nocturnal, many can be seen during the day.
Of course there are snakes and lizards of every size, including the impressive Anaconda. All these beasts are more frightened of you than you are of them and will quietly disappear from view unless threatened. http://www.amazon-angler.com/#/wildlife/4548288164

All of our rivers and destinations are chosen with safety and care in mind. Most are either with tannin-stained blackwater or clean whitewater. There are very few biting insects if any in most places and we will NEVER fish in a Malaria zone, although it is always advisable to take Malaria prophylactic pills.

We want to open the UK and other European anglers' eyes to the spectacular and relatively unknown fishing available here. Many think it would be too expensive to attempt but we have some destinations that can suit at very reasonable prices and often last-minute deals and discounts are possible. These are all great places for both anglers and photographers alike. But I have to warn you, once tried, you'll be hooked for ever!!

Our company www.Amazon-Angler.com provides adventure-seeking anglers with exotic and adrenaline fishing for some of the fiercest adversaries in freshwater. We have specialised in the Amazon for the last 15 years and we take our small elite groups to some of the most fantastic jungle locations in Latin America. This is what fishing dreams are made of, with the most hardest-fighting, most aggressive fish on this planet.

We have a dedicated species page on our website http://www.amazon-angler.com/ which covers just a few of our target fish but the list just goes on and on. There are so many different species in the Amazon to catch and we have made it our mission to take our clients out there for the best fishing of their lives.

Steve Townson - The Fish Finder
For best prices, please quote ‘tacklebargains’ when contacting Steve

29 Jul 2011

How to Get Started Pike Fishing

A lot of people get fooled into thinking that pike fishing is like carp fishing, only you change the trace to wire. Not so. Generally speaking, if you are going out to catch pike, then you need gear that is made for the job. These days, most carp and pike rods are too stiff, great for casting, but not so brilliant for playing fish. Despite what you read, most pike anglers catch a lot of fish in the 5 - 14lb bracket, so you can easily outgun them.

Most pike are caught within 20 yards of the bank, be it river or lake, of course, the big lakes, lochs and loughs are a different matter, but for the moment let’s just stick to bank fishing our local waters. You’ll need an 11ft or 12ft rod that has a test curve of between 2lb and 2½ lbs. I would say 2¼lb is ideal for most situations with a through to progressive action. 

Pike in the Roots - David Miller

Next you need a reel loaded with some line, either 12-15lbmonofilament or 30lb braid, go for a 3000 or 3500 sized reel with a decent drag, you may want a free-spool ‘runner’ type system although I have never used one. Don’t get caught up in thinking you need huge reels loaded with miles of line, that is for very specialised pike fishing that we may come onto in the ‘advanced’ series.

A reasonable rod pod that takes two rods is always usefull, along with some drop arm indicators. I have never used an electronic bite indicator, and don’t own one. I find they are a good excuse to not concentrating on your fishing, but if you feel the need, there are some good ones now available for reasonable amounts of money. Make sure the bobbins are big enough to be seen and heavy enough to create enough tension for good bite indication.

The business end of your pike equipment should always terminate in a wire trace of minimum 20lb breaking strain. You can make up your own, which I find very relaxing or you can buy ready made ones that are all excellent quality. Look for sized 6 or 8 trebles on your rig. These should deal with most deadbait and livebait situations. Use baits in the 6 - 9 inches size, they are perfectly adequate until you have gained experience and may want to move to more exotic and differing offerings. Good deadbaits include seabaits such as mackerel (small ones or cut in half), herrings and sardines, for freshwater look for roach, eel sections and small trout. 

Once you get a run, make sure the fish is peeling off line, then wind up to the fish and strike hard, keeping the pressure on. Pike can alternate from heavy and steady pressure to savage runs where they accelerate at an alarming rate. Make sure you have your reel clutch set for this, and remember that they can often take off when they near the net, so be ready for that. Speaking of nets, a minimum of 36 inch arms for a triangular net is a must or use a round net with a minimum diameter of 24 inches.

Once you have your fish in the net, get them to your unhooking mat or long grass and unhook them using long nosed pliers or artery forceps, and you’ll probably want an unhooking glove for this. It is always wise to go with an experienced pike angler to learn how to handle them, look to join your local Pike Anglers’ Club region, there are anglers who are always willing to help you. Other than that look up www.pacgb.co.uk and you’ll find plenty of assistance of where to go, and who to contact.

Chris Leibbrandt has been an angler most of his life, at least 45 years anyway! Known primarily as a predator angler, he is a pretty consistent all-rounder fishing for anything, although river fly fishing and lure fishing are probably his biggest passions. Working in the tackle trade for twenty odd years, he has also run the Pike Anglers’ Club (PAC) and the Lure Anglers’ Society (LAS), being an Honorary life member of both. Chris is currently President of the LAS, and editor of their magazine, Chris is a published writer, designer, raconteur and wit.

9 Jun 2011

Congratulations Guy!!! Monster fish on a 3 weight fly rod

Congratulations Guy, and 11lb Brown Trout on the Crazy River 7ft 3 weight fly rod.

Hi Peter,

Recently you sold me a 7 foot 3 weight Crazy River fly rod, airflo line and a Crazy River fly fishing reel. Well I went to chalksprings in Arundel and amongst other trout caught the attached fish all 28" and 11 lbs of monster brown trout landed on 5lb fluoro and a tiny black buzzer. To say I am happy with the tackle you supplied is an understatment.

Thanks again!


28 Apr 2011

How to Get Started Saltwater Fly Fishing

Mention fly fishing to most people and they will immediately conjure up images of Tweed clad anglers walking grassy banks in search of Salmon and Trout.  But there is another, very different, side to fly fishing that has become very popular in recent years.  Saltwater fly fishing is probably the most sporting method of catching sea fish.  Although the flies used are intended to mimic small fish in most cases, rather than insects, the ethos is exactly the same.  The angler must tie an artificial lure from thread, fluff and feather, which will trick the fish into taking it.  Then he must present that lure to the fish, without the aid of any casting weight other than the line to which the lure is attached.  If he has done his job properly and manages to present his imitation in the most natural way, the saltwater fly fisherman will be rewarded with a level of sport never experienced with more traditional sea fishing tackle.  Most sea fish are hard fighting fish, but are usually hampered in their fight for freedom by heavy weights and powerful rods.  On fly tackle, even the smallest fish will give a very good account of itself.  Here, we are going to look at the basics of saltwater fly fishing, some of the species of fish you are likely to catch and the tackle you will need to get started.  

As already mentioned, the art of fly fishing is to present imitation bait to a feeding fish in a way so natural, that it doesn’t raise the fishes suspicion.  The most basic thing that the saltwater fly fisherman has to do is find out what his target species is feeding on.  This is known among freshwater fly fishermen as ‘Matching the Hatch’, because they use flies that imitate the hatching insects that their target fish are feeding on.  Salt water anglers also have to match the hatch by using flies that imitate the creatures that their target fish are feeding on. This could be anything from herring fry for Bass, to bread for Mullet.  There are huge ranges of ready tied saltwater flies available to buy from tackle shops and dealers, but some anglers enjoy the extra challenge of tying and experimenting with their own.  Whichever you choose, you will need a fly box containing a good variety of patterns.  There are several ways in which you can match the hatch.  Look for small fish that have been stranded on the beach whilst trying to escape predators, or use a net to catch shrimps and prawns that fish may be feeding on, and choose a fly from your box that closely resembles them in colour and size.   Assuming you have chosen a good fly, the next step is getting it to the fish you are targeting.

The subject of fly casting is too vast to cover in a single article.  In fact, many books have been written on the subject.  Casting a fly isn’t as difficult or as complicated as many people believe, so the best advice I can give here is; read one of the many instructional books available or better still watch one of the casting tuition videos and start to practice.  If you want to save time, you can book a lesson with an instructor at most Trout fisheries.  Because there is no lead weight attached to the fly line to aid casting, the line itself is weighted.  The lines come in varying weights to suit different situations and conditions.  The salt water fly fisherman needs something that is able to cast a relatively large fly, so a #8 weight fly line is often the preferred choice.  The way the line is weighted can also vary, but for most saltwater situations a weight forward line is the best one to use.  You can either get a floating, sinking or intermediate line, depending on how you want to present your fly.  A lot of saltwater fly fishermen prefer to use a floating line with a sinking tippet, or trace as they are better known to sea anglers.  This allows to the main line to float, which makes casting easier, while the tippet sinks the fly to varying depths.  You can vary the depth at which you fish by altering the length of the tippet.  

As you would imagine, a normal fishing rod and reel would not be able to cast these specialist lines, so you need a dedicated fly rod.  Fly rods are rated by weight to match the line you use, so for a #8 weight line, you need a #8 weight rod.  A rod of this weight will be stiff and powerful enough to cast the heavy line and large fly in all but the most severe of conditions, whilst still remaining light and sporting.  Something around 9ft long is an ideal length for a saltwater fly rod.  You don’t need to spend a fortune on a saltwater fly reel for fishing in the UK.  There are some excellent plastic and graphite composite reels available that are ideal for job and won’t break the bank.  The main function of the fly reel is to hold the line.  It is, in effect, just a large cotton reel!  As you cast, you pull line off the reel and you retrieve by stripping the line back by hand, rather than winding it back onto the reel.  Therefore, you can use your hands as a drag system if you happen to hook a very large fish.  A large arbour reel is the best one to choose, because the loops that become set in the line whilst it is on the spool will be bigger and less likely to tangle as you cast.

You will need a few accessories before you venture out with your fly rod, though.  Casting a fly tied to a sharp hook, backwards and forwards around your head, is a hazardous business.  Serious injury could result if a few precautionary measures aren’t taken.  You will need some kind of hat to protect your head and a pair of glasses to protect your eyes.  Most saltwater fly fishermen opt for the baseball type caps and a pair of Polaroid sunglasses.  Wearing these has added benefits, too, apart from safety.  The peak of the cap shades the eyes from the sun and the Polaroids take the glare off the water, which helps them to spot fish.  It is also a good idea to use a line basket.  This is worn around the waist and catches the line as you strip it back in, rather than letting it heap up on the beach or in the water, where it can snag on bits of weed and debris.  Some anglers make their own line baskets out of old washing up bowls, but the ready-made ones available are very good and not expensive.  A pair of chest waders is also a plus when fly fishing, because wading can give you that extra bit of distance that you will sometimes need to reach feeding fish.

The list of species that can be caught on a fly is almost endless.  In fact, you can catch some species of fish on a fly that you can’t catch by any other method.  Most fish are predatory, so it figures that most fish will take an imitation of their favourite food – if it is presented naturally.  Bass and Mullet are the two species that people automatically associate with saltwater fly fishing.  Mackerel, Herring, Garfish, Flounder, Shad, Pollack and Coalfish are just a few more.  Some people have even caught sharks on a fly!  But whatever species you target, you will be surprised at how hard they tend to fight on a light fly rod, unhindered by heavy lead weights and terminal tackle.  Even small school bass give a very good account of themselves.  The same golden rule applies to saltwater fly fishing as applies to all sea angling.  Learn where they fish are feeding and when, to maximise your chances of success.  Being in the right place at the right time is more important than what tackle you are using or how well you cast.  To present your fly as naturally as possible, use the tide to carry it to the fish whenever possible.  Keep the rod tip low and experiment with retrieval rates to make the fly dart, rise and fall through the water.  Nothing is more exciting than the moment when a fish hits your fly and the rod pulls round into a nice arc.  Good luck and tight lines!