Practical tackle

A few of the lures mentioned in this book (jerkbaits in particular) are not currently listed in the catalogues of the three major suppliers. These are still only available from the U.S. I know that ordering from the 'States can seem like an attractive proposition - prices seeming so much lower than in the U.K. However, by the time you have added freight charges, V.A.T. and so on, the saving is not always too great. Orders usually have to be quite large to be cost effective. The delay in receiving goods can be six weeks or more at times, and what do you do if there's a problem? The biggest benefit of using a U.S. catalogue (or should that be catalog?) is variety. Not only are there more lures to choose from, but the choice colours and sizes of individual baits is much wider too. U.K. dealers can only afford to run a limited selection for each lure as our market is so much smaller.

The greatest benefit to buying from U.K. dealers is that your lures turn up within the week, which is when you tend to want them, and you can buy in dribs and drabs. You can, for example, order a new lure on a Monday, try it out on the Wednesday, and have a couple more in your box by weekend should it live up to your expectations. Let's face it, we are all impatient when it comes to trying out our latest lure discoveries.

Another downside to importing, and one that should be borne in mind for the future of lure fishing, is that if everyone were to do this the U.K. dealers would soon give up. I feel certain that this would set the growth of lure fishing in Britain back ten years. Only by anglers supporting our tackle trade can it grow. I buy what I can from the U.K. catalogues, and only import lures, or other equipment, that is otherwise unobtainable.

So with all the above in mind I give you the names and addresses of the dealers I recommend, in no particular order, both U.K. and U.S. There are also a number of lure makers who advertise in British magazines from time to time. These people are well worth contacting as they can often oblige with custom lure jobs.

The Friendly Fisherman, Harris Angling and Quality Fishing Plugs also supply lures to the retail trade. Why not talk your local tackle dealer into stocking some of the lures mentioned in this book? Harris Angling and The Friendly Fisherman run their own ranges of lure rods, as well as importing them from America. However, the baitcasting rods that I recommend are, quite naturally, those from my own D.L. Specialist range! The number of big pike that have been caught by customers using my lure rods tells me that there are already plenty of people out there catching big pike on artificials.