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Saturday, 15 December 2018

Tying a Bob's Bits Claret CDC Hopper with Davie McPhail

The classic Hopper has been given the CDC treatment. Originally inspired by small craneflies blowing onto the lake and hopping from wave to wave, this style has become a modern classic effective as a general representation of many different terrestrial and aquatic insects.

All of the materials needed to tie this fly are available from Glasgow Angling Centre as listed below, but as always if you need any help finding materials or substitutes then we'll be happy to help. Time to tie a Bob's Bits Claret CDC Hopper, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.


Materials Used:
Hook: Fulling Mill, All-purpose Medium size 12 Thread: Uni-8/0 Black Rib: Pearl Tinsel Body: Dyed Claret CDC Legs: Pre-Knotted Pheasant Tail Fibres Wing: Roe Deer Thorax: Claret CDC Dubbing
Additional materials: Additionally, Davie made use of Varnish, which he applied to the thread after completing the fly.

Davie's preferred type of whip finish tool can be found HERE!

Friday, 14 December 2018

Product Review: The Preston Innovations Absolute Compact Seatbox

The Absolute Compact Seatbox from Preston Innovations is the an updated version of the popular Absolute System. The design has been improved by Preston Innovations by making the integral base of the seat box, deeper. The legs are 30mm thick allowing for a more stable and solid structure. The Structure now has a re-designed carbon-friendly pole retaining strap and new captive internal leg designs. The best feature, however, is that the seat box is compatible with all current and previous Absolute Units allowing for complete modification. These Seatboxes are designed for anglers who are conscious of space but still want the premium build and quality of a premium modular seat box.

Preston Innovations Absolute Compact Seatbox

Features:

  • Carbon Friendly Pole Retaining Strap
  • Integral spirit level
  • Removable, covered footplate
  • Anti-snag handwheels
  • Captive, telescopic 30mm diameter legs (2 with threaded inserts)
  • Under seat storage for hook length boxes
  • Integral Deep Base
  • Articulated mud feet


  • The Absolute Compact Seatbox comes equipped with 1 Deep Frame Mounted Base and 1 shallow unit complete with 18cm winders. It is supplied with a 40mm Deep side Drawer Unit which will allow you to store winders and other bits of tackle, 3 Hooklength boxes, 2 small and 1 large and features a seat box cover to keep the seat box protected from the elements. When the Seatbox is not in use, it has a durable carrying strap allowing for easy transportation.

    Box choice is perhaps the thing most anglers struggle with the most. They seem to fancy something new every other month and never really ‘settle’ on anything for too long. There are so many brands and so many choices that choosing a Box to settle on is tough. However,  Preston Innovations Absolute Compact Seatbox is probably one of the best SeatBoxes on the market due to it's price and the fact it can add several modules. The super simple setup, the solid structure and the colour are appealing and makes for a great seatbox, one that you won't need to replace anytime soon.

    The storage available is unbelievable for such a small seatbox and even Alex Bones also uses one of these seat boxes. Small float tubes and accessory trays make for a super-tidy box. Even though it harks back to bygone days, the deep storage tray at the base of the box is a beautiful thing! Imagine being able to store items like a catapult or a 250ml pole pot in your seatbox, yes it might seem like a pipe dream to others, but it’s a reality with the Compact. These are must-see boxes if you are in the market for something new, and judging by the number of them seen on the banks and Commercial fisheries, many anglers agree.

    Deep Modular Side Winder Draw Unit

    Do you need a Seatbox that is durable, modular and reliable? Consider the Preston Innovations Abolsute Compact Seatbox and if that's not good enough, this Seatbox comes with a free Deep Modular Side Winder Draw Unit from Preston Innovations. Available in-store and online at fishingmegastore.com.

    Need more information? Scott Geens from Preston Innovations sheds more light on this awesome Seatbox:

    Thursday, 13 December 2018

    Keep It Simple When Pike Fishing


    Whenever you plan to do a bit of pike fishing, this mantra will keep you in good stead: "keep it simple." Yes, you heard it right. The biggest challenge is locating big pike so don't complicate things even further.

    In terms of pike fishing tackle, start with a 12ft pike rod and a big pit reel loaded with 60lb braid. In terms of bait, 'live baiting' is effective, but put that aside for the moment. A simple running, resistance-free leger covers a lot of situations, but never freeline a bait because bite indication is just not quick enough.

    Stillwater BPX Compact Big Pit Reel
    If weed is a problem, it is preferable to use a loaded float and fish the deadbait just overdepth, so the moment it's picked up a take is registered.

    CJT Loaded Pike Float
    For all other bite indication, use a drop-off indicator at the rear and an bite alarm to the front. There are many good quality bite alarms on the market, but some of the favourites include Optonic and Delkim.

    Delkim EV Plus
    Trace material and hooks are the same as for river fishing but for stillwaters, lakes, lochs etc, Smelts and Sardines are at the top of the list - especially with some of the UK's top pike anglers - with Herring and Mackerel in close contention. The key thing to remember is scent and where you cast.  You can inject bait oils to create an enticing slick.

    Daiwa Black Widow Deadbait Rod
    Deadbaiting requires patience. If you are pike fishing in a river, there is a greater need for mobility, but unless you have pre-baited your swim it's worthwhile moving swims regularly. It can be difficult to predict the hotspots year-on-year. Lure fishing with soft lures can be used to locate the hotspots but livebaiting under a drifter float can be deadly. With this tactic, so much water can be covered, and quickly, as the big sail pulls floating braid off the pike reel.

    Pike Drifter Float
    When using a drifter float, set the depth well off the bottom so you don't snag in the weed - a pike will easily see a silhouette bait - and then cast at the tail of the wind. Point the rod into the air, open the bail arm and the whole width or length of the water can be covered. There are few better signs than watching a distant float slide sideways and then disappear from view.

    Fox Compact Unhooking Mat
    When you are fishing through winter, don't be despondent about reaching for the thermals. It's this time of year where pike fishing is at its most exciting, therefore don't let a few layers get in the way of the fish of a lifetime.

    To summarise, here are 5 Top Tips, which are simple, but highly effective in your pursuit of big winter Pike:

    1. Believe it or not, the best colour for a drifter float, for 90 per cent of the time, is black. 
    2. With livebaits always use an uptrace to avoid line bites. Using 40lb seven-strand wire is very effective.  
    3. Always use strong tackle and fishing line- 60lb braid or 18lb monofilament at a minimum.  Use good quality swivels and links.
    4. Stay mobile, especially if you are fishing rivers. This means leaving the fishing chair at home, so if you need to sit down, use your unhooking mat
    5. The prime times of the day for catching pike are dawn and dusk. This is especially true on a cold, clear day.

    This article was brought to you in association with Angling Times.

    Saturday, 8 December 2018

    Tying the Zug Bug Nymph with Davie McPhail

    The Zug Bug is an older pattern that bears a striking resemblance to it's a younger cousin, the Prince Nymph. This bug is very popular due to its fish catching peacock herl and is just a little something different from the now commonplace Prince Nymph. The great thing about the Zug Bug is that it can be fished just as you would normally fish a Nymph.
    All of the materials needed to tie this fly are available from Glasgow Angling Centre as listed below, but as always if you need any help finding materials or substitutes then we'll be happy to help. Time to tie a Zug Bug Nymph, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.


    Materials Used:
    Hook: Fulling Mill All-Purpose Medium size 14
    Thread: Uni-8/0 Black
    Hackle: Furnace Hen
    Thorax: Cover Mallard Flank dyed Lemon Duck
    Additional materials: Additionally, Davie made use of Varnish, which he applied to the thread after completing the fly.

    Davie's preferred type of whip finish tool can be found HERE!

    Friday, 30 November 2018

    It's Back! 12 Days of Deals 2018 - Christmas Angling Gifts at Fishing Megastore!

    After the enormous popularity of the last few years' festive promotions at Fishingmegastore, we will once again be slashing prices on some of the fishing gear that we think will make great gifts for the anglers in your life for this Christmas 2018!
    As always we like to keep it simple; 12 Days of Deals, 4 new deals everyday encompassing all types of angling, and some truly amazing bargains to be had in the run up to Christmas! To give you more time to get involved, every day from the 1st to the 12th of December 2018 we will launch 4 new and amazing offers that will run (as long as stocks last) right through until Christmas Eve - simply subscribe to our newsletters to get the deals straight to your email inbox or watch our Facebook and Twitter feeds to see the deals of the day - and you can see all the offers we have revealed so far on our website!


    Remember folks, please don't leave your Chrimbo shopping to the last minute, get your orders in to us as soon as you can to avoid disappointment, we have loads of stock of all of these deals in our warehouses at the moment but there is always the chance that these deals will sell out before the cut off date and we also need to get it delivered to you at this busy time of year too!!!
    To check the last date for Xmas delivery in your area CLICK HERE or contact us by email - please check back regularly as these dates will be reviewed on a daily basis, our mail order team is already working extra shifts to get between 400 and 600 packages out to our customers daily!
    Stuck for what to buy your favourite angler? Ask our team of expert anglers instore at our Glasgow or Edinburgh locations, by phone or email for suggestions - we just need a few clues as to what kind of angler you are buying for to help you choose the ideal present, and if they are a regular customer we will have a good idea of the kind of gear they like - or play safe and check out our range of Gift Cards HERE!
    Our online Christmas Gifts section has gone through a massive overhaul to make it even easier to navigate an expanded range which also includes the Just Fish and Shoot Gifts range - click HERE to see hundreds of great ideas to suit any budget! We have also extended our Christmas returns policy, so that orders placed between the 27th of November and the 24th of December may be returned up until the 14th of January 2019 - just follow our usual returns procedure when returning items for exchanges or a refund!
    All of our popular instore services will run throughout the festive period, so please take full advantage of our Click and Collect service, our Price Match Promise, 0% Finance Option to help spread the cost, FREE postage on all UK mainland orders over £50 and our hugely popular Reward Card Scheme to earn points to spend at a later date - if you need help with any of these services then please don't hesitate to ask any member of staff!
    Our new updated Christmas and New Year opening hours for both our Edinburgh and Glasgow stores can be found HERE! Don't forget we are open late until 9pm every Thurday and yes, we will be open on Boxing Day and the 2nd of January for when the cabin fever starts to bite and you can't sit through yet another re-run on TV!

    To subscribe to our newsletter and be kept up to date with new products and promotions at all times CLICK HERE!

    Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for even more updates and cool stuff and don't forget, we are a REAL tackle shop with a world famous store in Glasgow and our newest store in Edinburgh that you can visit in person, so why not come and see us!
    All offers are available instore and online on a first come first served basis and while stocks last. Please check the website regularly for the latest order date for guaranteed Christmas delivery!

    Thursday, 29 November 2018

    Tying a Chocolate Brown Balloon Caddis with Davie McPhail

    The Balloon Caddis is a versatile and effective pattern that can be fished in either an upstream or downstream dead drift presentation just as you might fish an Elk Hair Caddis or other Dry Caddis patterns. During a hatch, when Trout are aggressively chasing pupae, it's best to skate the Balloon Caddis across the surface. Be ready for the strike as any Trout that have been enticed by your fly, won't let it get away.

    All of the materials needed to tie this fly are available from Glasgow Angling Centre as listed below, but as always if you need any help finding materials or substitutes then we'll be happy to help. Time to tie a Chocolate Brown Balloon Caddis, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.


    Materials Used:
    Hook: Fulling Mill Short Shank Special size 12 Thread: Uni-8/0 Dk.Brown Rib: Uni-Mylar Clear No.14 Body: A Mix of Dark Brown CDC Fibres, Seals Fur or SLF in the same colour. Wing: Elk Hair dyed Brown Head: Yellow Foam

    Additional materials: Additionally, Davie made use of  Glue which he used for securing the thread and foam balloon.

    Davie's preferred type of whip finish tool can be found HERE!

    Friday, 23 November 2018

    Tying the Straggler Kate McLaren Dabbler with Davie McPhail

    Need a competition grade fly? Get your materials ready for tying the Straggler Kat Mclaren Dabbler with the guidance of Davie McPhail. Originating from the Loughs of Ireland this wet fly has become as equally popular for Rainbow Trout as they are for Browns.

    All of the materials needed to tie this fly are available from Glasgow Angling Centre as listed below, but as always if you need any help finding materials or substitutes then we'll be happy to help. Time to tie a Jig Head Peeping Caddis Nymph, with the guidance of Davie McPhail.


    Materials Used:
    Hook: Fulling Mill Competition Heavyweight Black Nickel size 10 Thread: Uni-8/0 Black Tail: Marabou dyed Sunburst Body: Black UV or Pearl Straggle Fritz Wing and Throat: Bronze Mallard

    Additional materials: Additionally, Davie made use of  Glue which he used for securing the thread.

    Davie's preferred type of whip finish tool can be found HERE!
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