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Monday, 30 August 2010

Guideline's Mick McDaid to attend GAC Open Weekend

We are proud to announce that Guideline Power Team member and AAPGAI Master instructor Mick McDaid is confirmed to attend the Glasgow Angling Centre Open Weekend. 
Based on the river Tweed, where he teaches and guides full time, Mick is Guideline's UK casting demonstrator and designed the new range of Guideline MMD Spey lines. He will be on hand to answer any questions you have about casting, flyfishing and the Guideline range, plus he will be giving free casting demonstrations at the Applecross Canal Basin right next to the shop.   So this will give you a unique and valuable opportunity to learn from a true master.
Guideline's Mick McDaid
Our Open Weekend will be held on the 25th and 26th of September and will feature the usual mix of the biggest names and brands, incredible offers and free demonstrations.  What's so special about our open weekends is that it attracts like-minded fisherman from all over the UK and creates an opportunity to grab a bargain, learn loads and also browse arguably the largest selection of rods, reels, clothing and fly tying materials anywhere in Europe.  Please check the website for more information.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Guideline Reaction

The long, long awaited and much delayed Guideline Reaction fly rods have been in development for so long that most people have forgotten about them - except of course the lucky ones that have had a cast with one of the rare prototypes! But I now have one in my possession, a 13'7'' #9/10 so if you want to have a look or a cast come to the shop, give me a shout, and I can arrange it!

Guideline Reaction
I've tried this rod a couple of times in the past, and even caught this sea trout on it from the Tay! Its the best rod Guideline have ever produced and if you're a fan of the LeCie and LPXe models you should definitely have a look. I will have the demo rod until the Open Weekend on 25th and 26th of September and hopefully by then the full range will be in stock and available to buy.
Sea Trout from the Tay
For more info on Guideline fly rods check our website or ask instore.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Norwegian Holiday

Exactly one year ago to the day my Dad and I made the trip to an island called Vaeroy at the tip Norway’s Lofoten island chain, inspired by Henry Gilbey’s TV show we were to spend six days fishing for cod,coalies and halibut with the same guide on the same water at the Swedish Fishing Camp run by Wild Water Fishing. I got their website address from the side of the boat and we went for a package that included all fishing, tackle, flotation suits and food. We had to make our own way to the island which meant two flights, a train journey and ended with a 40 minute helicopter flight - a first for both of us.
On the boat
On the first morning over breakfast our guide, Kristian, explained that we would be starting off with a day of cod fishing, jigging large rubber shads of 10oz and about 12 inches long in the waters around the island. We boarded the boat buzzing with anticipation and after about a half an hour motor Kristian said that we should drop down. On the very first drop in Around 80ft of water my Dad had a hit with the first lift of the shad and after a tough battle he boated a PB cod of 37lbs. The rest of the day was spent fishing in various areas with lots of cod between 10 and 25lbs but nothing to beat the monster which my old man landed.
A tremendous cod is boated
As the weather was abnormally calm Kristian decided that we would spend the next three days trying for halibut in an area known as the Maelstrom - a mile wide channel between two islands where the tide raced through at around 6 or 7 knots. Here we were fishing with 20-30 class boat rods with rock solid Penn TRQ lever drag reels loaded with 65lb Berkley Whiplash again with large shads this time around 14 inches long and weighing between 400 and 500 grams. The trick was to work the shad around ten feet off the bottom (with the aid of the fish finder) and wait for a fish the size of a dining table to rise up and hammer the lure. Over the next three days we caught and released several halibut, my biggest was a small but pleasing 40lber however my Dad stole the show with three over 150lb topped by one of 180lb. The halibut fishing was a little slower than the cod fishing but the buzz of seeing these fish screaming line off a drag you cannot budge by hand and sounding to the bottom several times during the fight kept you going. A Swedish lad on one of the self drive boats landed and released the biggest of the week, estimated at 100kg , we had the pleasure of seeing it landed, photographed and returned, absolutely awesome.
The huge Halibut
The highlight of the week was definitely the Coalie fishing, having done plenty of Pollack fishing we had an idea of what to expect......or so we thought. A much longer boat ride than normal took us to an area of underwater mountains which held lots of small Coalies, perfect feeding ground for big Coalfish. This time we were rigged up with Shimano jigging rods, Penn Sargus reels loaded with 50lb Berkley Whiplash and Storm giant jigging shad at the business end. We let the shad hit the bottom, some 30-90 feet below us and then reel back up as fast as we could, after a couple of drops my Dads reel screamed as braid was ripped off by an angry fish and after a few minutes he boated a cracking Coalie of around 18lbs. It was not long until I had my first contact with an angry Coalie which hit the lure three times on the way up before engulfing it just twenty feet below the boat, the fight was absolutely fabulous and eventually Kristian lifted in a corking 32lb fish into the boat. The action was non stop with lots of fish in the 20-30 lb bracket and all on heavy spinning gear, fantastic.
Cracking Coalfish
All too soon the holiday was over and we had to make the long journey home but what a holiday !!!! The memories will live long and although not cheap (£9 a pint can put you off your beer !!!) I would recommend this to any body who fancies some of the best sea fishing in Europe.
We carry a good range of pirks and shads for Norwegian fishing as well as a superb selection of rods and reels to suit any budget, so if you need any advice or want to purchase the necessary gear get in touch.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The Complete Cast DVD

This DVD took ages to produce and I think the final outcome was well worth the effort. The review in Trout Fisherman was fantastic and the response from everyone who has bought a copy has been very positive. The DVD takes you through all the casts you will ever need when fishing from a basic roll cast through to Double haul as well as the more advanced casts such as the Z lift and Snake Roll. I have even showed you when to use the casts in fishing situations. The DVD is a tool that you can use again and again and I even know some casters that take it out and play it on the laptop while they are trying to learn the casts.

So go on treat yourself to a copy and improve your casting so that the next time you are out on the water you won’t get frustrated and you will maximize your fishing opportunities.

Tight lines, Hywel Morgan.

Monday, 23 August 2010

How to convert wind on Loop Evotec reels

Here's a simple job that I get asked to do many times every week, the principle is the same on all Loop CLW, Multi, Evotec and Opti reels as well as the older Danielsson made Evotecs. This procedure should not be attempted on Loop Classic reels - these cannot be changed due to the clicker setup!

This great little video shows you how to do it yourself...

If you're still not sure what you are doing with a Loop or indeed any other make of fly reel contact us and we will talk you through the RHW/LHW conversion!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Get Started In Pike Fishing

There’s little to beat landing a pristine pike in the swirling mist of an early-morning session, and now that we’re in the midst of the time for the species, why don’t you cash in and start pike fishing?

Starting piking is easier than you think, and for a minimal outlay on bait and terminal tackle, plus a rod and reel borrowed from carp fishing, you’ll have all you need for a day’s battle with this most ferocious of UK fish.

Lineaeffe Full Monty Pike Set
Almost every water holds pike, from tiny jacks to fat-bellied beasts, and by investing in pike fishing tackle to fish static and moving baits, you’ll have every option covered for reservoirs, rivers, canals, lochs or lakes.

To begin with, you need to track down the fish. Great running-water hotspots are town centres, where prey fish like roach gather for the winter.  While in deep lakes or lochs, where silvers will shoal up, these are great spots to fish for pike, but don’t ignore shallower swims on mild days.
Savage Gear 3D Smashtail Minnow
Concerning tactics, lure fishing is the simplest form of piking, requiring only a conventional lure rod or light carp rod, heavy-duty spinning reel loaded with 15lb line and a strong wire trace of around 30lb. For lures, invest in patterns that move slowly. Popular and productive lures include Shad Raps, spoons and shallow diving patterns.

Greys GR50 Lure Rod

If a more static approach is needed, dead baits can score heavily. It’s more of a sit-and-wait job but catches bigger fish. The same lines and deadbait traces will do, so you can get away with using just the one spinning reel, but you’ll need a more powerful deadbait rod for casting.

Fox Warrior S 12ft Compact Rod
You’ll also need to buy treble hooks ranging from sizes 4 to 6 semi-barbless. Some tackle companies and brands like Daiwa Prorex, Savage Gear, and Fox Rage make high-quality ready-made traces.

On shallow waters, a slim pike float with the bait fished a little over depth offers maximum sensitivity, while for more substantial, deeper lakes a simple running leger using lead weights from 1oz to 3oz will do nicely.

Daiwa Black Widow BR Reel
Coarse dead baits such as roach and skimmer bream are unbeatable for the hook, followed by sea fish such as smelt, lamprey sections, herrings, mackerel and sardines. All of these frozen baits can be purchased in store at fishingmegastore.

Frozen Mackerel
Regarding bite detection, a standard carp bite alarm with a bobbin will be suitable, and the best bit of advice is to strike as soon as the fish runs and starts taking the fishing line off the reel – don’t wait any longer!

Fox Micron MR+ Bite Alarms
So that’s tackle and bait sorted, but what about handling a pike? They can be frightening to a beginner and need a lot of care to avoid damage. Essential kit for a piker includes forceps of various lengths and sizes to remove trebles, long nose pliers for unhooking lures, a good-quality unhooking mat, and wire cutters for the odd occasion when hooks might need cutting.

Daiwa Prorex Long Nose Pliers
Another essential piece of pike kit is a good quality 42" landing net, which will make retrieving a lot safer for you, and the fish.

Fox Warrior S Landing Net
If you are starting out pike fishing, the best advice is to talk to, or at least go out with, an experienced piker to learn how to treat your quarry. An experience pike angler can show you all the necessary skills far better than a book ever can and demonstrate how to return a fish safely. Don’t just throw them back – pike needs nursing in the water, being kept upright before swimming off actively.

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

Chew Valley - Where dreams are made

Two years ago my Dad sent me a photograph of a 36lb pike taken on the fly by a friend of his on Chew Valley Reservoir in Somerset. My jaw hit the floor when I saw the photo and I made it my quest to try and catch a decent pike on the fly.

While I do fly fish for pike in Scotland, I made a decision to make an effort and travel to the most productive big fish water in Britain, Chew, and have a realistic chance of the fish of a lifetime. My first couple of trips were largely spent trying to learn about the water, fish location and underwater features. We managed plenty of fish to 16lbs and had follows from bigger fish but had never managed to boat a specimen. In June 2009 I did manage an 18lb, 20lb 4oz and 23lb 1oz fish in one day but having lost a much bigger fish my hunger for big fish had not yet been satisfied.

So at the end of April 2010 we took two boats for five days with a view to catching fish feeding after spawning. We were frustrated with fish following but not hitting the flies (probably down at least in part to fly selection) but did manage a handful of fish topped by a new fly caught PB for myself of 24lb 3oz. then in May my colleague, Nick Rae, and I took a boat for two days desperate to catch the fishing just right. With the weather having been cool and windy for over a week we decided to fish with fast sinking lines from Scientific Anglers on #10 weight rods plus a five foot Seaguar leader with twelve inches of AFW Toothproof Titanium wire Albright knotted to the business end. We fished small (6-8 inch) flies on a quick retrieve to work the flies at around 6-8 feet in around 10 feet of slightly coloured water. On the first day we had a few doubles and a few jacks, however it was on the second day when all the time and effort finally paid off.

With a South wind we headed to the south end of the lake with a view to drifting from the shallows over some slightly deeper water where we knew from past experience that the bottom was very uneven. On my third or fourth cast I managed a small jack and for some reason changed my fly to a Kelly green flash pattern with green marabou hackle. Around a dozen casts later as I hung my fly at the side of the boat about to make another cast I looked down just as a huge toothy mouth engulfed my fly and powered away, spraying water into the boat with a single stroke of its tail. I only caught a glimpse of the fish and burst out laughing as it took of around the boat, I had seen enough to know it was a good twenty and Nick started to prepare the boat for landing and weighing the fish. Nick was still getting everything ready a couple of minutes later when I had the fish at the surface ready for netting, I casually remarked ‘You could get that with the net if you want’, and Nick looked up surprised to see the fish ready for landing so soon. He netted the fish and lifted it onto the wet unhooking mat, it was only then that I saw the girth and length of the fish in full and started to shake. We zeroed the dampened sling on the scales and Nick lifted the fish so that I had the joy of reading the weight of 35lb 2oz on the fox digital scales.

I let out a loud cry of relief and joy (loud enough that John Horsey 200m up wind heard) and quickly got some snaps of the huge fish which I had been lucky enough to catch. After such a short fight she swam away strongly after her short time on the boat and I just sat back in awe at what I had just achieved. We did have a few more fish including a couple of doubles that day but to be honest it did not matter to me anymore, I had achieved my goal and done something which I will probably never repeat (not for the lack of trying). This made the 400 mile drive home a lot easier as I was still buzzing with adrenaline. I still think about this every day and I am even going back in September to hopefully land the fish of a lifetime for Nick.

Many of the staff at the shop enjoy fly fishing for predators so if you need any advice just drop us an email or give us a call.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Big G pops his fly fishing cherry!

As a non fishing employee at the Glasgow Angling Centre, I decided that the evening staff outing to Bangour Trout Fishery in West Lothian would be the perfect opportunity to get a little tuition from one of our resident casting instructors and give fly fishing a go.

After the traditional BBQ I was given a half hour lesson by Davie Bell which was just enough for me to learn how to put out a line and present a fly at around 15 yards. One of the guys from the mail order department suggested that I try starting off with a sedge which I duly tied on and cast out. After around half an hour of fishing, a cracking 3lb rainbow came up and inhaled the fly. With adrenaline pumping through my veins I fought the fish and with a little coaching, I had the fish within the net in a couple of minutes. I was given special permission by fishery owner Stevie Reid to take the fish for the table as it was my first ever !!!!

I now understand the buzz of fly fishing and will certainly be giving it a go again in the future.

Glasgow Angling Centre Open Weekend - 26th & 27th September

DON'T MISS THE Glasgow Angling Centre September Open Weekend 25/26th September 2010 and see the largest range of fishing tackle in Europe!
You can't go fishing without the right tackle, which is why you should get along to this two day spectacular event.  Glasgow Angling Centre's open weekends are a treat you don't want to miss when this 30,000ft fishing 'mega-store' throws open its doors and visitors flood in to check the latest kit, pick up some great bargains and rub shoulders with the top names in fishing.
Come along and receive expert advice and tuition form our superb line-up of fishing stars who will be attending the weekend to help anglers get the most from their sport. They will be there to offer workshops, demonstrations, talks and much much more.
We have loads of exceptional weekend-only super deals, and we are giving you a £5.00 gift voucher for every £50.00 spent and on top of that, a FREE gift to choose from worth up to £7.99.
Glasgow Angling Centre is just a couple of minutes away from Glasgow’s M8 motorway.  We've our own very spacious car park, cafe area, toilets, and more than 50 trained and knowledgeable staff eager to help you tackle your angling problems, whatever your interest. The store is the nearest thing you will ever get to an Aladdin’s cave, boasting a mind-boggling 40,000 different products on display. It is one rare opportunity where you can see and touch things you might want to buy, and fish with, all under one roof.

There are more than 1,500 rods right across the store which you're welcome to take out of their racks and try in our custom built 30 meter casting pool.  Love your salmon fly fishing?  Try that Salmon rod you've had your eye on in the neighbouring canal basin which has been specially set up so you can see how it actually performs.  In either case, we've got a fantastic team of staff and experts who are there to help you find the right balance for both your fishing, and your budget.
Did we also tell you how good our reel selection is?  At Glasgow Angling Centre, we're proud to have the largest display of reels anywhere!  All the top brands for Coarse, Sea and Game fishing with fantastic offers across the spectrum.

From a fishing tackle perspective, we also have a massive collection of equipment, including the very latest in accessories, clothing, a huge fly tying department and much much more.  If you're an armchair angler, you can also pick up the latest books, magazines, DVDs and catalogues which all give great insight into what’s happening in angling today.

So if you want to know about fly tying, casting, setting up sea rigs, successful sea fishing techniques, choosing the right fly line or flies, then the Open weekend is a must!  Quite simply, this is a very rare opportunity to appreciate the vastness and community spirit that is our beloved sport of fishing.  We are passionate about fishing, passionate about our products and passionate about our service, so get along to the open weekend and let us share our passion with you!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Pollack on the Fly!

Last month a few of us set off for the Rhinns of Galloway on a mission to catch big Pollack on the fly. We had chartered two boats from Ian Burrett at and made it to the launch site at East Tarbert just after 9am. We loaded up and set off at speed to the first of the many marks we would fish that day. We drifted over these marks in about 40 feet of water, casting long lines and counting them down to the depth where the Pollack would be feeding amongst the rough ground and kelp beds. Retrieves were varied till we sussed the fish out and we were soon getting knocks and taps at the flies almost every cast.

The hardest part is not striking at these and continuing the retrieve until the line goes solid and the rod hoops over - not easy if you have been fishing for fickle trout in the weeks previous! Once you hook up into one of these strong fish you will know all about it as it lunges back towards the kelp beds, even the smaller fish are great sport on the fly and anything over 5lb will really put your tackle to the test.

Catching Pollack in these relativly shallow depths means we could put every fish back unharmed and Ians boats operate a strict catch and release only policy on inshore Pollack to help conserve stocks. With over a hundred fish landed to each boat up to 10lb plus we were all knackered by the end of the day but very happy.

To flyfish for Pollack in this way I would recommend a 9 foot #9 or #10 weight rod coupled with a decent disc drag fly reel. This should be loaded with a very fast sinking fly line - we use Airflo Depthfinders and Striped Bass DI7's - to get down to the fish quickly. For leaders use 3 or 4 feet of quality tippet of at least 20lb breaking strain, I prefer Seaguar Ace Fluorocarbon in 25lb or 30lb as it is very resistant to abrasion. Flies can be simple Deceiver or Clouser style baitfish patterns between 4 and 8 inches long to imitate the Sandeels and Launce that the Pollack feed on, we also had good sport on red and black patterns so it pays to experiment. For more information on Pollack Flyfishing contact us @ the GAC

Hardy & Greys SINTRIX

Hardy & Greys have always been at the forefront of tackle design, however they have developed something that is very special indeed. Welcome to the most significant development in fishing-rod design for 25 years - SINTRIX. In today's carbon fibre rod blanks, a special resin holds the carbon fibres in parallel alignment, which allows them to bend as the rods flexes. However, these carbon fibres buckle under extreme stress because they are stronger than the resin holding them in place. This has lead to various enhancements of the resin, particularly the addition of titanium and nano tubes in the resin mix itself. However this has mainly reinforced the carbon but not the resin! Therefore when the rod bends beyond it's limits, breakage occurs.
Why is SINTRIX so Special?
3m developed a revolutionary base resin for the aerospace industry which Hardy & Greys have adapted, to create a unique material called SINTRIX that is exclusive to them. They have looked at the inherent weaknesses of the resin that holds the carbon fibres in place within a rod blank and introduced 'Nano Particles' throughout the resin. These particles are blended within the resin to hold the carbon fibres in parallel alignment. SINTRIX's enhanced matrix resin supports and bolsters the carbon fibres in the rod blank to withstand an even higher degree of bending and loading than today's modern rods. With SINTRIX, if a microscopic weak spot were to appear in the blank, the special 'nano particles' in the SINTRIX resin simply just 'click in' to their neighbouring particles and stops the weakness occurring.
Benefits of SINTRIX
A rod that can bend further than any other rod on the market. It also creates a rod that offers phenomenal strength and durability, is lighter, more responsive, can recover quicker, and has huge reserves of power. Steve Paterson of Hardy & Greys explains that: "these are blanks so thin, they can cut through the wind." They also have significantly improved impact resistance over conventional carbon fibre rod design (so that doesn't mean you see if it will withstand the car door slamming shut on it). It simply means that it will take accidental bumps and scrapes better.

Ordering SINTRIX
Initially the material will be used in Hardy Fly rods, so the SINTRIX single handed rods will be available in January 2011. Chris Bond of Hardy & Greys states that: "Our aim is that in five years, 60-70% of Hardy & Greys rod volume will be built with SINTRIX." So if you would like to pre-order a new SINTRIX rod, please contact us or you can call us now on 0871 716 1670.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Welcome to Glasgow Angling Centre's new blog!

Welcome to the Fishingmegastore Blog! Here you'll find out all the very latest fishing tackle news and reviews, info about up and coming angling events plus updates of what the GAC staff and our friends have been up to. Check back regularly or subscribe for updates and make sure you don't miss out!
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