As well as the obvious items such as rods, reels and terminal tackle there is a lot more equipment that anglers need to take with them when they go fishing such as boxes and bags carry fishing equipment and smaller boxes to store hooks, swivels and other items of terminal tackle. Fishing in bad weather may also necessitate the use of a shelter, and of course going fishing at night will require anglers to bring a source of light. Read on to find out more about the equipment which is available to UK anglers, and click on the links to be taken to Amazon or Sea Angling Shop where many of the items are available (links open in a new window).
Sea Fishing Tackle Boxes: Any angler obviously needs something to transport their gear when going fishing. Fishing tackle boxes are popular as they offer a decent amount of space and of course double up as a seat. These boxes can also be emptied and thoroughly washed out after a fishing session. They come in a variety of sizes and have a strap which allows them to be carried over the shoulder, although the smaller boxes come with conversions that allow them to be worn on the back like a backpack – very useful when walking to distant fishing marks. Despite being made out of plastic the boxes from the big manufacturers are sturdy and well made. Most boxes also come with trays which can be clipped to the sides of the box which designed to keep bait in during a fishing session. Daiwa offer a range of seat boxes from around £30 – 45, while this seat box is substantially cheaper at around £20 from Amazon.
Backpacks and Bags: Many anglers fishing light and moving from venue to venue do not bother with a big and heavy fishing box and instead use a backpack for any gear they need. LRF (Light Rock Fishing) is one type of fishing where mobility is key and a backpack is essential. There is no need to buy one specifically designed for fishing, although backpacks designed for outdoor activities by manufacturers such as Deuter and Berghaus are very good for anglers due to the additional pockets they feature and the harder wearing material they are made out of (but they are very expensive indeed). However, backpacks made for outdoor use by other manufacturers are a lot more affordable and there is a wide range of them available on online, such as these which are available from Amazon.
Other Boxes and Containers: Terminal tackle itself is best kept in the small ‘bits boxes’ which contain have a number of different sections and are available from tackle shops, online fishing tackle retailers and hardware stores. Lidded boxes designed specifically for fishing tackle (such as the one pictured to the right) are ideal for taking small quantities of hooks, crimps, beads and other items of terminal tackle fishing in case rigs have to be made during a fishing session. Strong lidded plastic Tupperwear boxes are ideal for storing things like spools of line and weights in, as well as bait, although containers specifically designed to store bait in are also available. View the full range of storage boxes and containers at Sea Angling Shop by clicking here.
Shelters: Beach fishing shelters are essentially small, open sided tents, designed to protect anglers from wind and rain during a fishing session. All shelters are waterproof and use pegs to secure the shelter to the ground. More expensive models have a ground sheet and additional section that can be added to create a closable door. Some come with carry case. Ideal for fishing in very bad conditions or cold weather, but the right ground type is needed to set the shelter up. The Imax Beach Shelter is very well made and favoured by a lot of anglers fishing on exposed beaches and in bad weather. They retail for around £100 but can often be found discounted down to around £70.
Gaffs and Landing Nets: Both gaffs and landing nets are used when fish need to be lifted up and out of the water with support. Usually this is up into a boat but there are times when decent sized fish could need to be supported when being pulled up onto a elevated rock mark or high fishing position on a pier or breakwater. Gaffs are essentially large hooks on the end of a stick and are used to spike into the gills of fish and pull them up. They are rarely used in shore fishing as fish caught with them will be injured and therefore cannot be returned to the sea, and fish which accidentally fall off the gaff will swim away seriously injured. Landing nets are large open nets on the end of a pole which are used to scoop fish up and again lift them into a boat or high fishing position. These are a much better choice as they do not damage the fish in the way gaffs do, although they are not often used in sea fishing they are useful for anglers fishing rock marks or other elevated positions. This landing net by NGT is suitable for sea fishing and folds down to make it easy to store and transport.
Drop Nets: Drop nets are much overlooked in sea fishing and are used to support the weight of a fish when it is being raised from the sea up to an elevated fishing position such as a pier, jetty, breakwater or rock mark. Many anglers fishing from a raised mark make no allowance for the fact that a fishing rod cannot be used like a crane and a drop net is needed to land even modestly sized fish. Indeed, from many raised marks a drop net is needed to successfully land any reasonably sized fish. Drop nets are not expensive and are an excellent investment especially if they allow the angler to land that fish of a lifetime when it is finally caught. Shakespeare’s Salt range includes this this high quality drop net which is available from Amazon, while the same retailer also sells this WSB Tackle Large Drop Netwhich is substantially cheaper.
Scales: Whether fish are being retained to eat or returned to the sea all anglers want to know how much their catch weighs and whether or not they have beat their personal best catches for particular species. Small pocket scales are ideal for this purpose and a wide variety are available on the market. While some anglers prefer the traditional spring balances there are a range of electronic and digital scales available now which are seen as being more accurate. Scales are always worth taking on a fishing trip as most anglers like to know exactly how much a notable fish weighed before they return it to the sea. These Salter Pocket Scales are small and compact and are available from Sea Angling Shop for £5.99.
Lights: When fishing at night it is obvious that anglers need to take their own source of artificial light and there are a several different types of light that anglers can choose from.
Torches – Traditional, hand-held torches are useful for finding the way to or from an angling venue, although the fact that they have to be held in one hand makes them less useful during an actual fishing session. While there are a wide range of torches on the market those made by Maglite are probably the best in terms of quality (although they are expensive). It is always worth keeping a torch of this type in the tackle box as anything can happen on a fishing session (i.e. other sources of light fail, needing to signal for help). Although they are not the cheapest Maglite torches are extremely high quality and reliable. Prices range from £8 for mini lights to over £40 for larger models – click here to view the range.
Head Lamps – Head lamps are used by nearly all anglers when night fishing now as they offer the obvious advantage of keeping the anglers hands free when fishing. Older head torches from the 1990s were bulky with a now-comical looking battery pack on the back and a bulb which offered little power. Modern head lamps are light years ahead (no pun intended) and provide extremely bright LED lights in a very compact and easy to wear unit. When reeling in baiting up or doing practically any other fishing activity at night there is no substitute for a good quality head lamp. Although some top-end head lamps can cost a fortune (the Petzl Silva Sprint Plus has an RRP of £365!), perfectly adequate headlamps can be purchased for much more reasonable prices, such as the Petzl Tactikka Plus which costs around £35. Sea Angling Shop sells a range of head lamps at competitive prices. The Micro Head Lamp costs only £3.99 and is a good back-up to keep in the tackle box, while the Zebco Power Head Lamp has 17 LEDs and is priced at £9.99.
Lanterns – While some anglers are happy to just use a head lamp to see what they are doing others also like to add additional light around the area where they are fishing by using a lantern. Old fashioned Tilley lamps fuelled with paraffin are still used by some anglers, but modern LED electronic lanterns are also now available from outdoors or camping shops, and many anglers find these more convenient and easier to use. See a range of lanterns and other lighting available on Amazon by clicking here.
Rod Tip Lights – A tip light is essential when night fishing as without one it can be near-impossible to see bites, and it is inevitable that a number of fish will be missed during a session. There are purpose made lights for the end of rods, with the Delta Rod Lite being one of the best on the market. This light can be switched on and off when needed and lasts for hundreds of hours of use. They are available from Sea Angling Shop for £4.99 each in either red or blue colours. An alternative to this is to use a chemical light sticks. These are small disposable sticks, an inch or so in length and when they are bent the chemicals inside them run together. The reaction between the chemicals causes the stick to glow brightly for up to twelve hours. These light sticks can be attached to the end of a rod with clear sticky tape to produce a cheap tip light. It is a good idea to have some of these light sticks in the tackle box in case the more expensive (and brighter) tip light fails or runs of f battery power. Ocean Sun Chemical Light Sticks are on sale at Sea Angling Shop at only 89p for a packet of five.