BOMB THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE ALL FISHED

WD­to­icetkh Wan­vaek­lk­fo­err in­vent­ing this aero­dy­namic swivel lead

Angling Times (UK) - - TIPS & TACTICS -

IN SEPTEM­BER 1953, just two months af­ter the launch of Angling Times, ‘new’ weekly colum­nist Dick Walker lifted the lid on an item of tackle that he and his friends had de­vel­oped for their own use, but one that would ul­ti­mately change the way ev­ery­one fished.

He de­scribed it as ‘a spe­cial lead that was de­signed for fish­ing at range for big perch at Ar­lesey Lake, in Bed­ford­shire’ (a venue where Dick would go on to catch nu­mer­ous fish of 4lb-plus).

Up un­til that point, an­glers wish­ing to fish the leger were limited to us­ing cof­fin leads or drilled bul­lets, both of which had se­ri­ous lim­i­ta­tions.

It didn’t take long for Dick to re­alise the many other ap­pli­ca­tions for his new in­ven­tion, and he went on to list them. He wrote: “By rea­son of its shape it trav­els nose-first when cast and of­fers less wind re­sis­tance. This not only means longer cast­ing, but greater ac­cu­racy when the wind is across the line of the cast.

“When used as a leger, with the line run­ning through the swivel­eye, the hook­length never gets twisted around the line on the rod side of the lead; or, if it does, the twists come out as the tackle sinks or when you tighten on your lead.

“This is a ter­rific ad­van­tage. Very few fish, es­pe­cially big ones, will hang on to a bait if they feel the drag of a leger lead. Un­less your line runs freely you may have dozens of bites and never know: and the longer the range at which you’re fish­ing, the more likely this is to hap­pen.

“At Ar­lesey, where very long cast­ing is needed to catch the big perch, we found that with cof­fin leads or drilled bul­lets we got a twist-up at least once in ev­ery two

casts. This was the same as los­ing an hour’s fish­ing in ev­ery two. In a cross wind it was worse than that.”

Dick also re­vealed how hours of ex­per­i­men­ta­tion showed that it wasn’t just still­wa­ter an­glers who’d ben­e­fit from the in­ven­tion.

“In river fish­ing, the lead doesn’t roll much and it doesn’t kink the tackle when it does. It nearly al­ways lies swivel end down­stream and thus min­imises fric­tion of line through the swivel eye. Even when a fish goes off at an an­gle, the lead turns on its largest cir­cum­fer­ence and keeps the fric­tion as low as pos­si­ble.”

Dick con­cluded his his­toric ar­ti­cle by say­ing: “It’s the best leger lead I know of, and I’d like to see it avail­able for ev­ery­one who wants it.”

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