Friday, 1 June 2012

Cobwebs & Memories

A clean of the garage has been due for a while now, cluttered is an understatement, I was not amused by the sight that greeted me as I lifted the door up, only to be met by piles upon piles of boxes and some gifts kindly left by the family cat. I would rather have been out doing another recce on the  rivers, but there's the weekend for such things.

Half way through cleaning and tidying, I caught a glimpse of some old rod bags covered with dust, cat fur and cobwebs, in one was an old, very short but strong, pistol grip rod, replete with a bakelite green butt. I remember being given this as a youngster, the tip at the time had been broken and needed a spot of repair, I duly obliged and the end result was something akin to a heavily bandaged big toe, excessive amounts of whipping followed by an unhealthy helping of selotape.


I can remember my dad at the time being absolutely creased with hysterics at my effort and this ended with me going off in a right old sulk. The memories of us fishing marinas with breadpaste for Mullet came flooding back, I remember one time fishing tight to one of the mooring areas, a long rod was of no use in this situation,  so "the bulge" as it became affectionately known was employed.


I can remember us both being sat there, well  out of view of the fish and watching intently as the little float bobbed lightly, before sliding away and all of a sudden I was connected to a wonderful fight.
On light tackle I do believe mullet are pound for pound one of the best fighting fish. The feeling was akin to electric and pulses of vibration as the bursts of energy from the fish surged through the little rod, eventually after many hairy moments where I thought the hook would be shed, a Mullet was slipped into the waiting net. We spent many days fishing for them, through the cloudy wetter days, where they would be seemingly almost suicidal, to the sunny windless days when they would flatter, tease and perplex you with their nervous, half hearted takes.


As I ventured further into the recesses of the garage, I came across an old Efgeeco landing net pole that my dad had kindly given me many years ago, at that moment guilt gripped me, the thought that I had let it stand alone in darkness, shirked for its more modern, carbon clad cousins, was something that really did not hang well with me.


Paintwork chipped about, but still strong and sturdy, something that todays modern tackle manufacturers should take notice of, I recalled that I stepped back on it many a time and it had forgivingly bent and was duly straightened, something I would be lucky to get away with when using the carbon poles that I use nowadays


Near where I found the landing net pole, was a grey, faded and well worn, cloth rod bag, the label at the top read, Edgar Sealey, I slowly popped the buttons on the bag and untied the brittle cord.
What greeted me was a lovely three piece float rod, named the black arrow.


On showing it to my dad, he reminded me that it was one that he use to use when he fished with his younger brother Ted and recounted to me how they used to go hemping on the Highgate ponds, using matchsticks as micro style floats and told me how he would regularly fall in the Thames and Ted would have to rescue him, as he didn't swim, to this day he still doesn't.



The tidying of the garage had led to this other path, one strewn with all these old tales to rekindle and reminisce over, but just as the cobwebs had been removed from these items of tackle, the times that they had lived through and memories still remained, deeply engrained within them, good times, boyhood energies for father and son alike, different generations, but the same passion to angle and enjoy.

17 comments:

  1. That was intruiging! Sadly all my old stuff has previously been cleared-out about a decade ago in fact...but if I could get into my dad's roof - now that would tell a story, he never got rid of any fishing tackle...all I have are a few bits of float making material and the obligatory dried-up Humbrol paints! The Sealey looks like a work of art, I remember having a Sealey too but it was a yellowy colour & I don't remember the name now, first proper rod I ever had though

    Thanks for brining back some memories

    GB

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    1. Why thank you George,

      I'm glad you enjoyed it, it certainly was nice to find these items and be able to share them with you and it sounds like you have some tackle tales of your own to tell too.

      The Sealey is in good condition, it feels very nice and has a lot of character to it.

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  2. I love finding old things, forgotten. As if I'm an explorer...who knows what you'll finding cleaning out garages, or attics for that matter. Always an adventure, and you stumbled upon some very lovely things. Keep them close. The memories too! :)

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    1. Exactly Erin!

      It was very exciting to find these old pieces of tackle, don't worry, they are now safely stored back where they should have been a long time ago. No longer sitting all alone in the darkness of the garage, Robert has offered to let me use the Edgar Sealey as well, I may take it for a trot sometime this season.

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  3. Most dream of finding a highly valuable antique in the loft but give me an old piece of tackle and a bunch of memories any time.

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  4. Absolutely Dave, there's something really special about finding an old piece of tackle, especially the fishing days that they have etched into them.

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  5. Hi Mark,
    A lovely post and just the sort i like to read. Old rods help us all travel back in time.
    Regards
    Alan

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  6. Hello Alan,

    I could not agree more, just looking back at some of the old tackle, brings back memories of the places my father fished and in some ways how so many of those places have changed. Glad you thoroughly enjoyed the post mate.

    Kind regards
    Mark

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  7. Made myself 2rod rests from roe antler vs. Working very effectivley

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    1. I suspect they make for very strong rod rests too ratman. (sorry don't know your real name).

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  8. Taken up rods after 47 year abstinence. True story. Inspired by memory of old mate. He died in hospice holding my hand. Not sentiment but joyous memories of .the old days. Graham

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    1. Graham if time teaches us one thing it is that it will take many wonderful people from our grasp, be that close family or the dearest of friends. It's those memories that we hold close that keep those people alive in our hearts.

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  9. Home made floats working well. Cocktail sticks barbeque sticks wildlife keen eye and imagination. Lethal combination brother. Tight lines.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you,

      although I must admit I have yet to put the bobbers to use as I do tend to do a lot of perch fishing on the quiver tip.

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  10. Rained off today. Retiring to lounge to colour up more floats . Not got luxury of shed.

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