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.