In a moment of late night EBay bidding I found myself driving down to Brighton to pick up a job lot of fishing tackle. It was quite clear that the original owner of this gear was a fanatical match angler including some nice examples of early glass fibre match rods (all painted matt black) hand-made floats and centre pin reels. Overall the gear was well looked after with plenty of improvised DIY going on, but for me the clincher on the lot was the little two tiered tackle box with aluminium shot tins, there is something about these tackle boxes I find really quite personal…
Finding suitable receptacles for fishing tackle can be a challenge, perhaps nerdy but ultimately good fun. Artist boxes are a good option as the outside finish is normally well polished which keeps the rain off in more extreme outdoors situations when angling.
Here I have an example of a small artist box that takes a modest tackle collection and will accommodate some floats where once brushes would have laid. Pictured here the box has some old tackle along with a collection of past fishing licenses. Dabs of oil paint cover the lid from a previous artists journey into colour and composition, brightening the greyest of days while out on the river.
There was a time when the majority of the nations anglers were firmly sat on creaking willow but some had taken on the wooden seat box as an alternative, perfect for the river rover or carp stalker who requires the occasion resting perch.
I’ve seen an example of this box in a photo gracing the banks of Redmire in the 1950’s, if I can recall it may have belonged to John Nixon? So in homage to its pedigree my example contains the content of my 1980’s carping tackle, Les Bamford Optonics, monkey climbers, a pair of Cardinal 55’s, Zip leads, boxes of Nash hooks and old bubble floats.
With the removable tray and space for line winders down each side this could have be designed for earlier tackle or even for the sea angler? Until someone puts me straight on this I shall picture this in Willow Pitch with a motionless angler perched on top with a Ambidex and Hardy L R H No 2 in hand.
I pretty much dragged this box around lake and river throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, it could take a lot of tackle and an impressive float collection. It was only when I discovered a low-fi approach to angling that this box was shelved, but it still remains the tackle box that has shared more personal angling experiences than any other. The interior wood is still stained with strawberry flavourings from my early days of carp fishing on a small pond near Ansty in West Sussex, in search of my first ‘double’. Eventually with the help of Carp Fever it did happen, a 11 1/4 lb specimen.
Even now, twenty five years on a light waft of strawberry essence mixed with pilchard oil lifts the nostrils as the lid is opened and a memory ignited, this box shall never be passed on!
Back in the days when Stewart and Efgeeco weren’t producing plastic injected tackle boxes, a visit to see grandad could result in a cigar box perfect for fishing tackle items. In my case, some pike tackle.