Unwavering brand allegiance? Price? Value for money? Technological innovation or what your mates are using? What drives your decision-making when it comes to your tackle purchases.
We all know that tackle fads come and go, and many if not most of us have hidden, or then again unashamed tackle addictions. That being said, I see my tastes becoming refined when it comes to lure choices, yet I have strong brand allegiance when it comes to tackle hardware.
In the beginning, I would purchase every lure in every available colour, in multiples, to line the insides of countless tackle boxes. Hardbody lures till my mind would boggle, and there was absolutely no way I could fish them all in a single lifetime, and soft plastic offerings that were often downright ridiculous.
Lure choices influenced by the latest tournament winners arsenal. Colours and styles that are inconceivable, yet successful – it still perplexes me how a lump of scented plastic with no actual inbuilt action (Gulp Shrimp, Ecogear Bream Prawn) catches fish, yet both lures do, and both lures do very, very successfully.
Yet other lures like the Squidgy Lobby remain one of my favourites today.
I’ve come full circle with my lure selections, and find myself using a handful that are tried, tested and proven. I’ve found myself questioning the accepted, that certain colours work best in certain conditions, and asking myself does it really matter what colour I’m throwing.
I like natural colours. Ghost Gill Brown being my unfaltering favourite over many, many years, yet when it comes to the Smith Camion Dredge, that I throw as one of 2 deeper offerings, I use almost exclusively, an ugly, bright, gold and red colour pattern, that I would never use.
Years of experience have moulded my decisions. Now it’s generally a functional decision, not influenced by what everyone else is doing. Atomic Crank 38 deep, Ghost Gill Brown: it’s cheap, it works, I can tune it easily and it catches fish. Camion Dredge Gold and red, I caught a fish on it once, so must have tied it on again the next time I went fishing and caught a another couple of fish, and another couple, and guess what, before I knew it, I’m confident to fish it, and always tie it on.
When it comes to rods and reels it’s a bit different though. I formed my brand allegiance early on in my fishing career, when I was seduced by the enthusiast nature of the Daiwa Brand. Those old school cosmetics, Japanese styling, long cork grips that just looked, so, well, HOT! And the finish? Rod bags of velour with silk inner linings and you just couldn’t go past the Heartland Z and Battler range.
With reels, I always aspired to the Certate and Exist offerings, probably if I’m honest out of sheer Brand allegiance? It wasn’t until I started to use this gear, A LOT, that I began to understand the value of the technology and innovation that goes into the development. Over time though, partly as a result of the epiphany that a Bream reel is really just a tool that holds the line and has a drag system, while the fishing rod actually does most of the work, and partly because that high end technology has filtered down into more affordable, and value for money models, I find myself gravitating towards the mid range offerings of the Daiwa Brand (case in point the new Daiwa Freams). Don’t get me wrong, I still aspire to the high end sexy stuff, but reality has it that it’s not always achievable.
So this leads me to my question. What’ important to you? Is it unwavering allegiance to a single brand, is it how it “feels”, or “swims” that’s important, do you scour all the details of the latest technological advances, or go unquestioningly with the advice from your mates? Or, like my lure selections, do you just not really care that much, and go with what works for you?
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