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About 18 months ago I was asked by Kilwell to field test a new Toby colour prototype that they had developed. It was code named Emperor as it looked vaguely like a penguin. Kilwell have been proudly making Toby lures in New Zealand on equipment originally specified by Abu for well over 50 years. Not copies of the Abu design but the real thing manufactured under licence, stamped … Continue reading HAIL THE EMPEROR!

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Most anglers like nothing better than to show off their lure collection and generally it is an eclectic mixture of lure types and colours. Collections are very personal and most of the lures were purchased for a specific species or reason. However, irrespective of how many lures an angler owns, it is likely that the great majority never get used and when they occasionally do … Continue reading THE SINGLE LURE EXPERIMENT


Video: Paul Smith                 Lead image: Henry Gilbey ( This 40 second video shows the power and finesse that can be achieved when side casting lures correctly. Check out how close the lure goes to the hull of the moored boat in the last sequence. The billowing of the shirt sleeve shows how windy it was. It is at technique worth mastering, especially for use in … Continue reading VIDEO – SKILFUL SIDE CASTING

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Lead image: Henry Gilbey ( When using braid it is critical to spool spinning reels properly to avoid wind knots. Most manufacturers of spinning reels made for use with braid are aware of the importance of line lay and have designed the rotor and line roller to fill the spool evenly from top to bottom with braid of a specified diameter. If you use the correct diameter … Continue reading SPOOLING BRAID PROPERLY

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It is very important to routinely maintain spinning reels when they are being used in saltwater in order to ensure optimum performance. The last thing that you need when fighting the fish of a lifetime is for the reel to fail due to poor maintenance. Recently I stumbled across an article on spinning reel maintenance while visiting the Alan Hawk website. The Alan Hawk website ( is well worth … Continue reading SPINNING REEL MAINTENANCE


Text: Alan Bulmer    Featured image: Guy Harvey For many years now I’ve been spin fishing with low stretch conventional or fused braid. The main reasons that I originally switched to using braid were the increased casting distance, improved sensitivity to takes and a dramatic reduction in twist when using bladed spinners. At present, I’m using 1.5 PE conventional braid with a rated breaking strain of 8.8 kilograms and … Continue reading SHOCK LEADERS WITH BRAID


Text: Alan Bulmer     Lead image: Sport Fishing magazine Gel Spun Polyethylene (GSP) fishing lines get their strength from the weaving or laminating of many polyethylene fibres. True braids, as their name suggests, achieve this by ‘braiding’ fibres together while fused braids use a proprietary form of ‘heat welding’ the fibres together. Fused GSP lines are generally cheaper, stiffer and thicker than braid of … Continue reading AVOIDING WIND KNOTS WITH BRAID