Well after a two year break due to Covid it was good to see the return of these two fishing shows, firstly at Farnborough and then the local one to me at Stoneleigh. So off I went for a moosh around the Stoneleigh show. So what did I think to this years show?
Well I had mixed feelings about it this year. I’d heard a lot of negative comments all over social media before I arrived bright and early on the Sunday morning after paying my £15.00 online + £1.50 booking fee so saving me a couple of quid paying on the door. But at least I never had to pay to park the car in the grass field, which was the plus. I quite enjoyed the walk through the showground to get on the two main halls where the show was this year but I noted they were running shuttle buses for those that needed them this year, so top marks so far.
The two halls were split between match/pleasure and the Carp/Bivy side of this fantastic sport of fishing but I saw nothing on the game and sea angling side. So being a match angler I headed straight into the match/pleasure hall first. I already knew looking at the exhibitors list that some of the big tackle brands would be missing this year but what a disappointment from the big tackle brands, No Preston, No Guru, No Garbolino, No MAP but at least Shimano and Maver and some bait companies such as Bait tech had made an effort and had decent sized stands this year. Isn’t the point of a trade show, is to showcase your latest products to the general public? Maybe the new way of showcasing new tackle is via social media these days? There were some smaller tackle brands present and some good pole float makers which was good to see and ‘Pole Alley’ was present but to be fair there wasn’t a lot to waggle with this year. OK there were some tackle shops where you could buy some decent items of tackle from which is always good if your looking for a bargain but there was also a lot of bargain basement items to be brought with some rods and reels offered at around a tenner and would have been better at a car boot sale where you haven’t got to pay to get in and then buy a ten pound rod! But at least you could eat well this year, If you didn’t fancy a bit of cheese, a sausage roll or a cake a tot of Rum or Moonshine from one of the stalls inside the show you could always pop outside for a bacon roll or hot dog after you’d seen all the tackle in the show. The Carp hall didn’t seem much better but being a match angler I can’t really comment but the match/pleasure hall was a big disappointment this year.
On the whole I did enjoy the show. It’s a day out or rather a few hours out to be fair and I already knew there wasn’t going to be much tackle to look at reading the social media comments about it. I just wanted a day out and these shows haven’t been around for a couple of years. The main stage seemed to be popular attracting anglers with Rob Hughes, Bob Roberts and Ali Hamidi keeping these anglers entertained. But there was deafinitely lack of the big name match anglers giving talks and demonstrations as in previous years.
So on the whole I thought this was a poor show and I probably won’t bother next time. This is a real shame but if the larger companies don’t go to these shows for what ever reason. I can’t see the general public going unless they want to buy some cheese or rum!! Maybe the big boys stayed away because of Covid as these shows need to be booked well in advance. Lets hope they return. These shows need them to get bums on seats.