Update 26/6/18: Kevin Nash comments added. See them here
Chris Yates and Tim Paisley have led tributes to carp-angling icon Rod Hutchinson.
Described as "the greatest of all time", Rod passed away at the weekend after a short spell in hospital.
He pioneered the use of particle baits, bolt rigs, high-nutritional-value (HNV) boilies and carp fishing abroad.
Speaking to Carpfeed this afternoon, angling writer Chris Yates said: “I will remember him as I did the moment I first saw him in June 1972 on the opening week at Redmire, just knowing that I had met a completely authentic and original character, and also a very warm-hearted character.
“I liked him as soon as I met him. We were from very different backgrounds but I knew we were going to get on well and we did.
“Those two years we fished together were probably the happiest times I’ve had on the bank, because of Rod. He was great company.”
Chris said the pair always planned to return to fish at Redmire together but never did, though they remained in touch and met up at other venues.
“I regret that we didn’t make more effort to return to one of the lakes we loved, like Redmire, though he was so busy, so energetic.”
Recalling their time at Redmire in 1972, Chris added: “We felt we were living the dream then. Both of us were fairly overwhelmed by the place, and we had the lake to ourselves for the first week until the third member of our rota, Bob Jones, came down.
“The chemistry we had was very good. We sparked ideas off each other all the time and we did start to catch. There was a slight competitive edge between us but it was all in good heart and good humour.”
Reflecting on Rod’s wider influence, Chris said: “He was probably the best innovator, the most creative innovator – and not just in fishing.
“If he’d applied that some creative spark…you could imagine him in the tech industry. But he focused that creativity into fishing, which is what he loved.
“He had a quick mind and a very creative mind. He was more of scientist and I was more of a dreamer.
“He’d call me a ‘loopy southerner’; he’d question how I could possibly believe that something would happen tomorrow morning, and that morning I’d say ‘I told you so’.
"It didn’t always happen, but I think it happened enough for it to spook him. He was more analytical.
“What he gave to fishing was much more important than me. I could write about it, but he could offer valuable and genuine advice about how to improve your fishing.
“He will go down as one of the great figures of angling history. He was not only a great angler but a great character.”
Friend and author Tim Paisley told us: “He was the greatest of all time, to me.
“For those of us who were developing as carp anglers in the ‘70s and ‘80s he was the most important figure of all. He was inspirational, he was a pioneer.
“At a time when it was thought you couldn’t use leads and people were freelining baits, he was using bolt rigs, 3ins hooklinks and particles – it was so revolutionary.
“He was just inspirational, right across the board. He was larger than life and his presence will always live on.
“Rod has influenced anglers in ways they don’t even know. In terms of fishing he was as inspirational as Dick Walker.”
Tim added: “There are many hero anglers these days but back then it was just Rod. Grown men would be lost for words in his presence.”
A Grimsby lad, Rod was a talented footballer, boxer and musician. Conjecture surrounds his exact age, but friend Lee Jackson said he believed he was 76 or 77.
Lee added: “He was, in my opinion, a true carp god – the god of carp fishing.
“He has passed away but his spirit will live on.
“He was probably the clumsiest bloke around, and the messiest on the bank, but when it came to catching carp he was second to none. He will be sorely missed.”
Kevin Nash on Rod
Kevin Nash, who had Rod as a lodger for a year and who went into business with him when Rod had Catchum, told us: “He was one of the rare true pioneers and influencers.
"It’s one thing catching carp – anyone can do that with enough time – it’s those who pioneer in terms of bait and tackle development that stand out.
“He once said to me, and this is a lovely quote, ‘me and you come up the ideas and the kids develop them’. We had the rough, crude ideas and others would refine them.
“When he was on Savay he revolutionised the modern way of long-session camping – he started the dome tents and the modern way of doing it.
“Just like me, he’s been so influential in everyday carp fishing techniques. We both share that, me and him are the original innovators, really.
“If you were one of the people who ‘got him’ and could get him into conversation, if you were on Rod’s level he could really blow you away with his take on things. He had a really interesting slant on life and was very knowledgeable about life and politics.
“He lived life to the full.”
Rod leaves long-term partner Coral, two daughters and four grand-daughters, Tim Paisley said.
Responding to tributes on Facebook, Rod’s grand-daughter Rebecca wrote: “It's amazing and touching to see how loved he was.”