The 2018 Big One fishing show was full of top products and new releases. Here, Carpfeed tackle editor Marc Coulson brings you his tackle highlights.
SONIK SKS BITE ALARMS
At just £149.99 for a set of three bite alarms, receiver and bivvy light, I found a throng of anglers admiring these little gems throughout the weekend.
The compact digital alarms boast a roller wheel along with adjustable volume, tone and sensitivity settings, while the four-channel receiver can have an additional alarm added if you require.
THINKING ANGLERS UNHOOKING MAT
Just one of a host of new and revamped products that this carpiest of carp brands has recently launched, this combination mat boasts both foam and poly-ball fillings.
These offer the maximum protection for a flat-design mat and, coupled with the desirability of the Thinking Anglers kit, looks set to be a winner this spring and beyond.
GARDNER GT-HD LINE
Not a new product by a long stretch but still remarkably popular thanks to its high strength, supple nature and brilliant price at just £19.99 for a 1,000m bulk spool.
It’s that time of year where we all re-spool our beloved carp reels and, unsurprisingly, this stuff was flying off the Gardner stand.
SPOTTED FIN SMOKEY JACK
Show season saw the official launch of this brand-new carp bait, co-designed by Frank Warwick, a man who certainly knows a thing or two about baits.
The rich, spicy aroma reminds me of some extremely good baits of days gone by, but it’s packed with the latest ingredients and is as carpy a bait as I’ve seen for a long time.
It tastes just as it smells, which is always a good sign with a boilie and isn’t always the case with some baits.
WYCHWOOD TACTICAL CARP TARP
An extremely innovative product as it’s not simply a throw-over tarpaulin in the basic sense.
Additional fittings make it ideal as an overnight shelter, barrow cover and anything else you turn your imagination to.
Finished in DPM camo, this one drew a lot of attention on the Wychwood stand, along with several more impressive new launches.
THE HUNGRY CARPER SAUSAGES AND BURGER RANGES
Here’s a guy that has carved himself a nice little niche in the carp market.
Anton, the man behind the Hungry Carper, is not only a keen angler but also a master butcher.
The firm sells loads of different meat products that can be delivered to your door, but my favourites have long been his sausages and burgers.
Very little excess fat and with no discernable shrinkage during cooking, these are spot on, as the Big One crowds would attest!
PROLOGIC SMX CUSTOM BLACK ALARMS
These are so hot off the press that they were only being previewed at the show, ahead of their April launch.
The SMX is already a big seller and now, in its new black livery, looks set to be even more popular.
Three alarms, packed with modern technology and features, plus receiver and presentation case, for just £189 is a pretty impressive package for these buzzers, as developed and used by Adam Penning.
The whole family of new Titan shelters were on show and drawing crowds to one of the busiest stands all weekend.
Widely regarded as one of, if not the, best shelters ever produced there is now a model to suit all anglers and budgets in the 2018 range, and they’re all absolute belters.
DAIWA EMBLEM 35SCW
Considering you’ll expect to pay less than the already-impressive RRP of £175, the new Emblem is a hell of a lot of carp reel for the money.
Boasting some of the technologies found in Daiwa’s top-end reels, and with a smooth black livery, I expect these to be very popular indeed this year.
The new look might annoy those who already own more expensive reels, but that’s life I guess!
Easily the best intruder-alert system I’ve seen, this might be the best investment you make this year.
Okay, so it’s not cheap at around £450 away from what was the show offer price, but considering how much your carp kit probably cost you, it’s worth every penny.
Two sensor units, receiver and LED unit make up the package which is more efficient, reliable and far better made than anything else out there in the carp market at the moment.
I’m already tipping this as the product of the year and the reception it received down at Farnborough did nothing to make me feel any different.
The limited number that were available on the TFGear stand were snapped up in no time at all.
I also spied more than a few well-known anglers sponsored by other companies getting one for themselves!
FOX 420 CAMO BOAT BIVVY
Undoubtedly one of those ‘stop you in your tracks’ products, I wish I’d seen this sooner given that I recently moved out of my ex girlfriend’s house!
Obviously it’s aimed at the continental market, but for sheer interest factor I loved it.
I could just imagine sailing across some of those huge Belgian, German and French waters with all the kit with you that you need. Top marks, Fox.
AQUA PRODUCTS BROLLY POCKET
Especially when not using a groundsheet, it can sometimes be a pain keeping certain items and valuables dry and out of harm’s way.
However, this neat, clip-in pocket set gives you the ideal place for keys, wallet, book, sounder box and all those other little odds and sods.
These sold out so quickly that I had to use one of Aqua’s own photographs to show it to you!
JRC DEFENDER SOCIAL SHELTER
Not the first of its type, but popular at the show all the same, this stand-alone shelter is ideal for the coming spring and summer socials.
The Defender is extremely quick and easy to erect and offers the ideal base camp for anglers and their mates.
It can also be battened down in the event of inclement weather.
FORTIS XSR BINOCULARS
As far as I’m concerned a decent pair of bins is an absolute must when carp fishing, regardless of what size water you might be fishing.
When I tried these I was amazed at the quality of the glass for a set of binoculars costing just £100.
They’re also waterproof, unlike most mid-range versions, making them ideal for angling all year round.
RIDGEMONKEY NEW BRAIDS
The long-awaited hooklinks and leader materials from what must be the fastest-growing company in carp fishing drew lots of interest from punters who were keen to see what all the recent hype has been about.
Few will have been disappointed as the two coated braids especially curried lots of favour and sold by the boxful.
TRAKKER TEMPEST BROLLY V2
If I told you it took me two days to get close enough to actually get a photo of this, such was the activity around it, then you probably get an idea of how popular it proved.
Launched in just the last couple of weeks, the V2’s upgrades have taken the already-versatile brolly to another level.
I always rated the original as the best shelter of its type, but this one has raised the bar even further still.
BAIT-TECH STICK MIX LIQUIDS
Five brand-new liquids which, despite their name, can be used for a host of applications.
Each one smells great but the berry version particularly caught my eye, or rather nose.
They’re PVA friendly too so can be poured over bags and sticks just prior to casting or even used neat inside a solid for a bit of an edge.