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Tackle Suppliers I've Used

This is a list of tackle suppliers or providers of related services that I have personally used and whose service I have been happy with when I used them. I have added my personal comments as a guide. Links are provided if they have websites but a couple of them do not. They are shown in no particular order.

Lure World - a range of Polish lures, line, rods, reels and jigs. Especially excellent for jigs because you can choose hook size. Good service from Artur Brzozowski.

AGM Discount

keen prices, varying stock of lures and tackle.

Lure World

very fine quality jigs with hook-size options, plus soft plastics and other tackle. Quick and friendly service.

Muskie Tackle Online

good prices and lowest-cost carriage combine with a UK-friendly ethos and top quality service.

Vis-Shop.nl

Dutch online tackle shop. It is all in Dutch but they are happy to deal with the UK and they email you in English. No VAT to worry about, postage is not expensive and the service is fine.

Reel Value

Reel servicing and repairs in the UK. Good, friendly service at a fair price.

D.L. Specialist Tackle

Personal service from Dave Lumb, with straightforward advice, he uses all the tackle he sells, hand-made rods that really work with customised build. He stocks a range of big lures and other tackle such as wire, braid, hooks, etc. Good source of advice on pike and technical baitcasting stuff. You will have to wait a week or two while he builds your rod. Pike fishing only.

Mainwarings Angling Centre

Swansea tackle shop, I ordered a couple of ABU 5501s from there, they only had one in stock, and didn't charge carriage when they sent the second one. That's fair.

John Norris of Penrith

Game Tackle and clothing. Service good, and nice prices on special offer clothing.

Noble Marine

Boat insurance, you need 3rd party cover to register a boat on most inland waterways, Noble offered the best quote for both my boats. Efficient service. Make sure you specify that the cover you require is strictly 3rd party to comply with waterways regulations.

Friendly Fisherman

Wide range of baitcasting-sized lures, many not available elsewhere in UK. Other tackle.

Rok-Max UK

Big-game supplier with many items at lowest UK prices. Very friendly service. Cheapest UK Rapala Super Shads, Depth Raiders, Burmeks, Plano boxes. Soft plastics, sea tackle, VMC hooks, great trace wire. Comprehensive Mirrorlure range.

Buying from abroad

Buying from the USA has advantages and disadvantages.

The prices are generally much lower than in the U.K., and a much wider range of lures and components are available if you can locate the suppliers, most are happy to ship to the UK, but they usually require payment by credit card. Service is usually very good.

But:- shipping charges, import duty and VAT can make up a lot of the price difference. When all these extras are taken into account you may find that the final cost to you is more in pounds than the catalogue dollar price. Check the Sterling-U.S. dollar exchange rate, fluctuations can make the real price very different month on month. If you don't like something that arrives it may be costly to return it. Orders will take several days by airmail or 3 weeks upwards by surface to reach you. Although many U.S. websites have online ordering it can pay to make a phone call (remember they are 5 hours or so behind us, early evening is a good time and the phone calls can be cheaper then) because the assistant at the other end will often point stuff out that was not apparent from the website. Beware of minimum order quantities or minimum carriage charges - NOTE Jan 2009 minimum carriage charges have risen steeply in the last few years making small orders unviable with some of the bigger suppliers.

When they despatch to you H.M. customs will attach a sticker to the parcel detailing the VAT and duty to be paid, the Royal Mail or Parcel Force will add a big handling charge. They may deliver the parcel and ask for the cash at your door, or they will deliver a card informing you that the parcel is available for collection at your local sorting office, and detailing the duty payable. This means a trip to the sorting office and a wait while they find the parcel. Every now and then a parcel slips through and gets delivered without the duty being collected. If you keep the orders small, to less than say $25, you usually avoid customs, I think the threshold for duty and VAT is $35 which includes the carriage.

Significant savings can be made, especially on lure-making components. I tend to use the US suppliers for lures or colours that I can't obtain over here, and of course the latest products appear sooner than they do in the U.K., we're usually at least a year behind. It is a lot less hassle to ring, say: Luremania, and have the stuff delivered on the next day. I hear from U.K. suppliers that they are disappointed that so many lure anglers shop abroad, but tackle retailers have to compete in an expanding market, and the internet has opened many potential customers' minds to the worldwide choice in products and prices.

Shopping in Europe involves no customs or VAT, but can of course present language problems, although most shops in Northern Europe have English-speaking staff. European-made tackle, like Rapala, ABU, Salmo, Kuusamo etc is usually 30-50% cheaper on mainland Europe than it is in the UK. There are very few European tackle shops with full online ordering, so a phone call is often necessary, with its attendant language difficutlies.

A final note on mail-order shopping from retail shops. In a big tackle shop where customers can inspect the lures before they buy them - they do. This means that they will check each one for minor imperfections in finish or build and replace the less-satisfactory ones back on the rack. When you order online the assistant who picks your order will take the first one, which has been rejected by every walk-in customer. You do get a disproportionate number of lures with faults (off-centre lips, cracked paintwork etc). If you telephone your order you can ask the assistant to check for these problems. This is obviously more of an issue with hand-made lures, mass-produced plastic-moulded lures have pretty good quality control and seldom cause these problems.

Note: although U.S. tackle prices are invariably lower than in the U.K. prices do vary, it is well worth shopping around the U.S. websites.

Moore's Lures

Specialist muskie/pike components, line, wire and lures. Good quality tackle and excellent personal service from Dick Moore. Call for a free catalogue.

Jackson Lures


Great prices on a big range of pike-sized lures and some tackle, carriage at cost and good service.

Tackle Warehouse

Bass tackle, crankbaits and plastics.

Rollie and Helen's Musky Shop

All pike-sized lures and tackle. A big website with lots of big lures. Their carriage charges can be rather startling!

Eagle Sports Center

Range of pike-sized lures and tackle. Fast and friendly service.

BassPro

huge range of lures and tackle.

Cabela's

huge range of lures and tackle, special offers, surface shipping is good value

Catch'em Lures

Top quality jigs, from tiny up to 3/8oz, with a choice of hooks. Also plastic trailers and other stuff. Good service as well.

Thorne Bros

Good range of large lures. I bought my Lowrance fishfinder from them.

Pastikas

Muskie baits and tackle. Friendly service.

Pro Tackle

Canadian muskie/pike tackle shop. Friendly and helpful service.

Guide's Choice Pro Shop

Muskie lures, good service.