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Summer Tackle Top Picks

By Laine Norton July 18, 2022

The summer months are by far the most popular for fishing. Not only is it enjoyable to get out on the bank and soak up the sunshine, fish feed harder and more species become active the fishing opportunities are also greater than at any other time of year.

This article is here to help you make the very most of the coming months by highlighting some of our top picks for the tackle and gear you'll need to put more fish on the bank this summer.

Keep Mozzies at Bay

There are few things more annoying than trying to unwind on the bank during a warm summer's evening only to be swarmed by mosquitos and other little pests.

Gardner's new Mozzi Lamp is the ideal device for your bivvy during summer night sessions. The compact little unit can be hung in your bivvy doorway or place on a bivvy table and will draw nearby mosquitos straight into the zapper.

Gardner Mozzi Lamp

Gardner's zapper lamp also has a few added features to make it a truly versatile gadget. The lamp can be used as both a standard bivvy light and a 250lm torch.

In addition, the batteries can be recharged via the built-in solar panels or USB cable.


A Floater Fishing Edge

One of my favourite things about summer fishing is the chance to get the surface fishing gear out and catch a few carp off the top.

I don't know many carp anglers who don't love surface fishing. Seeing exactly what's happening as the fish feed around your hookbait is seriously exciting (if not equally as frustrating at times).

The age-old approach of pinging out mixers/dog biscuits has accounted for countless fish and continues to work. However, doing something slightly different to everybody else can be a huge edge in all types of fishing.

A simple change you can make is the bait your feeding and I've had some excellent results with Sticky Bait's Krill Floaters.

Sticky Baits Krill Floaters

These floaters give the carp a different flavour in the water thanks to their krill coating and are oily enough to create a nice slick straight out of the bag.

Using them in a combination of 6mm and 11mm pellets is a great way to build confidence in your swim.

The 6mm pellets can be sprayed around your swim to really get the fish going before introducing some 11mm pellets to get them taking bigger baits in preparation for your hookbait.


Enhance Your Zig Fishing

As the water warms up, fish will be found cruising and feeding throughout different depths in the water column. In fact, they'll spend the majority of their time high in the water if the sun is bright.

As a result, zig fishing could be your best bet for a bit while the sun is high. 

The trouble many people have with zig fishing is a lack of confidence due to their being no bait and minimal attraction around the hookbait. Quite often, anglers simply use a piece of foam in the hopes a fish will stumble upon it and be curious enough to take it.

One option is to spod over the top of your zigs using a sloppy miz that hangs high in the water and creates a cloud of attraction. However, this requires constant spodding and won't work on waters where the fish are wary of the disturbance.

Another option is a an innovative little product from a new company called Liquirigs. Their first product, Liquizigs, provide anglers with a way of getting some sustained attraction around a single zig-fished hookbait.


The Liquizig system and dedicated liquids allow you to add liquid to your zigs that will leak out into the water to entice nearby carp to take your bait.

The different coloured capsules and foams also make it simple to chop and change your zig until you find that killer combination for the day.


Look Cool, Stay Cool

It goes without saying, T-shirts are an absolute must to keep you cool and comfortable in summer. At Totally Hooked, we have a wide range of clothing from multiple manufacturers.

For our top pick, I've decided to go with ESP's new polo shirts. These are simple, stylish, comfortable and durable; everything you need from your fishing clothing.

Their high-quality, minimalist design and super soft material is sure to make these a big hit over the summer.

ESP Polo Shirts


Catfish Are On The Feed

The majority of UK coarse fish slow down their feeding and movements during the cooler parts of the year but catfish almost shut down completely. As a result, the window for good catfish fishing is much smaller than species like carp and silver fish.

Catfish are warm weather feeders so summer is the time to go after them.

As the biggest and hardest fighting coarse fish you'll find in the UK, the Wels catfish is certainly worth targeting but you'll need to make sure you've got gear that's up to the task.

Totally Hooked stocks an excellent range of catfish tackle from rods and nets to rigs and bait.


View Catfish Tackle Collection Button

Be Mobile

Once the water warms up and fish get on the move, the opportunities for stalking can be numerous. In particular, you'll often find fish to be more willing to inhabit the warm, shallow water of the margins.

When you're on the lookout for fish to target, it pays to travel light and be mobile. This kind of mobile, stalking approach has given rise to a popular subset of rods on recent years: retractable rods.

Retractable rods are excellent for the mobile angler because they pack down into such a small size, which makes them so easy to carry around a lake. For example, a 9ft rod can pack down to less than 2ft in length!

Retractable rods like the ESP Onyx Quickdraws also come in shorter sizes so they are perfect for squeezing yourself into tight swims where casting might be restricted due to overhanging trees.

A number of brands now manufacture retractable rods and there are a lot of excellent options on the market. However, my top pick for this list are the Onyx Quickdraws from ESP.

ESP Onyx Quickdraw Rods

As you'd expect from an ESP rod, the Onyx quickdraws are a joy to use. The rods are strong and powerful enough to tame big fish but also forgiving enough to reduce hook pulls and absorb hard lunges from the fish at close quarters.

In their Quickdraw tackle, ESP has created an entire range of gear designed for the mobile angler on rivers and lakes.


Conquer The Hard Ground

Dripping with sweat, roasting in the summer sun as you struggle to push your banksticks into a concrete-like bank. Surely a situation we can all relate to and one that can be easily avoided with a simple rod pod.

The problem is carrying a rod pod with you adds extra weight and bulk. On top of that, many anglers much prefer the aesthetic of a bankstick and buzzbar setup.

Luckily the Saber Terrain X pod solves by problem by being compact and looking much more like a bankstick setup than a traditional pod.

Saber Terrain X Pod

Saber's Terrain X is a fully adjustable pod based around 6 individual banksticks. You get the option of using the pod as singles or banksticks or as a pod when the conditions call for it.

All this means you don't need to carry a separate rod pod as this thing does it all and looks ultra-sleek at the same time.


Add The Pellet Waggler To Your Armoury

Pellet waggler fishing can be devastating when the fish are cruising in the upper layers. Not only is it effective, this style of fishing is active, fun and exciting.

If you haven't heard of pellet waggler fishing before, it is primarily used for catching carp shallow that are beyond the reach of a pole in match fishing.

However, it isn't just for match anglers and it is so simple that anyone can give it a go and you can have a great days' fishing with it.

In a nutshell, the pellet waggler method draws fish into an area with constant pellet feeding. A short, dumpy waggler float is set to a relatively shallow depth and is cast into the area directly after feeding.

The idea is the waggler and pellet make the same little "plop" as your feed pellets and trigger the fish into taking the bait. In many cases, you'll get a savage take just as the pellet hits the water.

Pellet Waggler Float Setup

If you already make use of the method feeder or ledgering with a bomb, the pellet waggler can be the perfect way to change your approach if bites aren't coming on the bottom.

You can also switch back to a bottom fishing method over the top of the pellets you've fed for the waggler to pick up any fish feeding on the pellets that make it down to the lakebed.

Even though pellet waggler fishing is very simple and you don't need much tackle to set it up, it's important to get the right gear for the job. Click the button below to see Totally Hooked's recommendations for pellet waggler fishing tackle.

View Pellet Waggler Tackle Button

See Deeper

A high-quality pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes, prevent headaches from squinting and allow you to see further into the water for spotting fish. For fishing, polarised sunglasses are a must-have piece of equipment.

Fortis specialise in polarised fishing sunglasses and boast a large range of styles and types to suit any budget.

The 99% polarising efficiancy of their glasses means the glare on the water is greatly reduced so you can see further down than with standard sunglasses.

All Fortis sunglasses also provide UV400 protection so they're safe as well as functional.

Fortis Wraps Switch

Fortis' best-selling model is without doubt their iconic Fortis Wraps, which feature a wrap-around design that hugs the face to keep out any unwanted light.

Fortis have now taken their Wrap glasses to the next level by offering them with "Switch" lenses that darken or lighten in response to UV light levels and adapt to any weather condition so you'll always have optimal vision.


Next-Level Cooking On The Bank

My final summer tackle recommendation is an absolute game changer for bankside dining: The COBB.

Originally designed for camping and outside entertaining, COBB grills have been gaining popularity in the angling world over the last couple of years.

The biggest reason for their popularity among anglers is the COBB's ease of use and versatility. Thanks to a range of accessories, it is simple to cook almost anything inside a COBB grill no matter where you are.

Even without the accessories, the list of meals you can cook with a COBB grill is almost endless.

COBB portable grill

A COBB can be used to roast whole chickens, cook perfect pizzas, prepare a morning fry-up, grill a steak just how you like it and much, much more.

Once you've cooked a few meals on a COBB, you'll wonder how and why you got on so long without one.

COBB collection button

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