Shad mad Davy Proudfoot offers his thoughts on some new shads that caught his eye.
I am a big fan of shads for pollack and cod fishing afloat, and and always on the lookout for worthwhile additions to my rubber fish armoury. While browsing the of an evening, I stumbled upon an Ebay shop selling, among other things, some very eye-catching big 20cm shads.
Now although I have no plans for Norway or Iceland this year I tend to grab any XXL shads when I find them as they can also be very effective in the north where I reside, and they have the added advantage of discouraging the plague numbers of small summer coalies that throw themselves at the jellyworms and small Red Gills which are very popular – well that and they wind up Steve Souter who hates shads with a passion. Given that the price was less than £5 including postage I wasn’t expecting anything particurly brilliant, but I dully clicked the “Buy it Now” button.
Four days later a well wrapped packet dropped through the letterbox. On opening I was amazed to find top quality shads supplied by the guys at Outdoor Hobbies. The shads are as good as any at twice the price and the majority of the colours are ideal for the UK and wider European sea angler.
Cast from quality plastic the shads look as though they will stand up to rigors of fishing for the toothy halibut, cod and coalies inside the Arctic Circle. I stretched the individual shads to twice their length with no signs of ripping or tearing. The finishing colours, including spots and stripes, appear to be cast into the plastic and despite scratching with various implements I couldn’t noticeably damage the finish. Although made of robust material the tails impart excellent ‘wiggle’ in the water, albeit only I have thus far only viewed the swimming action in the harbour. These shads are unweighted and I would usually fish them off a boom to a plain 8/0 Varivas Big Mouth or a 1oz leadhead of a similar size. These shads are impressively tough and I found that moistening the shank of the hook helps penetrate the sturdy plastic.
My conclusion is that these shads are brilliant value for money making them a excellent addition to the shopping list of anyone intending on boat fishing in Norway, Iceland or the Faroes. I can also see them being effective for game and reef species in the warm waters and spanking the the summer wreck and reef cod out of ports along the English Channel and the fringing North Sea.
The shop proprietors assure me that they have good stocks of these and if you ask them in advance they are willing to sell specific colours instead of the random mix as seen in the photos here. The shop also sells 10cm shads in the same material and has a selection of other tackle including 9cm muppets. I’ve already placed my next order.
Current price on Outdoor Hobbies Ebay shop for 20cm shads is £5.99 for 10 including postage.