Sunday, 26 October 2014

Browning Team Meeting and Warhorse Match

Every year Browning organise a meeting and match for all of their UK sponsored anglers and teams. This year the match was held at Tunnel Barn farm located in Shrewley in the heart of Warwickshire. This year it was made extra special as the following day was the first ever Browning Warhorse Match. A match that stipulated only Browning poles from before 2005 could be used.

The Team Meeting
Friday morning arrived and I could not wait to get the fishery, I love these meetings as they give you plenty of opportunity to catch up with all the lads from the different teams as well as the lads who are individually sponsored.
I arrived at the fishery early and there were plenty of black and burgundy clothed people already chatting in the car park. After a few pleasantries the laughs and banter soon started. Being part of Browning is "family-like" and everybody is so friendly.

The match was to be fished on an individual basis, and was split over 4 lakes, New, Canal, Extension and House. At the draw I drew out peg 29 on new, to be perfectly honest I didn't know what to expect. On arrival at the peg I was pleased with what I saw. I had an island to fish to, that was around 13 meters away. There was plenty of far side reed cover plus some bare bank to the left of this. Margin wise, I had fairly clear banks all the way to the next peg on each side.

My plan 
My plan was to start on the far side whilst feeding a short line, then switch to the short line as soon as the far side line slowed. I planned to leave the margins alone until the last hour, hoping for a few bigger fish late on. I also set up a shallow rig, just in case the fish decided to feed shallow. 

After a touch of information gathering I opted for both maggots and fishery pellets. The plan was to use the maggots for the long and edge line and pellet for the short and shallow line. 
Far Side Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Cenex Reflex 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 F1 
  • Float - Chianti Style 0.2 g 
  • Shotting - Spread bulk 

Short Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Cenex Reflex 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 eyed tied with a knot less knot with a hair rigged micro band 
  • Float - Middy Styrex 
  • Shotting - A bulk plus 2 droppers 

Shallow Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Double 4 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 20 Kamasan B911 eyed, tied with a knot less knot with a hair rigged micro band 
  • Float - Drennan Crystal Dibber 0.2g 
  • Shotting - Bulk set just above the hook length 

Edge Rig 

  • Pole - Browning Z12 
  • Elastic - Blue Browning Cenex Reflex 
  • Mainline - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook length - 0.14 Browning Hybrid Power 
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911 
  • Float - Chianti Style 0.2 g 
  • Shotting - A bulk set just above the hook length  

The Session 
I started the match on the long pole, fishing and feeding maggots. The feeding was done by a small pole mounted pot so that I could regulate my feed and keep it accurate. I shipped the pole across to the far side, tapped the maggots from the pot and then lowered the rig in slowly over the top. It didn't take long for the first indication, a second or 2 later the float disappeared and I was in to my first fish. A chunky F1 was the result, this was followed by another 4 fish in the following 4 drops. For some reason the fish backed off really quickly, so I was forced into making a change really early. I switched to the short line on the deck with a hope that the fish would return and settle on the long line. 
The short line produced from the off, but the fish were really small on this line. I had a good 30 minutes on this line picking up mainly small fish with the odd one or 2 decent sized F1s mixed in. I decided to give the far line another try but this never really got going, until I switched to pellet on the hook and feeding micros. I was soon catching much better fish at a much faster rate. During this time I continued to feed the short line with small balls of micros and 4 mm pellets. I started to see fish showing shallow on this line, so even though I was catching on the long line I made the decision to swap back to the short line, but this time with the shallow rig.

I was soon catching at a rate off knots and the fish were a really good size. As the match drew to a close this line got stronger and stronger; I ended up cutting out the 4 mm pellets and feeding just micros and this did me the business. I spent the remainder of the match on this line. 
At the weigh in I weighed in 82 lb 2 oz which was enough to give me a section win. "Happy Days". 

Day 2 - The Warhorse Match 
I was really looking forward to this match as it was something completely different from the norm. As Browning have been making poles for at least 40 years the idea of this match was to bring some of these "old poles" out of retirement. The response to this match was incredible, with anglers from far and wide getting involved. The rules stipulated that only poles produced before 2005 could be used.

Browning put up some amazing prizes for this event, including the awesome Xitan Z8 for the winner, the brilliant Xitan Allrounder for the runner up and the cracking Xitan Xtreme margin for third place. There was also an array of other prizes for sections winners. Browning legend Bob Nudd was also fishing the event , but he was not eligible to win any of the prizes!

The draw took place and the anglers disappeared off to their pegs. After a quick cappuccino myself, Owen Thomason, Paul McBrinn (Browning reps)  and Gary Bull (a previous Fishomania qualifier) went for a walk around the lakes and took a picture of every angler and their vintage pole.  There were some amazing poles on show and some of the stories behind how they managed to come to own the poles was really interesting.

As the match got under way, straight away fish were been caught from all over, which was fantastic to see. As the match developed it became difficult to see any out right leader as that many fish were been caught.

We left the anglers to it as we didn't want to disturb them, so we disappeared back to the on site cafe for another cappuccino and a try out of the brand new poles that were on show at the event. 
Towards the end of the match we again made our way to the lakes to get some final catch shots before the weigh in. As the all out sounded, the odd shout of fish on could be clearly heard. As the weigh in got underway it was still very unclear who had won. As the weigh drew to a close we made our way back to the cafe for the results.

Clive Nada was announced the winner with a magnificent 108lb 3 oz and was presented the Xitan Z8 by none other than Bob Nudd 
Everybody thoroughly enjoyed the day and the event should be even bigger and more popular next year. So if you have an old Browning pole collecting dust, look out for for next years event.

*To inquire or enter for next years match drop an email to: with your name and contact details and model of Browning pole you will be using.