Spinning had almost become a lost art and truthfully it is only old farts like me who can remember the stir when Alexander Wanless wrote his book about spinning, using controllers and such esoteric methods using the new fangled fixed spool reels such as the Le Omnia and the classic Mitchell 300. What joyous days they were, before the monofilament gillnets wrecked our sport - but I digress to my soapbox!!

At that time all sorts of wondrous inventions reached the tackle shops but the only one that has stood the test of time is the Wye lead, a sinker that prevents line twist from moving up your line and turning an enjoyable day into a nightmare. Painted green, their origin came from the salmon anglers who fished the River Wye but they were soon adopted by sea anglers who frequently needed to fish a mounted sandeel or a strip of mackerel at extreme range. Sometimes, as in the picture, a Toby lure needed more weight to reach the shoaling fish, those frustrating ten yards further out than your best cast.

These days I carry a couple of these clever sinkers in the bottom of my spinning bag in order to fish a fresh mackerel strip because it is surprising that when fish are feeding on sandeel they will often ignore artificials, but put a strip of mackerel on and it is often a different story.

Rig the Wye lead with a leader about two to three feet in length, any more than that and tangles will result. If you are fishing into a wind, shorten up the leader to about 18 inches to avoid tangles.

Any questions to russ@reelfoto.com