Anglers could benefit from surprise tackle firm sell-off

Aidy Addy won the Yarnbury Angling Club end of season event on the Yorkshire Derwent at Low Catton.
Aidy Addy won the Yarnbury Angling Club end of season event on the Yorkshire Derwent at Low Catton.
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THE angling world was stunned last week with the announcement that one of the country’s most popular fishing tackle manufacturers Prestons Innovations had been sold.

The move was totally unexpected but apparently secret negotiations had been taking place for some weeks.

The new owners are an American company, WC Bradley, who are the owners of several angling companies in the States and are hoping to expand on the international scene.

David Preston, who founded the company over 30 years ago, said that it was the ideal time to expand the business worldwide and Bradleys were in a position to do this.

Three other companies – Korum, Sonu Baits and Avid Carp – who worked in conjunction with Preston, were also sold at the same time but it is not known if they were included in the deal.

In a statement David Preston said that he was extremely proud of the business that he had built over the years, adding: “But (we) felt that we had reached a size and complexity which would be better-suited to a new owner who would exploit the growth potential not only in Europe but all over the world.

“The Bradley company is a strong international player with a host of fishing companies who want to expand in the UK and Europe and they also have the financial backing to do this.”

Jeff Pontius is the president of the Bradley enterprise and he is delighted that they will be able to continue to expand the Preston brands. He also acknowledged that his company has been looking at Europe to expand their business, and in particular the carp and match sections.

He sees Prestons as one of the leading businesses in the UK with a vast potential for growth across Europe and the world.

Personally, I do not think that the future of a couple of heavily sponsored anglers – Tommy Pickering and Des Shipp – is in any danger as they are two of the most highly respected anglers in the country – and are great ambassadors for the firm and will continue to promote their products.

Thursday, October 30 is the big night of the year in the Leeds angling calendar as it is the time when the many trophies which have been won over the season will be presented.

It is also an occasion to raise funds for a couple of charities – Combat Stress and Macmillan Nurses.

The Anglers Club always puts on a good show with the promise of an evening’s entertainment, and to do this they have booked a group called Popaganda plus the usual bingo and raffle.

The doors open at 7.30pm and admission is just £1. Proceeds from the evening will be shared between the two aforementioned charities.

Reminder: The season for trout fishing is now over. It is all but inevitable that anglers will hook the occasional brownie whilst fishing for grayling but by law it has to be returned to spawn.

The new season will start on March 24, 2015.

Finally, if you fancy a change of or an alternative venue perhaps because of poor weather over the winter months, why not visit for a few ideas.

Top rod Darren Starkey with a 3-02 perch from the bungalows section on the River Ouse. PIC: Steve Fearnley

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