Shimano utilise some of the best anglers in the business to not only test their product, but too also provide plenty of input in terms of producing new innovative tackle. We have anglers across all disciplines to cover specimen carp, match, specialist and sea angling. Within this website you will not only come across useful tips from these anglers, but you will also be able to keep up with their catches and other fishing related stories regarding them.
Over the last 30-years Jan enjoyed one of the highest angling profiles in the UK, this stemming from his early success with competitive domestic and international match career as ‘The Man In Red’. Unsurpassed ‘Where, How To & What With” column inch features in the Angling Times & Improve Your Coarse Fishing combined with massive instructional video sales elevated his media status and he became a household angling name. Then much to everyone surprise in 1992 he retired from the domestic match scene and concentrated all his efforts on carp angling as he envisioned this to be the way things were headed. In 1994/5 after using Shimano reels by choice for several months he was headhunted and invited to join the Japanese tackle manufacturing giants. “It’s still is the best job in the world two decades on, I get to test, use and promote some of the finest angling equipment on the planet in partnership with Shimano”. Jan declared proudly.
For almost 20 year he enjoyed the role of UK senior consultant, which he considered both a huge privilege and great honour. A very approachable and likeable angler within the industry and at grass roots level Jan was instrumental in delivering the Shimano Tribal concept to the company, which he considered his greatest achievement and lasting legacy with the company. One of the most genuine guys and a true innovator of the sport; inspiring thousands upon thousands of people during his time on the back and as senior consultant of Shimano. After battling cancer for three and a half years he managed to hang on for 2 years longer than expected through sheer determination and passion for life. Unfortunately, on April 27th Jan passed away at the Myton Hospice after spending the last 2 weeks of his life there. We will all miss a truly remarkable man. Rest in peace Jan, you will be missed!
Roy has been fishing since the age of 12 and was brought up on the Staffordshire canals and small local ponds. This progressed over a few years into match fishing with a local club, and he then turned his hand to fishing for specimen fish such as tench and bream. It was from this point that he fell in love with the carp, and the trickiness needed to sometimes try and catch them on some of the low stocked fisheries back in the day. This progressed over time to a total obsession, and resulted in him fishing over 160 waters around the UK, which resulted in him catching fish well in excess of over 20lb from 136 venues.
Day ticket waters have always been a firm favourite of Roy’s and he thrives off the challenges you face from not only the pressured carp, but also the pressure from the other anglers you are up against. Roy much prefers tactics such as stalking and surface fishing, with a margin fished floating being one of his favourite methods having accounted for fish to 38lb. His match and coarse fishing background plays a big part in his carp angling today, with natural baits playing a big part of his fishing as well as the boilie and pellet approach. His high work ethic means he’s always looking for opportunities to catch fish, no matter what method he needs to employ on the day on any method - blanking is not an option for him.
Mike has been carp fishing for just over a decade now and originally comes from a match and specimen angling background. Mike has adapted his carp fishing with his knowledge from match fishing and is renowned for using small hooks, baits and running in-line set-ups. These lighter tactics have accounted for some incredible specimens for him, including a previously uncaught 46lb 2oz common carp.
Mike incorporates many different styles of angling into his everyday fishing, but probably one of his most devastating methods is zig fishing where he likes to try simulating natural hatching insects. His varied approach and fine set-ups make him very effective on heavily pressured waters along with his use of small baits and attention to the baiting patterns. Mike is now fishing a very hard southern 300-acre pit looking for an uncaught 50 pounder – we’re not betting against him that’s for sure!
The youngest member of the Shimano carp team, Jake has been fishing for as long as he can remember and was brought up fishing the canals around his Surrey home, before moving onto the larger southern gravel pits where he now spends the majority of his time. Jake is a great lover of circuit waters and enjoys the challenge they present. At the same time he still enjoys targeting unknown specimens and always puts a bit of effort in each season to target untapped carp from both running waters and quiet Stillwater.
A gardener by trade, Jake lives a very hectic lifestyle and his time spent on the bank is minimal, yet he manages to regularly get amongst the fish. In fact, some of the fish he gets amongst are seriously on the large side, with him now having banked five UK 40lb carp to a personal best of 46lb 4oz. His next target is a UK 40lb mirror and also to land a 40lb specimen whilst surface fishing. Even though he puts in the hours behind alarms, Jake much prefers to search out his quarry and target them with stalking tactics. This approach often provides him with instant action and results – perfect for his busy lifestyle.
Marvin is a northern based carp angler and is one of the younger members of the Shimano team. Yorkshire based Marv has a real passion for carp fishing, especially when it comes to catching fish with some history and character about them. This is something that he classes more important than catching the biggest fish in the land. He has fished waters up and down the country and is at home fishing any type of venue, although regarding tactics, he much prefers fishing at close quarters on clear weedy lakes watching and waiting for the perfect time to present his hookbait.
Marvin works full time and often travels hundreds of miles during a month just to do a few quick overnighters between work shifts. With such a short amount of time available Marvin believes that's it's critical to have confidence in the equipment and bait you use and to be adaptable to all situations. Marvin utilises all manner of tactics in pursuit of carp and loves floater fishing in the summer months. When it comes down to rigs that he has total confidence in, he employs his faithful hinge stiff rig and for bottom baits a fluorocarbon D rig.
Mike has been fishing in one form or another from a very early age. He first started fishing lakes, rivers and canals with his dad, before moving onto match fishing as a teenager. Alongside this he also spent a lot of time sea fishing for saltwater various species here in the UK. Nowadays he concentrates on his carp fishing. He likes to fish big fish waters where he is equally happy fishing within the margins as he is all the way up to extreme range. In fact, Mike is renowned for his tournament casting and has represented England on numerous occasions with a staggering personal best cast cast of 298yards!
Mike targets carp all year round, in any conditions, in both the UK and abroad. His PB list is the envy of many big fish anglers and stands at a 49lb 8oz here in the UK and a 72lb 6oz giant overseas. Rather than complicate things, he prefers to keep his fishing as simple as possible and favours the hugely popular Stiff Hinge rig for the majority of his fishing. With a vast wealth of experience, we’re sure that Mike will be a serious asset to the Shimano team and will undoubtedly help with the development of any future products for the big carp market.
Shimano Match consultant Nick Speed has gained over 30 years of fishing knowledge and experience, and in the process he has amassed a creditable track record on the match scene on both natural and commercial waters, up and down the country at home and also abroad. Angling coach Nick is a very approachable person, and takes a great of pleasure passing on his priceless knowledge to others, in order to help elevate their angling knowledge and ability to a higher level for both match and pleasure fishing. As well as a consultant to Shimano, Nick also works very closely with the guys at Dynamite Baits and provides plenty of input working as a consultant for them also.
Nick has a whole rake of angling achievements to his name, including being crowned Commercial National Champion during 2014 and also making it to the Fish’O Mania finals during 2013. As well as this he has also taken many victories on his favourite venue – Lindholme lakes. Nick is also now spending a lot of time in Ireland competing in the large Irish festivals where some seriously fantastic natural water fishing can be on the cards. With his vast experience fishing natural waters this style of angling is right up his street.
Leicestershire based Rob has made a name for himself on commercial fisheries winning some huge competitions over the last ten years. Recently he has turned his hand to natural venues and his favourites include the mighty river Trent and Warickshire Avon. Rob still fishes lots of matches on commercial fisheries such as the UK Championships and Whiteacres festivals. In fact Rob was crowned the champion of the 2014 UK Champ, adding the event win to his already impressive list of victories. As well as competing within many matches here in the UK, Rob has also had the privilege of being chosen to compete overseas where he has represented England on numerous occasions, winning many matches whilst doing so. More recently Rob has fished as part of the England International feeder team where he has shared great success along with the rest of the squad.
Along with literarily thousands of open match and smaller festival wins, some of Robs other notable achievements include winning the Drennan Knockout Cup, winning the Evesham Shakespeare Final, competing in the Fish O’Mania final 3 times and also winning the Ivan Marks Memorial match a staggering 4 times! This little list is only to name a few of his successes, and still at a relatively young age you’ll undoubtedly be seeing a lot more from this angler in the future!
Mark Pollard, or ‘Polly’ as he his often known as, has been at the forefront of match fishing for a decade working closely within product development. He is an England International representing his country several times in home internationals. His knowledge at all aspects of fishing has lead him to be at the front of all bait and tackle development required for the fishing of today's modern match trends. He first made his name on Canals and took Squatt fishing to a new level but now spends most of his time on commercials and the Fenland waterways.
As well as a consultant for Shimano, Polly is also a consultant for Dynamite Baits and is a professional full time angler. He has his own website which can be found at www.markpollardfishingdays.com, were you can book a day's fishing with him at any level. Polly is a regular fixture within the angling press and can regularly be found within the pages of Angling Times and Match Fishing magazine, where he will openly explain tactics that have led to countless match wins for him in the past. He also makes regular trips throughout the season to compete within some of the large Irish fishing festivals, where he has many wins to his name.
Darran has been specimen style angling now for over 10 years, with the turning point in his fishing being when he landed his first double figure Barbel whilst on holiday on the River Teme, in 2004. It was there and then that he decided carp in commercial style fisheries was no longer for him! The escapism and adventure targeting larger than average coarse fish in untapped waters was the route he wanted to take.
In that time he’s notched up a healthy amount of mileage pursuing these creatures, whether that be annual trips to the upper reaches of the River Wye in Wales, Roach in Scottish lochs or Tench in Kentish gravel pits. No matter what the season or conditions, there is always something out there willing to feed, and provided they are big, then he’ll be happy targeting them. He likes bivving up and piling in the bait for Spring Tench, just like he enjoys trotting a single maggot in the depths of winter for wily old Chub. Having enough time can certainly be an issue, so he finds himself fishing much closer to home and spending the rest of the hours preparing in between sessions.
The beauty of Specimen angling is there is still so much mystery and secrecy. The fish I target don’t have names, although they do reach record sizes, which he finds refreshing to say the least! In waters predominately made up of Carp anglers, he’s in the minority which he doesn’t mind at all as it means he’s pitting his wits against the fish and not other fisherman. I’d love to catch a real monster Bream or Perch… so for now that’s the target.
Mick Brown has been involved with angling for the whole of his lifetime. Although specialising in predatory fish, especially pike, Mick has turned his hand to most aspects of the sport. Now entering into his retirement years, he still retains a huge following through his media work, and especially his television series made with his fishing buddy Matt Hayes such as The Great Rod Race, Record Breaking Fish, Wet Nets and Total Fishing. A plastics engineer by training, Mick has used his technical knowledge and ability to help develop fishing tackle products for several major companies, and his wide exposure to the public has become invaluable for the marketing of Shimano, which he is proud to be connected with.
Nowadays Mick is keen to promote the many values of the sport and point out the many advantages of using the best equipment that one can afford in order to fish responsibly and effectively. Mick regularly provides material for Shimano’s social media pages and will continue to do so for this website as well.
He especially goes to great lengths to point out the fact that anyone can enjoy the sport, regardless of budget limitations, and is regularly putting Shimano products through their paces to provide information to the public and feedback to the company. Mick’s life is now about simply going fishing, without ambitious agendas, and appreciating the pleasure to be derived from every discipline. One day Mick might be trolling Rapala lures and the next he might be fishing a Shimano pole. To Mick, it’s all about being by the water and enjoying all the sport has to offer while quietly trying to develop his techniques.
Dan is a newcomer to the company and brings a wealth of knowledge in lure fishing for all of the UK’s freshwater predators. He is not originally from the UK, but has now lived here for the past 12-years. He actually started lure fishing when he was nine years old so the experience he brings to the table is exceptional. Dan spent a lot of his time here in the UK initially chasing big carp, but always kept up to date with the lure fishing scene. After 3-years of being a UK resident, he decided to concentrate solely on lure fishing and has not looked back since.
He currently works at Banks and Burr and has done so for the past 8-years now, so his understanding of the tackle trade is second to none. His in depth knowledge of our brands is overwhelming and he has used them his entire fishing life. He was overwhelmed to be offered a place along side our prestigious anglers - it has been a dream come true for him and he hopes to offer as much as he can to help the predator side of the business grow. We are expecting great things from this super enthusiastic lure angler, we’re sure you’ll hear a lot more from him in the future.
For the last 15 years Matt has concentrated on catching predatory fish for many different waters both close to home in the U.K. but also travelling to Europe and further afield. Comfortable with fishing all modern lure techniques his ability to adapt has brought him both the respect of other anglers and an impressive tally of large fish. Recent captures include 5lb perch and 7lb zander whilst exploring the urban areas of the River Thames and Grand Union canal.
Matt is not just a bank angler. He has spent many hours in both boats and more recently kayaks exploring the big waters of Europe. In England the large midland's reservoirs have yielded many exceptional pike, numerous perch and by perfecting "vertical jigging" large catches of zander. He has taken his experience to Europe catching Comizo Barbel and Black Bass in Spain. The versatility of kayak fishing and the opportunities created has been another challenge Matt has taken on, becoming very proficient and he is now part of the UK hobie team. The kayak fishing has been a steep learning curve but by adapting his techniques and tackle he is now highly competitive.
The competitive aspect of fishing has always been a draw and lately Holland has been a frequent destination with Matt taking part numerous street fishing events such as the World Predatory Classic and most recently captaining the top UK team at Rotterdam's first 24 hour iron man street competition. One of Matt's passions is to increase peoples awareness of the simplicity and rewards of street fishing. He hopes to encourage more anglers, especially the younger generations, to partake in this aspect of the sport which is available for so many to enjoy.
One of the best known sea anglers in the UK, Dave Lewis has been a consultant for Shimano since 1996. Dave’s speciality is all forms of boat angling, though he is equally at home fishing from the shore, especially for bass from the spectacular surf beaches in West Wales and Ireland. Certainly one of the most experienced and widely travelled anglers in the UK it was Dave’s articles in Sea Angler Magazine, on which he has worked as a contributing editor for over 22 years, that first introduced British sea anglers to the amazing fishing opportunities in Northern Norway.
Aside from regular trips to the Arctic north for giant cod, halibut and coalfish, Dave frequently escorts groups of adventurous anglers on trips fishing to top destinations all over the world, notably popping and jigging throughout the tropics. You can read about some of these trips along with Dave’s blog at: http://davelewisfishing.com