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10 Things That Are Only Good In Theory

1. The Washing Line Trick
Possibly the greatest example of the theory and the reality being a million miles apart. On paper, suspending your line above the water to lay the subtlest of far-margin traps is deliciously cunning. The truth? If you’ve ever seen the Man on Wire documentary, about an eccentric Frenchman who painstakingly planned and executed a high-wire walk across the World Trade Center’s twin towers, you’ll know what it’s like to set-up the Washing Line…

2. Fishing three on a spot
Bloody hell, Tom Maker. Stop making it look so easy! Please! And you, Kev Hewitt! Give it a rest! You’re making us all look bad. Fishing three on a spot looks tantalisingly simple, until you actually try to do it in even the gentlest of crosswinds. Pub chucks are much better for your sanity.

3. Casting to a tree line at night
In the same way that a swim can look beautifully inviting in daylight and turn into a spooky scene from a horror movie once darkness falls, your ability to make out landmarks after sunset can also flip 180. Was it the second or third tree along? Where did that pylon come from? What’s that rustling sound in the bushes…?

4. Keeping quiet until your campaign’s over
You know it’ll help your fishing if you don’t let slip about your results until you’ve caught the fish you want to catch, but human nature will nag away at you and most us will crumble and shout from the social-media rooftops the moment fish number one is ‘in the slammer’.

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5. Rolling your own hookbaits
Like doing your own decorating, servicing your car or bleeding your radiators, rolling your own hookbaits seems like the perfect way to bathe in the delicious glow of self-satisfaction of a job done cheaply and precisely how you want it. But just like those three other examples, you’ll soon learn it’s much, much easier to let a pro do it.

6. Vlogging
Recording your sessions to augment your own memories and, who knows, maybe inspire others and take a slice of the YouTube advertising pie sounds great fun. Until you realise that the good vloggers make it look deceptively easy. You won’t realise just how much you struggle to string a sentence together until you’ve got a camera in your face and a mouthful of garbled cliches.

7. Getting a boat
Terry Hearn and Nick Helleur have a lot to answer for here! Their bucolic (and hugely successful) Thames exploits have led many anglers to dream of life on running water and wild, untamed carp. The reality of mooring fees, maintenance, insurance, outboard theft and actually finding the fish is a lot less appealing.

8. Going to Linear without a lake in mind
All the top guys do it. They go to Linear and only set-up once they’ve found some fish on one of the seven day-ticket waters. And in theory that sounds sensible, until first-time visitors realise the lakes are not on a single site and sometimes it’s best to get any swim rather than being too choosy!

9. Fishing for other species
You want to channel the spirit of Mr. Crabtree and avoid accusations of being an ‘instant carper’, but then you realise that getting kitted out for perch, chub, roach or barbel is quite a faff and you’re woefully out of touch with modern ‘specialist’ tackle and tactics.

10. Starting a website or social-media channel
There will be an initial frenzy of excitement and activity as you upload all your best pics, memes and articles… and then you’ll realise that building an audience when the social-media giants hold all the cards is really hard work. Posting every day? Yeah, give it a week and you’ll jack it in.

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