Angler, shooter, retailer and industry stalwart, Steve Collett, has a bee in his bonnet with regards to packaging. Seriously, where will it all end up? Well a lot of it... is on the banks!

Packaging, we all need it, whether it’s for merchandising purposes, or protecting the actual product, it’s needed, there is no doubt about that. But seriously, what the frig are some people thinking when they come up with these new-fandango packaging ideas for fishing tackle? I can remember walking into Fenwick’s in Wolverhampton, picking up a new reel and some bits, and putting them in a rucksack, before cycling to Bridgnorth on my BMX to catch feck all, but I didn’t have to go through the stress and trauma of getting into some hair-brained bit of packaging to get fishing! I recently purchased a PVC box/ come maggot tub/come thingy, you all know the product, yet this box was in another box, that was wrapped by something else, then I had to buy a plastic bag to put the plastic box, that was in a box covered by plastic in! Ok that wasn’t that traumatic, I’m being a bit of a drama queen, but then a week on, I purchased a seat box attachment… I counted sixty-two swear words before I got anywhere near opening it! Ten minutes in, I still couldn’t get into the product I wanted to use straight away, and out came the scissors! By now it resembled the first five minutes of casualty, you just knew something would happen! Even with scissors I still couldn’t get into the f@&£ing thing! Pliers were now employed, along with the scissors, and teeth as I tried hopelessly to get into this product that was double sealed, welded, thermonuclear protected against anyone ever using it. I did get into the product eventually, but was surrounded by cut off bits of plastic, sharp edges, and far too much crap for the product it held. As I stared down at the aftermath, I wondered what the manufacturer was thinking, and rapidly came to the conclusion that it was all down to merchandising. The plastic surrounding the product had a Euro slot in it so it could be hung up nicely in a shop and displayed properly, but have a guess where it was in my local shop? That’s right, it was on the bottom of a shelf, in a bait tub! I then wondered if all of this gubbins was to protect against theft. I donned my stripy jumper and a mask and proceeded to try and open one, giving up after ten minutes. I then turned my attentions to shoplifting steak and Gillette razor blades! Luggage is another bugbear. My shop looks like an advert for a cardboard box manufacturer these days rather than a fishing tackle shop. And what’s the first thing you do with the box? Watch the consumers in your shop. Look at what they do. Are they drawn to the product in the cardboard box or to the display item? What actually does the selling? I’m pretty sure you’ll Angler, shooter, retailer and industry stalwart, Steve Collett, has a bee in his bonnet with regards to packaging. Seriously, where will it all end up? Well a lot of it... is on the banks! COLLETT CONTROVERSIAL COLLETT CONTROVERSIAL find that the customer just opens it only to find it wrapped in a bag, in another bag that contains the bag that he wanted! The consumer doesn’t read all that silly slobber about it being 520 Deniers and based on the water repellent properties of an Amazonian tree frog, or how the ergonomic design helps you to carry water ten miles to a nearby African village, he looks at the price, and casts back to where he had seen a review. I’m wondering where this will all end. If maggots will become individually wrapped, or shotgun cartridges will come in single wrapped cellophane. Maybe airgun pellets will be supplied in six-foot high plastic containers replicating a squirrel. Surely there is a lot of money that can be saved by packaging, I’d be the first to sign up to a company that supplies stuff In a plain brown paper bag, or a reusable container. The merchandising part of it is up to the retailer not the manufacturer. Is this a case of shops just being lazy? I asked a shop owner the other day if he could get rid of the packing he had just given me; the box that came in a box that was boxed up, and supplied in another box and then put in a bag… He said he wasn’t allowed to! I give up sometimes, and despair when I get on the bank and see that same packaging strewn in the bushes. Surely as a trade we have an obligation to keep the banks and countryside nice and tidy?