Tight Lines

Keith Harwood and David Stanley - Tight Lines: The Story of Abu

Medlar Press Cloth £35.00
ISBN 978-1-899600-46-5

This is a return to Medlar’s limited editions, a slim volume presented in a rather attractive dust jacket. Although the foreword makes the case that most fishermen will have owned a piece of Abu kit at some point in their careers, this is really a book for tackle heads and a racy read this is not, though it is hardly lacking in interest, the text being profusely and colourfully illustrated. Abu had its origins in the manufacture of watches, telephone control clocks and taxi meters and we have the Second World War to thank for its rebirth as a tackle manufacturer – Abu had to do something to survive and it turned to the production of affordable fishing reels under the Record name. The company was manufacturing lures by the early forties and when the Ambassadeur range was launched in the early fifties, its position as a market leader was assured.

Keith and David tell the story of the company, its products and its catalogues in the first half of the book, while the second part presents a selection of pieces that appeared in ABU's Tight Lines catalogues over the years, penned by such luminaries as Dick Walker and Bernard Venables. There is even space for a few recipes at the end. Who could wish for more?