Richard Johnson

Home Town: Kettering, Northampton

When it comes to experience in the angling industry, Rik has it in abundance. From working on the shop floor, to managing and now working for one of the biggest tackle companies in the world, designing products and managing accounts for Prologic and its sister companies. Rik can catch them aswell, taking many different approaches on many different venues, putting many of the our products to the test.

What do you do for a living? 

I have over 25years experience working in the fishing tackle industry ranging from – Shop assistant – Store manager. Sales representative – (current day) Product Manager for Prologic and head consultant for Prologic

What’s is it like to work in the trade? 

Very time consuming! If you think I spend lots of time fishing, then think again. My fishing has certainly taken a back seat over the last few years. Lots of traveling abroad, visiting factories all over the world and implementing new construction and QC procedures. 

I have always been a very hands-on person and like to have a full understanding of how and why things work. For many years enjoyed building rods and rod pods ect from my home garage.

But It is really is amazing! But not for the fate hearted Firstly – seeing a product evolve from the design concept stage and going through all the development/manufacturing and testing processes and then finally seeing it being used on the bank is the cherry on the cake. But it’s a slow old process trying to get things right. 

Discovering innovation, evaluating opportunities in the market, understanding market trends, Costings, lots of design work, understanding different manufacturing process and materials, Testing procedures, Artwork packaging and marketing launches.

When did you start fishing and who was or still is your biggest influence?

I was quite fortunate to of been born into a very competitive fishing family. My father and grandfather were both highly respected competition match anglers, both fished and won the all England Trent man championships, my grandfather won it twice. I have memories of fishing from around the 4 years old. I then progressed into becoming a match angler myself, fishing at a national level for many years. So respectively my influences are hereditary.

What style of angler are you? Do you set your sights on one particular target whether it be a specific fish, or do you go to catch as many as possible in the time you have?

This has changed over the years to suit my busy work schedules and amount of time I have available to focus on a fish/water. So, I use to travel great distances to target specific fish when time wasn’t an issue, I would like to visit waters of interest 2-3 times a week, trying to understand patrol routes, feeding areas and times. As well as pre-baiting likely looking spots. But as work changed, I could no longer justify the time away from the family, traveling great distances to new waters and of course the financial cost of doing this. In 2018 I think I managed to do waste 4 nights on my chosen water, as I couldn’t get anywhere near the fish. So naturally I had to change my style and targets if I wanted to continue fishing.

With that in mind I started looking at waters closer to home, that were not particularly busy, these were not big fish waters by any means. But the fish they contained some truly stunning fish, I mean the proper scaly ones that the UK is famous for 😊. They were much more highly stocked waters, and the chances are, even I would probably get a bite in the time I had available. But saying that the big fish “itch” never goes away and hopefully it may well be getting a good scratch very soon.

What are your strengths and when are you out of your comfort zone?

I would say my strengths are understanding and adaptivity to changed fishing styles should opportunities arise.

I totally embrace being out of my comfort zone and I am a great believer in visiting regularly when time allows.

But fishing zigs in depths of over 20ft I find hard to do effectively, I would much rather catch on some proper bait.

What are your personal bests and what was your most memorable capture?

UK Common 44lb, UK Mirror 38lb

EU Common 54lb, EU Mirror 74lb

World record status for the very rare Chinese Black Carp, 

Unfortunately, the fish broke our 70kg scales, but was estimated to be well over 85kg (187lbs)

Even more amazing when you think it was captured on a normal UK styled carp set-up

One of my most memorable captures must be from many years ago, when I lived up north and fished on the Mesters syndicate, those beautiful scaley mirrors were totally memorising. But the lake also had I proper big common, at the time big commons were very rare up north and wanted to meet her desperately. Eventually the planets aligned and on the said session one late afternoon the biggest mirror slipped up and was sat majestically in the bottom of my landing net. I was absolutely buzzing and the fish marked a new PB at the time, but more importantly was this fish was a proper clear water, dark scaley with all the battle scars and a few stories tell too I bet. So, nothing could really prepare me when the lakes biggest common grace my net the following morning either. Resulting in 2 new PBs and 2 lake records, this was the stuff I had only every read about. This had now become an amazing reality for me in less than 12hrs. This was also so the starting point when I started writing articles about the captures for various Carp magazines and sponsorship soon began. 

What is your biggest bit of advice you can offer someone when it comes to the sport?

Do not waste your time and resources trying to keep up with all the latest expensive tackle trends, I have seen so many peoples life styles and relationships suffer, because they have been brain washed into believing having the next top of the range Ferrari of fishing rods, reels, bite alarms, bivvy ect ect which they cannot afford, will catch them more fish. 

Yet most newcomers neglect one of the most important aspect of fishing, which is bait! Invest your resources wisely. We build our fishing tackle up over time and does not have to break the bank or should you suffer because of it. A quality bait will so you put more fish on the bank, than shiny new toys which will have tested your resources.

Surround yourself with positive likeminded people, but most importantly enjoy every minute.

What is your go to rig / bait / method when you first start on a water?

Helicopter set up must be my fish choice as it can present a bait in most situations. My go to rig has to be the Ronnie styled rigs using stiff floro to create the boom section. A balance Vitalac or Artic crab popup. With a light scattering 20/30 matching bottom baits.

Why RG Baits and what RG products do you use and why?

You can’t put a price on quality, but the team at RG have managed to create the solution throughout its entire range of products. They have a vast team of well experienced and dedicated professional anglers. Backed up with their passion and drive for carp fishing that cannot be matched.

What three items couldn’t you be without when fishing?

Unfortunately, my phone – for up to date weather forecast, moon fazes and air pressure changes and banter and information.

Brew Kit – Yorkshire tea.

Melton Mowbray pork pie.