One evening Gareth and his wife Wendy took us by taxi to a Vietnamese restaurant in a huge mall called the “Glamour Plaza”. On the way we went down a back road and Gareth pointed out a shop front saying it was a small tackle shop but the owner had a big range of pastes and was considered by locals to be an expert. I mentally made a note and decided to try and find it later that week. ,The meal was good and on exiting Gareth lead us next door to the Hilton and took us up to the top to see the view at night- the highest building in Zhongshan.
Two days later my wife and I set off with the intention of stopping off at the “Holiday Plaza” for a coffee before walking on to the “Glamour” and hopefully finding the Paste Meister’s shop. Drinking our coffee in Starbucks (yes they get everywhere!) we were approached by a Chinese lady who asked if she could take our photos, after much maneuvering she finally got her selfies with us and left happy, with us bemused by our”celebrity” status!
Setting off we managed to find the shop without much difficulty and I had a quick look around as they were having a mid-morning bowl of noodles and decided to buy some paste on the way back. Three hours later we returned and I got a picture of a bream on my phone and showed it to the guy and pointed at the paste. He nodded and picked out two bags, indicating they needed to be mixed together equally.
Buoyed by my success I showed him a picture of a carp and he delved down into the shelves of paste emerging with a far larger bag
As I was paying him he signaled as if he was casting a rod, I nodded and he indicated another pack -to make the mixture stiffer by adding a little (or at least I think that is what he meant!). I left with 4 bags of bream paste mix, one big bag of carp paste and a bag of stiffener all for the princely sum of £3.50, the carp paste amounted to most of that as it was £1.80, the stiffener agent was only £0.20.
All I need to do now is try them out but at that price I can’t really go wrong. Looking at the packets on display it appears that the pastes are categorised into speed of breakdown and tackiness. Most seem to use the slow breakdown or very tacky offerings on the river but revert to the quick breakdown on the commercials. The tacky pastes are very similar to the fibre paste in this country but again they are available in different levels of “tackiness”. The commercials are usually costing around £8 for 4 hours fishing, mainly for F1/carp/carassio and it is whip only on most.
The last installment features two sessions fishing on the main river which was an eye opener in more ways than one.