Woody’s Angling Centre
If you’re looking for a one stop shop for angling in Herefordshire then Woodys Angling Centre stands head and shoulders above the rest. Celebrating its 25th year of trading, the shop stocks all leading brand names of fishing equipment. It is a shop that the major manufacturers have come to trust and the likes of Preston Innovations, Daiwa, Korum, Premier, Drennan, ESP, Tri-cast, Matrix and Shakespeare are prevalent throughout the store. Looking around the heavily stocked, well organised shelves of Woodys angling centre, it’s hard to imagine that all this was the vision of a 21 year old carpet fitter from Hereford.
The business was founded Paul ‘Woody’ Woodward who took a big gamble in setting up an angling centre in a city where three other fishing shops already existed, but it was the frustrations of the up and coming match angler that convinced Woody that there was a gap in the market. Herefordshire has always had a large match angling community due to the fantastic fishing on the River Wye but the future Wye champion was travelling all over the country competing on a variety of venues where the equipment needed just wasn’t readily available in Herefordshire. The business started in a modest sized shop a few hundred yards down Whitecross Road from where the store is located today. After months of market research and negotiations the shop went live with shelves full of brands like Image, Dam and Silstar which at the time were ‘The’ names in the trade. Over the years the vogue brands may have changed but the ethos is the same. To give the customers choice of the best brands, as well as prices to suit all budgets. In 1998 after many years of hand making his own style of floats for specific types of river fishing, Woody took another huge step by having his own designs commercially made for wholesale. The Famous ‘Woodys’ float range is now made by Premier floats and are sold right across Europe. Many companies have tried to copy the designs over the years, but have always fallen a long way short.
Despite the business taking up the majority of his time Woody was able to put his own product range to the test. He has been on a match fishing journey that has seen him win every major title locally on his beloved River Wye, as well as succeeding nationally by winning big matches including qualification for two World Embassy Pairs finals. He also set up the famous Premier Team Woodys who have gone on to win 8 Wye winter league Titles. The career highlight was the realisation of a boyhood dream in 2003, by becoming Wye Champion. Typical of the man though he didn’t just win, he smashed the championship record with 178lb of Chub in 5 hours of hectic fishing.
Having that sort of record and respect in the world of fishing has helped customers of Woodys Angling Centre trust the advice they are given and products they are being sold. The shop has built up a tremendous reputation for being the first place to go if you’re venturing for a trip to the mighty River Wye. This is in no small part due to the fact that the man himself is always on hand. The shop is not just a job to Woody, it’s a way of life. The success of the business depends on him being there and although this means less time actually out fishing, an angler coming back with tales of the greatest day in their fishing lives, is equally rewarding. The shop opening in 1991 coincided with a dramatic drop in Salmon catches that the River Wye was famed for. This bought about a new dawn in river tourism as a new character entered the fray. Barbel have spread to all parts of the Wye and now attract thousands of anglers annually. The hard fighting whiskered invaders have revolutionised fishing on the Wye and Woody’s knowledge of the river system in Herefordshire has proved vital in sending tourists towards fish every day of the week. A complete newcomer can enter the shop and get the right equipment, the freshest quality bait, a day ticket to cover 11 miles of River Wye fishing, maps, and most importantly the right advice to achieve a spectacular days fishing.
Although a match angler at heart, Woody has taken a lot more interest in other areas of angling in recent years. He’s successfully delved into specimen Carp and Pike fishing, as well as game and fly. All this has helped him to better understand what his customers require and in turn stock the right items of equipment. The store carries an impressive range of specimen and game equipment, high quality lures and every type of bait imaginable. Despite being hours from the coast the shop even stocks a range of sea fishing gear. So whether it be your first fishing trip, a big match, a holiday or simply a gift voucher for a loved one, pop in and see us. A friendly welcome awaits you.