About

I became a full-time freelance writer and photographer in 1976 after a career in biomedical sciences. Since then I have produced copy and photographs for publishers, PR, broadcasters and commerce. My specialist areas are outdoors and fishing, photography and technology.

In 1978, Faber & Faber published my first hardback book Shorefishing. This early success was followed by books for major publishers including The Crowood Press who have published 13 fishing, archery and photography titles including Long Distance Casting (1983) and Archery in Earnest (1985), both of which are still in print. Today’s focus is on ebooks, multimedia and the internet.

8 thoughts on “About”

  1. John, I think this web page or blog, whatever it is, is a good idea. Certainly I feel that I am getting sound advice from an experienced source that is not prejudiced by commercial pressures.
    I have a copy of your e-book on casting but wondered if you still coach? Also interested in your CT Reel Tuning e-book. Can I buy it via this site?
    Keep up the good work.
    Chris

    1. Thanks for the kind words. I am in the throes of updating the books, and restarting my former http://www.johnholden.co.uk website. The reel book is currently available from Breakaway Tackle (www.breakaway-tackle.co.uk). Can’t say for sure when these changes will be complete, but hoping to have things rolling by late spring. Sorry to say I cannot do any coaching at the moment.

  2. Dear John,
    Just thought I would contact you regarding an article currently on the Mounts Bay Angling Society’s Homepage. I am a keen Sea Angler, I fish all over Cornwall & I have lived down here all my life. It features an article by Ian Gillespie, titled “Smugglers Cove” from Sea Angler Magazine in 1972. You was with a party of anglers fishing Smugglers Cove in North Cornwall. The late, great John Darling & Brian Harris were also with you, along with a few local Camborne anglers. It was such a pleasure reading through the pages of the article. A Tope of 35lb was caught on the day, as I’m sure you remember! ….hope I’ve jogged a few memory strings John…. hope you are well & keep up the good work. By the way, John Darling is my angling hero, what a great Man. I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing him personally….but I bet you can recall some great times fishing & associating with him. I was so upset when he passed away, far, far too early to be taken from us & the Angling World.
    With Kindest Regards,
    Jonathan D Cortis,
    Pool, Redruth, Cornwall.

    1. Brilliant of you to remind me, Jonathan! Those trips with John Darling, Ian Gillespie and the rest were something special. We all had a great time – certain events must remain secret – but above all there was none of the commercialism and Facebook-type bitchiness so evident today. We were all pretty skint, making do with whatever tackle we could scrounge or make for outselves. Many thanks for reminding me about Cornwall. John Darling departed early, as did Ian Gillespie. We lost Nigel Forrest a few years back, and now Terry Carroll. Perhaps I’d better get on with things while the going is good.

  3. Hi John,
    Hey, no probs. Like I said, the article is on the Mounts Bay Angling Society’s web page. One of the best articles I’ve read in a while & I love the fact that great anglers & authors like yourself, John Darling, Ian Gillespie & Brian Harris have fished my local marks. In fact that shore caught Tope features in Brian Harris’s book “The Guinness Book Of Sea Fishing” …I was determined to get to the bottom of why it appeared in the book….hence why I was surprised to see it on the Mounts Bay website & I wasnt aware that you & Mr Darling attended the trip! I just had to drop you a line (excuse the pun!) with regards to it. Great memories!! Tope did make an appearance at the same mark around 10 years ago, fish to just over 40lb were caught & some nice Smooth Hounds are currently being caught there, but the days of regular shore caught Tope have sadly all but gone down here in Cornwall. The list of great names you mention, that have passed away, deeply saddens me. Not only great anglers & authors, but real character’s too….a credit to our sport. Well, thankyou so much for your prompt reply….& keep casting those leads to the horizon!! Take care John.
    All the very best,
    Jonathan D Cortis.

  4. John, Just listened again to your interview with Terry Carroll. A really interesting recording. I would love to hear more of Terry’s thoughts.

    In particular, I would like to know if anyone, perhaps ZZiplex , is manufacturing rod blanks from the modern glass fibre materials that Terry mentions?

    All the best.
    Chris

    1. Yes, Chris, some tackle companies are making more use of glass. However, there are many types of glass, and not all rod makers specify the best types or use them well. Among UK manufacturers, Zziplex have the edge in my view. Terry’s designs currently in production include the M4GT and Profile GT, both of which have high grade glass tips. I single out these two models not only for their excellent technology but also because, unlike so many modern casting rods, they are pleasant to fish with and you don’t need to be Superman to cast them.

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