This page will contain a tackle review and a review of an item from the angling media.
I will be the first to admit that I am no longer in the first flush of youth (anyone who knows me will be nodding their head at this stage if they are not in hysterics) and that some of my faculties are no longer as sharp as they used to be. One of the first things to deteriorate are your eyes and whilst I can still see a quarter of an inch of the tip of a Drennan "Stillwater blue" at forty yards (it's a float) anything closer than arm's length tends to blur nowadays. This is aggravated by poor light such as first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening and means that the simple act of threading anything less than six pound mono through the rings of any rod slimmer than my barbel rods has become very difficult. When it comes to setting up one of my twenty foot match rods with three pound braided mainline then the air can turn blue, which is not a good idea when you spend as much time teaching kids as I do and the last thing I want is for young Rodney to go home with a colourful new non-fishing vocabulary.
|REVIEW OF THE NEW FISHING MAGAZINE COARSE ANGLING TODAY. |
Over the last few years the glossy monthly magazines that feature our wonderful sport have slipped into a boring rut. Too many of the articles are written about "Bivvy fishing" for carp and even those that admit there are other fish in our lakes and rivers are all penned by the same small group of angling writers. Since many of these authors are sponsored by major tackle companies, much of the advice given by them must be taken with a healthy dose of scepticism, in fact some of the pieces are little more than advertising copy.
As you may know one of my favorite methods of fishing is trotting a float on a river with a centre pin reel. The floats I prefer are fixed to and bottom usually with two pieces of silicon tube and are buoyant near the top. When fishing small baits in steady currents I will use a stick float but when bigger fish are my quarry I will use an avon or heavy balsa type float. The reason for using a top and bottom float is that they allow me to hold them back in the current so that the bait can be made to travel at less than the speed of the current. In order to do this effectively the line must float to give the sensitivity I need so that the tackle is not pulled off line during this process, this also assists when striking at long range.
If you have read the article on float fishing for Barbel I wrote for coarse Angling Today magazine you will have seen that I recommended Shakespeare Bionic Dynacord braid in 10lb breaking strain (4lb mono dia.). No sooner had the article gone to press it was announced that Shakespeare were no longer selling it in the lower breaking strains. This braid was ideal for the purpose but had one drawback, it was so limp that it tended to tangle around the bottom rod ring on the cast. I have found a new braid that is fused together with a resin and is slightly thicker than Bionic Dynacord and is slightly stiffer, whilst this does not impede presentation it prevents tangling. This braid is made by Berkley and is called fireline, it is available in breaking strains between 4lbs and 50lbs. It is easier to use than ordinary braid and I know of anglers who use it straight through to the hook when legering, it is more expensive than monofilament but is not adversely affected by sunlight and will last much longer. Like other braids it has very little stretch which makes it ideal for long trotting but should be borne in mind on the strike, I favour a few feet of monofilament of a slightly lighter breaking strain between the braided main line and the hook length. For example when trotting for Barbel with 10lbs braid I use four feet of 8lbs fluorocarbon between the float and a 6 or 7lbs co polymer hook length.
This winter I have been using fireline in 4lbs breaking strain (1lb mono dia.) trotting for Grayling on the river Itchen with great success, it mends beautifully and sets hooks easily at long ranges. I have had no problems with cracking off on the strike due to using a through action rod but the abrasion resistance is not as high as some manufacturers would have you believe.
Another winner from the Berkley stable and if you want to try some BB Angling do the best deal I know of, contact Brian on 0208 640 3567. Elsewhere you will pay up to £20 for 100 yards.