Colmics new F66 Airon

A sneaky peek at Colmics new F66 Airon Pole

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It’s always great to see new products, but when Shaun from Colmic UK came in to the shop the other day to talk about our team I thought all my Christmas’s had come at once when he stood a new F66 Airon pole against the shop counter.

Now I’m no pole angler but wow this thing is not only in a different league to my Middy XM10 it’s on a different plant!

With all the usual features you’d expect from a pole of this quality like Joint line markers reinforced butts and much more. The F66 is classed as an all round pole being aimed at the Silvers angler that needs the extra confidence in their pole if that bonus Barbel or Carp should come along.

At 16 mtr it’s surprisingly well balanced and near arrow straight, But to me at 14.5 and 13 mtr is it’s sweet spot. Being able to hold the pole comfortably in one hand makes feeding an easy thing to do. With next to no bounce but when it does the tip recovers incredibly quick, so taping a few pellets doesn’t mean dumping the whole pot or worse still firing them out all over the place on the rebound.

Colmic have put together two packages one being the pole on it’s own or the full package which comes with 9 top kits a cupping kit and more. Top kits are 2.75 mtr.

An up grade on the F44 and F33 Airon poles the F66 is worth a look at if your after a match pole that is not a carp pole trying to be a match pole.

Available in early 2017, Expect prices to be around £2999 for the full package.

colmic-f66-airon-pole

Winter League (part 1)

A new team throws its self in to the Soar Valley Winter League

Oddly, I’ve actually not fished a full blown match since the early 2000’s when I used to fish regular club matches and opens.

With a gap of some 10 years or so all was about to change after fishing with a local club The Kings Head AC.  Sat in the pub one evening a few of us got talking about getting involved with some of the bigger matches in the area. The first of which being the Soar Valley Winter League.

This would be throwing things right in at the deep end fishing against some the best teams in the Midlands – Matrix Trentman, Kamasan Startlets to name but two. Starlets fielding England international and World Champion anglers.

I might of done quite well in the past picking up the odd trophy, but knowing who I would be fishing against things were about to be taken on to another level.

With 5 rounds and a final the league would start in October and finish late in November, the weather would either be kind to us or near unbearable.

Weeks of preparation was needed, but finding the time to get out and practice was proving hard to come by.  Making the best of the kit I’d got was going to have to do, digging out old river pole rigs and retying them.  Making hook lengths up to what I thought was right was soon to be proved just not enough.

The day’s running up to the first round saw heavy rain and a rising river with the competition being held on sections of the river Soar that I’d either never fished, or hadn’t fished for a very long time. The pressure and nerves where starting to build by the Saturday, all I could do was just go and fish the first round and learn from there.

Meeting the rest of the our team early Sunday morning for breakfast with the rest of the teams, it was soon time to draw our pegs and try our best . I drew Proctors, a place Id never been let alone fished, but with two hours to get to my peg and set up before the whistle at 11:00 am, I’d got time to settle myself and think about what I was doing.

With the river up, my peg was a messy mud bog – great! Fishing the pole wasn’t really going to be an option for me.  As the river was pushing  through I opted for my 16 ft stick rod and a small feeder fished on the tip.  I caught steadily throughout the day.   I soon learned I had to pick my pace up even though I was only 1/2 a kilo off the next peg, if I was going to compete I had to be pushing a pound an hour or be looking for a bonus fish.

As a team we did very well, and we were all buzzing having realised we could actually compete against the fore mentioned anglers. Lifting the spirits we were ready for the next rounds but could we still hold our own?

More to follow soon

Part 2 coming soon

A few hours at Springwood Fisheries

A few hours fishing at Springwood Fisheries in Derbyshire

Some time back I took a wander up to Springwood Fisheries just outside Melbourne, Derbyshire.

Now I had been to Springwood before all be it quite sometime ago and wow had it changed, what a cracking place it is now.  After a good chat with owners Jeff and Linda, I had to come back to wet a line.

So it wasn’t long before I managed to get a few hours one afternoon on the bank of Springwoods bottom lake.

With easy access straight from the car park it was nice to find quality pegs that are not too close together, and with features! So many fisheries these days just seem to be barren holes in the ground.

Other pluses for me were toilets and a cafe, toilets being spotless, I’d be more than happy to bring the wife along in the future.

Jeff, the man behind Springwood, came over for a chat and after talking to him it was more than clear he was a mad keen angler. I like this as I come across too many fishery owners that actually haven’t got a clue about fishing.  Jeff informed me there was a good head of mixed fish Ide, Carp and Tench, plus a few others just to mix it up a bit.  He also told me that the peg I had picked was a match winner the other day with 70 plus on the scales! Cool I’m really looking forward to this.

It was actually pretty hot that afternoon and with the sun beating down I had to use my brolley for a bit to keep the sun off.

Now I’m no commercial angler but I’m enjoying learning these style waters at the minute.  Not that you can really call Springwood a commercial as it’s a laid back, well presented place.

Anyway, I soon found out I was not quite set up for what was to come!  First off my rigs were too long, float size and line length.  A slight degree of improvisation was in order after plumbing up at around 8 mtr, I found 3ft with about a ft in the margins.  This rendered margin fishing out of the question as I’d just not got the right floats / rigs for this.

So two line’s of approach at 8mtrs out.  Baits armed with a bag of fishery own mircos a few red maggots and Marukyu JPZ toughs,  I’d also knocked up a very small amount of Marukyu EFG 131 (love this stuff,) and my little secret weapon home spiced meat (proper hot chilli).

First off I potted a hand full of micros out along with a golf ball size ball of EFG 131 with double maggot on a size 16 T83-13.  I’d planned to use a toss pot to keep adding a pinch of micros and maggots every put in.

To say it wasn’t long before to swim was bubbling away like a ‘good un’ is a bit of an understatement.  With my float being knocked about all over the place I was hoping I wasn’t going to foul hook anything!  Soon the float buried and I was soon slipping the net under a cracking Ide.  A few more Ide fell to double maggot when I thought I’d give the JPzs a go.  For this I changed over to my second rig, which had a Middy meat screw hook link.  Meat screw for pellets? Yes they’re great for all manner of soft baits like JPzs, meat, cheese and even soft hook pellets.  Well, the resident Tench seemed to love these black JPzs with a few gracing the landing net, plus a couple of small carp.

This is great fun, let’s have a go with meat.  This was sort of a good idea, but I didn’t expect what was going to come. It would seem the lakes bigger residents loved the taste of hot spicy meat and would punish me for hooking in to them!

The battle was on, so much so that Jeff and my fishing friend Dave came over to A) see what the hell was towing me all over the lake, and B) to completely have a laugh at my expense.  After a battle on far too light an elastic, yet it proved that Middy’s Hi-Viz hollow ain’t half got some stretch!  Landing net out I was struggling with out a puller, there was just so much stretch.  A lunge at it with the landing net saw the hook link finally go! And a roar of banter came from Jeff and Dave!

A quick change of hook length to a Middy meat screw on my first rig saw me back out with a cube of meat in ever-increasing bubbles.  Seemed like seconds after the float settled that it was under and my elastic was out looking like a laser pen pointing at the Carp I’d just hooked.  A good battle later finally saw a cracking Carp grace the rim of the net. Got ya!

Well worth a visit to Springwood fisheries go and give it a go

Pole Float Confusion?

Confused? It’s not surprising with the vast array of pole floats out there to temped you, and if your like me you just can’t help yourself. ‘you can never have enough floats’.

There are loads of ready-made rigs out there these day’s many of which are really good the Middy X5 range are some of the best I’ve used. But there’s nothing like making your own rigs up, tailoring a rig for a venue yourself then catching on it always add’s to my enjoyment.

So where to start, is there a float that covers all bases, what size of float, what do I need? these are some of the many questions you might ask yourself.

To start with I would ignore all these floats that say this is for corn this is for pellet and this is for meat. Yes some shapes are better for certain baits but it can get to confusing to start with. The only venue that shape is more important is rivers, but we’ll touch on this later.

So how do you select one float from another?

You can make things easier by looking at a floats make up and design so lets start there.

Pick up any pole float and they’ll all be a variation of a shape. round, pear, straight, and diamond. They will all tend to be made of balsa, nylon, plastic, cane and wire. All these variations make a float act and work in different ways. We could go well in to depth with this but lets start with some easy to use basics.

A round shape will give better stability than a straight stick shape. But a straight stick will give better bite detection than a round shape as there is less resistance. So you wouldn’t want to use a straight float on a flowing venue like a river or even a lake in the wind. I would stir clear of straight pole floats until your knowledge and confidence builds.

Float make up is important and also makes a difference in how the float works. I will go in to this in another chapter, but to start with stick to carbon stems balsa bodies and plastic or nylon tips.

So is there such a thing as an all-rounder that suits just about all venues like lakes ponds and slow to medium flow rivers?.

In sort yes there is, what you’re looking for is a round-bodied float or sort of rugby ball shape. The best stem to look for is a nice long carbon or nylon stem, the tip of the float wants to be either nylon or plastic.

The long carbon stem and plastic/nylon tip with give good stability in all sorts of conditions with all sorts of baits. Making it ideal for fishing up to 10ft deep, fish this float at full depth shirt button style as you’ll get a nice even fall on the hook bait.In bigger sizes from 1 gram up wards you can bulk shot to get your hook bait down, bulk shotting by grouping the shot together will work better in deep lakes or moving water.image

A 4×14 / 0.4 gram sized float will cover many still water venues from around 4ft to 5ft deep, any deeper than this I would go for a minimum of 4×16 / 1/ 2 gram float. Pushing 10ft I would be reaching for a 4×20 / 1 gram float. Rivers slow moving I wouldn’t go any smaller than 1.5 gram and I would bulk shot the float at around 3/4 depth.

For fishing up in the water or really shallow margin areas. Look for a round bodied float with a short nylon stem and nylon tip. Shot shirt button style the float will normally lay flat on the surface before slowly sitting up right as each shot sinks.image

Shotting pole floats can be difficult, the use of small shot far from helping. One of the best things you can get for setting up pole floats is a Dosapiombo. This simple little device has neutral buoyancy in water, all you to do is clip your chosen pole float in to the top and place in a jar of water that is deep enough to allow the float to sink to the correct depth. I use a glass vase as shown in the picture below.

Slowly add shot or styles to the Dosapiombo until the float sits in the water at the correct height. The table below will help give you a rough guide on which size shot to use. One thing to bearing mind it that tap water in denser than river or lake water so you may need to remove a weight once at your chosen venue.

Pole float size         Weight                    Equivalent in shot

3 x 10                         0.10g                          2 x No’10

4 x 10                          0.15g                          3 x No’9

4 x 12                          0.2g                            5 x No’10

4 x 14                          0.4g                            6 x No’8

4 x 16                          0.5g                            8 x No’8

4 x 18                          0.75g                          3 x No’3

4 x 20                          1g                                4 x No’3

5 x 20                          1.25g                           5 x No’3

6 x 20                          1.5g                             6 x No’3

All calculations are approximate

Want to know more, keep an eye out for the next chapter on Pole float confusion an in depth look.

A few Basic FAQ’s

Quick Fire FAQ’s and Tips

Do I need a rod licence?

If you are aged 12 and above you will need a rod licence, available to purchase from the Post Office or online.

Don’t forget a rod licence does not entitle you to fish anywhere. Many waters are club / society controlled. Good Tackle shops generally have these types of tickets and books for local clubs for you to purchase.

There are also lots of commercial day tickets waters that you can pay a fee to fish for the day, you can find adverts for many of these in the angling press like Angler’s Mail. You may also come across private syndicate waters that you pay a yearly fee for.

Can I fish all year round?

There is a closed season on all moving waters e.g. rivers, drains, streams and some canals. This operates from March 15th – June 16th .

Many canals can be fished all year round, check with the controlling club / society. You can also find information from the canals and rivers way trust.

Just about all commercial waters are open year round, but some do close for a period of time set by themselves.

A few additional pointers:

  • Always tell a family member where you are going.

  • Where practical take a spare set of clothes that can easily be left in a car.

  • It’s a good idea to carry an emergency foil body cover, especially if taking spare clothes is not practical.

  • Keep a bottle of alcohol hand gel in your kit.

  • Sun cream.

  • Plenty of drinks.

Top 10 tips

  1. Be safe

  2. Biggest key to fishing is bait.

  3. Learn your surroundings.

  4. Observe and learn, from nature and other anglers.

  5. Be quiet – fish can hear you.

  6. Keep it simple.

  7. Learn one method at a time.

  8. Don’t be taken in by media hype.

  9. It’s the angler that catches the fish not that £1000 pole.

  10. Enjoy and respect the great outdoors.

You can find more tips and fun things to read on my blog. stickfloat.wordpress.com

or pop along to the Angling trust website www.anglingtrust.net

Basic Items of Tackle

Other than rod and reel, or pole below is some basic items to make up your fishing kit:

Landing net and handle.

Some commercial fisheries will stipulate a unhooking mat (check first)

Disgorger

Plummet

A bait tub

Line clippers

A selection of mixed shot from 10 to SSG.

Spare pole rigs, pre tied is best to start with.

Spare floats, feeders or bomb leads if fishing rod and line.

Spare hook links, pre tied is best. Unless specimen carp fishing stick to sizes 18,16 and 14 barbless.

Something to sit on.

Small tackle box to keep everything safe.

First river match 2016

Was really looking forward to wetting a line on the river this session. Seemed like ages ago since river season came to a close back in March.  Typical that the weather took a turn for the worst just in time for opening day June 16th, with extreme down pours our three local rivers Trent, Derwent and Soar were raging. The actual water level didn’t rise as much as you would have thought with the amount of rain we had, but still the Soar was up from its normal level of 0.41 Mtr to 0.76 Mtr.

Myself and staff kept a close eye on the EA Kegworth metering station readings, fingers crossed that the river would stay steady and not rise any more by Sunday’s match on 19th June.

I have to admit that my fishing kit is not very organised these days and it is setting me back somewhat. If am going to get myself back properly into the match scene I’ve got to get my house in order.image

I fancied fishing the pole and the feeder. I’ve not fished the pole on a river for sometime now, but I knew the only other way I could fish the float was with my  16 ft float rod.  However, with the trees and bushes that lined the bank it wouldn’t be practical in some of the swims.image

Thankfully, I’d got a few river pole float rigs that Ihad tied a little while ago, only downside  was they were tied for a different venue and were too short! And as I soon found out not heavy enough even though they were 2 1/2gram!

So a quick bodge job adding some line to the rig, fingers crossed my knots hold.

Size 20 B511 to 0.08 (1.6 lb) bottoms to 0.10 (2 lb) main in Middy lov-viz, a nice soft 4 – 8 Hi viz hollow elastic.

Baits, the river is carrying some colour and is pushing through (more than I thought) Van Den Eyde River Ace Hemp Caster Red and white maggots were my choices. Hemp and Caster were mixed with the River Ace, small golf ball sized balls would build a steady carpet of bait for fish to home in on, though the coloured water plus the extra weight of the River Ace would help get the loose feed down though 12 ft of flowing water. Alternating from red, white and caster on the hook hopefully I’d be able to keep fish coming and pick the odd better fish up on caster. I also used a medium-sized bait dropper to top up loose hemp and caster.

I think my plan was not far wrong, but as mentioned earlier I was too light on float weight 2.5 gram just wouldn’t hold low in the water when inched through at half pace. I picked up lots of small skimmers plus the odd roach and perch, but could not get down to those bonus fish. I did pick one good skimmer up only to be hit by Mr Pike! The only plus side to this was it showed my set up was well balanced. The pike was not for letting go and all I could do is put for a break, would my hook length break? – would it heck as like! Anyone watching could have thought I was on 10 lb line, the more I or the pike pulled the more the elastic soaked up the strain. Thankfully the hook length finally gave in, but that much-needed skimmer ended up as dinner for Mr Pike.image

With the match won on 6 lb 14 oz ,and me coming in at 1 lb 12 oz. I wasn’t las,t but I had learnt a lot and enjoyed a great few hours out on the bank.

Do your bit

It’s getting to that busy time of year with the sun out and longer day light hours more of us will be out on the banks, plus June see’s that the start of river season which is all good.

With the warmer weather and more anglers does bring it’s problems. More so for commercial fisheries, ponds and lakes. Oxygen levels will drop and the increase in angling pressure causes stress, plus we tend to move from one venue to another.

Well that’s what we do move from venue to venue so what’s the problem? We all use a net of some form whether Match angler or Carp angler, this includes landing nets keepnets unhooking mats cradles etc. They all come in to contact with the venues water vegetation and fingers crossed a fish or two. Every venue will have it’s own ecosystem which includes it’s own parasites and no to venues will be the same.

Our nets unhooking mats etc are there to help us anglers best look after the fish during landing nad returning our catch. But we can also be doing massive harm to every fish in that venue.

Why?

As a fishery owner myself I’ve seen the effects of a slight in balance in my venues ecosystem in the form of disease. How it was transferred I will never know could it of been an anglers net or bird life. I’m sure you will of heard of koi / carp herpes this just being one transferable nasty.

So where do I stand in all this how can I help I just going fishing?

Best and easiest thing all us anglers can do is looking after our nets and unhooking mats etc properly by cleaning them. You may think well I just put them in a stink bag and take them home then use the dip tank at the fishery to clean them. This is all well and good and you should follow the fishery rules and use a dip tank if they want you to. But in my view dip tanks are actually a waste of time. The solution needs to be changed very regularly for it to work properly and I’ve been to countless fisheries that it’s quite clear they’ve not changed their dip tank solution in a long time.

So lets a least do our bit plus it can help us to.

Starting with stink bag’s they are great for transferring your wet nets bag home but never just leave your nets in them. They will harvest bacteria on a massive scale, that’s what the smell is.

Once home wash your nets and or your unhooking mat weigh slings etc with your garden hose.Don’t us detergents though just clean water. Then hang every thing out to dry I use the wash line and sometimes one of our garden trees. image

Air drying and the UV in day light will help kill off all those nasties, I tend to leave mine out over night so they have a good 24 / 48 hr for mother nature to do her cleaning work. I’ll also clean my stink bag in the same way turning it in side out once hung up.

You’ll notice when you come to pack everything way again that horrible smell you get will either be completely gone or it will be barely noticeable. The added bonus to this no smell is its less attractive to the dread rodent problem.

So next time you’ve been out on the bank whether it be river canal lake pond or commercial please do your bit in keeping our fisheries healthy and wash and dry your all your nets unhooking mats etc ready for your next outing.