Littlemans first match

A few of you will know that my 5 year old son Leon aka littleman has been on the bank with me for a few years now. And that it wasn’t that long ago that he pinched my new pole and set about bagging up on a local water.

A few trips up to Springwood fishery and he’s starting to get the hang of pole fishing, catching carp Ide Rudd and Roach. One afternoon a rough tally up would of seen him putting 20 odd pound in the net (no keepnets unless in a match) which ain’t bad for a 5 year old.

One Sunday I was booked in on a match up at Springwood with a few of my team mates from Colmic. After a chat with the lads we thought if he wanted to Leon could fish the match instead of me.

Thankfully we managed to get him off to bed early with an early start and long day ahead.

Up early we loaded up and headed off to Springwood for breakfast, paid our pools, peg fees and Leon drew his first peg.

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While I set his kit up he pottered round to give the competition a few words that he was going to beat them especially Charlie. I have to say it’s great to see others talking to him, helping him on.

Time was called and it wasn’t long before Leon was in to his first fish of the day with a nice Carp gracing the rim of the landing net. A few Ide followed which he correctly placed in the silvers net. The day went on with Carp Ide and Roach before it went quite for a while.

A try in the margin with meat saw a nice Carp which but up a great scrap, a few missed bites followed and Leon was starting to get tired after all the excitement.

“Dad and going to have a sit down with a cup of Tea, you can have ago now”.

At the final whistle Leon weighed in a fantastic 17lb even after a few lost fish.

I have to say a massive thank you to Iain and Jen up at Springwood fisheries for making us so welcome on Leon’s first ever match.

Want to know more about getting your kids in to fishing, please just ask, i’m in the shop most days of the week for a chat. Or have a look at www.getfishing.org.uk 

Enjoy your fishing

Scott & Leon

 

Loading that spool

Ever loaded a reel with line by sticking a pencil through the middle.

Loading a reel spool couldn’t be easier or could it!.

I needed to spool some nice new line on to one of my float fishing reels. My line of choice is Colmic Allround. Coupled with great strength to diameter this line sits beautifully on the water’s surface prefect for stick float fishing.

So where do I start? My spool is my first port of call for help. Printed on the side is an approximate line capacity denoted by the line diameter to meters.

On your spool you may find the above denoted in lbs and yards or kg and meters. This is still useful information on how much line we’re going to need to fill said spool correctly. I now know that I will need approx 150 mtr of .12mm dia line or 90 mtr of .20mm to correctly fill the spool. The line I have chosen is as near as dam it .19mm on a 300 mtr spool so I’ll have plenty to fill at least two spools correctly.

Items needed to do the job.

  • Small bucket, tub or bowl that a spool of line will fit in.
  • Scissors or line clips
  • Marker pen
  • Bottom rod section
  • Reel and new spool of line.
  • Cuppa tea or Coffee

What next then? This is the important bit really that is so easy but even easier to get wrong. Ever loaded a reel with line by sticking a pencil through the middle and getting someone to hold the pencil while you whiz the reel handle round so fast it’s as if your trying to beat some world reel spinning record. Or better still done much the same with the line spool on the floor watching it shoot round the lounge like a mad puppy?. Ever wondered why you always get the line springing off your reel in a big birds nest. The above could be part of the problem.

Your fixed spool reel will rotate anti clockwise to wind line on, looking at you nice new spool of line with the label up a most. Picking up the loose end of the line you will notice it will either come off the spool in a clockwise or anti clockwise motion.

As our reel rotates anti clockwise we must have the new line coming off the spool in the same direction. Part of the problem comes if you have the reel is going anti clockwise and the new line is coming off clockwise, this creates line twist.

Having looked at my new spool you can see that the line comes off the spool anti clockwise with the label up a most.

Using the bottom section of your rod fix your reel to the reel seat then pass the end of you new line through the rings. I like to remove the spool from my reel to tie the line on as it makes things that bit easier. There are special knots for doing this but rightly or wrongly I just use a basic granny knot, I also like to pull the line in to one of the groves (if your spool has them) cut the tag end off. 

Lifting the bail arm you’ll be able to put the reel spool back on the reel.

Using a small bucket or even a bowl that the new spool of line will fit in. Add a small amount of water then place the spool of line in the bucket / bowl making sure it is the right way up for the line to come off anti clockwise. Water ideally wants to come 1/4 of the way up the spool.

Trapping the butt of the rod under your arm use your left hand to gently trap the line between you finger and the rod blank, this will add a slight tension to the line. Slowly at a constant speed start to wind the reel handle to reel line on to the spool. It is quite important to use a slow constant wind. A fast wind will only end up in a jerky wind, causing the line to snatch back and forth. The water is there to help stop friction caused by trapping the line with your fingers.

You are looking to fill the line just below the top lip of the spool.

When you’ve got your spool filled you can use the line clip on the spool (if fitted) to trap the line when not in use. Cut the line just above the clip.

I always make a note of the line size that I’ve just added to the inside of the spool rim.

Sorted.

Colmics new F66 Airon

A sneaky peek at Colmics new F66 Airon Pole

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.

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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

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.