Coarse Fishing Tackle
In the past, most types of rod could be bought in split-cane or a comparatively untried material called fibre-glass. A great deal has happened since then. Hollow fibre-glass has virtually taken over the rod scene. It may not look or feel quite as nice as first-class split-cane, but the latter is very hard to come by and, where still made, very expensive. Hollow fibre-glass does everything that not only split-cane but other materials such as Spanish reed once did. So we are going to assume that fibre-glass is the standard rod material though this will not stop enthusiasts looking for split-cane equivalents if they are so minded.
We list six types of rod, each designed for a different purpose. You could get by happily and efficiently with two or, at most, three of these. Most anglers do. We shall not name individual manufacturers or prices. Tackle shops and tackle catalogues will supply these details.
This list is not, of course, comprehensive, but indicates the main possibilities. You can buy such things as beginner’s outfits and rods that are allegedly multi-purpose. Beginner’s outfits may be excellent for a boy who is interested in learning to fish. If he perseveres he will soon discover for himself that there is really no such thing an as all-purpose rod. Every worthwhile rod is designed to do a specific job, whether it be to snatch small fish quickly from a distant swim for the match fisherman or to set the hook quickly in a 2.5 kg (5 lb) chub at a range of 18 m (20 yds) whenon a powerful river like the Hampshire Avon.
In buying a rod it is as well to understand that line and rod strengths must be matched to each other. Here I had better say a word about ‘test-curves’. A rod is designed to exert maximum pressure on a fish when the line running through the bent tip is at right angles to a butt. The pull required to do this is known as the lest-curve’ loading. The importance of this factor is that the pull in kilogrammes/pounds required to put this curve into the rod is about one fifth of theof the line normally used with the rod. Thus, if the test-curve loading of the rod is 700 g (1-1/2 lb), the correct average line strength for that rod will be about 3.5 kg (8 lb).
In skilled hands the rod can safely handle lines with a latitude of about thirty per cent in either direction. This means that you can fish with a line as low as 2.5 kg (5 lb) or as high as 5.2 kg (12 lb) breaking strain. I say ‘in skilled hands’ because a clumsy angler may break the line at the cast, particularly if using a heavy bait. If the angler uses a line above the top level indicated by the test-curve (ie. about 5.2 kg or 12 lb in the case of a 700 g or 1-1/2 lb rod) he can easily strain or even smash his rod. The point is that when rod and line are correctly matched, it is the line that will go first in moments of excessive strain. There is no excuse for breaking in a big fish, although, of course, it happens from time to time. There is the reel, remember, which can give line under pressure and the rod itself is a spring and buffer against the rush and fight of a big fish.
Having got those technicalities over, the question remains : which single rod should any tyro coarse fisherman select? It depends on where he fishes and what he fishes for. For my bet —unless he wishes to become a match-angler from the outset — he should select an Avon type rod which is versatile enough to let him, float-fish and long- for anything from small roach to big chub.
His second choice will probably be arod. All anglers at times become ‘hooked’ on pike with the hope of landing a really big fish. Indeed, pike afford most fisherman their best chance of landing the fish of a life-time. In picking a spinning rod, be sure therefore that it has enough heart in it to play a 9 kg (20 lb) pike, should you be so lucky. At the same time, the angler should recognize that perch of around 450 g (1 lb) and pike up to 3.5-4.5 kg (8 or 101b) are most likely to be the quarry. As to reels, there are basically three types available to the coarse angler. I think it is safe to say that today ninety per cent of all anglers use a with a full-bail pick-up and open face or the less popular closed face reel whose main virtue is that it makes light line more controllable in windy or bad weather conditions. The second type, a free-running centre-pin drum reel is still a delight to use and own. It requires a good deal of manual skill and is increasingly unobtainable.
Multiplying reels are used mainly by sea and salmon anglers and in the larger sizes. They are basically drum reels in which the drum is a thin and exceptionally free-running spindle. They are fished on top of the spinning rod. The bait is cast with an overhead flick and an over-run is prevented by braking the rotation of the line-filled spindle with the thumb. Multipliers are so called because they have a highly geared mechanism for speeding the retrieve when spinning. Like the fixed-spool, they have an adjustable drag for putting tension on the fish while it is being played.
The coarse angler has many accessories at his disposal, some essential. To list the essentials first : a landing-net with a long handle for bank fishing and large enough to handle big fish; a keep-net for retaining fish alive during a competition. The vital thing is that it be long enough to give the captives room to breathe. 200 cm (6 ft) is by no means too long; a seat basket or box that is fitted for carrying tackle to the waterside; a wide selection of floats for different conditions, fish and for carrying different amounts of weight; mono-filament line in appropriate strengths; weights and; flat-nosed pliers for fixing shot to cast; these are sometimes combined with scissors; a for finding the depth; tackle-winders for holding made-up casts weighted for different floats.
Important items that will undoubtedly be added as the angler progresses include : spinning lures in the form of plugs and spoons, tackle boxes, swim-feeders forclose to the hook and swing-tips for sensitive bite indication when .