Types of Fishing Tackle Used for Catching Roach
The only generalization possible about roach rods is that they should be as light as prevailing conditions will permit, which in itself allows for tremendous variety. The rod and line must match. (Test-curve figures for the rod will give maximum breaking strains.) In most waters the rod must be suited to the strength and type of water fished rather than to the roach it is designed to catch; indeed recent developments in tackle show an ever-increasing number of rods designed for named waters.
The great exception is perhaps the match-type rod, which is designed for taking large numbers of fairly small roach quickly. This usually has a marked tip action and is used whenever possible with very light terminal tackle. Then length may vary between 3.6-5 m (12-16 ft). These rods still bear a marked tip action, however, and are excellent for competition work in many kinds of water. Used in conjunction with aand light or even medium tackle, they make up in length whatever they lack in casting power. They enable the match fisherman to control his light tackles well out in the stream and at consider able distances. Nevertheless, they are at their best in fairly sluggish or still waters.
For medium waters, where a brisker flow is experienced and competitive results are not essential, a tip-and-middle action is preferable and the rod can with advantage be somewhat shorter beween 3 and 3.6 m (or 10 and 12 ft). A whole-cane butt with a spliced-cane middle graduating to a built-cane tip will provide this action, but tubular fibre-glass is becoming increasingly popular in this type of rod and can provide the somewhat heavier casting power and tackle capabilities that are needed. If there is such a thing as a general roach rod it is this kind. Matched with a fixed-spool reel and low breaking-strain line, this provides a very versatile kit suitable for a wide range of water conditions and capable of handling big roach.
In exceptionally fast waters such as the Avon, Kennet, or Dorset Stour, a far sturdier rod is preferred, in order to cope with the tremendous strains imposed on the tackle by the force of water, especially when it is considered that the strike may frequently occur with the tackle 18-27 m (20-30 yds) away. Avon-type rods used to be of split-cane but now fibre-glass has taken over. Avon-type rods should give an all-through action which continues under the corks of the butt in the angler’s hand, and are highly suitable for all kinds of roach fishing in very fast waters. They can also cope with tight-line.
Between the three standard patterns described will be found many modifications suited to particular local conditions and fishing methods, all of them usually known as ‘roach rods’, but each as different from the other as it is possible to imagine.
Reels offer less of a problem for the fisherman because they are far more versatile and can easily be adapted to conditions simply by changing the line strength. The fixed-spool reel is highly popular, but the older centre-pin, when built in modern alloys with precision bearings, holds firmly in the affections of many anglers. Forwork, and for methods which do not require continual line manipulation, the fixed-spool is easily the best tool, but for and precision work, such as tripping the bottom, nothing gives quite the same sweetness of control in the hands of an expert as a first-class four-inch-drum centre-pin. In the last resort, choice of reel is an extremely personal matter. Closed-faced fixed-spool are becoming very popular. In these the line pays out through a central hole in a shield that covers the spool.