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For the novice angler walking into our tackle shop must be a bewildering experience so this new series is designed to help get you started and catching fish. Here Clint deals with the basics of setting up a float rod and reel….
Rods are fitted with rings or guides through which the line passes, and float rods usually come in three sections mostly 13 ft fully assembled, ideal for casting and controlling the rig and hooked fish. On the handle an attachment retains the fishing reel – a line storage and winding device. It is important when assembling a rod that you line all the guides up so the reel line can pass freely without friction.
The drag system is a slipping clutch which can be adjusted to make it harder or easier to pull line from the spool. The backwind system is activated by flicking the anti-reverse lever to the off position allowing the handle to rotate backwards to ‘unwind’ the line. These systems allow hard fighting fish to take line in a controlled manner, which one use is your choice.
Threading the line
Attaching the float
A versatile float on commercial still waters is a 4AAA insert peacock waggler. At the base of the float is the eye which can be used to attach the float to the reel line, however I prefer to use float adapters. These short pieces of silicon sleeve are pushed onto the base of the float, the reel line is then threaded through the eye in the adapter. The advantage is that you can change floats without having to dismantle the rig.
Shotting the float
The weight that is needed to cock the float (the shot loading), so that only the coloured tip is visible above the water, will be marked on the stem. It is important to shot the float correctly, beacause a under shotted float won’t work – fish will feel too much resistance and drop the bait. The largest shot we use most of the time are Swan shot followed by AAA, AB, then sizes 1, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 13. You can buy them in dispensers containing a range of sizes. I would expect to place four number ten dust shot between the float and the hook length to set the float correctly. This shotting pattern achieves a natural fall of the hook bait through the water.
For the beginner I recommend buying a packet of hooks to nylon. The hook is at one end of the line and a loop at the other to which you attach the main line with a loop to loop connection. For carp mostly over 3 lb to double figures I would suggest a size 14 for baits like pellet meat and corn and a size 16 for double maggot or caster. For smaller carp you can scale the hook size down and use a 16 for meat and corn and an 18 for maggots and casters.
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