Session 32 – Spinning A Blade On A Yarn

Tuesday 8th July 2014, at around 0530 and I arrived on the banks of the Staffs-Worcs Canal at a location I’d not previously fished at all although I did walk the length a week or so ago to look at it. It looked very nice at the time as it did today and I intend possibly to visit for a few evening hours possibly next week – but that may change as I want to visit a stretch of the Shropshire Union Canal too – although there’s not an  impossibility of fitting both in.

Staffs-Worcs Canal On A Beautiful Morning

Staffs-Worcs Canal On A Beautiful Morning

So, to this morning,… basically it was just a session of two hours, fishing with Mepps type bladed spinners – but not all spinners are equal! Well, the Poundland ones I tried didn’t match up to their more costly rivals but even they were made to work reasonably well with a bit of a twist added to the blades via use of nature’s pliers (teeth) as I had decided to travel as light as possible by ditching the waistcoat that holds all my tranklements such as pliers, shot, etc… and licences and permits and so a good job a bailiff didn’t appear!!  Anyway, I fished about three-quarters to a mile of bank and had success. Not major success, but better than a blank! One small (3oz) perch succumbed to my lure – and I think I also had a couple of ‘plucks’ but not absolutely sure as possibly just lightly catching the bottom or a piece of weed or twig, etc.

The title ‘spinning a blade’ obviously is the Mepps type blade spinner used, and ‘on a yarn’ is a reference to the braided line I was using. A bit heavy for the task at hand really at 30lb BS but I was unable to locate the spool of my preferred 12lb stuff – will have to dig around my tackle and other rods – probably on another set up rod/reel combo.

Future plans…

This Friday – off to Woodland Lodge Pools over Bridgnorth with Liz. Kinver Freeliners have the two pools there with the main pool only fishable by members but the smaller pool is available to fish on day ticket (£5, I think) and that is where Liz and I will be. And next week I will have at least one canal trip plus there will be the second of the newly resumed ‘couples’ Fridays when Liz and I head out to a destination yet to be decided…

Session 31 – Old Venue, New Swim

Friday, 4th July 2014, at 0730 and I arrived on the bank of my club’s most popular water at peg 10 – a new swim for me in terms of ‘silvers and carp’ fishing although it is one that I’ve pike fished from before in the winter.

2014-07-04 02

Generally I fish pegs 1, 2, 18 or 19 but I ‘d heard that the pegs along the chosen bank was where the tench tended to congregate in this pool – although personally I’ve not seen one caught anywhere here. Carp (the most numerous species in at least terms of captures if not population), bream, chub, perch and roach I’ve seen and caught personally.

2014-07-04 01Anyway, on arrival at the swim the first thing I noticed was the  shoals of carp that were cruising the surface around the area – although nothing huge was spotted,  most being in the 3-5lb range by my reckoning. So getting out the the depth/fish finding device I cast out towards the island directly as front – and found some interesting readings. About ¾ of the way to the island water depth was around 28 feet, then coming back in the following was noted… an almost vertical drop down to 40.5 feet for about 3 yards with a sharp rise back up to 28 feet then a sharp rise to 14.5 feet then another sharp drop to 28 feet and then a slow rise to the bank where it was around 4.5 feet at the waterline. I confirmed this by recasting the transponder several times – and changing the depth range of detection (autofit to screen, fixed 60’ max) – and the same results each time suggest that is the true picture.

Anyway, having checked the depth situation I then proceeded at bait up the chosen swims per usual – one swim being out towards the island about 30-40 yards which was fed with crumb, particles, meat cubes and maggot by use of the spomb, the other swim being about 2-3 rod lengths out just off the end of a overhanging bush which was also given a small pre-feed similar to the first one – and also topped up from time to time with catapulted maggots.

Having done the feeding and setting up my stall for the day I set up my rods for action… and three rods were set up – two for initial use being standard leger rigs on 1.75lb TC rods, 8lb line with 8lb braid hooklengths fitted with size 6 hooks and the other being my floating bait rod (1.75lb TC, with 30lb braid straight through to a size 4 hook) ready for possible use later in the day.

Bobbins On Bobbin Rings

Leger rods in action – now fitted with bobbin rings as discussed in my previous posting.

So… first casts were made… bait on the distance rod being sausage coated in extra hot chili powder and bread on the near rod – and it was the bread that produced first blood with a 4lb 8oz leather carp coming quickly to the net.

2014-07-04 Steve 4lb 8oz Leather Carp 01

4lb 8oz Leather Carp

And this was soon followed a 2lb 11oz common carp on the chilli meat, and a mirror of 2lb 10oz followed on standard luncheon meat – and whilst I’d that fish still in the landing net on the unhooking mat behind my stall, the alarm on the bread rod – now baited with cheesepaste – screamed into action meaning a quick jump down the bank to take up the rod, a clamber up the bank, rod in hand, to get the net from beneath the already landed fish and a jump back down – and with all these shenanigans the hooked fish managed to get sanctuary under some bankside vegetation and slip the hook.

At this point, I’d been scattering bread/Yorkshire pud fragments to the ‘cruisers’ and a few reasonably sized fish had appeared – one literally under my feet so close I could almost stroke it. And so I decided to pack up the leger rods and put the floater rod into action – and for around the next three or four hours that was how I spent my time – casting out bread and Yorkshire pud bits. And I was rewarded – reluctantly, as the carp were very cagey and throw out 12 pieces of bread/pud, one having the hook in it, then 11 pieces would immediately be taken whilst the twelfth would be tail bashed into oblivion – and you can guess which piece that was! Anyway, persistence paid off with carp of 4-4, 5-4, 5-5 (mirror), and 7-11 being landed together with a 8oz roach that took when I was playing with the idea of using a slow sinking crust (basically, crust with enough cheesepaste added to make it just sink as a solution to the ‘bashing’) and testing it at the water’s edge.

2014-07-04 Steve 7lb 11oz Common Carp 01

7lb 11oz Common Carp

Anyway, for the final hour or so of the day I decided to put the leger rods back out – partially in response to the rain that had started – had another carp of 2-9 on chilli meat.

One highlight of the day was the cormorant on the water – bereft of my Barnett Hunting catapult and ball bearings which I’d left at home, I made use of my Guru maggot ‘pult and the few pebbles at hand around my seat – and at around 30 yards range and on my seventh shot I scored a direct hit on the centre back upon which said cormorant dived and wasn’t seen again by me that day… unfortunately, the shot would have lost its force and have been ‘spent’ by the time it contacted but it sure created a big scare!! J

Next week – not sure about early week’s plans but as Liz now seems to have her Friday fishing days back – she’s been caught up at work in non-standard rotas and covering, etc leading up to her company’s moving into a new building this coming Wednesday but now hopefully with more staff and new rotas all will become more normal and she can work to her official rota – we’re planning to visit Kinver Freeliner’s Woodland Lodge Pool 1 which is available on day ticket. We’re actually on the KF waiting list but didn’t make it this year – it’s a LONG LONG list – but fingers crossed for 2015.

Session 30 – All Quiet On The Tenching Front – TOO Damn Quiet!

Tuesday, 1st July 2014, at 0730 and I arrived at our club’s tench pool on a glorious sunny morning and went to my chosen swim at peg 11 which is my usual swim these days with a patch of lily pads to my left, the end of the island with overhanging bushes and vegatation directly in front and to my right and a channel between lily pads and island – so a number of options of areas to fish.

As usual I fed up in front of me just off the island and also to my left in the channel and just off the lily pads with crumb, pellet, maggot and particles for my float rod – and to my right I baited with prawn and mussel for the leger rod.

I did notice that the water was unexpectedly murky given the dry weather we’d been having although we did have a fair bit of rain on the Friday of last week – and possibly with hard baked ground not soaking up the rain must have run straight into the pool – and also the pool is brook fed too, and the brook borders cow fields and so the run off may have been high in nutrients. Anyway, in colour it looked like a pre-used teabag had been re-used in a pint mug and a teaspoon of milk added – a sort of misty opalescence being apparent. Also noticeable throughout most of the day was the lack of fish ’action’ over the pool – fry dappling the surface, bow waves, fish rolling and jumping – it was all very eerily still….

Milky Barlow's

So I fished with maggot and/or worm on the float rod fished in the various baited up areas to which frequent small numbers of catapulted maggots were added over the day –  and started with mussel on the leger rod which, after two hours without a touch, I switched to prawn.

Anyway, action, as you can detect from the title was very little and in my nine  hours of fishing I caught 2 tench (3lb 0oz and 2lb 9oz), had three hook pulls (but probably largest fish <1lb), and a few missed bites on the float rod and on the leger rod with prawn I had a few short pulls but nothing capable of being struck at. Fish were in the area though as my float indicated the line below being moved by fish passing and from tail wafting from time to time.

3lb 0oz Tench

3lb 0oz Tench

2lb 9oz Tench

2lb 9oz Tench

Plans ahead – well, Friday I’m back to the carp pool where I was last Friday with hopefully the weather a bit better. A friend has told me of an area where the tench are said to congregate so I’ll be fishing there and its an area I’ve not fished before so that will be interesting… also I’m hoping to meet up with same friend – who was also at the tench pool and we’d fished opposite sides of the pool and not realised it until we were loading and driving away!!


Bobbin Rings!! I bet you’ve never heard of them although they’ve been in use since the 70’s when I ‘invented’ them. Well, I’ve certainly NEVER EVER seen anyone else with a bobbin ring equipped rod in my life.

What has brought them to mind is that I’ve just fitted my current leger rods with them. Easily done – just one rod ring required per rod, and mine are fitted on with just a few wraps of plastic insulation tape and so the installation takes literally two minutes at most – but the difference is SO good!

OK – a bit of physics first to explain the thought behind….

Imagine a simple 3’ piece of line just passing through your butt ring with a light weight attached to the end nearest to the reel so that it dangles down 18”… taking the loose end of line pull 12” of line towards the end of the butt… what happens? Well, the weight rises 12” obviously..

Ok, now take 6’ of line, pass it through the swivel of a small Arlesey bomb and fold back on itself so that you’ve 3’ of doubled line with the weight in the fold. Pass the loose ends through butt ring and let the weight dangle as before. So instead of a weight tied to a single piece of 3’ line, you’ve now a sliding weight in the middle of 3’ doubled line… now, holding one end of the loose line steady, pull 12” of line with the other end… What happens? Well, 12” of line has been pulled but due to the doubling of the line and the sliding weight, the 12” taken is made up of 6” of the line either side of the weight and so the lead actually only rises 6”….

NOW… this case is in fact a ‘best’ result… in that both sides of the line rising from the swivel are vertical. If we move the lines so that they angle away from each other – as would be the case of a bobbin attached to line running between to rod rings – to form a ‘V’ shape then the further away the tops of the ‘V’ are from each other then the less the bobbin will rise – and if the angle of the line measured at the bobbin is 90 degrees then the rise in response to a line pull will equate to ¼ of the line taken – in our 12” case the bobbin will rise only 3”. And as the rod rings increase in distance from each other and/or the drop measured from rod butt to the bobbin decreases so will the relative lift of the bobbin in response to line being taken and so therefore less visually apparent. Also as the angle decreases so does the force required to straighten the angle further and so an increasing resistance is being applied to the fishes taking of more line which can lead to the bait being dropped prematurely… I’m not going into the maths of that as its beyond the scope of this blog – but if you want to look it up then Google for ‘parallelogram of forces’.

Right, so what we want to do is increase sensitivity (ie get as much movement shown by the bobbin as possible) and decrease resistance…. and its all done with one rod ring of the same type and size as your current one and some whipping cotton – or plastic insulation tape. Total cost easily <£5….

OK – now prepare for the magic….

Take extra butt ring…. hold onto butt of rod about 2”-3” below and in line with the current butt ring… whip/tape on….. errrrrr, job done!!! J

The short distance between that double butt ringing then means that any bobbin placed on the line between those two rings will hang almost vertically thus maximising the line_taken:bobbin_rising ratio… and as the angle of the line at the bobbin decreases very slowly then there is (a) less resistance and (b) change of increasing resistance is very slow.