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I hope that you find my journal interesting and entertaining. If, having read this, you think that I am talking rubbish then at least you have stopped and thought about it long enough to come to that conclusion which is something of a result in my book. If you would like to comment on this article or anything else relating to my website, please feel free to contact me using the adjacent form. Feedback is always greatly appreciated and very helpful when it comes to improving both my site and my angling. Thank you for looking. If this form will not work for you, please e-mail me at editor@ericweight.co.uk
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Hi-tension.

 

Last season, I played around a bit using a super-light quivertip on the canal. I wanted a method that I could use when conditions were a bit uncomfortable, when I wanted to fish farther across the canal and even just for a change occasionally. I’d bought a Shakespeare wand and used it with some success, but in a careless moment smashed it.

Now I don’t break many rods, certainly not as many as some anglers I have fished with anyway, but I certainly did a number on this one. I was a bit surprised that it broke as easily as it did, so I have held back from replacing like for like, for some time.

Recently, however, I gave in and replaced it with a similar and, I feel, better quality wand from a new company on the scene called Cadence. Nice rod, I like it a lot and have been using it with the lightest tip of the three that come with it. And boy is it light, rated at ¼ oz. I’m a bit nervous of its thinness if I am honest, but so far so good.

 

On our club water, I use a feeder, but my efforts to use the same on the cut have been less than satisfactory. My most successful rig has been a very simple one. I pinch a single AA shot gently onto the hooklength, an inch or two from the hook. It is to all intents and purposes a lift rig.

Both techniques, which I use exclusively for big fish on the canals, employ tension to negate the effects of the large shot and to enhance the bites whilst offering minimal resistance to a taking fish.

  

I’ve fished the canals a couple of times lately with Pete and for all sorts of reasons, we can’t start much earlier than about 7.15. With the boats starting up at anything from 8am on, it has been a struggle. Each time, I have had bites immediately from widely varied locations on different canals, which suggests to me that they are all stuffed with fish, especially given that our swims are always chosen for our comfort rather than the fish’s, but I digress.

The very idea of using a shot, the size of a BB or larger is anathema to anybody bought up fishing the pole for small fish and indeed I wouldn’t use one for the that purpose either. But these are substantial fish, or at least the ones I am seeking are, and the baits I use are substantial pieces of bread the size of a ten pence piece and sometimes even larger.

Being uncompressed, the flake is very buoyant and is popped up above the shot. Fish taking the bait cannot help but move the shot resulting in either the float rising or the tip collapsing. Such is the confidence these fish feel when taking the bait that bites can be very slow, even when the float is pulled down or the tip pulled round. Proof to my way of thinking that these ‘heavy shot’ aren’t so heavy in practice.

To understand that, one has to understand that both rigs apply considerable tension to the shot, such that it is barely holding. In the case of the lift rig, the buoyancy of the antenna is pulling in one direction from the shot while the buoyancy of the bait is pulling in the other. The result is that there is virtually nothing for the fish to do in order to move it. When it does, it is too late and if I am paying attention that is another fish hooked.

Most anglers appear to believe that a running leger of any kind is going to reduce resistance to a biting fish by allowing the line to run through a swivel or a ring. I’m sorry but that is not true. Line will only run through the eye on the lead of the lead is extremely heavy, the ring or eye of the swivel is large, the angle from rod to lead is direct and shallow, there is no pressure on the line from wind or current and the fish is moving directly away from the rod tip. In any other circumstance the line will not run through the lead before the fish feels its weight. 99% of leger rigs are bolt rigs.

By applying tension to a fixed shot rig with the tip and a buoyant bait the same principles that make the lift method so effective, are achieved. Of course, there will be occasions where it is impossible to set the float or tip against even these shots because they aren’t heavy enough to resist all the tensions we apply and the ones that conditions, such as drag or flow, pile on top. Within reason, increasing the size of the shot until the rig will just hold, still adds little to the resistance felt by the fish and I have on occasions successfully used as much as 1 SSG as a tell tale.

Incidentally it is worth noting that sometimes you can reduce the amount of lead you need to add by splitting it and using two shot, fixed about 5 mm apart. It increases the amount of drag the shot applies to the bottom of the canal.

I’m not claiming that these rigs are as sensitive as a pole rig, they clearly aren’t but for the purpose of catching big fish from the canal, they are very effective, more so than most anglers would believe.

Anyway I’ve had a couple of trips out using the new quivertip rod now and a few nice hybrids have come my way. Nothing spectacular, but big enough to make a picture or two and fire me up for the rest of the winter, rain, snow and ice permitting of course.

artificial lite