Tuesday, 12 June 2012

A new season….a new approach

With the new season fast approaching I plan to spend more time fishing with vintage style tackle for the carp I usually use modern tackle to outwit. This may put me at a disadvantage; then again, it might just give me the upper hand. Using traditional tackle in a stalking manner will get me closer to my quarry and should produce more chances as opposed to the usual setting up camp, sitting behind buzzers and waiting for the fish to come to me. This more active style of fishing has seen some good results for me in the past, so to channel all my efforts into it and hone my skills further could see a bumper season. It might mean that less fish come to the bank, who knows, but it will be a delightful way of fishing and an experience I look forward to with renewed optimism.
I have already started putting together the kit required but still have a fair bit to gather. A new reel has been purchased, not an old reel but a handmade centrepin based on an old model. The Fred Crouch wide drum centrepin was received last week and is a joy to hold, this weekend I shall load it with 100 metres on 8lb Maxima. After a little research, this reel ticked all the boxes, smooth running, wide drum, a great check and it is very aesthetically pleasing. There is something about margin carping with a centrepin, it feels right and you get a more direct feel with the fish. Granted they have a slow retrieve but that’s a small price to pay for fishing with such luxurious kit.

This evening I am visiting a friend to look over a cane carp rod, a Chapman 550. I’m told it has an action somewhere between a Mark IV Avon and a Mark IV Carp, it comes in three pieces comprising of a handle and two main sections and is ten feet in length. Once the rod has been purchased and the reel loaded I shall be ready to commence carp fishing in a style I’ve wanted to for a long time. But there are other items I need to complete the set up I long for.
The net will be the next thing on my list. There seems little point forking out on a nice vintage rod and old style reel if I am to use a new carbon landing net. I have looked around and there are various things I could do here. One would be to make one, but I feel I don’t have the skill or time to create something that would please me or be suitable for landing large carp. The other option is to purchase something someone else has made, there are numerous website of skilled tackle makers, although a cane landing net won’t be cheap. Another option, and perhaps the more likely, would be to keep an eye on Ebay, they do come up from time to time and can be quite reasonable.

Next on the list will be a couple of bank sticks. I think I shall opt to make my own using forked branches left to dry for a few months shaped nicely and varnished. I may even whip them and add some kind of inscription, but I guess it all depends on what I can gather in materials.  Then there is a catapult, something I’ve been thinking about for ages and I plan to actively seek out a suitable piece of branch very soon. Once selected, I will dry the wood, create the desired shape and drill two holes to accommodate the elastic. I’m quite excited about making these items of tackle, they will be individual and just the way I want them. I’ll keep you posted on the progress here.

Just recently I have been having these feelings, feelings of wanting to leave the regular carp fishing behind and seek this new side of the sport. I have had a strong interest in this form of angling for a few years now but have been a little worried about switching from what I know in case I stop catching fish. But I now realise that catching fish is just an added bonus to the joy of fishing, so long as I am where I want to be using the things I want to use I’ll be happy. And each capture with such tackle will feel all the more special.
I am already building a collection of old clothes and my trademark flat cap is always with me (when I remember to take it!). I have even had thoughts of moving on my new items of tackle to fund the collection of old things, I’m not sure where that will go but it something that just keeps popping into my head. Night fishing might be a bit of an issue if I don’t own a modern bivvy, bedchair and bite alarms,  but I’ve already been looking around and have found an old canvas ridge type tent and am more than happy to sleep on the ground if that’s required. As for alarms, I have recently purchased a set of old Efgeeco Optonics, the sound they make is delightful and I’ll look forward to using them at the opening of my local lake this weekend.

The Kelly Kettle is something I’ve been using for a while now, I love it. There’s nothing like building fires when outdoors, in moderation of course. The effort it takes to boil the kettle just adds to the enjoyment you get when you take that first sip. I do tend to cheat a little with a tin of Zippo fluid to help the fire on its way, but once roaring it’s quite easy to keep the fire burning by the introduction of just about anything dry you can get your hands on.
So this season, hopefully, expect lots of catch reports from various pools using these new methods. There will hopefully be a few nice fish to show, but more importantly, there will be proper boy’s adventures. The outdoors is where I love to be, this season will be more about being outdoors and less about trying to catch as many carp as possible. I hope you have as much fun reading about it as I do acting it out.


  1. Track down Paul Johnson of Hull, he is an "enthusiastic" builder of all things cane, landing nets included, i am sure he can help you SK

  2. Hi Tom

    I certainly will pal, thanks for the reply and good luck for the season ahead.