Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Line work...

If there is one thing that confuses me more than anything else it is the line. As I slowly get to discover what is what, more curved balls are thrown into the park. I have steadily got used to dealing with the line/breaking strain conundrum, at least as far as monofilament goes. I don't profess to be an expert, but I can at least evaluate what I have and, within a bit, what I need to use for what.

Cheap carp reel and decent dropshotting reel
This week I have been trying to sort out a couple of reels. One is my new dropshot reel and a much bigger carp real. I am now starting to understand the limitations of the cheaper gear. Apart from the obvious size disparity the is a world of difference to the 'feel' of these two reels.

The line is 0.35mm diameter so I make that about 15lbs breaking strain
The carp reel is branded Lineaeffe and I picked it up for £14.99 along with a 12ft carp rod at an equally silly price. I realise that they will not be the best quality but the combination will enable Tim and I to have a go at carping without spending a fortune. The reel came preloaded with what appears to be 0.35mm brown mono, which I believe to be around 12 -15lbs breaking strain.  It is also supplied with a spare spool! It is made in China, as the sticker states. It is not silky smooth and there is a bit of play here and there but it seems to do the job as far as I can see, without getting the line wet.  At the price I was not expecting super quality, but I reckon it is not bad for the money. I am not intending to cast out any distance, at least at first, and if it does the job I will be happy.

The smaller reel is a little Fox Ulton 1500 fixed spool, I bought for my yet to be realised urban fishing adventures, dropshotting in Regent's Canal. The reel comes with no line preloaded and no spare spool. At just shy of £50.00 it is a far more expensive reel than  the carp reel. The difference in feel is vast. Silky smooth and beautifully finished, it is obviously built to a much higher standard. It really does show what spending a little more can mean. Okay, I am not going mad and spending hundreds of pounds, but for me this is a significantly higher investment than anything that came before it.

conical line lay but was it the reels fault, if indeed it is a fault
The reason I am mentioning these reels in the same post is with regard to the line on the spools. The carp real came preloaded with the .035mm (15lbs) brown mono. it has never been off the reel and yet is does not seem to be laid in the spool very well. On showing this to other anglers on one of the fishing forums the overall consensus of opinion seems to be that it dose not look very good but it should be good enough to use. The reasoning being that the thick springy mono is likely to ride over the lip causing tangles. It was noted the the spool has loaded with a taper and this can be 'corrected' by adding or subtracting washers from the shaft the spool sits on. This is new to me and as none of my reels came with instructions, I had no clue that this was needed or even possible. I have done a bit of investigation and discovered that adding a washer to the shaft will make the lay conical (as the reel above) removing washers will encourage the line to lay parallel and then as more washers are removed the line will lay as a reverse cone with more fill at the rim than at the seat. As the reel above was pre-loaded, I assume that is done off the reel (?) If so then the line needs to be stripped and reloaded to check to see how this particular reel loads the line.

For the small reel below, I loaded this spool myself so the line lay is down to me. I think the braid was not tensioned enough and I need to check that the drag was done up tight, I suspect it was not.  There are a couple of fibre washers under this spool, but I am not going to remove any of them just yet to see how it goes after I have had a go at casting it our and reeling it in under load.  Apart from the aesthetics of the thing, I have no idea how I will prefer the line to lay. I need to get some hours in on the bank before I can make that decision.    

The braid has not gone on evenly, probably my fault. Although the photographs of
these two reels look make them look a similar size, this spool is much smaller than
the carp spool shown above - see the top picture for size comparison
Now I know this adjustment is possible, I will experiment with the use of these washers over time. I can see no point in changing anything just yet until I have used the reels in a fishing situation.

There is so much more to this angling game than I had ever imagined. This line lay subject is something I had absolutely no idea even existed, let alone how to deal with it. For me, that just makes the whole thing far more interesting both on and off the bank.