Friday, 18 March 2016

Pole class II

The frosty start soon burnt off
Being a fair-weather angler, out of preference, I scan the forecast looking for days that look like they might be better than others for sitting on the bank. This may or may not be the best conditions for the fish but as I a primarily a pleasure fisher, the emphasis is on 'pleasure'.  Thursday of this week looked like it was going to be the only sunny day of the week, so I made an arrangement with my mate Bill (from the Maggots Drowning forum), who has taken on the mantle of trying to teach me how to pole fish.

Bill met me at the venue to give me some instruction. I fished it at around 11m (without the last two graphic sections). I found it really hard to see the float tip against the water. Bill said that he coloured his tips black and that made them stand out and are much easier to see... Really? I have to admit I was sceptical but I thought I would give it a go. The trouble was, I had nothing with me to do the job. As I was rummaging in the back of the van, One of the guys, who I have been match fishing with, arrived and he lent me a black permanent marker that did the job admirably. Now I could see the tip easily. All I had to do now was to work out what was a bite. I was also having trouble with my method of striking. Too light, too quick whatever I did seemed to be wrong as I was missing lots of bites. Then, it started to come right, not all the time bit at least it was coming together.

The first decent sized fish to be caught on the 'new' pole
 The first fish to be caught was a mini roach! I then changed the hookbait from maggots to corn and caught the first of many decent size F1s before the line dried up. Bill then showed me how to fish 2+2  on a shorter line and we continued to catch more fish.

Then, disaster struck. Through my own lack of experience I tried to reposition the pole on the rollers from the thin end and just as Bill shouted "NO!!!" the no.4 section broke. I was so cross with myself, my own stupid fault. We were fishing with the other guys, who I match fish with at the venue, and they all sympathised, saying they had all done it at one time or another, which made me feel a little better.

I tried 'telescoping the two halves of the pole together but the break was not clean and the pole section is fractured so it was never going to hold and I risked doing more damage. I decided that this was the end of the session on the new pole and packed it all away. I had my cheap pole, that I bought just after Christmas, and had had my first lesson from Bill with a few weeks ago. I got that out and continued to fish the short line using the top kit plus two sections of the pole (2+2).

At this range it was easy to feed by hand so there was no need to use a cupping kit. Then I am, perched on my box, holding the pole, as best I can, and trying to feed maggots left handed and overcome the restrictions of my coat. Well, that is all the excuses I can muster but I must have been doing badly as all I could hear was Bill laughing. The bait was nowhere near on target. This maybe some of the reason I never played cricket for the school's first eleven... or any eleven for that matter! Even the simplest aspect of this pole fishing lark seems to feel alien to me at the moment. I didn't realise just how much was involved.

Bill had to leave at about 2:00 PM to go an have his leg cranked back into life, or at least better than it was... But that is another story. I continued to fish my short pole which was causing more chuckling due to its soft elastic. I had set it up to catch silvers and both top kits I had with me were set up with fairly light elastic. The first time I caught a fish the elastic took a dive into the lake and disappeared altogether. fearing this was a monster fish, I played it gently. It gave a sterling fight only to reveal itself to be the smallest F1 of the day.

Several things were learnt on Thursday, I need to make a few more rigs up as none of what I had were what Bill would have used out of choice. I need to study this float choice lark a bit more and pack a permanent marker, to blacken my float tips.  A tin of lighter fuel will be useful too, so I can clean it off if I need to. Topkits with heavier elastic might be a good idea! I also need to be more careful how I handle a pole...

I called Maver and they said, although my pole is no longer made, there is a section from a current pole that is a direct replacement and they have them in stock. At £69.99. Now I know that, I am going to repair the section myself, having worked with resin and fibre (albeit glass fibre) how hard can it be? And even if it does not work at least I have had a go. I am fairly confident I can repair it and I will document my attempt, good or bad. I have ordered some resin and carbon fibre cloth. Although I have vacuum pumps and bags for laminating, I think the vacuum will crush the section and a flat pole section will be of little use. Instead I will use heat-shrink tape as advocated by many of the material suppliers for DIY repairs. I have a few other ideas as to how I am going to achieve this. I plan to gel-coat the section to bring it back to its high gloss appearance. Hopefully the repair will be hardly noticeable. While I am at it I plan to have a go at mending that feeder rod that got broken a few months ago...

I will let you know how it all goes next week...