Taking your first steps into the world of pole fishing can be confusing to say the least. Although pole fishing in itself is really very simple because after all there's no reel or casting to contend with, there's still lots to learn.
To help you along when taking your first steps into the world of pole fishing, we joined Jamie Masson for an in-depth look at some important basics of fishing a pole.
These little details really matter. They may seem insignificant and many anglers either do them wrong or completely ignore them. But put them all together, and these suggestions will help improve your pole angling no end.
Here’s what Jamie had to tell us...
HOW TO SIT CORRECTLY
On the level Having a level seatbox is the key to pole fishing success
Something as simple as the way that you set up your seatbox and then how you sit on it can make all the difference between a keepnet full of fish and excruciating back pain. By keeping your back, knees and feet at 90-degrees to each other, you’ll be able to fish the pole comfortably for many hours.
Look... no hands! A balanced pole equals better angling
Balance is imperative to successful pole fishing.
The weight of the pole should be distributed between the forearm and thigh so that the pole can be held steady while giving the angler the ability to use both hands freely.
This skill can only be achieved with practice but it is worth the effort. You can easily feed with a catapult or do other tasks while fishing. This makes the session easier and you’ll catch more fish.
PLUMBING THE DEPTHS Take time to map out the swim’s contours
Only by taking your time to plumb the depth of the swim in front of you can you get an accurate idea of its contours.
On many lakes there will be quite obvious features to fish to – like islands margins, reed and/or lily beds or snags.
However, there can also be a number of fish-holding features that are less obvious, under the water.
Depressions in the lakebed, weedbeds or the bottom of marginal shelves can all attract and hold large heads of fish.
This means the proficient pole angler will spend at least 10 minutes searching all of the water in front of them to find these hidden, golden areas.
To see what the bottom is made of, Jamie always uses a 1oz plummet and lowers it slowly through the water on a tight line until it touches the bottom. The sensation that registers up the line tells him a lot about what he’s fishing on.
If the plummet sticks the bottom is soft silt, if it feels firm but not hard the bottom is clay, if the plummet lands with a ‘bang’ the lake bed is gravelly.
ON THE DROOPAdjust your elastic with a Rappa Bung
All new pole elastics have a great deal of stretch in them.
After playing a large fish, the elastic may not fully retract to its original length, causing it to droop out of the end of the pole.
To adjust this tension, Jamie always elasticates his pole with an adjustable bung which incorporates a winder.
This winder allows you to adjust the tenstion of the elastic.
There are a number of different types of adjustable winder bungs on the market. Jamie always uses a Maver Rappa bung in his set-ups.
The excess elastic can be simply wound around this Rappa Bung,to take up slack, or even make it quite tight for fishing close to snags.
To loose the droop, firstly pull the No2 and No3 top kit sections apart
Insert the Extractor Rod into the top kit and pull out the Maver Rappa Bung from inside the number two section
The loose excess elastic is then wound around the winder incorporated into the Rappa Bung
KEEPING THINGS CLEANUsing joint cleaners and Shipper Bungs will extend your pole’s life
Dirt and grit are a pole joint’s worst enemy – nothing will wear a pole out faster.
By using Maver’s Clean Cap system and Shipper Base Bungs, Jamie ensures that the insides of his most frequently unshipped sections – No3 and No4 – are always cleaned. The Shippa Bung protects the pole’s base sections from damage.
Without the use of a Shipper Bung, the pole’s base
sections can be easily damaged on bankside debris
By using a Maver Shipper Bung, the base
sections of the pole will be protected
CATAPULTING CORRECTLY WITH A POLE To catch effectively, you need to master feeding while holding the pole
Many novice pole anglers struggle to hold a pole – especially at longer lengths.
The good news is, it is very easy to do after a little practice.
The first thing is to ensure the pole is balanced correctly. Secondly, rather than pulling the catty pouch backwards, push the catty frame forwards with your chosen hand, while holding the pouch steady in the other.
Tops and cupsHaving your cupping and top kits the same length means it’s easier to feed accurately
When Jamie first sets up his pole he tries to keep all of his top kits the same length as his cupping kit. This ensures that his rigs are right over any loosefeed that he has cupped into the swim. This is vital in cold water situations.