Every now and then we get one of those dream days when the peg is full of fish and a real netful is on the cards. To catch them quickly, there’s nothing better than the whip…
Go for big floats
A light float may get you more bites, but where the whip is concerned, it’s no good. You need some weight in the rig to swing the bait out far enough and cock quickly, ready to show a bite. That means anything from 0.5g to 3g, depending on the depth, the flow and the wind. Shotting is a simple bulk and two or three dropper shot. A carbon-stemmed float is better than wire, as this helps to prevent tangles when swinging the rig out.
Your mainline must be strong
With no elastic to cushion playing a fish, your mainline will take a lot of hammer, so it needs to be robust. Around 0.14mm is ideal, and will also be least prone to becoming damaged and then tangling during the day.
A lighter hooklength will be needed but, again, this needs to be tough because you’ll be swinging lots of fish in.
Always use a stonfo
There are a few ways to attach the line to a whip, but the old-style Stonfo connector that works on a hook and sleeve system is best.
This is a quicker way to attach a rig than using the double float silicone method. It’s also better in winter, when fingers are cold and wet and trying to thread line through a float rubber becomes a nightmare!
Feed a nugget on every cast
Loosefeed is okay, but the idea of the whip is to catch fish close to the bottom quickly. This is where the bigger fish will be and bites are more positive. That requires groundbait. Throw a small nugget in every cast, but ensure the mix is quite sticky so that you can easily make a small ball with one hand and throw it without any danger of it disintegrating on the way down.
Fish off bottom
On the long pole or waggler, you may want to fish with the bait on the bottom or a little overdepth – but not on the whip. Fishing an inch off bottom is far better. There’s no chance of snagging weed, and the bites show up far more positively. We also know that fish like roach, skimmers and hybrids sit just off bottom so, by fishing on the deck, you’re wasting time waiting for a bite.