Waggler tactics for river roach

Dave Harrell explains why the humble wag is the way to go for river roach...

Waggler tactics for river roach

by Angling Times |

Winter weather sees rivers change dramatically in the space of a few days, going from low and clear to up and coloured. While this can knock the chances of catching certain species on the head, there’s always a chance of roach.

I’ve caught countless 20lb weights with snow on the ground and a river like tapwater. Equally, you can do the same when it’s pulling through and the colour of tea. Arguably, though, the best river conditions for roach are when there’s just a tinge of colour. In this situation, there’s little to beat the waggler.

There’s always a chance of roach
There’s always a chance of roach

Here's how to fish it...

Fish to where you feed

It’s important to always ensure you can get your feed to where your float is. There’s no point in casting to the far bank if you can’t feed there.

Fish to where you feed
Fish to where you feed

Start positively

I feed around 12 maggots to start, dropping to three to six maggots once I begin catching. Feed two or three times every run through.

Start positively
Start positively

Feed and then cast

By feeding first and then casting into the area where the feed has gone, the fish will be intercepting the hookbait on the drop.

Feed and then cast
Feed and then cast

Light terminal tackle

Starting point is a hooklength of 0.10mm DH Angling Pro Rig to a fine wire size 20 hook. You can drop to an 0.08mm hooklength and size 22 hook.

Light terminal tackle
Light terminal tackle

Get an insert waggler

In slow flows, an insert waggler will work perfectly, and on rivers like the Warks Avon around Stratford, I’d fish a 3AAA or 4AAA DH Angling Thin Insert, which is ideal for depths between 3ft and 5ft.

Get an insert waggler
Get an insert waggler

Alter the depth

Towards the end of a session, shallowing the float up to a few inches off the bottom can produce a good run of bigger roach.

Alter the depth
Alter the depth
Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us