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GETTING   STARTED
COARSE  FISHING  WITH  THE  ESSEX  ANGLER
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RodsTest Curves Reels Lines &Loading lineOther toolsFinding the DepthCastingUsing Keepnets


THE QUICK BASICS

First make sure you have the right tackle for the job.As a beginner you should be aiming to fish light for the smaller fish i.e. roach, rudd, etc, with a basic float rod, and line of around 2lb or 3lb b.s. as there is no point aiming for the big fish until you know how to catch small the ones.

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RODS

Many rods nowadays are made from carbon-fibre, as opposed to the previously made fibre glass, and even further back the split cane rod. The carbon-fibre rod combines strength, rigidity and lightness. They come in different lengths and "actions". The best choice to start with would be a rod of about 10ft that has a threaded end ring.This will allow you to use it as a float rod as it is, or screw in a swingtip or quivertip for use as a leger rod, therefore saving you money on buying more than one rod to start with.
IF you can afford it and want to broaden your fishing methods then go for 2 rods, a 12ft or 13ft match rod for float fishing, and/or a 9ft or 10ft leger rod that has a threaded end ring for swingtip and quivertip.
Float Rods
These tend to come in three sections and are from around 12 to 15 feet long and normally used with lines of around 2-41b breaking strain.The "action" of a rod simply means the flexibilty or stiffness of the rod, for example a waggler rod has a hollow tip section and plenty of ‘give’ allowing you to strike hard at distance without a light hooklength snapping.
A stiff actioned rod tends to be more rigid through the rod upto the last section.
Quiver Tip Rods
Quiver tips come in lengths from 7ft up to 12ft, with stengths of from very light to very heavy. The length and strength you choose very much depends on the water you are fishing for example, if fishing a canal or pond then go for a light rod or around 9ft, for small rivers and lakes a medium 9ft to 11ft rod, and for large rivers go for the heavy 12 foot rod. Many of the rods are supplied with interchangeable tips of different strengths so basically its a matter of selecting the tip that suits your fishing.
Swing Tip Rods
They come in lengths of 9ft to 11ft and are ideal for fishing when there is little or no wind as they are far more sensitive than the quiver tip.The swing tip is attached to the rod by a silicone adapter that vary's in strengths from soft to hard. Best suited to still or very slow moving rivers because of its sensitivty, if used on fast rivers the current will constantly lift the swing tip up and bite's will be impossible to see.
Specialist Rods
These two-piece rods of 11ft to 13 ft in length and are measured by their test curve ( the amount of weight the rod will withstand through 90 degrees ). They are designed for dealing with the bigger harder fighting fish such as Tench and Carp. They have much larger rings than other rods.

SOME EXAMPLES OF TEST CURVE'S AND USES
RODS   T/C FISH
1¼lbBream, Chub, Tench, Barbel
1½lbChub, Tench, Barbel, Eel
1¾lbBarbel, Eel
2 - 3lbCarp
4 - 5lbCatfish


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REELS

The fixed spool reel is your best choice. This reel turns the line around the spool several times per turn of the handle ( gear ratio ). It has a drag, or clutch, which is kind a safety device to help prevent line breakage.
The fixed-spool reel also allows you to cast with ease because when open the bail arm the line just peels off.

Another type of fixed-spool reel is the Closed-Face reel.This is basically the same as the fixed spool, but with the spool being enclosed preventing problems that wind can cause, and also allowing you to cast with one hand. The closed-face reel is best for light float fishing, specially on rivers.

When buying your reel,you will be presented with the specifications like,gear ratio,bearings, line capacity etc.
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KNOW YOUR REEL
LINE CAPACITY This depends on how you are going to fish. Vertually self explanitory as the higher the capacity the more line the spool holds.
GEAR RATIO This tells you how quickly the line will be retrieved per turn, for instance, as 5:1, meaning that for each turn of the handle the pick-up revolves five times.
BALL BEARINGS These help the reel work smoothly. The more bearings the reel has, the smoother it will work under pressure.
CLUTCH or DRAG This is set when playing a large fish. Loosening the clutch will allow the fish to take line on a run. This stops your line being stretched or even snapping.

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FISHING LINE

Many to choose from, they are measured in Breaking Strain (BS), and diameter.The breaking strain is the point at which the line will break under weight and pressure.
The two main types of line are mono and braid.
Basically the mono is stretchable and bigger in diameter compared to braid,whereas the braid does not stretch and is alot thinner in diameter than mono at the same "BS".
Braid is very popular among carp anglers because of its low diameter. For basic float fishing, for the smaller species,mono is quite adequate, but one thing to bear in mind, is that when tying a knot in the line this often reduces the "BS" at that point.
A very important thing to remember also is, ALWAYS use a lower BS for the hooklength than the mainline. This is because if the line does break, it will do so at the weakest point and the fish will not get teathered.

Make sure your line is loaded correctly. To do this, tie the line on the spool with the bail arm OPEN. Then put a pencil through the spool, or get someone to hold it, while you wind it on the reel under a bit of tension. Make sure the line goes on the reel the same way as it went on the spool at the factory, otherwise when you cast, the line will come off in "coils". Finally, do not overload the reel, load to just below the lip of the spool.

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OTHER TOOLS OF THE TRADE

Hooks - Basically 2 types, the spade-end and the eyed. Eyed hooks are for thicker lines when fishing for bigger fish. Spade-end hooks are for light lines, tie more neatly, and give a better presentation of the bait. Hook sizes range from the largest size No2, to the smallest size No22 (the higher the number the smaller the hook). What size to go for depends on the size of the bait.With a single maggot a size 20 or 22 hook will be OK, a size 14 or 16 for a grain of sweetcorn. They also come ready tied to nylon

slip shotSplit Shot -These are not just for making the float stand up, they are used for sinking the float and presenting the hookbait in various ways.
It come in different sizes marked by numbers and letters.With the most popular being, the largest SSG, also known as Swan Shot, then AAA, BB, and No.'s 1, 4, 6, 8 and 10.

Floats - There are two basic types, the Waggler, which is attached by the bottom end only, and the Sticks and Avons that are attached by a rubber at each end.

Float Rubbers - Float rubbers are silicon rubber bands of various lengths and diameters for attaching floats to lines. Float adapters are used to attach waggler floats to lines and offer easy float changing.

discorgers Disgorger - A tool thats a must, they are about 6ins and long used to remove hooks from the mouths of fish that can't be reached


Scissors -Always handy to have for running repairs, cutting line for hooklengths, and trimming line after tying knots.

Landing Net - Fish heavier than about 6oz should not be lifted directly from the water on the hook as this can damage their mouths.So they must be lifted out with the landing net.
These come in a variety of sizes, but you should have one of at least 15ins in diameter if round, or at least 20ins if triangular. The mesh should be micro-mesh or mono-mesh with a handle of at least 48ins long.

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FINDING THE DEPTH

When float fishing, the best way to find the depth of the lake, is by using a "plummet". This is a weight with cork at the bottom. Put your float and hook on in the usual way. Then thread the hook through the eye of the plummet, and put the hook point into the cork at the bottom of the plummet.
Cast out, and if the float is completely below the surface, move the float up the line. Keep doing this until the tip of the float is visable. This will tell you the depth of the area you are going to fish.

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CASTING

If float fishing, don't try and go for a record cast, because you will not get the accuracy needed to present the bait.
Put a finger on the line near the reel and open the bail arm. Then raise the rod directly above your head so the rod tip and rig is pointed behind you at approx.between 10 &11 o'clock.
With a gentle "pivot" action bring the rod back over your head.When you get to approx.just before "1 o'clock" high, take your finger off the line to release the rig.
Just before the rig hits the water, give a little tap to the spool. Your rig should be in a straight line in front of you.
Point to remember - look at the area you are casting to, and not the rod tip.It is also important that you never rush a cast.


casting casting casting casting

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USING KEEP NETS

When using a keep net always make sure it is the correct size for the fish you are going to put in it. If possible, try and possition it directly in front of you so you can put the fish in quickly and safely.
Always submerge the maximum amount of the net and dont leave it sitting high in the water. Where ever possible try and peg out the bottom of the net in the water, to avoid it collapsing.s

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SOME DO'S & DONTS ON USING KEEP NETS
1Don't use a keepnet unless you really have to
2Always stake the net to prevent it collapsing.
3Always stake it in a shady area, never in bright sunlight.
4Never use in fast flowing water.
5Don't put too many fish in one net.
6Never keep fish for more than a few hours.
7Never tip the fish out, but allow them to swim out.

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