The bit you should read.

I’ve always been an angler and after around the country moving I wanted to discover and document the best places to fish (where ever I might be) in the way of rivers, lakes, canals and ponds. When previously fishing in South Wales I often fished in club and winter league matches, however living up north presented me with new challenges, venues and angling clubs that I acquainted myself with. Now down in the South West I plan to do the same.

This fishing blog details my angling adventures around the UK (although depending where I am in the country I also sea fish from both Boat and Shore, Carp, Pike and Fly fish). I will be giving a summary of 3 values considered by most anglers as well as the additional Disabled Access rating. Since being diagnosed with CIDP and regaining my motor function Disabled angling and Disabled access is now something I always consider when visiting venues. They will all be rated on a scale of 1* to 5*;

1. Fishability *****

2. Accessability *****

3. Value for Money *****

4. Disabled Access *****

I think these 4 points are the key issues which are readily identifiable with all anglers. Feel free to take a look and add your own comments along the way!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Fishing Basics – Loop Tying

While fishing recently I was asked by a young angler if I would tie a hook on to his rig. On handing over his rig, and having a look at his set up I was alarmed at how his whole rig was set up. After a brief conversation I persuaded the young angler that some of the knots I knew may mean when he hooked a fish it was less likely to get away and over the next 5 minutes I slowly deconstructed his rig and then carefully put it all back together in a way which (he assured me) made sense and was helpful. But it got me thinking and on speaking to another of my angling friends I found out that only a few knots were consistently used while fishing. So I thought I may do a few posts, hopefully to try to demonstrate what I find the most useful and practical knots and how to tie them; with the hope that some people will find this information of benefit.

Starting with the 2 variations of the “Loop” - an essential in most coarse anglers knot tying repertoire as it allows the quick and easy attaching of a lighter hooklink to the main line whether you are fishing on the float, ledger of feeder.

Figure 8 Loop.

I use this loop ore often than any other kind of loop. I’ve found that the Figure 8 loop doesn’t exert as much strain on the line as a normal loop would and when completed also provides a more circular loop which really lends itself to ledger fishing allowing your hook length to move more freely than it would using a conventional loop.

      1.       Take your line and fold the tag end back on itself making a ‘U’ shape with the line, pinching the two ends together with your thumb and index finger.

       2.       With the ‘U’ shape fold this over to create a smaller loop as shown.

      3.       Using the ‘U’ end bring this behind the newly formed loop so that you a holding both loops in your pinched fingers.

       4.       Pass the ‘U’ end through the loops and the resulting knot should look like a Figure of 8. Shown here.

       5.       When tying any knot the line should be lubricated, and although this loop does not grip the line like a conventional loop would, lubrication is still needed to remove the friction from tightening up the knot. So wet the line, either with some water or some saliva (which is usually what happens), and tighten up your loop. You should then finish up with a small loop as shown here.

Conventional Loop
I find this is loop is used more widely and is often used to link between mainline and hooklinks on float fishing set ups. It can be tied down to a very small size and when pulled tight can be made very streamline. The knot is also smaller than the figure 8 loop so may offer a slight advantage in the presentation stakes. However I have generally found that this type of knot reduces line strength as the knot “bites” into the line which means an increased likelihood of line breakage. Never the less it is still widely used and to great effect and it is tied as follows;

       1.       Take your line and fold the tag end back on itself making a ‘U’ shape with the line, pinching the two ends together with your thumb and index finger.

      2.       With the ‘U’ shape fold this over to create a smaller loop as shown, holding the line together between your pinched fingers.

      3.       Pass the ‘U’ end of the line through the loop creating a small circular knot. Once lubricated It can then be tightened out creating a standard loop.

Additional (optional) Steps

4.       For match and pleasure anglers alike, catching more fish is something we all think about. One key point of catching more fish is presentation. If you are of this line of thought and like your rigs and knots to be perfectly uniform in size and shape, then when using this loop I do the following. Once the knot has been formed but not tightened down get a Seymo Loop Tyer. Place what will be the knotted loop over the shorter of the two pins, and the final loop on the end pin and carefully tighten down on to the loop.

The loop will then tighten around the pins becoming much smaller than it would have otherwise been.

       5.       Pull the knotted loop up off the smaller pin, and lubricate, then tighten down on the remaining loop. By using this method you will tie perfectly small and uniformly sized loops time after time. This picture shows the 3 sizes of loops, one tied normally and the other 2 using the Seymo Loop Tyer.

I hope this post has been helpful and although it may seem basic these very knots where unknown to my young angling friend until I showed him, and we’ve all got to learn somewhere. If anyone has any requests on what they would like to see, send me a suggestion either below in the comments or on the contact me form above.


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