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, 8 February 2015

How to guide - Using the Slider Float

After my recent trip to Shearwater I was contacted to explain how my set up. To be honest this was the first time I had fished the slider in a few years, so I was almost a case of re-teaching myself. The slider is a great method for float fishing deep venues on what could be described as almost normal waggler tactics. Unlike Polaris floats which work on a float/ledger principle, slider float fishing is essentially heavy duty waggler fishing. Once you have cracked it, it is a great method and viable alternative to fishing deep on the pole or short range bomb/feeder work. There are also a few hints and tips which make the whole process of fishing using the slider a whole lot easier.

My set up for slider float fishing is as follows:
  • 14' Match Rod (In my case a 14'' Shimano Hyperloop Fast action)
  • 3000 / 4000 sized reel (I used a Shimano 4000 GT-GC)
  • Reliable and forgiving line (Maxima - Chameleon 4lb)
  • Suitable sized float
I personally find that the longer rod allows quicker contact with the fish while striking, it also makes casting easier. It is unlikely that'll will cast as far with a slider as you would using a normal waggler, the additional rod length assists with the cast.

Reel choice is important. You will need something that balances well with the longer rod. For that reason I opted for the 4000 model, it casts well and retrieves really smoothly, with minimal fuss and great line lay.

You will need a line which will handle heavy floats being chucked out all day, can contend with a stop knot being tied onto it, while remaining durable and smooth. Maxima line is a line that has stood the test of time and is still the first choice of many anglers. I chose Chameleon for slider float fishing because when fishing at depths of over 15 feet red is the first colour to disappear from the visual spectrum (maybe it doesn't matter, but I've only ever used Chameleon for my slider work)

The float, is a case of "horse for courses". I was using a modified pre-cock 3AAA+ 5AAA and it worked well, but I have used much heavier when fishing up to 30 feet. Shearwater was around 19 feet, and the fish are known to take on the drop so there was no need to have a huge weight dragging my bait to the bottom as soon as it hit the water.

The Rig and Plumbing up.
  • Tie a stop knot onto your mainline. I used Trilene 4lb, tied using a grinner knot with both tag ends around 3cm (1 1/2 inches in old money).
  • Use a small bead between your stop knot and float.
  • I use a Korum feeder bead to attach my float, it means swapping floats (if light levels changes or I need something heavier/lighter) easy.
  • Then some dropper shot, as I knew fish would take on the drop I spaced a few droppers 12 inches apart to the bulk (which was an olivette). Despite it being 19ft deep, when wound in, I choose to have a manageable rig length of 6ft.
  • Bulk shot or Olivette. I prefer Drennan Olivette as the come with a protective sleeve which is kinder to knots. If you are unsure thread on another bead after the olivette.
I used some shot to lock the Olivette in place above the swivel.
  • I've found that when fishing in deep water winding in fish can result in A LOT of line twist, which is a pain in the bum, and will more often than not result in a tangle. A way to counter this is to use a swivel to attach to hooklength. The smallest Preston or Matrix swivel are roughly the same weight as a No. 8 shot, be attaching one of these to you mainline before the hooklength you drastically reduce the amount of line twist experienced on the retrieve.
  • For the hooklength I used 3lb Hi-Tec line to a Kamasan Size 16 B911 hook. Whether you use a dropper on your hooklength it a choice entirely up to you. In this instance I was using an 18 inch hooklength so placed 1 x No. 8 dropper at 9 inches.
Plumbing up is very similar to that of normally plumbing up on the waggler. Attach a plummet to your hook and cast out, but instead of moving the float further up or down the line you reposition to stop knot. Moving it either further up or down the mainline until you achieve the depth you wish to fish at. When fishing in depths of over 8 feet i tend ot fish slightly over depth as there may be underwater current movement which would lift a perfectly static bait up off the bottom.

Tips to make Slider fishing easier:
  1. The night before soak the line in soapy water, it makes the cast smoother (Fairy must be magic)
  2. Feather your cast to prevent tangles. Once you have cast, gently touch the spool of you reel. The force of the cast will be enough to still pay out line, but it will slow the cast enough that your rig straightens out and prevents a tangle on casting.
  3. As mentioned above, use a swivel to act a dropper and to attach your hooklength.
  4. Use a float that’s up to the job. You may be casting 20+ into deep water, use a float that you can comfortably cast out, but will also cock and sit without much movement.
There you have it. Fishing the slider is a great method and a really enjoyable alternative to ledgering on deep venues. For those anglers who prefer watching a float to that of a tip then this may be the option for you.

A Shearwater bream taken on the slider.
Why not give it a whirl? If you have any questions about the above please contact me here.


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