Tackle and Tactics
I'm a bit of a philistine when it comes to fishing tackle. I do like my gear to work, in other words to cast adequately, not to put fish off, to hook the fish when they bite and to be 'man enough' to allow me to land them. Last week when I was perch fishing I used my bass spinning tackle. Now I'm pretty idle so I didn't bother to change anything. It was my spinning rod, my Stradic reel, the 30lb Whiplash braid, a metre of 15lb nylon monofilament and a J9F Rapala with two Varivas trebles. Crude in the extreme!!!! The only concession to what I was doing was a short wire trace in case of pike.
I'm sure that many died in the wool coarse fishermen will have a fit of the horrors at the use of 30lb braid for perch, chub or trout of a pound or two. Why should this be? Why do we use lines of five pounds breaking strain or less when we're after most coarse fish? Surely it's not to 'Give the fish a chance!' as was often written in the older fishing books. The last thing I want is for a fish of any species or size to break my line and escape with a hook in its mouth - so that's a non starter.
Is it to 'Get a better fight out of the fish?' Definitely not, because all you need to do is to set your clutch (or backwind or what have you) at a very low breaking strain and the fish will pull line off the reel just as freely and (if you want it to) struggle for just as long as when you're using two pound nylon.
Is it to induce the fish to bite more freely? Perhaps this is the case. Certainly if you're after small fish with small hooks and baits such as maggots, bloodworms or punched bread, a finer line or at least a finer cast will often bring better results. However, if you're spinning this seems less important. At any rate I seem to catch just as many fish on my 'crude' gear as many others do on lightweight stuff. In addition I have the advantage of being able to easily switch to a big lure or bait if I want. The braid is so fine that I can cast long distances with it. Also if I hook a tree on the opposite bank I can usually pull the lure free. If I accidentally hook a monster my chances of landing it without a two hour battle are very good indeed.
Of course I'm not suggesting that everyone should be as lazy as me when it comes to changing lines/rods/reels/ etc. but perhaps we should question more closely the perceived wisdom of using very light tackle for spinning. Things have moved on a lot since my youth. Rods are stronger, lighter and stiffer, reels have wonderful line lay, clutch control and dependability. Lines are finer, stronger and much less elastic. Hooks are better tempered, sharper and very reliable. All these things make it possible to catch fish of many species and sizes without carting about a pantechnicon full of gear. Anyway, it appeals to me more and more as I get older and the tackle that will effectively cast, retrieve, set hooks and play bass, pollack, wrasse, barracuda, jacks, bonefish, tarpon and the like, can be just as effective for pike, perch, chub, trout and salmon.
If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you.'get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to - firstname.lastname@example.org