Tackle and Tactics
Mike Ladle

Information Page.

Tip ring damage

I had an email from my pal Richard recently that caused me a little alarm. Here's a version of what he said.

Hi Mike

Seems a long time since we last spoke when you had a good laugh at me reclining in the surf at the ledge but with work, family and dodgy backs I think I only got out fishing 4 times since then although the last Friday of the season was good with 12 pike to 6lbs on sink and draw dead baits. I have been out twice for bass with no success, once to Poole where I had 4 follows and once to Studland and then on to the ledge where I would have sworn that the sea had no life at all no even a seagull. Maybe Poole tomorrow with a baited spinner if I can get up.

A couple of points you and your readers maybe interested in firstly the top ring of my rod. At the end of last season I noticed that there was resistance in winding in especially if there was any extra weight or perhaps a fish on the end on the line. However I could not see any problem with the rings or line roller on the reel but the two sessions this spring produced the same problem. So I took some time to examine the tip ring and thought I could just detect a mark inside the ring so removed the ring and had a look at it under a under a dissecting microscope. The attached photo shows the grooves worn by the braid and I think the small ‘hairs’ are tiny pieces of braid. That such small amount of wear can have such an effect on the retrieve adding resistance, noise and wear to the braid I find surprising.

The other matter is the amount of bloom or ‘May Water’ this year and I think this may have impacted the fishing a lot during the spring. The divers I've spoken to say that the visibility has been very poor and just recently I was told that the bottom 1-2 foot of water was like a brown soup. Driving to work earlier last week at low water Weymouth beach had a band of weed and algae 6 foot wide and 2-3 inches deep but unfortuantaly I did not have a camera and on Friday when I was next in Weymouth the winds had rolled it all up and mixed it into the sand.

Hope to see you down the beach soon and with the season opening next week if you fancy a joint trip just e-mail or call .

Tight lines


Well, what a downer! I thought that, other than obvious cracks or chips, modern ceramic tip rings were more or less impervious to wear but clearly they're not. I immediately went to have a look at my own tip rings and couldn't see any damage but obviously it is something worth keeping an eye on.

With regard to the 'May Water' there's no doubt that the fishing was slow getting started in the sea. I expect it was a combination of cold conditions and algal blooms. Anyway, it's a good excuse for not catching much.

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 - docladle@hotmail.com

Richard's tip ring.

The damage is hardly visible but it could result in lost fish.'