Questions from a mostly noob

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Nomad

Guest
I haven't fished for about 40 years, and I wasn't particularly good at it back then. Not that I'm going to let that stop me giving it another go. My past experience was limited to bank fishing on lochs, using either a spinner or a bubble float and bait.

I happened to be near my local Go Outdoors yesterday, and came out with some cheap spinning kit...

Shakespeare 8ft telescopic spinning rod for 10 quid (http://www.shakespeare-fishing.co.uk/catalogue/rods,778/spinning,970/beta-telescopic-rods,8160.html).
Shakespeare reel for 13 quid (http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/shakespeare-omni-30rd-reel-p261056).
A couple of 10 gram spinners, and some size 12 hooks and swivels.

The rod is described as medium action and has a cast weight of 0.5 to 2oz, or 10-30g (which is odd because 2oz is a lot more than 30g). The box for the reel says it's loaded with 8lb line.

Did I buy cheap and nasty, or cheap and cheerful?

I'm interested in catching fish for eating, preferably trout, from the banks of lochs and maybe rivers. I'm aware that most inland places (in Scotland) require a permit, that there are seasons for some species, and that there are usually additional local rules that need to be adhered to. (Not the subject of this post.)

My questions...

Is the 8lb line okay? (I assume it is, or is at least in the ballpark.)
The guy in the shop suggested the 10g spinner weight. Is it okay?
What sort of floats should I get? My memory of bubble floats is that they're easy to cast and then leave out. Never used the little stick floats, and not really sure if/why they would be better. If bubble floats, what size?
What sort of bait should I get?

I also have an interest in trying fly fishing. It seems that the gear has the potential to be lighter and more compact than spinning gear (no floats or bulky lures, reels are smaller).

Can the rod I have be used for fly? (Too stiff?) If not, any suggestions for a telescopic fly rod for el-cheapo money?
Any recommendations from the cheaper reels here? http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/fishing/fly-and-game-fishing/fly-reels/sort/2
What do the geared ones offer that the others don't?
What weight and type of backing line should I get? What about leaders?
I have a Swiss Champ SAK - any other tools that I need?
What about these gunks that are used to float/sink lines?
Wet flies or dry flies? (And why?)
 

Clouston98

Woodsman & Beekeeper
Aug 19, 2013
4,364
1
23
Cumbria
Hi mate

I'm a fly fisherman most of the time these days, but I started the way you are now :)

I'd say they're a cheap and cheerful- you can't go wrong for that price.

For me, 8lb line is a bit to strong, of be more inclined for 6 or maybe five and a half if you can get some. Bubble float and a small hook, about size 12 and a worm is always good with a couple f split shot, spinners - small is good for me, not keen on the big ones. I don't like stick floats and much prefer bubble. Ledger is something you might want to consider- unless it's a rocky bottom and they get stuck.

That rod cannot be used for fly mate- whole different ball game-

for me fly is the best- much more of a sport but the gear is completely different. As for what type of fly that depends on the time of year, weather were you are etc so a selection is good- near me I catch mostly on nymphs and buzzers.

For fly gear I use a floating line and a 9ft knot less tapered leader in 5lb. I have snips, forceps, filet knife but you could be fine with your sak really, especially if you go barbless. The sink/float gunks are cheap but not essential/ but can come in handy. A vest/ fishing gilet is useful too, and most of the stuff you can pick up along the way.

You will also need a priest and a good landing net to fish anywhere- I find greys a good and fair priced fishing brand and use them for most things, waders are also useful if you are fly fishing, I love them too!

The casting for fly Is hard when you first start, decievingly hard- I went to a days lesson and can cast well now, and my dads friends have been fly fishing for twenty+ years do I got advice from them! it would be good to got to a local fishery and speak to some experienced people there who will know a lot more than me.

Hope this helps mate! :)
 
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Nomad

Guest
Thanks Cam. I'll get some bubble floats and split shot. Noted on the landing net - will pick one up. I'm making a priest with an aluminium handle and brass lumpy bit (you don't buy lumps of turned metal when you've got a lathe of your own). Not keen on losing tackle, so I'll forego the ledger stuff for now.

There's a fishery not too far from me that has three small lochs, two for fly only, and one for fly or bait. Gets stocked with rainbow, brown and blue trout regularly (up to 4 times a week, apparently), and bags can be 2-5 fish depending on how much time you buy. I get the impression that you are expected to catch fish at this place. They sell tackle and bait, so I'll take their advice on what bait works there.

I think I'll hold back on the fly gear until I've learned a bit more about it - there seem to be more options to consider than spinning/bait, and there's little point in rushing out and buying the wrong stuff even at the el-cheapo end of the market.
 

dave89

Nomad
Dec 30, 2012
438
7
Sheffield
I usually use a 5LB line and then use a lighterweight say (2lb) one after the swivel that way if line does break you only loose the hook, plus on the fish's side of things hes not dragging around your float or ledger.
 

sunndog

Full Member
May 23, 2014
3,567
472
derbyshire
sorry for a small highjack nomad

but since i know very little about fishing can ask Clouston98 why you'd prefer 51/2-6lb line over 8lb
what are the advantages?....to me a 8lb line just means you can catch bigger fish lol


cheers.....adam
 

dave89

Nomad
Dec 30, 2012
438
7
Sheffield
The lighter line will be less visible to the fish, a 100lb line will look like a tow rope to a 3lb fish, its a balancing act really youve got to match the line to the fish you are targeting. obviously sometimes you can get it wrong and loose a fish.

Another thing is that you can catch larger fish on light line you just have to be carefull, use the drag on the reel wear the fish down and watch out for snag risks.
 

Clouston98

Woodsman & Beekeeper
Aug 19, 2013
4,364
1
23
Cumbria
sorry for a small highjack nomad

but since i know very little about fishing can ask Clouston98 why you'd prefer 51/2-6lb line over 8lb
what are the advantages?....to me a 8lb line just means you can catch bigger fish lol


cheers.....adam

Yeah mate as dave just said, it's thinner and less visible to the fish so they're more likely to not see the line and take the bait :).

Nomad mate, I'm glad the advice was useful! :)
 

sunndog

Full Member
May 23, 2014
3,567
472
derbyshire
cheers lads

tbh i didn't think there would be that much differance in dia between 5 1/2 and 8lb.....mind you, last time i bought some fishing line i just went into the shop and got "handiest" looking size. sorta goldilocks style. not too thick or too thin, but just right LMAO
 
N

Nomad

Guest
No worries Adam - the noob questions don't all have to come from me. :)

Today, I learned that fishing isn't necessarily the same as catching fish. I knew that already, but seemed to have forgotten. At least I got my line wet.

Went to the fishery I mentioned for a couple of hours. The first cast (in 40 years) was a bit wimpy, but distance was fine after that. I did find that they tended to go left most of the time. On the way there, I stopped at Go Outdoors and picked up a few more bits: spool of 4lb line, box of split shot, some of those swivels with the clip at one end, a rod rest and a landing net. They had lots of nets, but most seemed to have no handles, and I couldn't see any handles available separately. I went for a Leeda folding one with a handle...

http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/leeda-flip-game-net-50cm-head-p195927

Seems quite good, and I like the way it folds down. When my kit settles down a bit, I'll probably make some sort of rucksack-mountable sleeve/holder for this, the rod rest and the rod(s).

I had intended to rig up some terminal tackle before I got started, but I didn't get any bubble floats until I was at the fishery, and ended up buying the permit and bait at the same time. I'll just do it on the bank, I said to myself, but I was surprised at how long it took me - spent nearly 20 minutes farting about with swivels, float, bits of line and hook. The bait was grubs of some sort, and the first couple vanished off the hook after one cast each. They seemed to stay on better when I pierced them near the head. Tried spinning for the last half hour, mainly for the sake of some reel winding action, but I constantly felt that it was the wrong kind of lure (too big).

Some more noob questions...

This stuff about line visibility - the fluorocarbon lines are supposed to be near-invisible according to the blurb. Are they? And if they are, doesn't that mean that a stronger line is okay if it's fluorocarbon? (Keeping spool capacity in mind.)

Fly reels. There seem to be geared and, presumably non-geared types...

Geared
http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/pure-fishing-omni-x-geared-fly-6-7-p146700

Non-geared(?)
http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/omni-fly-reel-6-7wt-p260848

Is this to do with the turn ratio between a full crank with the hand and the number of rotations of the spool? What are the pros and cons?
 
N

Nomad

Guest
Fly rod/line weights...

Most of the reading I've been doing seems to lean towards a 5wt for trout on still water and rivers. Would that be about right? (If so, I won't be buying from Go Outdoors - their fly fishing stock seems a bit limited, and 6/7wt seems to be where they start. I'm not a fan of them, especially, they're just cheap and reasonably close to me.)

What about rod length and action? I'm thinking of 8.5 to 9' with a medium flex from around the middle of the rod. The eBay seller of this in 8.5' happens to be close to me...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SHAKSPEAR...oods_FishingAcces_RL&var=&hash=item68e04ea50c

If I have the basic spec right, this appeals because it's 4-piece, meaning a short pack size. Any thoughts?


On reels, I did a bit of reading, and it seems that the non-geared type is the better choice. Also read somewhere that it's wise to buy a spare spool when buying the reel because reel designs change quite quickly and spools can become unavailable just when you go to buy a second one - true?
 
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Clouston98

Woodsman & Beekeeper
Aug 19, 2013
4,364
1
23
Cumbria
Fly rod/line weights...

Most of the reading I've been doing seems to lean towards a 5wt for trout on still water and rivers. Would that be about right? (If so, I won't be buying from Go Outdoors - their fly fishing stock seems a bit limited, and 6/7wt seems to be where they start. I'm not a far of them, especially, they're just cheap and reasonably close to me. )

What about rod length and action? I'm thinking of 8.5 to 9' with a medium flex from around the middle of the rod. The eBay seller of this in 8.5' happens to be close to me...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SHAKSPEAR...oods_FishingAcces_RL&var=&hash=item68e04ea50c

If I have the basic spec right, this appeals because it's 4-piece, meaning a short pack size. Any thoughts?


On reels, I did a bit of reading, and it seems that the non-geared type is the better choice. Also read somewhere that it's wise to buy a spare spool when buying the reel because reel designs change quite quickly and spools can become unavailable just when you go to buy a second one - true?

Yes mate I use a nine foot five weight.

Four piece rod sounds good, mines only a two and it's too big to lug anywhere far except when in the canoe, I've been fancying a six piece for a while but never got round to buying it.

And yeah go outdoors a crap for fly gear, specialist angling shops are the best.

On the reals I believe both of the ones I use aren't geared but I'm unsure. I pull the fish in by hand on the line, which Is most people method when fly fishing, and most reels come with three odd spare spools for different lines and backing, floating, intermediate etc - so I'd expect you'd be fine either way.

Hope this helps! :)
 
N

Nomad

Guest
Thanks Cam. I think I'll go have a mooch around this local shop and see what they have. Also found another fly/bait fishery that's much closer to me and cheaper than the one I visited yesterday, so I'll have a shoofty at that as well.
 

TurboGirl

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Sep 8, 2011
2,326
1
Leicestershire
www.king4wd.co.uk
Ohhh! A fishing thread! I have been waiting to make an important contribution to one of these, based on my extensive armchair experiences of this sport....
10273623_10202990450176659_1168192249712920131_n.jpg
 

dave89

Nomad
Dec 30, 2012
438
7
Sheffield
Just a bit to add on the "where to shop front" if you go to a fishing tackle shop you'll proberly find you save more in the long run because they will know what they are talking about, where as places like decathon and Go outdoors have lots of stock that they have little information about. When i started i went to the local shop who recommend what i needed they even has used rods so there could be a saving made there.
 

TurboGirl

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Sep 8, 2011
2,326
1
Leicestershire
www.king4wd.co.uk
I forgot to ask what it was but am pleased to know that... now I can search anywhere I intend to swim and stay on dry land if these are listed as natives ;) Sorry for the completely unsolicited threadspam, I'll leave you to your interest now :)
 
N

Nomad

Guest
Just been out and got my fly gear. The local shop wasn't as good as I had hoped for, so I ended up going further afield after speaking to a different shop on the phone to ask about rods. In the end, I went with 6wt, on the basis that the folks I talked to reckoned it would be a bit better in the wind on stillwater and lochs.

I got...

Shakespeare Sigma 9' rod
Leeda LA 5/6 reel and a spare spool
Airfllo Velocity floating line
A fly box and 25 flies
6lb leader
That paste for making the leader sink

The guys in the shop were really helpful. Tried various reels to see what balanced well with the rod - the one I initially had my eye on was a tad light and had a poor drag system, the next one was a bit dearer but too large and heavy, and I ended up with the Leeda for 15 quid (and 6 quid for the second spool). I got 14 flies on size 12 hooks, 6 on size 14, and 5 big fluffy things. I trusted the guy's judgement which particular flies to select since I have no clue. The big fluffies are for rainbows, apparently. He also set the line up on the reel and showed me how as he went (backing line, fly line and the little loop thingy at the end). All-in, it cost 90 quid. I thought it was an excellent little shop, and I'd be happy to go back there.

I think my next step is some intensive YouTube viewing, following by some practice on dry land without the leader.
 
N

Nomad

Guest
Tapered leaders - are they worth using? (Are they going to make a difference to a beginner?)


Was down the local park practicing my casting. Mixed results - more practice needed. Sometimes got a nice unfolding of the loop, and sometimes everything seemed to land short in a pile of line (maybe I was dipping the rod too soon). I suspect I'm breaking my wrist a bit on the back cast, and I think I need to pause a little there - definite imbalance in timing compared to the front cast where I can see the line. Shooting line seemed to work okay. One of my better casts measured 13 long paces (probably nearly a yard). It was a bit breezy, and I was surprised at how much the line is blown around.
 

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