Freelining On Rivers. Advice please.

Truly

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Returned to coarse angling after many years this summer. Had some wonderful days pleasure fishing on the middle Nene and fenland drains. Mainly fishing for silvers on the Nene and bream and pike on the drains. Now musing why the heck I haven't been doing this for years.:rolleyes:

I am now thinking that I would like to have a go at travelling light, on the move stalking/freelining for chub and perhaps a barbel if I'm lucky.

As I have never tried this type of angling I would appreciate some advice on the basics. I still have my old Daiwa Jaguar 10' carbon ledger rod, that I hope would be good enough?
Things like line strengths, hook sizes/simple baits and basic methods would be really helpful.(y)
 

Zerkalo

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The river I fish is a bit too fast for freelining and so I would be looking at using a simple link leger rig with a few Swan Shot as weight but I would go for 6lb line straight through to around a size 8 hook with a big bait like Lobworm, Meat, Cheesepaste or even Breadflake if you can cast it. Location will be everything for this kind of fishing, so travelling light you can move pegs and hopefully find a few fish.
 

OldTaff

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I’m with @Zerkalo - 6lb straight through to a number 8 or 6 either with or without a link ledger.

Baits of choice for me would be bread flake, big worm, cheese paste, luncheon meat maybe even a slug to tempt a chub (dad swore by them). Nothing stopping you flicking out a hair rigged big pellet either such as a 16mm halibut if you fancy trying something a bit different.

I like a 13’ rod for reaching out past overhanging bushes but 10’ is easier to get through bankside vegetation if you are moving about a lot.

Depending on your river you can usually get away with an underarm flick rather than overhead casting and risking fouling trees, hold the line just above the hook in your free hand then pull it back to put a bit of a bend in the rod tip & out it should go quite nicely.

All I would add is be careful - banks can often be undercut and if you are stalking it’s all to easy be so focused on the fish that you suddenly find yourself in the water and in bother.
 

Griffo

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As the chaps above say, strong line straight through, depending on size of fish expected and size of river, I spent a bit of time chasing around the country after barbel, if I was fishing under a weir I would think nothing of having a flat 40gram running lead, touch ledgering for bites with 8Ib line, lot of success using 10 and 12mm oily halibut pellets on a band.
 

Truly

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All I would add is be careful - banks can often be undercut and if you are stalking it’s all to easy be so focused on the fish that you suddenly find yourself in the water and in bother.
Highly appropriate advice in my case thanks. :oops:(y)

First time out in July I was leaning forward to put some water in my casters when the bank gave way and I went in head first ! About 4 foot of water in a fen drain with lots of that lovely black ooze, stinking mud at the bottom:eek:. Even worse, I lost all my casters:mad:

Once I had fished myself out I stripped off down to my skinnies, laid everything out to dry on the bank and carried on fishing until 8pm. It was a beautiful day and one can't let a bit of the wet stuff spoil a day fishing.:rolleyes: Started to get a bit chilly as the sun went down, so decided to go home and face the music. Tried to conceal matters but the stink of fen drain mud preceded me into the conservatory, where I was met by my dear wife.
She said words to the effect of '' I haven't smelled that stink for ages etc.'' and then proceeded to tell the rest of the family as my clothes went in the washing machine and me into the shower.
As you may expect I took a lot of stick.

One of my 'mates' suggested that I had been very fashionable as wild swimming was all the rage ! My lame response was that I had been falling in fen drains whilst eel fishing at the age of 7 and still doing it at 70! Sadly no eels now though.
 

Browner

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I had some lovely chub free lining meat this summer. I tend to put a small link bead between a couple of float stop so that I can add a bomb if needed. The weight of the meat is enough to flick it out and the link bead weighs nothing.
I fish 5lb mainline to about 4lb hook length and a size 10. Push the hook through the meat, turn it through 180 and pull it back into the meat putting a small piece of grass under the bed of the hook. That will stop the hook getting caught in weed as it rolls along the bottom. I used a 10ft Drennan S7 Carp Feeder with a 1.1/2oz slow taper glass tip.
 

davej

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Bites tend to be savage so you can get away with burying all but the point of the hook in the bait. A ball of cheese/bread paste or prawns have always worked for me.
 

OldTaff

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Highly appropriate advice in my case thanks. :oops:(y)

First time out in July I was leaning forward to put some water in my casters when the bank gave way and I went in head first ! About 4 foot of water in a fen drain with lots of that lovely black ooze, stinking mud at the bottom:eek:. Even worse, I lost all my casters:mad:

Once I had fished myself out I stripped off down to my skinnies, laid everything out to dry on the bank and carried on fishing until 8pm. It was a beautiful day and one can't let a bit of the wet stuff spoil a day fishing.:rolleyes: Started to get a bit chilly as the sun went down, so decided to go home and face the music. Tried to conceal matters but the stink of fen drain mud preceded me into the conservatory, where I was met by my dear wife.
She said words to the effect of '' I haven't smelled that stink for ages etc.'' and then proceeded to tell the rest of the family as my clothes went in the washing machine and me into the shower.
As you may expect I took a lot of stick.

One of my 'mates' suggested that I had been very fashionable as wild swimming was all the rage ! My lame response was that I had been falling in fen drains whilst eel fishing at the age of 7 and still doing it at 70! Sadly no eels now though.

If the fishing doesn’t work out there’s always bog snorkelling :LOL:
 

Arry

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Ball of plasticine on a swivel or a link leger...👍
 

Browner

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Martin Bowler suggests using chewing gum squeezed on the line as a site indicator when free lining in shallow clear water. Apparently it was a Terry Lampard trick.
 

Lee Richards

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If the water you intend to fish has a healthy stock of Barbel & Chub and the flow is nice and steady then try rolling meat.
Simple rig is a size 1 or 2 hook wrapped in lead wire and a large meat of piece.
You can work a lot of river by trundling it through the swim and we used to do a lot of it on the Teme.
Search Ray Walton rolling meat on Youtube and you will soon see why it's a great method.
 

breadflake

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In steady conditions with little downstream wind cast as far up stream as possible then let the bait trundle back holding the rod high or low to suit the flow gently winding in slack line,it might stop when caught in weed or gravel just give a few seconds then twitch the rod upwards to move the bait but be prepared for the thump of a fish or the line dropping back faster than the flow as a fish comes towards you, with meat or a couple of worms I like not to use any weight unless the flow picks up and not too heavy a tip makes the trundle easier to read.
 

Truly

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Would a Drennan Acolyte 12 foot carp be suitable for this type of fishing ? Having looked through lots of threads and advice it looks like a Acolyte 12 foot plus, but called Carp. One for sale locally.
 

davej

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Would a Drennan Acolyte 12 foot carp be suitable for this type of fishing ? Having looked through lots of threads and advice it looks like a Acolyte 12 foot plus, but called Carp. One for sale locally.
Looking at the reviews for it, should be fine if it's balanced with the reel, as you'll be holding it all the time.
 

Lee Richards

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If trundling a Carp rod is a bit heavy to be holding all day and ideally you need a tip actioned rod to "flick" the bait loose if it gets snagged up.
Don't think you will have the necessary feel on a Carp rod.

Used to do a lot of floater fishing and I would know I have held the rod all day.
 

Louis D

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If it is shallow and you can spot fish then free-lining crust is good fun. Get a tin loaf, cut the crusts off and let them dry off for a few days, liquidise the rest. I used to wander down shallow parts of the Dane till I saw a shoal of chub - not too tough in 12 inches of water. 1 ball of licky, then cast out a piece of crust. Got to be careful not to strike too soon but it is really exciting seeing one break off from the shoal and move across the current.
 

Davethefish

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If trundling a Carp rod is a bit heavy to be holding all day and ideally you need a tip actioned rod to "flick" the bait loose if it gets snagged up.
Don't think you will have the necessary feel on a Carp rod.

Used to do a lot of floater fishing and I would know I have held the rod all day.
I suspect that the rod Truly has seen is an Acolyte Carp Waggler ( They do not do a conventional higher test curve rod in the Acolyte range.......yet ! ) in which case it's a very light rod. For what he wants to use it for I would probably be looking at an Avon type rod which will give a little more backbone should old whiskers turn up.
 

Lee Richards

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Barbel 1.5 or 1.75 tc is my first choice for trundling as the tippier action allows a bit of control without being harsh when getting the bait moving again.
 
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