Rod/Reel for Rivers

JonS1982

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Hi,

Looking to setup with a decent rod/reel for playing out on the rivers - did all pole fishing last year and having grown up on the drains of Lincolnshire I'd like to go tackle the rivers local to where I now am (which would be the Strour and possibly Avon around Warwickshire)...

For those who don't know the Stour's a small river (at this point), Avon's a bit bigger (and so scarier for me!)...

Looking for a float rod/reel and possibly feeder... any advice appreciated. Would like decent stuff that's going to last me rather than 'starter kit'.

Thanks.
 

Silverfisher

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What’s the budget?

Is a lovely river the Avon around there have the odd session there myself when I fancy a change from my local Thames
 

nejohn

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As far as the float rod goes as long as you are not intending to fish at great distance or very deep rivers I would go for a 13ft traditional type float rod. avoid the ones designed for commercial fisheries as although they will work they will be too through actioned to give really good float control and quick line pick up and will only make life a little more difficult. As for particular rods then that depends on budget but a good one if you don't go second hand (which is always an option) would be north of £120 and up to £400ish you will probably get lots of recommendations for an Acolyte which is fair enough, personally I think it is a little soft in the middle section and there are better rods for similar cash, if you like the Acolyte then go for one but I would also look at things like the Matrix Horizon Pro which is similar price to the Drennan but is a little quicker action (doesn't have that softness in the middle section) but still maintaining the lightness and slimness to the Acolyte, Others if going down the new route would be a Tri-cast John Allerton (these are very quick actioned and can be an acquired taste), Harrison GTi, Browning sphere, Rive R Waggler, the Daiwa Connoisseur is OK but more of a general purpose Waggler rod and the new Maver MVR M2 might be worth a look but not seen one myself so can't really comment, the same goes for the Cadence rods. If you go second hand the choice widens greatly and is really see what is available as a 13ft rod then seek more advice.
As for reels then any decent quality fixed spool in a 2500/3000 size will do the job look for a nice large diameter spool and make sure you can reach the spool lip easily with your index finger while holding the rod comfortably. You could also think about a closed face reel, these are good for relatively close range work and the pick up does not have the same impact as closing the bail arm, and if you are really confident then a centre pin is good fun but takes a little mastering.
For a feeder rod I think I would start with an 11ft medium feeder rod for everything but the extremes of most river requirements, obviously if your target species is Barbel or very large Chub you may want to look at something more powerful
 

JonS1982

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As far as the float rod goes as long as you are not intending to fish at great distance or very deep rivers I would go for a 13ft traditional type float rod. avoid the ones designed for commercial fisheries as although they will work they will be too through actioned to give really good float control and quick line pick up and will only make life a little more difficult. As for particular rods then that depends on budget but a good one if you don't go second hand (which is always an option) would be north of £120 and up to £400ish you will probably get lots of recommendations for an Acolyte which is fair enough, personally I think it is a little soft in the middle section and there are better rods for similar cash, if you like the Acolyte then go for one but I would also look at things like the Matrix Horizon Pro which is similar price to the Drennan but is a little quicker action (doesn't have that softness in the middle section) but still maintaining the lightness and slimness to the Acolyte, Others if going down the new route would be a Tri-cast John Allerton (these are very quick actioned and can be an acquired taste), Harrison GTi, Browning sphere, Rive R Waggler, the Daiwa Connoisseur is OK but more of a general purpose Waggler rod and the new Maver MVR M2 might be worth a look but not seen one myself so can't really comment, the same goes for the Cadence rods. If you go second hand the choice widens greatly and is really see what is available as a 13ft rod then seek more advice.
As for reels then any decent quality fixed spool in a 2500/3000 size will do the job look for a nice large diameter spool and make sure you can reach the spool lip easily with your index finger while holding the rod comfortably. You could also think about a closed face reel, these are good for relatively close range work and the pick up does not have the same impact as closing the bail arm, and if you are really confident then a centre pin is good fun but takes a little mastering.
For a feeder rod I think I would start with an 11ft medium feeder rod for everything but the extremes of most river requirements, obviously if your target species is Barbel or very large Chub you may want to look at something more powerful
Thank-you, comprehensive response.

I was thinking smaller rod for a smaller river and would have gone and bought a 10ft...
 

solwood

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For my river work I use
1) Harrison GTi, bought 2nd hand
2) map dave harrel ST on same blank as 1 also 2nd Hand, I had this re rung with more standoff guides
3) acolyte plus

Love all 3

But John's comment on the matrix now means I will try to find one of those to waggle

Others loved the drennan matchpro, acolyte ultra, they were not right for me.
 

Fugley-fisher

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Unless it's a really small river 10ft will bearly reach the water with bankside foliage and you will really struggle have any line/float controll , unless your able to wade into the river. Nejohn has given you some great advise I can recommend the cadence rods a cr10 13ft #1 for general float work on slow/medium paced river where your likely to encounter the occasonal chub, a #2 for medium to fast pace more chub occasonal barble and a #3 will be powerfull enough anything.
The drennan acolyte plus would suit if your budget allows. And a nice 2500 3000 reel, I have soft spot for the preston innovation centris 3000, but that's my preference, I've heard good things about daiwa ninja's and the more expensive tdr/tdx and tournament (silly money in my opinion). Plenty to choose from if you want an opinion on a particular rod you've seen ask you might get some differing opinions but there are some very knowledgeable people on don't be afraid to ask.
 

NoCarpPlease

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Whatever really... I'd rather but something that will last me than worry about the cash.

Thank-you, comprehensive response.

I was thinking smaller rod for a smaller river and would have gone and bought a 10ft...
NE Johns response is very appropriate and accurate.
I certainly can't add anything on reels - as I use 40+ year old models!

I have fished the Dene (runs through Wellesbourne) - an even tinier brook than the stour - using an 11ft rod - but that's because it's very overgrown so there are a a lot of "parrot cages" where a longer rod might get caught in foliage ... and because I had the rod already. Equally - I've fished 14ft deep stretches of the Avon with an 11ft rod - because I like a challenge! I'm not aware of any mainstream float rods at 10ft that are suitable for river fishing as it is.

We're blessed these days (compared to my youth) as there are hardly any truly unusable rods. But what suits one person doesn't necessarily suit another. Have you used any float or feeder rods before, even in your youth, that could be a comparison point?
Also - what pole are you using - so we could perhaps recommend a comparable quality product?

like Fugley-Fisher, I've found a cadence rod (13ft #2 in my case) meets my needs in most situations. It's certainly a rod that many of the top matchmen use round here by choice - but then it is Cadence home ground as well.
 

solwood

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Thank-you, comprehensive response.

I was thinking smaller rod for a smaller river and would have gone and bought a 10ft...
I would definitely advise 13ft rods as others have said. All the above that I use are 13ft.
 

Reuben

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Love ‘em or hate ’em, rod wise you can’t go far wrong with the Drennan Acolyte range imo. I also really like the discontinued Drennan Matchpro Ultralights. I use mostly Okuma Epix Pros in the 30 range but I quite like the Cadence reels too - as well as the Shimano Exage rear drags in 2500. Lots of choice though…..
 

Silverfisher

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Whatever really... I'd rather but something that will last me than worry about the cash.
Can’t go wrong with acolytes, ultras if you like finesse, pluses if you’re a bit more heavy handed. 13 and 14 foot ultra floats and a 11ft ultra feeder is my standard gear for the Thames and Avon in normal conditions. That said matrix horizon pros or maver signature pros would do much the same job for similar money though all being sub £200. Reel wise the worlds you’re oyster though as personally I don’t think you needed to spend much money on coarse reels given you aren’t dealing with big fish or salt. I’d go £50 plus to make such it’s light enough and mechanically sound but I also don’t think there’s a great deal of point spending more than £100 either essentially for features you don’t need. I use 2500 shimano saharas with 3lb line on my float rods which I think are as good as anything you could get for around £60 then 4000 cadence CS7 with 5lb line for feeder but tbh I think anything around it’s price would do it’s job.
 

OldTaff

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I’m on secondhand 13’ Daiwa Team-X match rod with a Daiwa 125m closed face or and equally bargain Leedsa team match 13’ usually with a centrepin or a Cadence CS6 on it

Dont need to spend a fortune but a 13’ rod in my opinion is the best starting point for rivers
 

david white

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Well worth looking at the Cadence website they often have deals on and did at one point have combo ( rod and reel options ) don’t let the cheaper price compared to better known from tackle shop brands all Cadence products punch well above the price
 

nejohn

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Thank-you, comprehensive response.

I was thinking smaller rod for a smaller river and would have gone and bought a 10ft...
10ft would be a nightmare for most river fishing situation you would not get the float control or the line pick up that you would get with a longer and probably stiffer rod. I use a 10ft rod on one venue only, it is a very small stream no more than about 12ft wide with lots of bankside trees access is very restricted so the short rod helps also trots are no more than 10 yards so no real issues with line pickup. This and fishing from a canoe are the only situations that I would contemplate a rod that short for trotting
 
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