STICK FLOAT RODS?

Sam Vimes

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I would suggest a few things as offering part of the explanation.

The 1st would be that an awful lot of the old standard lines (Maxima, Bayer Perlon etc) were, and still are, significantly under rated. 2lb in either is a lot closer in diameter and breaking strain to a modern 3lb+ line.

The 2nd would come down to the vagaries of stock changes, particularly with respect to the Trent. I recall taking club trips to the Trent in the 80s. Most went expecting to catch roach with the hope of bonus bream and the odd chub. When I was fishing occasional Trent matches in the early 90s, it was chub with the odd bream. Fast forward another five to ten years and the river seemed to be wall to wall barbel. In the present day, the Trent seems to have a better balanced stock than I ever remember.

Finally, I'd throw in the angling mentality of many matchmen. My experience is that most, but not all, would rather catch 10lb of bits than sit it out for a single 10lb barbel that may not come along. The best of them might also have the skill to land such a bonus fish without resorting to the heavier set ups that make it easier to extract such fish but might also impact on the number of smaller fish that they could catch along the way. An awful lot of pleasure anglers end up hedging their bets, by using bigger hooks and heavier lines, in a way that most matchmen won't. They won't usually be able to catch as big a bag of roach and dace as a good matchman on lighter gear could.
 

Rick123

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I'd say the last observation Sam is spot on, having a day out and catching something was important than a small pocket full of change on the average match. Its different now as many match-men fish places with a lot of stocked fish, the rivers are different however. Many stick men still use the old lines like Maxima, Bayer, and Clarke, why I often ask as many lines are better and finer as you suggested. I'd love to know what Maxima 2lb-3lb line actually break at Sam. I've some Bayer 1.7lb and I'm sure its around 2.5lb b/s in truth?
 

MarkW

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I work on the basis that 2lb Maxima is 2lb 12oz, just tested Bayer 1.7lb and it broke - 2 knots but dry - at 1lb 12oz. I don't think Bayer is that reliable any more - back in the mid 70s it was a better line and stronger if anything. My old Daiwa lines are probably the best stick float lines (especially the original 1.5lb black line but the later 2lb line is good, too) I had but I'm going to switch to DH Pro Match 3lb (very similar to my old Daiwa 2.5lb) when the spool of DH Pro Float 3lb runs out and use the Daiwa lines sparingly. Finer lines are better to use for lighter floats such as sticks and light wagglers which is why I use Maxima 1.5lb (probably 2lb actual) for ultra light waggler fishing.

This week I had an 11lb 10oz carp on 2lb Maxima and 0.09 Preston hooklink and a fine wire 20.

I learnt the lesson of small hooks and fine lines over and over again in my match days, from the season circa 1981 when I seemed to change to stronger forged hooks and 1.7lb hooklinks before noting that my catches had fallen off so that I reverted to 1.1 and fine wire hooks to preparation for a Nene National in 1987 when after a week of practice talking to Ken Wade who pointed out that we needed to fish size 22s not 20s in match conditions, the the two winter leagues one season that I won on a very cold clear Stour after switching in both cases to 22s from 20s to catch chub.

What I will say is that when I fish I often experiment a lot with different hooks, lines, shotting patterns, floats, and this goes back to when I started to fish with a good mate when I was 14. We soon discovered that despite out lack of experience our willingness to fish much finer than the standard rig of many of the older anglers of a 5BB porcupine quill with double maggots on a 16 or 14 regardless of venue brought us bites and fish that they didn't get. We were pretty popular by the time we were 15/16 as we started winning senior matches by then....
 

frothy

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A river I fished as a young lad back in the 70s was stacked full of dace, a few roach and the usual game fish.
I remember fishermen getting smashed by sea trout and it was a rare a event to see one landed, this was by and large due to the finesse of the tackle at the time.
These days the river is almost devoid of dace and holds a fair stock of chub and barbel which are regularly caught and landed on the float, only yesterday a double figure sea trout was landed on the float.
Yes the tackle is more powerful but that can also be a good thing especially for the welfare of the fish, there is also a good number of specimen roach still beping caught each season on what would be traditionally be considered far to heavy a setup.
I sense that sometimes the modern stamp of tackle is frowned upon as being overpowered and unnecessary...
I tend to think that it’s possibly the opposite.
 

Silverfisher

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3lb mainline and a 2lb, 2.25lb, 2.5lb or 2.75lb hooklength to a size 20, 18 or 16 is what use for all my silvers float fishing. I don’t feel the need to go any heavier to land bonus fish as I can land most on that and aren’t targeting them so doesn’t matter if I lose some. I also don’t feel any need to go any lighter as it catches me plenty of fish and if it’s so hard that I need to go lighter than that I don’t really want to be fishing. Paired with a proper silvers float rod it seems the perfect set up to me.
 

trotter2

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My usual set up is 2.6lb or 2.1 on the reel and hooks are 16,18,20,22, hook length can be anything from 0.12 to 0.06. I can land most fish on the River with 0.12 no problem..
 

Rick123

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I work on the basis that 2lb Maxima is 2lb 12oz, just tested Bayer 1.7lb and it broke - 2 knots but dry - at 1lb 12oz. I don't think Bayer is that reliable any more - back in the mid 70s it was a better line and stronger if anything. My old Daiwa lines are probably the best stick float lines (especially the original 1.5lb black line but the later 2lb line is good, too) I had but I'm going to switch to DH Pro Match 3lb (very similar to my old Daiwa 2.5lb) when the spool of DH Pro Float 3lb runs out and use the Daiwa lines sparingly. Finer lines are better to use for lighter floats such as sticks and light wagglers which is why I use Maxima 1.5lb (probably 2lb actual) for ultra light waggler fishing.

This week I had an 11lb 10oz carp on 2lb Maxima and 0.09 Preston hooklink and a fine wire 20.

I learnt the lesson of small hooks and fine lines over and over again in my match days, from the season circa 1981 when I seemed to change to stronger forged hooks and 1.7lb hooklinks before noting that my catches had fallen off so that I reverted to 1.1 and fine wire hooks to preparation for a Nene National in 1987 when after a week of practice talking to Ken Wade who pointed out that we needed to fish size 22s not 20s in match conditions, the the two winter leagues one season that I won on a very cold clear Stour after switching in both cases to 22s from 20s to catch chub.

What I will say is that when I fish I often experiment a lot with different hooks, lines, shotting patterns, floats, and this goes back to when I started to fish with a good mate when I was 14. We soon discovered that despite out lack of experience our willingness to fish much finer than the standard rig of many of the older anglers of a 5BB porcupine quill with double maggots on a 16 or 14 regardless of venue brought us bites and fish that they didn't get. We were pretty popular by the time we were 15/16 as we started winning senior matches by then....

What I was trying to say Mark was this. The rivers were much less clean in those days (suspended sediments) so you would think fine lines, hooks would not matter as much. Conversely, you would do much better now days with such presentations, but do you? I know I catch more on the Trent when fishing dinner, but you still have to land the fish, so its a compromise for me. But in coloured water, I always stepped up to a 3lb bottom. Interesting debate, well worth keeping it for future observations.
 

Rick123

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Interesting Danny seems to use 4.4 flatfish for almost all his river fishing, but with a fine tippet 1.7 Bayer?
 

NoCarpPlease

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Couple of thoughts on this:
1. when we look back 30-40 years ago to the matches on the witham and trent that the likes of John Allerton were winning - a lot of them were in the winter and weights were really not that big - so bites were at a premium.
2. personally - I'm an advocate of the same rod for stick or waggler - I'm more concerned about knowing the capabilities of the rod intimately than any perceived difference in action. I used to use mainly spliced tip rods - nowadays I only have one (venerable conoflex canal blank).
3. The only size 24 i carry these days are B512 for canal and drain fishing on pole or whip. The wire on those is too fine for all my float rods other than the canal one. Next finest is size 22 drennan fine match (old pattern - not the current one) which i've never felt the need to go below on a river.
4. Be careful quoting breaking strains. for example 0.16 diameter is 2.6 in Bayer, 3.2 in Drennan Floatfish and 4 pounds in DH Pro Float. IME those 3 lines behave similarly and are my usual mainline for floatfishing - with hooklengths from 0.07 to 0.15 diameter. Equally - not all hooklength lines are well labelled - so reflo power 0.13 is the equivalent of the brand I use in 0.15.
5. I also carry 0.14 diameter mainline for delicate floatfishing and 0.20 for heavy water/big fish scenarios - but rarely use them. In fact - I've had the 0.20 spooled up for 8 years and used it for the first time two weeks ago!
 

NoCarpPlease

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Interesting Danny seems to use 4.4 flatfish for almost all his river fishing, but with a fine tippet 1.7 Bayer?
4.4 floatfish is 0.18 diameter
1.7 Bayer is 0.12 - so quite heavy really. Good starting point for medium to large chub in snag free water.
 
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