I've fished Esthwaite a few times, mostly in he autumn. I fished pretty much as you suggest - 12ft medium tip rod, medium cage feeder (consider that it is quite deep, so perhaps close some holes our use a window feeder), 14 hook. Bites can take a while to come, but constant casting usually finds some good perch and then roach, skimmers and hybrids. Great fishing set against one of the best backdrops anywhere. One other thing - if you have a platform or box with legs so much the better as you might want to wade in to fish.