Black Magic S-Line 8 Kit Roost

Originally Published in English.

Keeping your spare rods and top kits safe on the bank is especially important if you fish canals and other venues that see a lot of ‘traffic’, whether that be walkers, cyclists or boaters. Throw in windy weather and this can be a recipe for disaster if you are not organised. 

The Black Magic S-Line 8 Kit Roost is perfect for storing all of the set-ups that I need on the canal, without being so wide that it interferes with passers by on narrow towpaths. In fact, the 70cm width is ideal for all but the narrowest canal banks. 

The four adjustable legs also mean that it can cope with steeply sloping banks, with the pointed ends enabling me to anchor the roost securely. I can also hang my net bag from the central hook to really hold it down should the wind be a problem. 

Rather than round cut-aways in the foam, the L-shaped design of the kit holders is a lot more secure, just try and face them away from the wind and there is very little chance of even a light top kit from being blow around. 

I like these roots so much that I often use two of them to hold my spare kits and rods. The design is excellent, they fold up quite small and weigh very little, making them ideal for all anglers, but especially on canals and river banks. 

Tight lines! 

Dave Ward

I use this roost to hold both top kits and rods securely.

Position the roost to the side so that everything is to hand.

The extending legs are great for uneven banks.

"The shaped foam holds kits really securely."


Mini Pole Cups

Originally Published in English.

 

These Mini Cups suit my winter canal fishing perfectly as they are light weight, easy to use and are brilliant when I only want to feed a few chopped worm and casters, maggots or a small ball of liquidised bread. Each cup has wide rear slots allowing them to be effortlessly slipped onto large diameter tip sections. They also come with removable caps which eliminates any spillage when shipping out to maximum distance. Every second counts in a match and these cups are so light and small they can be left on whilst fishing allowing the swim fed on a little and often basis without having to reach for a cupping kit.

 

Available in three sizes, small and medium (sold as a pair) and large (sold singly).

Jamie Burt

The precision slots won’t damage top kits.

Fit the cap to eliminate spills.

Cap removed for feeding down the edge. 

"The small size means these cups can be left in place."

Different sizes for different applications.

The caps can be removed to adjust the amount and speed that feed is released.


Catch Roach on Pinkies

First Published in English.

 

If there’s two baits that I wouldn’t leave home without when targeting roach in the colder months on a venue that’s crystal clear then it has to be bread punch and pinkies. Today both are with me as I’m heading to a beautiful venue called Waggoners Wells, controlled by Grayshott Angling Club situated on the Surrey/Hampshire border. The Middle Lake here is deep, gin clear and contains loads of quality roach, great for punch which will be my first line of attack and if things don’t go to plan, then good old pinkies over a dark groundbait will come into play. 

Back-up plan

I’m fishing off the dam where the water quickly shelves away to around nine feet at 10m and to say things aren’t going to plan after a couple of hours is an understatement as the roach are just not responding to the bread punch, a rarity here. It’s time to introduce a couple of balls of Champion’s Method Black Roach, a dark mix which is ideal for clear water, and within are a few pinkies, fed on a new line slightly to my right. This is left for around thirty-minutes whilst I persist on the punch line but although I do believe the roach will feed eventually on this line, I don’t have the luxury of staying all day and need to make it happen sooner rather than later. 

Staggered shirt button

The rig I’ve made up for the pinkie line is created using Cenex 0.08mm and 0.14mm Classic Mono, a great all round line and hook length for pole rigs. A hook that I have recently started to use for most of my roach/skimmer fishing is the Sphere Ultra lite. It’s an extremely light and sharp hook with a fine gauge but still very strong and in this situation have opted for a size 18 onto which two pinkies will be impaled. I’ve decided to cock the 1g pole float using a staggered shirt button, starting at half depth with the first of twelve no9 soft shot which are spaced out so they get slightly further apart as they near the hook. This gives the hookbait a much more natural descend through the lower levels and have decided to fish at dead depth to start off with. Two important components when float fishing are a large plummet to initially find the depth of the swim and the other the use of soft split shot, as if the fish come up in the water and I need to adjust my shotting pattern I can easily move the shot on the line without causing any damage. The pole I’m using is a Xitan Z16 pole and as I’m not using this fully extended have pushed over the butt end one of the new Xitan EVA Pole Caps, the reason being, as although I’m using a roller, at the rear of me are some bushes and this cap simply protects the section and stops any annoying dirt or grit getting into the end section. I’ve also opted for the thinnest Microbore Poe Elastic available, the lime green 1.3mm and with a Pole Elastic Alignment Bush inside the topkit creates the smoothest elastic you could ever ask for, something very important when fishing for hard mouthed roach. 

Fluoro pinkies, a must-have bait in the winter. 

Black Roach, great in crystal clear water.

Start off with a small amount of groundbait and pinkies.

Switching the roach on

The roach are just not responding to the punch so it’s time to test the pinkie line and although bites aren’t instant finally one comes, yet it’s not my intended quarry but a small perch but at least it’s a bite. Fortunately this line just gets better and better as the session continues and by feeding a small ball of groundbait every twenty minutes plus a few pinkies fed through a pole cup every put in, keeps the  bites coming and eventually the roach switch on. I have to admit that if the roach were in an obliging mood and responded to the punch straight away then I would have easily put together 25lb plus of sizable roach which usually average 10oz and do go to well over a pound but for some reason it just hasn’t happen today, however with 15lb of roach and perch taken in the last three hours, how can I be disappointed!

Stereotyped approach

Fishing in winter can be very unpredictable and this session just goes to show that if I had been stereotyped in my approach and come with just one bait, bread punch that nine times out of ten produces, would have on this occasion headed home with just a handful of fish, as I did from time to time try the punch line and although bites did finally come they were few and far between. Always have a back-up plan as one day you will need it! 

 

Ken Russell

Light and sharp, just what’s needed when targeting shy biting roach.

Classic Mono, great for pole rigs.

Microbore elastic offers major advantages over conventional elastics.

"Pinkies are such an effective winter bait"

Ken’s Tackle 

Xitan Z16 L Advance Pole

Cenex 0.08m and 0.14 Classic Mono

Sphere Feeder Ultra Lite size 18 hook

Xitan Microbore 1.30mm Elastic

1g float

No 9 Soft Shot

Ken’s Bait

Champion’s Feeder Black Roach

Fluoro Pinkies

A brilliant result on a winters day.


CK Competition Nets

First Published in English.

Landing nets have a tough life, and finding one that does everything that you ask of it can be tricky. For my river fishing I use the medium CK Competition Net from Browning, as it is pretty close to perfection for my style of fishing. 

The Metal frame is really strong and the mesh is double thickness around it, making it really long lasting and not easily damaged. The frame is fixed really securely into the nylon spreader block, ensuring that there are no weak points that will let you down. 

The mesh itself is a nice, soft 8mm design that is ideal for use in rivers. It seems to catch the flow less than many other nets and is very easy to push through the water, especially useful when netting chub, which have a habit of avoiding the net. 

The net is just the right depth to handle a decent fish, whilst being just right so that I can hold it between my knees when unhooking a fish. There are three styles available. The smaller version is ideal for silverfish venues, the larger one for bigger chub and bream, whilst the hair rigger stops those annoying hair breakages that you can often get when using a wider mesh. 

A great range of nets, at a great price. 

The CK Competition Net is available in three styles:

Small – 45cm wide with 8mm mesh

Medium – 50cm wide with 8mm mesh

Hair Rigger – 50cm wide with 2mm mesh

Tom Noton

The size of these nets is just right.

I really like the combination of mesh sizes.

These nets are ideal for silverfish, but are strong enough to handle carp and barbel too.

"The depth of these nets is just right"


Sphere MgTi Reel

Originally published in English.

 

Having heard numerous glowing reviews on the Sphere MgTi reels I just had to see what I was missing out on and from the very first time I picked the reel up I just knew it would suit all my angling requirements. The first thing I noticed was it really did look the business and the attention to detail is amazing from the carbon weave cosmetics on the body to the blue highlights. 

Looks are one thing but construction and performance is another as rarely will you find all three in a reel but this reel looks like it has tem all, as it’s constructed from some of the finest materials available, ones that will last the test of time. 

Without getting too technical it has a ultra-light magnesium housing, carbon rota and drag discs, titanium-nitride-coated line roller with an anti-twist system, stainless steel main shaft, duraluminium spool to name just a few materials used in its construction so whoever created this reel certainly looked at a reels weak points and made sure that this one wouldn’t disappoint. 

We all have features we like and one of mine is that the reels stem isn’t too long, allowing trapping of the line on the spool with your finger when casting, or just as importantly, letting line out gradually when trotting a river. A reliable and mono friendly line clip is also very important to me and I’ve tested this one repeatedly and it’s outstanding as is the switch to adjust the silky smooth drag which is easy to find and adjust at the front.   

Another area I noticed straight away was the rapid line retrieve and the superb line lay on the spool which takes 110m of 0.20mm line. Although constructed to the highest quality this reel is ultra light weighing just 338g and the slimline handle and thin bail arm creates one of the most balanced reels I’ve ever used.   

Boosting numerous other top notch features such as 9 ball bearings, a gear ratio of 4.6:1, two-speed oscillation system, indestructible titanium axle, titanium coated line guard for optimal line protection and durability plus a spare spool with a special anti-slip-core for braids, the list simply goes on!

This is a fantastic float and feeder reel which I know I’m going to get years of satisfaction from.   

 

Available in four sizes to cover every application in modern coarse fishing.

Paul Hyde

Optimal balance makes casting a dream. 

Outstanding line protection line clip.

Easy to adjust front drag. 

"The line lay is superb."

Easy to reach spool, great for those with short fingers.

Made from the finest materials.

Simply, ‘Out of this World’!


Sphere Feeder Ultra lite Hooks

First Published in English.

One thing that I always try to achieve is to get my hookbait acting in the same way as the loose feed I’m feeding. This is especially important when fishing canals in the depth of winter, when the water is gin clear for roach, a situation where just a couple of extra fish can make all the difference in where you come in a match. Trying however to find the perfect hook that’s not only razor sharp and light but at the same time strong enough, just in case a powerful bonus fish such as a big perch is hooked, has proved difficult but at long last I can confidently say that I have found such a pattern! 

The Sphere Feeder Ultra Lite isn’t just for feeder fishing; it’s a brilliant hook to use when pole, stick or waggler fishing, especially with small delicate baits such as bloodworm, pinkies, squats and one of my favourites, bread punch. An added bonus I have found is that very few fish are lost on this pattern making them my go to hook for almost all my match fishing. And unlike most other brands you get fifteen spade end, barbed hooks in every packet from size 8 right through to an 18!

Jamie Burt

Available in sizes between 8 and 18 for all your feeder fishing.

The small barb and in-turned point see very few fish come adrift. 

"This is a brilliant all round hook."


Catch Dace on the Feeder

Originally Published in English.
The Mighty river Trent is absolutely packed with fish at the moment. Whether you want to catch a monster chub or barbel, bag up with roach, or catch a netful of dace, the fish are there to be caught and it really is a match anglers dream fishery. Today I am fishing a peg at Burton Joyce. The target is to catch dace, which run big here, and I am going to use quite a specialised feeder set-up, that is brilliant when you need to fish beyond float or pole range.
I’ve had a good plumb around and the river here is deepest at about halfway across – roughly 30 metres. The fish can be caught closer than this, but especially in a match, they will back off and being able to catch them efficiently further out is a massive edge.
Many anglers fight shy of fishing for dace on the feeder, thinking that they will miss a lot of bites and that it won’t catch them enough fish to win, but on the right day this isn’t the case. The secret is to get into a rhythm of casting, expecting an almost immediate bite, and using gear that enables you to land the dace quickly, without too many twisting off on the retrieve. Get it right and it can be very, very effective.
The Right Gear
This is a very active style of fishing. I will be holding the rod all the time and giving the feeder, at most, a couple of minutes before I retrieve and repeat the process. Regular casting is essential to build the swim up and attract enough dace to get them competing for the morsels of food. I use a pair of Sphere MH Feeder rods for this job. One is the 13ft 100g 390, which is my starting rod. If the fish are of a big average size and feeding hard then I will step up to the slightly heavier 14ft 100g 420. They are so light and sensitive that I can fish with them all day and feel most bites even before I see the tip move.
Reels are important in this style of fishing. You want to use a reel with plenty of cranking power, as this makes it much easier to retrieve the feeder against the flow. I use the Browning Black Viper Compact 855, which retrieves more than a metre of line which each turn of the handle, yet is very lightweight, essential when you are holding the rod all day.
The reel is loaded with 0.10mm Cenex Feeder Braid – again, another essential, as the lack of stretch in the braid means that I can feel the quick bites and strike faster than if I was just watching the tip. In fact, I tend to hold the line in my left hand (and the rod in my right), feeling for bites and enabling me to tighten or slacken the line slightly as required. Giving just six inches of line must shift the hookbait ever so slightly as this often brings an instant bite.
On the end of the braid I have a 6lb Black Magic Gold mono shockleader. This gives a bit of cushion on the cast and gives me something to tie the rig onto, so I am not cutting back the braid each time.

Use the right gear – a Sphere MH Feeder rod is combined with a Black Viper Compact reel.

Wrap the cage feeder is tape to ensure the bait gets to the bottom.

Use a hooklength of around one metre long.

"Catching big weights is all about getting into a rhythm."

Simple Rigs
My rig is dead simple to tie up. I am using one of the Browning Xenos Wire Specialist Feeders, but wrapping the mesh with black insulating tape to slow the release of bait from the feeder. The feeder is running on the shockleader between two float stops, with a twisted boom below this. The hooklength is made from 0.14mm Cenex Hybrid Mono to a size 12 Sphere Ultra Lite Feeder hook. You might be wondering why I am using such a big hook. If the dace are feeding confidently then it doesn’t put them off and ensures I land more fish. With a smaller hook you will lose some as they spin off it on the retrieve. By burying the hook inside the bait you can hide most of it quite effectively.
Get the Bait Down
The groundbait that I am using to seal the ends of the feeder is a combination of Champion’s Choice Black Magic and Champion’s Feeder Quick Skimmer. This has been mixed on the dry-side because I want the feeder to empty quickly once it has settled on the river bed. I am putting a real mixture of different baits in the feeder to keep the dace hunting for food. My mix consists of maggots, casters, some hemp and a small amount of roughly chopped worm. This also allows me to alternate hookbaits, which can bring more bites on tougher days.
Getting the feeder to the bottom with the contents intact, but then emptying quickly is critical. If the feeder empties on the drop then the bait will be washed downstream, taking the dace with it. The dace are really attracted by the particles though, so I need a constant stream of bait going in to keep them interested. Get it right and the bite should come within a few seconds of the feeder settling.
Slave to the Rhythm
Catching big weights of dace is all about getting into a rhythm. There is no time to put the rod down and wait for a bite. The feeder will empty it around a minute, and if I haven’t had a bite by then it is time to wind in and start the process again. Most of the time, if I do get a bite once the feeder has settled, then it will be a roach or perch, proving that the dace like intercepting the bait on the drop.
It is essential to have everything to hand. I have the groundbait bowl in front of me and a tub containing my particle mix inside this, making it very easy to load the feeder. I check the hookbait and replace it if necessary, load the feeder and recast. The line is set in the clip to ensure it goes down the same hole every time.
By using braid I can feel the feeder hit the bottom and keep a tight line by holding the braid in my left hand. Bites normally come within seconds, so be ready for a slight drop-back, or pull depending on how the fish are taking the bait.
This is a brilliant, incredibly engrossing way of fishing. With the dace averaging around four ounces you can put together a good weight in no time at all, making it a great card to be able to play when the fish are at range. It is great fun too, and the odd big bream, chub or even barbel can put in an appearance to really spice things up too. Why not give it a go on your local river?
Tom Noton
Browning Hotrods

The feeder is loaded with a small amount of chopped worm and caster.

Use a feeder that is heavy enough to just hold bottom.

The dace here are of a great average size.

Tom’s Gear
Sphere MH Feeder 390 13ft 100g
Sphere MH Feeder 420 14ft 100g
Black Viper Compact 855
Cenex Feeder Braid 0.10mm
Black Magic Gold 8lb Shock Leader
0.14mm Cenex Hybrid Mono Hooklength
Size 12 Ultra Lite Feeder Hook.
Xenos Wire Specialist Feeder
Tom’s Bait
1/2 kilo of dendrabena worms
Two pints of maggots
Two pints of casters
One pint of hemp
One bag of Champion’s Choice Black Magic
One bag of Champion’s Feeder Quick Skimmer

There is some brilliant sport to be had on the feeder.


Cenex Low Stretch Mono Line

First Published in English.

When I’m feeder fishing at distance on very big venues for skimmers and bream I require not only an abrasion resistant, hard working line but one that will boost bite detection as this allow me to adjust my rigs quickly to how the fish are feeding and simply catch more than those around.

My first choice line for this style of fishing has to be Cenex Low Stretch Mono as this dark specialist pre-stretch line, specifically designed for distance feeder fishing has an amazing low diameter to its breaking strain, making casting effortless and keeps me in touch with the fish at all time along with being easily capable of landing a bonus 20lb plus carp if I’m fortunate to hook one.

Many of the venues I fish ban the use of braided main lines so this is an easier-to-use alternative and eliminates any chance of wind knots.

If you’re looking for the perfect feeder mainline then look no further. 

 Available on 150m spools in the following diameter/strength

0.14mm 2.10kg/4.60lb

0.16mm 2.65kg/5.80lb

0.18mm 3.15kg/6.90lb

0.20mm 3.85kg/8.50lb

0.22mm 4.85kg/10.70lb

0.24mm 6.10kg/13.40lb

0.26mm 7.15kg/15.70lb

John Pantrey

For that extra distance, it has to be Cenex Low Diameter Mono.

Ultra-low stretch formulation boosts bite detection. 

Heavy feeders to the horizon, no problem. 

"Ideal for long range feeder fishing."


How to Catch Silvers to Hand

First Published in English.

 

Every winter, more and more silver fish venues seem to be cropping up on my match schedule and it’s the anglers that are speed fishing for roach and skimmers to hand that seem to be dominating the top spots, so it was time to purchase Browning’s new Sphere Silverlite System Whip and put it through its paces. 

Too big to swing

Having fished the flick tip to hand for roach and toughly enjoyed the experience earlier in the week it was time to head to another venue, one equally full of silvers, however with the chance of a carp or big bream barging in on the action I needed to elasticate one of the hollow top kits just in case. The venue, Lodge Pond controlled by Farnham Angling Society is teaming with silvers and after scratching around on the Kennet and Avon Canal the previous week I was looking forward to swinging in a fish hopefully every put in, however I knew sooner or later something a bit too big to swing would come along. 

Into position

Tackle had to be thought through prior to the session so I decided to run Xitan1.9mm Microbore Pink, which has a 7-9 rating through the No 1 and 2 sections and fish at 6m to hand. The rig consisted on 1g Tamgi pole float, with the tip blackened out placed on a Cenex 0.16mm Hybrid Power Mono and cocked using a 0.6g inline olivette plus three No 8 and one No 11dropper shot that I’d placed on a short six inch 0.12mm Hybrid Power hooklink with a Sphere size 18 micro barbed Feeder Ultra Lite hook completing the set-up. I’d also added a single No 8 back shot above the float for extra stability. The reason for using a 1g float, even on this shallow venue, is that it can be swung out into position easily and is still delicate enough to show up the slightest of bites associated with skimmers. 

If they were like this every cast.

Microbore elastic, just in case. 

Weight builders.

"Every drop in resulted in a bite within seconds"

Little and often

As for bait I’d bought along both casters and maggots, the casters intended to pick out the bigger fish if small fish became problematic on maggot plus a bag of Champion’s Feeder Quick Skimmer for obvious reasons. Three balls of groundbait, which had been run through a fine riddle a couple of times was introduced from the off with the intension of loose feeding maggots or casters every put in for the entirety of the short session.

Perfect performance

Straight away it was obvious that the swim contained loads of small roach that were just smashing the maggots to bits so immediately I switched to casters, slowly increasing the feed in the hope of drawing in some bigger roach and skimmers. Every drop in produced a bite within a couple of seconds and it wasn’t long before the elastic started to stretch from the tip as a small carp powered off but the pole coped with the situation perfectly and the first bonus fish was in the net. Even though the bigger roach and skimmers didn’t show in any great numbers I’d still put together a really enjoyable double figured bag in just a couple of hours and the Sphere Silverlite System Whip once again performed perfectly in every situation.

Justin Watkins

The perfect caster hook.

The perfect line for pole rigs.

I’m glad I’ve still got a few of these.

Inline olivette and tiny droppers.

Getting in the rhythm.

Not bad for a quick two hour session.

Justin’s Tackle

Sphere Silverlite System Whip

Cenex 0.12mm & 0.16mm Hybrid Power Mono

Sphere size 18 Feeder Ultra Lite Hook

0.6g Inline Olivette and No8 & 11 Shot. 

Xitan Pink1.9mm Microbore Elastic.

1g Tamgi Pole Float.

Justin’s Bait

Champion’s Feeder Quick Skimmer groundbait

Casters

Maggots


Mix a Roach Feeder Groundbait

Catching roach and skimmers at range can be a very useful tactic on larger, natural venues where often the fish will be beyond pole range. For this type of fishing I will often use a nice dark groundbait that breaks down quickly and which contains little feed. This is ideal for use with a Window feeder filled with maggot or caster, allowing me to attract the fish whilst adjusting the amount of feed used. The Window Feeders cast fantastically well, so I can clip up and fish very precisely, building up the swim over the course of a session. Window feeders, as the name suggests have a mall open window that helps bait leave the feeder quickly – a smear of groundbait across the ‚window‘ is all that’s needed to hold loosefeeed in the feeder but as soon as it’s hits the water it starts to disperse – these are great feeders for fish that feed at varying depths, especially roach, rudd and hybrids. Here is the groundbait mix that I use for this style of fishing

The no.1 is a medium-fine groundbait that is the ideal base for the mix. Roach really like the taste of this groundbait and it can mixed from very dry so that it explodes out of the feeder, to slightly damper to bind it better. The Black Roach is a very dark groundbait loaded with spicy additives that roach love.

Chris Wright

Add the two bags of groundbait to a large mixing bowl with a flat bottom. A bowl like this makes mixing the groundbait much easier.

Thoroughly mix the two groundbaits together. This will help to avoid lumps and inconsistencies in the groundbait.

Slowly begin adding water to the dry groundbaits. Remember to take it easy as you can always add more water, but you cannot take it out.

Because I am fishing with a Window feeder I keep the groundbait nice and dry so that it quickly breaks down once the feeder has settled.

"Use a mixture of Champions' Choice no. 1 and Champion's Feeder Black"

Use a maggot riddle to break down any lumps in the groundbait and to give it a fluffy consistency.

Don’t be tempted to push any lumps through the riddle. These will be too wet and sticky, so are best discarded. 

The finished mix is nice and fine, perfect for filling the Window feeder. It will release plenty of attraction, but not fill the roach up. 

The result of a couple of hours fishing with the feeder and this groundbait mix.