Category Archives: Tackle

Using casting leaders

Beach anglers first started using leaders some 25 or so years ago, but their widespread use is much more recent. The need for leaders became more urgent as beach anglers began using more sophisticated equipment and lighter main lines and started experimenting with the more elaborate tournament casting styles. These days the benefits of a leader are widely accepted and any experienced beach angler uses one as a matter of course.

casting leader

Follow the leader

A leader is a length of strong line tied to the end of your main line to take the strain of casting – for this reason it is sometimes called a shock leader.

Newcomers to beach angling are often unsure how heavy a leader they should use, and how long it should be. In the first instance it is essential that the leader is long enough to have half a dozen turns around the spool, travel down the length of the rod and continue through to the weight. And if the end rigs are made up separately, you must use at least the same strength, or stronger, nylon.

A strong leader

Find out why you need a leader – and you’ll also discover the sort of length and strength of leader to use.

Firstly, there’s the question of safety. When fishing for flounders at close range in a lonely estuary mark a 30lb (13.6kg) leader is more than adequate (some would argue that a leader is in fact unnecessary).

But a crowded beach is another matter. When fishing in company, a good rule of thumb is to allow 10lb (4.5kg) of leader strength to each 1 oz (28g) of lead weight. Therefore a 4oz (113g) weight would require a 40lb (18kg) leader, a 6oz (170g) weight a 60lb (27.2kg) leader and so on.

It’s always better to err on the side of safety, especially when using powerful, advanced casting styles such as the pendulum cast and the backcast. Backcasting can be particularly hard on leaders and experienced backcasters are never afraid to step up the breaking strain of their leader.

Extra length

If the leader is only there to take the strain o casting, it can be kept to a minimal length Half a dozen turns of the leader around the spool at the stage of casting is about right.

But an extra long leader is also useful when fishing from piers or rock marks where you can use it to lift the fish up from the water. When you expect big fish, an extra long leader can be handy even on bead marks.

Boatcasting leaders

Boatcasters also use leaders as a matter o course, but because the casting is less powerful, leaders don’t need to be as heavy. Most anglers use a 30-35lb (13.6-15.8kg) leader for the vast majority of their boatcasting.

One exception is tope fishing, when you need to step up to a longer, 55lb (25kg leader.

Pop-up rig principles and practice

A pop-up rig is quite simply any leger rig where a buoyant hookbait floats somewhere off the bottom. It’s a curious set-up that should, in theory, be less effective than the standard presentation, where a non-buoyant bait is presented on a hair rig fished on the bottom. Development of pop-ups Carp fishing grew in popularityContinue Reading

Caring for your fishing rod

A snapped or fractured rod is a disaster to any angler, but if you look after your rods in the first place they last for a good while, doing what they’re designed for -catching fish. To be fair, though, fishing rods are easy enough to break by accident. They are also extremely expensive items toContinue Reading

Fishing the fabulous Flying Collar

Boat fishing over wrecks and reefs with one hook on a long, flowing trace is a deadly and highly sporting way of catching pollack, coalfish and other predators. Pollack and coalfish are the great hunters of wrecks and reefs. They usually harry their prey some way off bottom, so to catch them it’s vital toContinue Reading

Best 10 rigs for shore fishing

Simplicity is the key to successful terminal rigs for shore fishing. It’s easy for novices to become bogged down in the technical aspects of rigs, and terminal tackle is one area where the armchair experts excel. Complicated combination rigs may look fine on paper or hanging from a rod tip, but they often turn intoContinue Reading

Multipliers made easy

Overruns and backlashes Because the multiplier is a development of the original revolving spool centrepin, the spool must revolve to pay out or recover line. When you cast with one, the weight and speed of the sinker as it flies out to sea pulls line off the spool, making it rotate. All distance casting callsContinue Reading

Should you use fixed spool reels for sea fishing?

  The idea that fixed-spool reels are somehow second-rate is wrong. Here we explain why these reels should have a place in any sea angler’s kit.   The fixed-spool reel still suffers from an image problem in sea angling. It is regarded as somehow being the trademark of a below-average angler. Remarks like these haveContinue Reading

Ultimate Guide to Beachcasting Rods

  Beachcasting rods are no longer heavy poles with no sensitivity and poor casting ability. It takes a high-tech item to be light, able to cast over 200m (220yd) and still ensure that it’s fun to play and land fish. This angler is using three rods to fish an estuary – two are set upContinue Reading

Sea reels: multipliers

  Sturdy, reliable reels, multipliers can do battle with the toughest of customers – the stocky ballan wrasse included. Lock-down Sometimes you’ll find it necessary to set the drag on full power so the spool will not give line; this is called total lock-down. It is essential when fishing for conger over wrecks. After theContinue Reading

Beginners Guide to Coarse Fishing Tackle

REELS Like rods, fishing reels remain true to (heir past. Even the centrepin, which is little more than a simple winch with a revolving drum, still has its followers, especially those who prefer trotting the stream. This is a style of float-fishing where the bait is set just above the bottom and the current isContinue Reading