The right way with rod rests

Which are the best rod rests to use, and how do you position them correctly for optimum comfort and efficiency? Alain Urruty of the Highfield match group has the answers.

It wasn’t so many years ago that rod rests were considered items for the lazy angler (in some places they are still called ‘idle-backs’), but they are now rightly accepted as essential pieces of tackle.

A rod rest comprises a head and a bank stick. The most basic type is a one-piece unit, but it’s better to buy several different types of heads and bank sticks separately so you can use various combinations (all separate heads and bank sticks have the same size screw threads – %B.S.F.).

Wide, flat-topped heads are good for float fishing. They’re easy to drop the rod on to without looking, and there’s nothing for the line to catch on when picking the rod up again. They aren’t really suitable for legering because the line can get trapped 3. Wide heads with several notches are designed specifically for fishing the tip. The series of notches allows you to twitch the bait to entice bites. 4. Narrow V-shaped heads with one notch are best for legering with butt and electronic bite indicators, and with the rod pointed straight out in front of you. Being narrow, they allow you to fish with several rods all close together, within easy reach. 5. Narrow U-shaped heads are good for supporting the rod butt when legering, but don’t use them in front of the reel, as they trap the line and only allow upwards, not sideways, strikes. 6. Long, narrow V-shaped heads are designed to keep the top of the rod stable when fishing the tip in extremely windy

M weather, as their shape ensures that several centimetres of the rod are in contact with the head.

Float fishing

When float fishing it’s best to hold the rod while waiting for a bite and only put it down when you need both hands free. You must, therefore, position the rod rests so you can easily pick up the rod.

When sitting, rest the rod butt on the edge of the box or on your knee, and position a rod rest l-2m (3-7ft) in front of you so the rod tip is just above the water. When standing, use two rests. Set the butt rest behind you so the reel is directly below your hand. You can then pick up the rod without stretching and it won’t get in your way when you’re feeding.

Fishing the tip

When fishing the tip, the rod rests hold the rod until you get a bite. It’s important the rod is held still, and in a position that allows you to reach it easily to strike instantly. When sitting you can use the edge of your box or thigh as the back rest. If it’s calm, use one front rest about halfway along the rod, with the tip just above the water. Don’t place the rest too close to the tip, or the middle of the rod sags, hindering clean striking.

In windy conditions, use two front rests to hold the rod and tip much steadier, so making bites easier to spot and read. Place one about halfway down the rod and the other just before the swingtip or quivertip, making sure the rod doesn’t sag.

When fishing for chub or barbel on fast rivers with the rod tip up in the air, make sure the front rod rest is no more than halfway up the rod. This allows the whole top of the rod to absorb the shock of hard pull-round bites, preventing crack-offs. Also, set the front rest so you can watch the tip without straining your neck, and place the butt rest so you can pick up the rod without having to stretch.