UPTIDE FISHING

A fish taking the bait in a tiderun normally backs off downtide with it, unseating the lead from its grip on the bottom. If the cast has been uptide, the line is suddenly swept downcurrent in an unmistakable manner, looking as if the lead has suddenly lost its grip for no reason. Unfortunately, floating weed causes the same thing to happen, but if a fish has taken the bait, tighten up and strike—a high proportion of hooked fish will result, with few bites missed.

Many boat anglers are now also casting uptide, most of them using boatcasting rods and reels, flowing traces, and wired leads of between 4oz and 8oz. Compared with more conventional boat tackle, these hold the bottom remarkably well, partly due to the position they are cast to, partly due to the fact that the main line is normal beachcasting nylon—thinner than the usual lines that boat anglers use.

To ensure that the lead stays put, the amount of line between rod and lead should be at least twice the depth of the water, and preferably more. The longer the line the more the current will tend to pull the lead into the bottom rather than out of it. Remember though, that a lead cast 50 yards uptide in a strong current may be swept back halfway to the boat before the lead reaches the bottom.

Fast taper for best action

The strike is vital in uptide fishing, and to match the rod length and obtain as much action as possible a fast taper is generally favoured. An ideal length is 8ft 6in, comprising a 6ft 6in tip with a 2ft handle. Beachcasting rings should be used for rods with very fast tapers.

The uptide outfit is completed with a beachcasting reel; the heavy metal spools of the larger boat multiplier reels make them unsuitable. But if a plastic spool is used, it is a good idea to use some string as a backing to lessen the chance of the spool breaking.

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