Right, so you have just bought this long length of carbon. ‘What do I do now’, you ask yourself? You might be young or old, but you need a little help. What I would like to do in this article, is tell you about the basic skills. Being as good as the great Bob Nudd will come in time if you practice long enough. Friends could help – but are they doing it right? Lets start at home with your new toy, which is going to catch you a lot of fish.pole

One of the big problems pole novices have is jamming the sections together. This happens because they tend to push the sections in too hard, thinking if they don’t they will fall apart. This can happen with economy poles or top of the range poles. Let’s stop this happening before you get on the bank with the use of simple electrical insulation tape. Put two sections together, put a single wrap of tape around the male section up against the female joint. Do this with all your sections, so now when you put them together on the bank, they will butt up against the tape, this will stop you pushing them together further than they need to go. So that’s one problem solved.

One of the most important parts of a pole is the elastic. If you are about to buy a pole, ask the man in the shop to fit the elastic for you. If you already have the pole, take it back, and ask for the elastic to be fitted. Most tackle dealers are glad to help. Let me tell you, there is nothing worse than taking a hacksaw to your new found friend because that is what could happen if you make a mess of fitting the elastic! The bung, connector, and elastic are not very expensive.

I’m going to take a shot in the dark here, but let me guess where you are going to take your pole for it’s first outing – your local carp pool? Did I guess right? So we must talk about elastic size. The range goes from No.1 up to No.20. Put in a No. 1 and the carp will go around the world twice. Use a No.20. and the carp will pull you around the world twice. So you want something between those two extremes, which is a No.10. As you hone your skills you will find you can use lighter or heavier elastic. So now the pole is ready! Lets make some rigs and we are ready to go fishing.

You rush off to your local tackle shop, look at all those wonderful pole floats, great shape, wonderful colours, wire stems, carbon stems, but oh dear, look at the price! Forget them for now, they can come later.

Let’s not run before we can walk. Go back to the wagglers and stick floats. Pick out a couple of identical ones of each of the smallest there is. And while you’re there buy a pack of winders.

On to line now. You probably have a spool with 3 or 4lbs on it – that will do fine. Now the fun bit, let’s make a couple of rigs. I love this job. This is like Blue Peter. You need an empty one litre lemonade bottle. Cut the neck off (get mum to do this if you’re a junior) and fill it with water. This is your shot-testing bottle. Now, to shot your float first put three rubbers on the float, with about two ins of line through the bottom rubber. Using the smallest shot in your dispenser, 4’s, 6’s or 8’s, nip shot on the line, maybe a couple of 8s, and two 6s to begin with. Drop it into your bottle and watch how it settles. Add shot until about