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  1. #1


    Hi all,

    My son (13) and I (older!) have been out float fishing a few times last summer and had a lot of fun. We were using the absolute basic Argos starter kits, which were adequate, but we'd like to progress now.

    I enjoy float fishing, but can't seem to cast out more than 20 feet or so. I'm using a 12ft rod and have tried a variety of wagglers - mainly the normal straight ones (excuse lack of knowledge!) rather than the bodied ones. Would bodied enable a further cast? What is a decent float cast?

    Also, I'm now looking at my rod and thinking that I could do with something better. Do you use a quiver tip when float fishing? If so, the Avon John Wilson rod sounds nice. I want to (eventually) pluck up the courage to try feeder fishing or ledgering later on (but don't want to try tunning until I can walk!). Is this rod going to be suitable for that too?

    Next up, of course, is the reel. The one I have is pretty poor. What do you recommend? What should I be looking for in a reel, bearing in mind it's for float at the moment but I will eventually progress into other forms.

    I have a million and one other questions, but will stop here for now and end with a little tale...

    Fishing has brought my family and I much closer together. My wife (who didn't want to touch the maggots!) used some spare line, a waggler, a hook and some bread (no rod!) and had lots of fun fishing along the bank - in fact, she caught more than me on a few occasions! Even my four-year-old daughter had fun doing that! What a great hobby / sport / pastime! I just wish I was better at it! So far my greatest catch is just a few inches long!

    Thanks in advance folks!

    Best wishes,


  2. #2
    alan brookes Guest


    Hello Brad , welcome aboard.
    Your best bet is to befriend your local tackle dealer.
    Be honest and explain that you're a beginer ,if he's worth his salt he'll be a real mine of info on local waters and will advise you as to what you will and equally importantly won't need to buy.
    It's best to try and visit the shop while
    it's quiet to give them a chance to nattter
    without being over run with customers.
    There are one or two dodgy dealers about who'd try and flog beginers anything , but they usualy don't stay in business for long as everybody susses them out for what they are.
    Just like any other shop , if you're not happy with the service vote with your feet.
    a good tacle shop looks after it's customers and keeps their custom for years.
    As for the actual fishing side of things,
    above all else , keep enjoying it as much as you obviously do.
    One of the best things about fishing is you can take it at entirely your own pace ,but at the same time never stop learning.
    Oh yeah , if when you're on the bank you encounter anglers who're a bit dismisive and can't be bothered with helping a beginer , don't worry mate , it's usualy because the know sweet Fanny Adams.
    Good fishing to you and yours!

  3. #3
    jason fisher Guest


    hi brad,
    a quiver tip rod is used for leger/ feeder fishing.
    you can use the avon top of the john wilson rod for float fishing and as a one choice all round rod it is a good rod.

    if you are catching smaller fish exclusively on light lines 2-3lb you might be better off with a match(float rod) not the power match rods as they are too heavy for the light stuff too.

    what sort of places do you go fishing on.

  4. #4
    keith hatton 1 Guest


    hi brad
    me nad some of my mates are going to doncaster race corse in march 6 and 7(look in angling times it will tell u how much to get in). there will be some top anglers there to help and some great bargens to be had. hope to see u on the bank some time

  5. #5
    Barry Edney Guest


    Welcome to the wonderful world of fishing Brad and son. And welcome to Fishingmagic. I'm sure you will get all the help you need from this website. Its a goldmine of knowledge.

    Firstly your casting. To fish a waggler efectively you need to have the bulk shot at the base of the float with just 1 or 2 small shots down the line. On the side of the float should be the shotting capacity, i.e. 3AAA or 4BB or whatever. This is a rough guide to what will cock the float. If you put a No.8 shot about a foot from the hook and then another a foot above that. These are called 'droppers' the bottom one normally known as the 'tell tale shot'. This is the shot that moves first hence telling you you've got a bite. The rest of the capacity should be placed at the base of the float locking the float on the line at the required depth. Shotting a float in this way you should be able to cast a considerably lot further than 20 feet.

    You should also ensure that your reel is loaded to the rim of the spool. If not this would hinder your casting ability.

    The John Wilson Avon/Quiver System is indeed a very versitile piece of kit. As Jason says the quiver tip is used to detect bites when ledgering. You wouldn't use a quiver tip when float fishing. The avon top can be used for float fishing but I would prefer a 'proper' float rod. The reason I say this is, I've used the avon top for float fishing on a river with a good flow and I found that the rings are on short legs and the line was sticking to the blank. (Side of rod) Probably due to the fact that it was raining all day. A float rod normally has longer legs on the rings allowing better presentation in the rain.

    As for reels Shimano are in my mind the best. They do one called Avio or Avivo or something similar. These are cheap by Shimano standards but excellent little reals for beginners. (So I am led to believe)

    I'm glad that all the family are enjoying thier fishing. Could make life so much easier for you.

    Keep asking lots of questions and keep visiting FM and you will learn loads very quickly.

  6. #6


    Hi all.

    Thanks for all your replies!

    Alan, unfortunately my local shop specialises in sea fishing and none of them, by their own admission, know much about any other kind. I'll be getting all my gear (and information) online - although I do like the fishing programmes on Home & Leisure!

    Jason, we only fish on stillwater, and probably wont fish in rivers for a few years until we really know what we are doing, and the kids are a bit older too.

    Keith, I live in Essex, so I doubt I will be able get up to Donny in March, but it sounds like it is going to be a great event.

    Barry, thanks for the warm welcome! I'll take your advice about shot. I think I had previously been putting too much weight further down the hook length. I think this might have been why I was getting a lot of tangles when casting also. I hate catching trees!!

    I am having second thoughts about the John Wilson now. I don't think I'll be ledgering until next year, prefering to master one skill at a time, so maybe a dedicated float rod would be better. Can anyone suggest a good one? And a good place to buy online?

    I'll have a hunt for the reel you mention, Barry, but in general, what features should I be looking for in a reel?

    Last one for now... the new Argos Extra catalogue has tonnes of fishing gear in it, with prices up into the couple of hundreds. Is any of this kit any good? I don't want to spend a fortune, but also don't want people thinking I am stupid for buying "Noddy" gear from Argos!

    Thanks again folks!


  7. #7
    jason fisher Guest


    if you are fishing still waters for fish like roach, perch, and small bream then a match rod will do you fine twinned with a small light reel such as the shimano alvio or shakespear do some really good float fishing reels.

    if the lake contains 5lb+ tench, carp up to about 10 lb or bigger bream above 6 lb then the wilson rod or a power match rod twinned with a bigger reel around 40 or 50 size will last for years.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003


    Brad, have a look at he sells shakespear stuff at very good prices, and sell all the other bits you might need as well.
    i don't know a thing about fresh water fishing as i only go sea fishing at the moment, but i don't think there is any need to go ott on the prices of items when only starting, better to set your self a budget in case for some reason you change your mind and don't go anymore.

    i had the same problem when my wife started coming with me, she wouldn't touch the rag worm, now shes got her own rod, so have 2 of my kids, and we all enjoy going.

  9. #9
    Shrek Guest



    I've got one of the new Shakespeare Potenza Float Rods, 13ft version, and it's great. 16 lined rings on it and will take main lines between 2lb and 4lb. The best thing is you can pick them up for about 35 inc P&P from some online stores. Brilliant rod for the money. If you want to spend a bit more, take a look at the Shimano Hyperloop series, they are good VFM too.

    Try HERE or HERE

    The second link is the cheaper of the two.

  10. #10
    Danny Lancaster Guest


    Hi Brad,

    Other than the great advice the other lads have given you, I would like to just add one comment.

    When you go down to your local stillwater, it is always worth approaching other more accomplished anglers to pick their brains a little. When I first started I used to do this quite a lot. You will find 99% of the anglers you speak to will be most welcoming and will be only too happy to offer advice.

    I often get new starters with their newly bought starter kits fishing at the side of me with great big swan shots on 10lb line and a size 12 hook trying to catch small fish! I always give them a few hooks and small shot and a couple of hooklengths to get them catching a few fish, the look of gratitude when they catch something is very warming to say the least.

    Like on FM, there are thousands of anglers out there who are only to happy to offer all the advice you need. Just ask.

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