ONE of the oldest forms of bite detection looks set for a revival, after a surge in interest in swingtip fishing.
Commercial stillwater match anglers looking for an edge have been experimenting with the highly sensitive means of detecting bites, and discovered the advantages that they offer over quivertips.
In the 1960s and early '70s no self-respecting match angler left home without a swingtip rod, especially when fishing for bream and roach on lakes and drains.
But modern anglers are finding that when fishing for shy-biting carp in winter or at distance, swingtips can take some beating.
The biggest problem has been getting hold of them because few are made, and old second-hand ones have screw-in swingtips that present problems with alignment and are usually made on glass fibre blanks.
But now tackle company boss Roger Surgay has brought out a modern swingtip rod, having listened to comments from anglers about how enjoyable the method was to fish and its advantages over quivertipping.
He has also been tipped off by a well-known specimen carp angler among his suppliers about how well swingtipping works for carp, regardless of size.
"A swingtip rod is more sensitive than a quivertip rod, and for anyone fishing in lakes for tench or bream a few years ago, a swingtip would always have been the first choice," explained Roger. "Now carp have taken over, but using a quivertip is not always the right thing to do. When fishing at distance or for lift bites from carp, tench or bream, a swingtip is a much better way of seeing your bites."
The low resistance of swingtips means shy bites have time to develop without the fish feeling any tension, whereas with quivertips the more a bite develops, the greater the resistance felt by a fish as it increases the bend of the tip.
Other advantages include not having to sit sideways to the water, as swingtipping can be done by pointing the rod at the bait, which means being able to watch the water more easily and fish tight swims more comfortably.
The swingtip rod now available from tackle firm Dragon Carp is the Mitsuroshi 12 ft Tri Tip Rod, which has a full top section (or 'donkey top') with its own built-in swingtip, eliminating the problems of screw-in tips.
It also has the advantage of having three different top sections: a swingtip, a quivertip and a float fishing top, allowing anglers to choose their fishing style to suit conditions.
Having spotted a gap in the market and decided to offer the new rods for just £20 each, Roger expects the new arrivals to sell out fast. CLICK HERE to view them.
The Age Of Swing
THE late Boston tackle dealer Jack Clayton is credited with inventing the swingtip, though Yorkshire bream ace Freddie Foster perfected using them, winning matches in the 1960s.
Ivan Marks became one of the most successful ever swingtip anglers, using them on slow-moving rivers such as the Welland and Witham to win huge matches in the '70s. Target boards were often used to make bite detection easier, or the tips were allowed to touch the water, sending ripples out when they moved.
On a smaller scale, Cambridgeshire angler Syd Meads made his name by swingtip fishing and winning locally and in Ireland.
And in the 1980s, big carp specialist Ritchie McDonald experimented with home-made swingtips created from the top sections of poles, after a discussion with Ivan Marks when the pair were behind the counter at Stu Arnold's North London tackle shop.