Roach And Rudd

I’ve just started pole fishing. How do I decide how much line to have between the pole tip and the float?

How long is a piece of string? Seriously though, here are some rough guidelines.

On stillwaters and canals I’d normally have 18 to 36ins. depending on the wind and the bait. The greater the wind, the longer the length as the pole tip will be moving around. With big baits such as luncheon meat when after carp I’d shorten up, sometimes even to 12", but this short is rare.

On rivers you’ve got to be able to trot your bait down with the flow, so typically I’d use 4 to 5 metres of line or sometimes even more.

Can you please give me some tips for rudd this closed season, especially on baits and feeding?

Rudd usually feed high in the water so I aim to catch them on the drop. Initially I’ll use a light groundbait such as Van den Eynde Superlake, although don’t squeeze it too hard otherwise it won’t break up near the surface. I’ll also continuously loose feed a small quantity of maggots and casters throughout the session. The cloudbait often attracts smaller fish and so I’ll start with maggot on the hook. Hopefully some bigger rudd will eventually turn up and I’ll then switch to caster and cut back on the cloudbait. Incidentally, if you can’t get fresh casters, sweetcorn in an excellent substitute for the bigger rudd.

When roach fishing in a local commercial stillwater bites often dry up. Should I continue feeding or not?

The secret here is to fish two lines, one close in and the other further out. Fish one whilst you rest the other. However, keep feeding both lines even when you’re not fishing them. It’s important to fully exploit each line, so switch lines well before the bites start to dry up.

Of course it could be just that you’ve been overfeeding. Another advantage of fishing 2 lines is that you can experiment with different feeding tactics and so learn at least twice as fast.

Bob Nudd