This will be the first of a small series talking about the basics of Pole Fishing to hopefully help a few beginners find their way in this discipline and see what it’s all about a bit more. When I started fishing as a kid, from as young as I can remember, I have always pole fished, my dad was the pole/matchmen type fishermen, so that’s just how I got into Fishing, starting on a small whip/top kit section progressing to fishing long 13m poles and eventually doing a few local club matches and framing well. Of course, I’m no expert, however it’s the style of Fishing which I am most familiar with. The idea of this first blog is just to go over the few main pieces of kit to get going, we will continue to go over more setup and technique in future instalments. So lets get started!
The Seat Box
Where it all begins for this style of fishing is the seat box. Having a seatbox setup to make sure you can have everything easily to hand, from your bait to your rigs is vital as it keeps you as efficient as possible. Also a comfortable sitting position while pole fishing is even more important, otherwise you may cause yourself back problems. A lot of the time you will be sitting on this box for 6 hours, so being comfy, sitting correctly is incredibly important. There is plenty of seat boxes on the market at the moment from a varied price range. You want to make sure you have a big enough tray to store your pole float rigs and other small pieces of tackle like a disgorger, shots or stotz and a plummet. Personally, I use the Maver Signature Venue seat box, It was a fairly nice budget option, packs down into a bag so for me, someone who doesn’t have a lot of space (and drives a mini!), it is ideal, enough room on my tray, comes with a small bag on the back to store bigger pits and pieces such as pole cups and other seat box extensions like a keep net bar. Also a big side table with plenty of room to have my selection of bait, and a few snacks for myself! However, try and find the right box for yourself, a lot of tackle shops will let you look around their boxes and try a few, so be sure to ask questions and find what works for you!
Of course, while pole fishing, you will need to have a Pole! Pole’s are fairly expensive compared to rods, so be prepared for a slight shock while looking around. However, there is some better budget solutions, middy, map, preston and browning provide some great budget poles. A lot of companies will do days/events at places, so keep an eye out, as you can get a little trial of a Pole, and see what you like and feels nice! It’s important to get something nice and light for long range fishing, but also stiff so you can react and strike to bites on time! The Pole is a great tool for catching fish in an efficient manner, set a mark on the opposite bank, and you can fish accurately all day! Feeding in an exact location, this is why the pole is used so much in match fishing, it can keep the fish in a tighter area. You want a pole which can get you to about 13m, fishing 7-10m is a nice beginner length, however you don’t have to fish as far as you can, fish may be held to a feature closer, in a future blog, I will talk about finding holes fish may be in and approaching a new swim. Using a pole also gives you great control over your float, holding it in the flow and tow on a lake or river can be key to getting bites. It is nice to get a few extras with the Pole, a lot of Pole’s will come with these, however a cupping kit (To feed balls of groundbait etc) and a selection of top kits. With a selection of a few top kits, you can fit different strength elastic to your pole. Now, what’s elastic? This is what will fight and tire the fish, in a rod, its the bend of the tip which does all the work, however on a pole, you don’t have that bend, you have the elastic, having a variety of elastic for different types of fishing and different lakes is important, you don’t want to be fishing light elastic on a lake with a load of carp, or really heavy elastic on a lake with small roach and bream, otherwise you will bump all your fish off! Setting up a pulley kit on your top kit of your pole is also a good call, if you are on light elastic and hook a bigger fish, you can use the pulley kit to pull elastic out from your end of the pole, this tightens the elastic in your pole so makes it harder for the fish to pull back so can be really helpful to control the bigger fish, I have many of good size fish which would’ve been lost if it wasn’t for the pulley kit!
Other Bits & Bobs
The above will be the big main two things you need, however here is a list of smaller and other important pieces of tackle you will need to kick start your pole fishing adventure!
- Pole Roller – This is something for you to ship your pole back onto, so it doesn’t rub against the ground, keep it up, off the ground and easy to reach from your box. While fishing long pole, you may need two pole rollers, you can pick these from any brand or tackle shop for fairly cheap!
- Bait/Tackle Bag – This is store your bags of groundbait, other bait, bait pots and other bits and pieces you may want in it! It’s nice to have a big bag to make sure you have everything you would need in a session!
- Trolley – With all this big heavy gear! You may need a trolley to help lug it all around, there are some great barrow trolleys and golf club like trolleys around to chose from!
- Disgorger – Speaks for itself, helps to get a hook out when it’s a bit out of reach, always buy plenty, and never go without one!
- Plummet – This will help you find the depth of where you are fishing, and find the depth of the area around, so you can set your rig to be exact, a tad under depth or a tad over, whatever is working on the day!
- Shots/Stotz – To weight your float and set it properly!
- Umbrella Box attachment – Speaks for itself again, keep yourself dry!
- Keep net box attachment – So you can attach your keep net to your box setup.
- Landing Net/Keep Net – Again, you should always have a landing net, however check the rules of the water you are fishing in regards to a keep net, and if you do catch a load of fish, make sure you don’t over pack it!
- Plastic Net Bag – A nice bag to keep your landing and keep nets in, saves a smelly car!
Of course, in pole fishing, there is a lot more tackle than this, however to get started, these are the bits and pieces which are maybe most important, and before you know it you will able to catch bags full of fish! Hope this has helped a few people on maybe the basic bits of tackle you need! Now you get to be like a kid in a sweet shop and chose what suits you best!
Tight Lines all!