Who am I?

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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Thursday 25 January 2018

"That Carp" - getting closer?

Whilst I was sat down at the club water, Saturday morning, huddled under the brolly to avoid the drenching rain, my thoughts were focused towards the coming months and the quest for "that" carp! Far more specifically, the delivering of my promise to Dad, a thirty on a split cane Mk IV. I will admit, here and now, that I've never seen a thirty (on the bank) so am taking a calculated gamble with my angling skills. How much harder can a thirty pull, over a twenty, cos I've caught quite a few of those during my angling adventure? Casting my mind back to those heady days at Stanborough Lake, Welwyn Garden City, a battered, old warrior, mirror, of 19 lbs 11 oz (25th August 1985) stands out as the hardest fighting carp I have ever landed. 6 lbs b.s. Sylcast and a 1.75 t/c 12' Bruce & Walker HMC fast taper rod, Shimano 4000 GT reel. Why was I using 6 lbs line?

Great memories of very happy times. Stanborough Lake provided many such fish over the short period I fished there.
 This 19 lbs 11 oz Mirror, 25th August 1985, provided the sternest test of my angling skills, by any carp I've been
lucky enough to catch to date.

One of the trio of "twenties" I took, in consecutive casts, 9th November 1983

That little scamp, of Saturday, could hardly bend the split cane because I was fishing very light and, thus, couldn't use the rod to its' full potential. Stick a reel, loaded with 12 lbs mono, on one and I can allow the rod to do what it was designed - bend! The fighting curve of a split cane Mk IV is a joy to behold. That the rod is made from natural materials adds another dimension to the angling experience - it comes alive, allowing you to feel every twist and turn as the quarry attempts to avoid the landing net. Since December 2015, I've been very fortunate to have landed some wonderful carp, using the split canes. This project isn't about overcoming adversity. The rods are not a handicap but, more the heightened enjoyment of an angling experience. I am fully acquainted with modern carp angling methods and techniques, due to the wonders of the internet and the YouTube offerings of Nash, Korda, Fox, CC Moore and so many others. I would still love to reach my goal with a fish taken on particles but, if it's a pop-up, on a Ronnie rig, the joy will not be tainted. I have played around with many presentations, doing my bit to ensure the rig mechanics are understood and working to the best advantage I can manage, with my minimal experience of modern carp fishing. The desire to achieve my target is at the very core of my being - it's going to happen. My choice of venues needs a tweak, there are so many Kent fisheries where such carp swim that I need to broaden my horizon. However, I would love to fulfill my promise with a fish from the RMC or, even better, an East Kent drain. The resumption of the project will start very soon, I'm keeping a close eye on the long range weather forecasts and have much of my kit, bait included, ready and waiting.

June 2015 at Sandwich Coarse Fishery (a very well run commercial)
18 lbs 15 oz - so not even a "nineteen"
25th June 2016 - a magnificent "wild" Common Carp (19 lbs 4 oz) from an East Kent drain
Chick Peas and a split cane Mk IV - a perfect combination
How is it I seem to be such a gifted captor of nineteen pounders? Doesn't matter what species. Probably got far more to do with the fact that I take the time to weigh my captures rather than random, glib, guesstimations, which seem to be perfectly acceptable in 2018. When I land that carp, I will know, to the ounce, within the limitations of my technology, what the fish weighs. I see no point in expending this amount of effort, just to guess that I've achieved my ambition. 29 lbs 15 oz ain't a thirty, as magnificent a fish that it is. A thirty is the target and only when I've weighed such a carp, will this challenge finish.

I know what this fish weighs - but why let fact get in the way of fantasy? Welcome to carp angling 2018.


  1. Dyl, forgive if I've misunderstood something.

    Years back I came to the conclusion that the only reason for using a heavier b.s line was to alleviate abrasive wear, drag or reduce stretch. The knot issue was eliminated by super glue.
    My experiments with using 1lb test curve rods for roach with 2lb links and 3lb main line had me fix a spring balance at the business end and then pull via the rods natural test curve at the other. At 20 metres the highest the balance would measure was 8oz! By pointing the rod at the balance and thus throwing the 'butt' into the equation, I got another 4oz.
    What I'm saying is that line strength makes zero difference to how hard you can pull against a fish. It's the rod doing that, with the force at the hook end being the test curve of the rod. So if the test curve is a couple of pounds it's impossible to break even 3lb line.

    1. Ric, you are, of course, absolutely correct about the physics behind the situation. My own issues are about psychological concepts and confidence. I simply am unable to bring myself to give it the big'un when I'm using light line and/or small hooks. As you say, a two pound t/c rod doesn't have the ability to break 3 lbs b.s. mono - I have no desire to put theory to the test. Leaning into a fish, split cane in hand, I want as much buffer as my kit will give me despite knowing that the maximum pull couldn't exceed 1 1/2 lbs! Sorry if I caused confusion, this post is a very one dimensional tale. You always were about fine detail - I just want to catch fish! Confidence is the biggest factor in my armory, fannying about with light line doesn't do it for me. If I hook it, I want a better than even chance of landing my prize. Cheers for the comment, most welcome - all the best - Dyl

  2. Hi Dyl, I certainly appreciate the confidence of having line robust enough for the job. I'll admit I once took that 'test curve' v 'line strength' to extremes when on one outing to the Dorset Stour I used a 3lb main line with a size 4 hook. Bait was a huge piece of crust.
    The fact it had been minus seven the previous night, gave me the idea only a chub would bite. Instead a pb Barbel of 9:4 took hold.
    I got the thing in - somehow.
    On reflection, I must have been nuts. I hooked that fish in the remains of what was in the summer, a reed bed.
    Take care -Ric

    1. You always were pushing the boundaries - rather you than me! I'm all for comfort zones - Dyl