Who am I?

My photo
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 18 October 2018

Keep on keeping on

I nipped in to see Camo on Saturday morning, just for a quick chat and to drop off my third Duncan Kay for a little bit of TLC and a new cork handle; replacing the original Duplon one. Camo tried to convince me that modern carbon rods were far superior to this 1985 classic, but I was having none of it. I readily concede that modern carbon fibre technology is light years ahead of the stuff used to build my own rods, but the action and test curves of modern rods are off the scale by comparison. Daley Thompson won Olympic medals using vaulting poles with a lesser test curve than today's, long range, carp rods. Why am I bothering to give this ancient rod a face lift?

My younger brother, Sye, putting a Duncan Kay through its' paces at Claydon Middle Lake. (1987)
They just don't make rods with a soft, through, action like this in 2018.
Simple really, I can't purchase a new rod with this combination of compound taper, through action and a 1 lbs 10 oz t/c in a length of 11' 6" (or any other for that matter!) Pike season will soon be upon me, although technically it already is, but I have the perch challenge to occupy my time up until we have the first, prolonged, period of frosty mornings. My pike fishing is conducted on small drains, The Stour and The Royal Military Canal, I have no requirement for heavy gear with such close range angling. Soft rods are well capable of cushioning the most savage lunges of an angry pike, the likelihood of hook pulls being much reduced and my enjoyment enhanced by the "feel" transmitted via the straining carbon.
So whilst I await the first frosts perch will take centre stage in my angling efforts. I've managed to get four sessions in, thus far, with no sign of my target species.That eels have had no difficulty homing in on my hook baits, is no surprise in these chosen venues. My static bait presentation suits the feeding behaviour of eels, especially in low light conditions that I also associate with perch activity, so have been trying to exploit. I'm confident that my tactics will reap rewards when I eventually locate some perch, rather than fishing to features. Gareth and I are in regular contact so know how each other are faring. It's not my intention to disclose my associate's antics and achievements, they're his tales to recall. However, shared snippets are assisting me tweak my approach as each session's results are put into the mix.

A 1985 custom built 11' 6" 1 lbs 2 oz t/c "Tring Tench Rod".
Perch fishing in 2018 is a mix of ancient and modern - I'm loving it!
I remain convinced that small, 1 oz, natural dead baits will produce the perch I desire, but only when I can present the offering in a known holding area. Casting blind isn't likely to attract anything more than eels and pike. Bite indication has also required my extended attention, this entirely due to my reluctance to use a float; I lack the attention span required and get headaches from the reflected glare off the water's surface. Nope, it's static legering for me, electronic bite alarms and some type of visual indicator. I've tried monkeys, swingers and hangers, none of them have all the answers although I do favour light weight hangers when wind conditions allow.

I have to say that I'm really relishing this challenge, as I know it will all too soon be over. To assist me with my learning I am keeping a diary, so as to record my thoughts, as well as my results, which will hopefully lead to my ultimate success. I write down all sorts of obscure thoughts, as they occur to me. By doing so they are not lost with the passing of time and, although very random, might just produce that spark of an idea when revisited at a later date. Swim details, bait choice and presentation, weather conditions, etc, etc ..... are all entered within the pages of this little A5 hardback. So far, the only obvious omission is that of a perch bite! However, there is a secondary purpose for these detailed notes. Gareth and myself will both be posting some form of summary of this mini adventure - I'll need all the help I can get to come anywhere close to the scholarly outpourings of my fellow flatland fisher.

With all this in mind it's not been doom and gloom as my camera kit has been kept busy, whilst on this adventure. I am hoping that my images might level the playing field and, in part, speak on my behalf. I'm not alone in this quest; Bev has also been busy behind the scenes and has pulled an absolute master stroke! Only in the "final cut" will this be revealed, but man it will be worth the wait. Bev doesn't have the first idea about angling, but she certainly knows about admin and PR - nuff sed!
I'll finish with an image from Wednesday evening. Taken on a buoyant mackerel section cast upstream from my perch swim; this lovely little pike, of 8 lbs 14 oz, provided some entertainment whilst awaiting the first attentions of my target species - happy days.


  1. Yes, they dont make them like that anymore. But no on even tries to put a bend in the rod anymore it seems.

    1. BB,
      It seems to me that today's rods are solely casting tools. I watched a youtube offering by Martin Bowler (an angler for whom I have the utmost respect) carp fishing an estate lake. He took some superb/large carp using a rod which had as much action as a pick axe handle.It was almost like he was scared of cracking the varnish? When I play a fish I want the thrill of seeing the blank attain it's full curve, hear the line singing in the wind and feel the vibrations of the fighting fish through the cork on the handle. If this is "Old School" then I'll happily stay left behind. Take care - Dyl

  2. My sentiments entirely. Cracking pic of that pike btw.

  3. Dyl, all the rods I have in my collection are compound tapers. From the pair of Tri-cast (used with Cardinal 66's) right down to the 1lb TC jobs I used for the Roach and Perch.
    Fashion or function?
    I was exposed once to anglers fishing Lynch Hill for Roach using Carp rods and 2oz bolt rigs! and I was supposed to be impressed. I missed the point somehow.

    1. Ric,
      Sadly speccy hunting, in this modern, carp dominated, era it is far more important to look the part than to actually catch fish? Rods, which we would have used for beach-casting, back in the 1980's, are now the norm for any basic carp angling situation, they step them up when going for the long chuck! It seems to me that it's all about casting and nothing to do with enjoyment of a hooked fish!
      Hoping you and Bronwyn are keeping well - Dyl