A rod, a line, a float... that's all you need to discover the joy of still fishing. Ideal for starting out, this technique is no less exciting and means you can have sensational fishing trips with lots of fish (roach, bleak, bream etc.) throughout the year.
The rod is an essential element which must be light but above all sturdy and responsive in longer lengths. It must be made of a light alloy which could be fibreglass or carbon fibre which is more common these days. There are two types of rods for still fishing: telescopic or press fit rods. Telescopic rods are made of several blanks which pull out and lock against each other until they reach their full length.
Press fit rod
Press fit rods are made of separate blanks which fit into each other (the end of the thinnest element fits into the largest end of the second element.
These two types of rods are used differently: Telescopic rods are easy to use when fishing 6 or 7 metres from the edge.
The line is attached either directly to the tip of the rod or by inserting a rubber band between the rod and the line. Using a rubber band means you can fish for large fish with flexibility and securely.
Press fit rods come into their own when you need to fish more than 7 metres from the edge.
Being able to lengthen or shorten the rod when fishing means you can use shorter lines and reduce the length of the line (also called banners). Fishing is more precise and anglers feel the effects of the wind less.
Floats are touch indicators, they must be sensitive to increase awareness of the touches. Their shapes and sizes vary depending on the place where you go fishing, the wind and above all the strength of the current.
Tapered floats are more sensitive because they carry less weight on the surface of the water. They are perfect for fishing in areas where there is little or no current such as lakes or ponds.
Stubby floats provide more weight in the water. They are meant to be used in areas where there is a medium or constant current such as canals and rivers.
An umbrella is a precious accessory. It is advisable to always keep one in the boot.
In standing water or water with a weak current use the lightest, thinnest (8/100 for the main line) and most sensitive lines possible.
In running water, the diameter of the lines increases (10/100 to 12/100 on average) just like the leads. Stubby floats keep the whole thing stable.
Before each fishing trip, sounding the spot means you can find out the depth but also the relief and the nature of the bottom (grass, mud, obstacles etc.). Sounding is done vertically under the rod and the depth sounder must only pinch the hook so as not to damage the nylon line.
Once the fishing spot has been arranged and sounded you can start baiting (4 to 5 balls the size of an orange) to attract the fish. To keep them there, remember to regularly cast a small ball of bait.
*Running water (weak to medium current) After casting, stop the line for a few seconds and raise the float 4 to 5 centimetres. Release then start the operation again a bit lower. The touch generally comes after releasing it, when the line stops.
* Running water (fast moving current) "Ledgering" is the only technique that will let you touch some beautiful fish. Used with heavy lines (3g to 5 g), it consists of keeping the line on the bottom which has been baited, by stopping the line drifting. The touch is distinct and the strike is automatic.
Each movement of the line must be made gradually while waiting for a while each time it stops. The touch is distinct and consequently the strike must be immediate.
The strike when touched must be quick without being brutal. For a precise strike, you need a banner which is not too slack. You strike vertically or even on the side when the banner is short.