River fishing, what kit for a beginner?
There’s a stretch of river not far from me that from what I’ve been told is quite good for Barbel, Chubb, Perch and Roach etc Used to fish the Severn many moons ago where it was basically a big lead weight and a big hook with luncheon meat as bait, seemed to work ok then! So what kind of kit would I need to start again as in, type or make of rod and reel, type of bait and what weights or floats to use?Posted 4 years ago
Not sure how much a basic kit would cost to get started but all advice and pointers are most welcome 🙂
I’d start with a decent Avon rod with 1.25lb test curve. That way you can use it to fish for species like barbel or chub with the Avon tip. Float fish for roach and perch etc or ledger when the weather or river conditions favour. I’ve got a john Wilson Avon rod, around 60 quid. Stick with the big brands for reels. I’ve got a shimano one for about 40 quid. Reliable and not over priced.Posted 4 years ago
Without knowing the rivers you want to fish it’s hard to know specific floats, but Avon floats work well. Leads up to a few onces if you are wanting to fish fast flowing stuff. You’ll need landing nets, keep nets if you want to keep fish, although I don’t bother. Line, shot, hooks, hooks to nylon, carry gear…. The list is endless. It’s comparable to biking in terms of cost.
My favourite gear is my john Wilson Avon rod, my spro red arc reel, korum chair and ruckbag (clips together) and my drennan bib and brace.
Your local tackle shop is the best place for advice. For a decent river starting kit be prepared to shell out 500 for everything mentioned plus licenses.CountZeroMember
When I was a kid, I used to go fishing along the Avon South of Chippenham, before it was ‘improved’. I used a cheap little glass-fibre rod, my dad used a home-made rod using a steel tank antenna. Used to catch perch, roach, bream, dace…Posted 4 years ago
I don’t think the fish much give a toss what the rod is, just what’s on the hook…
I like Shimano reels, mainly because spare spools are easy to come by, and because by upgrading to bearings (from bushings) you can get a lovely real from one of their budget Alivio range.
I’d recommend either a 2500 or 4000 size, with two spools (you’ll have to buy one extra) loaded with say 2.5lbs (roach, perch & chublets) and say 5lb chub and barbel. You’d need up to 8lb line for larger barbel though. Diawa Sensor is a great budget line, as is Maxima Chameleon.
Are you going to float fish only?Posted 4 years agoyossarianMember
Peter’s advice is extremely good. Make sure you budget for comfy, waterproof clothes too. The whole thing is a load more fun if you are warm and dry.
I wouldn’t bother going all day to be honest. Dawn and dusk for a few hours will often yield the best results. Get a few books on the local wildlife too. Time passes quickly when the fish aren’t biting if you have other things to observe.Posted 4 years ago
oooh, linky, please tell more… !
You need two 7mm ID, 13mm OD, 4mm wide bearings such as these, to replace the two bushing marked on the exploded diagram as 2293, one either side of the handle, to have a reel with the same number of bearings as the top of the range reels in Shimano’s P3 range.
Spare spools from here.Posted 4 years ago
Peter pretty much sums it up. An Avon rod is great, the John Wilson ones are good value and as they come with different tips they are really versatile and can be use for float, ledger and feeder fishing. I also have Shimano reels, great quality. Beware though, as they are cheaper than bikes it won’t be long before you have a load of different rods and reels for all applications.
If you feel up to it a centrepin reel is also a nice addition to the kitbag for trotting on rivers, but can be frustrating to get used to. Decent centrepins can be had from about £40.Posted 4 years agopapamountainMember
Luncheon meat weighted on the bottom good for Chubb. For Barbel I had a lot of luck with Large Halibut pellet on the hook with softened trout pellets moulded into a ball around the weight and delicately dropped in. You dont want the ball to break-up. Weight depends how fast the river is flowing.Posted 4 years agopymwymisMember
The number of people selling good gear for buttons on eBay has to be seen to believed. You can probably get up and running for £200 easy. Loads of people go crackers getting the best kit and give up after a couple of blank days.
I’m going to assume you’re made of sterner stuff but you can still take advantage of barely used second hand stuff.
You can always go bananas later if you really get back into it (as I did).Posted 4 years agoPMK2060Subscriber
Dragon carp do loads of decent gear at excellent prices. I doubt the quality is as good.as shimano, diawa etc but you will be able to get set up for less than 200 quid. My advice would be to fish light for a maximum of 3 hours at a time. Some fisherman appear to have more gear than a trawler boat.Posted 4 years ago
I carry a John Wilson MK3 ebay special circa £30, a Daiwa top of the range (£120) in the 90s reel that was £25. A waistcoat with forceps, some hooks, weights and floats. Oh a fold up net.
Caught many many barbel on the trent freelining luncheon meat the size of a golf ball with this setup, upto 10 and a bit lb.Posted 4 years agoCountZeroMember
are fish more attracted to hooks which are attached to expensive kit?
See my post above. My dad’s old rod is still out in the shed, cork handle, guide rings nicely held on with hand wound thread wipping. Original British Army green paint on it too. I’m sure it would still catch a few decent fish, sixty or more years on; if I could be arsed to sit in the cold on a river bank dangling a worm in the water.Posted 4 years ago
Frankly, I can find more entertaining ways of spending a Sunday afternoon out of doors.skiMember
For a starter, its worth keeping an eye on Aldi and Lidl, as both have done starting kits in the past.
Bought two ‘carp’ sets for £20 each for me and my daughter to use a few years back and both are still going strong and still catching fish 😉
You don’t have to spend a fortune to start with.Posted 4 years agojohndohMember
I want to start fishing again. Used to fish at every opportunity as a kid, poachers rod in my school bag to go at lunchtime. Once borrowed a length of line and a hook and sat in a tree using the berries from the tree as bait and was pulling out loads more than the guy who gave me the line 🙂Posted 4 years ago
Decent centrepins can be had from about £40.
No they can’t. A decent centrepin has a sharp pin, the point of which, when when the reel is held sideways, is the only point of contact on the spool bearing. Hence, virtually zero friction. With my Speedia centrepin held horizontally (i.e. with pin vertical) and with line passed through the rod’s butt ring only, a mere No.6 shot (0.1g weight) on the end of the line is enough to keep the spool slowly revolving.
The £40 centrepins use two ball bearing assembles with far more resultant fiction, hence they are fairly useless for delicate presentation river trotting.Posted 4 years ago
And another thing whilst I’m in pedant mode, an ‘Avon’ rod is 0.75lbs test curve, so anything calling itself an Avon rod with any other test curve is marketing nonsense. I do actually have a 1.5lbs ‘Avon rod’ but of course it isn’t actually an Avon rod for the said reason.Posted 4 years ago
There was a thread somewhere possibly on here about a guy who machined a centrepin, can i find it can i heckPosted 4 years ago
Tucker nice pin, are you Chris Yates in disguise? Whilst I appreciate your point on the merits of a true centrepin I’ve not had any trouble with BB pins such as this . Fact being that like bike gears you very much get what you pay for but most can’t justify a JW Young pin (what I would see an XTR equivalent). Also like bike gears newer technology has brought reasonable performance to the masses. In fact my newer pin is vastly superior to the older style pin I also have (rapidex).
I’ll defer to your superior knowledge on the use of the name Avon to describe a rod, however I’ve never seen a description of a traditional Avon rod that describes a specific test curve despite numerous debates in Angling forums where most refer to a number between 1 and 1.5. Certainly there is an element of marketing in the use of the name these days and for the OP the advice would be to look for a decent quality ‘Avon’ set up in its modern guise.Posted 4 years ago
Peter file –
My estimation of a river fishing set up for £500 for someone with no gear is perfectly reasonable I think
Rod 60Posted 4 years ago
Spare spool 15
Line (3lb and 6lb) 15
Lead weights 15
Hooks various sizes 25
Tackle box 20
Bait boxes 8
Keep net 30
Landing net and handle 40
Chair (korum) 65
Bait (maggots, bread, pellets, hemp, ground bait) 25
Possibly a day ticket or membership for water
Clothes such as thermals or bib and brace…..
Then things like scissors, knife, disgorger, fake baits, plummets, scales, bank sticks, rod bag, alarms if necessary, the list goes on and on. And that’s not even taking carp fishing into consideration…peterfileMember
Sorry peter, I can imagine how the costs ramp up, I was only having a wee joke 🙂
That said, at the request of mrs PF, I picked up some basic kit from Go Outdoors for about £60 all in, to fish when we’re wild camping. It’s been pretty effective kit so far. Suppose it’s like biking though, as you said. Once you’ve caught the bug, there’s just an obscene amount of stuff to spend money on!Posted 4 years ago
And that’s not even taking carp fishing into consideration…
I take it you’re referring to overnighting in pursuit of the ‘big one’, that get stupidly expensive. Newer commercial lake carp fishing is like your trail centre riding. River fishing is like mastering natural trails.
My house (in the middle of suburban SW London) backs onto a small shallow river which had some decent size chub in, was great to just spend an hour or 2 after work trying to catch them. Shame Thames Water decided to let a tidal wave of sewage down it a year and a half ago. They’ve restocked but it’s going to take a few years to get anything of decent size in there again 🙁Posted 4 years agoMcHamishMember
If you want to give river fishing ‘a go’, then you don’t need half of that stuff listed above.
I’ve got ££££s of tackle, but I can’t walk into a fishing shop without buying something.
You could spend £100-150 and go catch fish in a river.
Or you could spend £1000 and go catch the same fish.
At a minimum you need the following;
Cheap Float/Match Rod
Float (at least 3 in case of losses)
Size 18 Hooks
Forceps or hook disgorger
Landing net and handle
1 pint red maggots
You can stick the maggots in an old ice cream tub, or buy a bait box.
Take a Swiss Army penknife or small scissors for cutting the line.
That’s enough to spend a day at a river bank…you can stand or sit on the ground and keep the stuff in your pockets.
You’ll catch something trotting a couple of maggots up a river.
You probably won’t use the landing net, but you need one just in case.Posted 4 years ago
My experience with cheap gear is it just doesn’t last well enough. You need a decent rod and decent reel. I can’t comment on shimano hyperloop as I’ve not used it. I have had cheap rods and they just aren’t up to it, bumping off fish because of stiff action or poor line guides not allowing line to feed smoothly. A cheaplyade reel is a nightmare when fishing. I’d personally steer clear of dragon carp and brands like this.Posted 4 years ago
As with mountain biking there are reliable brands and not so reliable. I have however spent good money on gear and found it to be poor standard. A bit like crank brothers stuff really!teadrinkerSubscriber
you can a spend a fortune if you want but there’s no need to, especially if your not sure if your going to keep at it ro just fish once in a while.
Local shop always good for advie etc. Have a look online at Chapmans Angling or Fishtec for cheapy kit – always a bargain to have. It’s a bit like biking start out cheap and then upgrade if you want as you go along.
EDIT: But as Peter above says cheaper won’t be as good but it is a starting point. I brought a £20 Shakspeare rod in the sale about 6 years ago and have caught carp to 20lb on it. Saying that though I also have a Daiwa rod that I paid £200 for.
EDITED AGAIN: Crank Bros equipment is truly awful imo.Posted 4 years ago
I’ll defer to your superior knowledge on the use of the name Avon to describe a rod, however I’ve never seen a description of a traditional Avon rod that describes a specific test curve despite numerous debates in Angling forums where most refer to a number between 1 and 1.5. Certainly there is an element of marketing in the use of the name these days and for the OP the advice would be to look for a decent quality ‘Avon’ set up in its modern guise.
I should have actually gone further, the original Avon rods were through action I believe, considerable inferior in many situations (IMHO) to the modern progressive actions rods that are using the name.
If the OP is float fishing on a river, I’d actually suggest a float rod, the extra length might be very important (depending on the width of his river), and float rods can be had which can handle larger fish/higher BS lines as well. For example the 13 foot Daiwa Sweepfire Match rod can handle lines from 2lb up to 8lb and can be had for under £30.
P.S. One thing I will add, if you’re going to be river float fishing, your rod is going to be your hand a lot (as opposed to in rests), don’t be afraid to add some lead weight in the butt to perfectly balanced you rod & reel in your hand. Adding about 170g of lead to the butt of my 13 foot Shimano Catana BX Match (taking the weight from 230g to 400g) changed it from feeling like a tip heavy broomstick to feeling like the precision featherweight tool it should be. No one picks up my rod and comments on the weight, but many comment on the fine feel.Posted 4 years ago
Some nice instructional pages HERE from John Wilson, some of which cover river fishing for Chub & Barbel.
And I’ll finish off by saying location, location, location! It doesn’t matter what gear you have, which wonder bait you are using, or how proficient you are, if there are no fish where you are fishing, you won’t catch any.
Some years ago I had read an interesting blog about an angler and and his rather nice chub catches. It mentioned roughly whereabouts the catches were made (i.e. which river in which county), a description of the swim, but little more. Many months later he wrote a second Chub article which mentioned the controlling club for day tickets and included a photo of the venue. Bingo! Many hours were spent examining Google Maps, and finally I reckon I knew roughly where he’d been fishing.
It was mid week but there were still a few anglers on the banks that I had to pass walking down to the likely section. Eventually a very Chubby location caught my eye.
One hour later I had caught three very respectable (including a fish of a lifetime?) Chub of 3lb 10oz, 6lb, and this beauty of 6lb 8oz
As I walked back to the car I had a quick chat with all the anglers I’d passed, who evidently hadn’t even had a bite. I told them I’d caught a couple of tiny Perch.Posted 4 years ago
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