FREE LINE 03 - Page 137

Edges in the Edge
(Right) A selection of effective baits
for the edge.
(Below) More than enough gear for a
day’s angling.
exclusively for stalking I would
choose one of the shorter Yateley
Angling Centre or Tony Parker’s Arbitrator models, which are designed
and made for the job. Your stalking
rod needs to have enough backbone
to keep your quarry away from snags,
but be soft enough in the tip to set
hooks at very close quarters so I
would recommend a test curve of
2.25lb to 2.5lb.
This is no place for your big pit reel
although it will still do the job. What is
required is something small and light,
which is easy to carry around all day.
Most of the smaller carp reels will be
perfect although quality gearing is a
must for close up, hit and hold situations. My stalking reel is a very old
Shimano Seaspin 3500, which is
extremely reliable and has the advantage of a clicking sound from the
rotating spool warning you of a take
when fishing without a buzzer. The
line lay is appalling compared to the
later Baitrunners, however, this is of
no consequence when fishing a few
feet out.
I have used several different lines for
stalking purposes before finally settling on 20lb BS X-line. Fluorocarbons
are ideal for angling close in where
their advantages come to the fore.
They sink straight to the bottom
where they become far less obtrusive,
and their lack of visibility can only be
of assistance. On occasion I have witnessed fish nosing around for some
time between my baited spot and the
bank, and I remain convinced they
were searching for lines. The chief criteria for your stalking line should be
toughness and strength. You are likely
to be fishing in small gaps in the
bankside vegetation and catching
your line in branches and undergrowth goes with the territory, so I
would treat 15lb BS as a minimum.
Other Essentials
There are several other items in my
stalking bag that I would like to mention prior to discussing end tackle
and rigs. These are as follows:Polarising glasses – absolutely
essential for locating fish and spots –
if you forget them, go home.
Clothing – while camouflage clothing is not essential, dull clothing is,
and a brightly coloured T-shirt will not
do you any favours towards concealing your presence.
Weighing Equipment – this is one
area where I won’t and don’t cut
down. Fish care is paramount so
please don’t skimp. If the use of sacks
is permitted on your venue you can
leave the scales and camera to be collected if and when necessary, otherwise you will need to carry them. A
large unhooking mat is vital for the
welfare of your quarry, and earns its
keep as a comfortable seat. Your
weigh sling should also be up to
scratch, and although you will cut
down vastly on the amount of gear
that you take, you will still require forceps and antiseptic fluid (the one
marketed by Thinking Anglers is particularly good).
I also carry a catapult, scissors and
needles, etc, along with a few PVA
bags, and a bank stick with buzzer.
End Tackle
The amount of end tackle that you
take can be vastly reduced. One spool
of coated braid is adequate as it can
be used coated or completely
stripped if you want to use a supple
hook link. A few assorted beads and
swivels, some leadcore leaders, which
have been previously spliced, a couple of packets of hooks, and a handful
of leads is plenty to be effective. The


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