Whichever species you target, the golden rule is to use balanced tackle. Often this will mean kit which is rather lighter than standard gear. Canal fishing is often about finesse, andfiner rods allow the use of lighter tackle with less risk of breakages.
Fishing to Canal Photo Gallery
The fly angler is an increasingly common sight on the local Cut. In fact I kick myself these days whenever I find a clear canal and have no fly rod in the car. Two favourite set-ups come out to play time and again in my case: a 10ft 3-4 weight rod and reel is delightful for targeting roach, rudd and chub. Such a blank allows beautifully delicate presentation with a floating line. Shorter rods are also fun, but I find the ten footer gives much better control around bankside growth and snags.
Pike are perhaps the most popular fly quarry of all on canals but here you’ll need a rod with some backbone. Huge flies and heavy rods are in most cases totally unnecessary however and I find an eight weight set-up perfect; very sporty for jacks, but strong enough to land a surprise double. A floating line is often all that is required, although I will use a sink tip or switch to a fast intermediate on deep ship canals.
Other options also make for exciting adventures and I’ve even had tench and bream on nymphs. It is a fascinating challenge and one that cannot be conveyed fully in the limited space of these pages; for further reading, my blog Flyfishing for Coarse Fish has a great deal of useful information.
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