This guide has been created to assist those of you who are just starting out in the Sea fishing arena. It will hopefully enable you to make the correct choice when purchasing a rod, reel or end tackle.
These are the first 5 questions that you will need to ask yourself before considering your purchase:-
- Where do you plan to fish - boat, beach, rock or pier etc?
- Would you consider yourself a complete novice or have you a little experience?
- Is this likely to be a long term hobby or just something to 'Enjoy in the summer'?
- Have you a budget in mind?
Once you have established the above - you are more or less ready to begin. If we start off by looking at the various areas that you could fish, we can then see what rod/reel etc may suit your best.
Fishing is often undertaken from a boat, this can either be a personally owned boat or one that you 'Hire' or 'Charter' for the day. The cost of this varies from port to port, however, a guide price with bait/rod hire is around £35 - £50 per person for a trip between 8 and 10 hours.
Boat Rods and Reels
Rods are usually the standard length boat rod of between 6 - 7ft - this type of rod will usually come with a 'Class' rating. This determines the line strength that you can use on the rod - for example you may see '6ft boat rod - 15 - 30lb class' this indicated that lines between 15 and 30lb are most suitable for the rod. Caution must be taken when looking at these 'Classes' - do not assume that the class means that the rod can only take that weight of fish - it does not! There is nothing stopping you from using a 15 - 30lb class rod for fishing for Conger eels up to 50lb (You as the angler must use your skill and 'Play' the fish to ensure safe capture)
Reels are normally the 'Bigger' and sturdier sized options that are available - as a guide see below:-
ABU 5000 - light spinning - lines up to 12lb
ABU 6000 - Medium - lines up to 18lb
ABU 7000 - 10000 - Heavy - lines up to 25 - 35lb
Generally speaking, fixed spool reels - unless you are spinning with light tackle are not suitable for boat work, although many sucessful anglers use them and have the same result as a multiplier.
These rods are usually slightly longer than the standard boat rod - 9 - 10ft is the most common length. Uptide fishing involves using a somewhat lighter rod and anglers are required to 'Cast uptide' from the boat. The lead anchors in the tide run and generates a bow in the line that makes the lead 'Hold' - bites are often indicated by the rod tip 'Springing up'. This technique is good in depths of water between 5 and 80ft using lines of betwenn 12 and 20lb breaking strain and leads of no greater than 8oz.
This technique was introduced by Bob Cox and John Rawle in the late 80s and has been proven on many occasion to produce more and better sized fish.
The ABU 6000 and 7000 range of reels are ideal for this kind of fishing as they offer a good line capacity and casting capabilty which is essential for uptiding.
This is probably the most common type of fishing that the novice angler will carry out. Fishing is simple, you walk out onto a pier or jetty and fish. Rods are varied lengths - normally between 9 - 13ft as casting is sometimes beneficial.
Lines need to be on the stronger side as barnacles often litter pier walls and pylons (15 - 25lb plus a shockleader)
Reels are normally on the same size as the ABU 6000 - 7000 for a multiplier or the OKUMA IM80/Zorax for the fixed spool.
Line strengths and lead weights all vary from location to location.
Beach rods are always between 10 and 15ft in length this is because more often than not you will be required to cast at least 75 yards from the beach (Although PLENTY of fish are caught between 10 - 30 yards out!)
Reels are often in the smaller category like the ABU 6000 range or the OKUMA IM80/Zorax class. Line are between 12 - 20lb.
Other useful links/tackle etc
The above guide has been created to give you an insight into fishing, there are of course many other factors and considerations that must be taken into account before you decide to start sea fishing.
I have included some links below that will help you choose the right end tackle for fishing in your area.
I am happy to answer or help with any other question or issue that you may have - I can offer advice on most areas around the UK.