Distance fishing for me has always been something I have tried to have in my locker. Even from an early age I have always tried to cast to places others cannot. It is my personal opinion that on some venues, being able to present a bait past others accurately is a massive edge and can result in more bites. A prime example of this for me would be a club water I’ve been fishing the last couple of years. It is a fairly big reservoir consisting of a couple of islands close to one bank, however these are well in excess of 130 yards from the other bank, across a big expanse of open water. The majority of anglers there fish up to 100/110 yards which in essence is still a massive chuck. That being said with modern day kit it is not only achievable (with practice) but is also very affordable. At this particular water I have found great success fishing between 120/150+ yards as I feel the fish see this as a safe zone. I’m not saying that you won’t catch from the margins or have multiple fish from 80/90 yards, I just personally believe they are easier to catch from the distance area. I tend to fish this venue through the winter and early spring as it tends to be a bit quieter and the fish tend to be more localised in central areas. It is not all about adding distance, if you are not having to give it everything to get to a distance you will find your accuracy will improve and everything becomes a whole lot easier. In this piece, I wanted to give an insight as to the kit I use and how I go about my distance fishing.
Firstly if you are going to punch to the horizon your kit needs to be up to the job. There is no point having 2 ½ lb test curve rods and small spooled reels as this will most certainly end up with shattered carbon fibre.
It sounds a bit brutal but for my rods I actually use spod and marker rods for my fishing over 130yds. I feel my normal rods, although they are strong and capable, are at the limit and consistent hammering of them will not do them any favours. I use 13ft rods, however that is not to say someone else may find 12ft or 12ft 6 rods easier, it is about personal preference and trying the correct rods for the angler. I cannot recommend casting tuitions highly enough as when I was part of the welsh team we did one and even as someone who could chuck, those guys are next level and I added easily 50yds.
My reels are nothing fancy; they are a fairly cheap big pit which has a lovely line lay which to me is very important for achieving the distances. When I used to use my old reels the line lay was terrible and you could hear the line whizzing off the front lip of the spool which was always adding extra drag and reducing distance
Line again is a very personal choice and one of the major factors in distance fishing. I never go below 10lb B/S as for me I am always worried about being heavy handed or loosing fish to breakages. Obviously if you are dropping to a low diameter-low B/S lines you will categorically need a leader of some type whether that be braided or other high B/S materials. If however there are leader bans then tapered mainlines are a great alternative
As for the kit needed then there is really only one more crucial piece of equipment and that is a good fingerstall. I know this may sound obvious but having myself thought sod it “it’ll be fine” when I’ve been rushing I have ended up with some pretty horrific gashes on my index finger; to the point where I have lost felling in the end of it.
As for bait application at range this again requires bullish kit and fine tuning to achieve maximum distance. A good spod braid and a strong leader is a must combined with a decent spod rod. As with everything in distance fishing practice is key. I like to take left over bait or gravel to my local lake in order to hone my accuracy.
Set ups for fishing at range are also critical as using a deeper or getting a marker float to extreme range is out of the question. I would normally cast a bare lead to an area and have a feel about. If I was happy I would either put a single hook bait out presented on a helicopter style set up or a solid bag if I felt a little bait was required. Fishing to those ranges, you need to have complete confidence that rigs are not tangling. I feel these set ups give me the greatest confidence. Big baits are another issue that can add drag and restrict distances as well as causing tangles. I have in recent years converted to solids as waters I have grown up on have not required the use of them. They really are an art form when trying to use them at distance. The contents of the bag are crucial as big pellets or pieces of boilies cause air gaps, lumps, and bumps; all of which cause the bag to fly untrue. Hinders gemz 50/50 and mini combo are great bases to start off a bag mix with. To mine, I add ground elips as this is a very oily crumb that helps fill in all the little gaps making the whole thing lovely and compact. In conjunction with keeping everything small in the bag a small hook bait also works best. My preferred choice is a 12mm pop up whittled down as I find it sits perfectly just above the pellet.
A big part of my distance angling is tight lines and heavy bobbins. So many times I see people sinking the line and stripping yards and yards of line off to have slack or semi slack bobbins which to me, give the fish too much room for manoeuvrability, meaning missed bites or lost fish. Another thing I tend to do is slightly angle my rods into the air. When fishing at range with the stretch in the line, the rod tip can give you another form of indication.
I hope there was something in this article that you can find useful and add to your own angling.