If you have read some of my other posts you will know that I have experimented with some Chinese tackle – not the stuff built in China for the UK market but the tackle the Chinese use. Earlier this week I fished Pondtail Pool on the Bowood Estate, for the first time, with a waggler and had 125 roach, including two at 1-08 in just over 2 hours for 12lb. Taking into account the larger roach this meant the fish were averaging slightly over an ounce.This led to me deciding to try fishing it with a 5m Chinese whip and float for a couple of short sessions of 2 hours. There are only two platforms on Pondtail and they are at the start of the lake with a long expanse beyond the platforms that you cannot fish. So I decided to fish both pegs in the same way.
A Chinese whip is way different to what we are used to , both in terms of size and balance. You can see from the pictures that they are incredibly slim and are multiple short telescopic sections. There is a ring on the screw in butt cap because these whips are used on their “commercial” for carassio or F1s with larger carp also present; they clip a length of string to the butt in the event of hooking a “lump” and allow it to tow the whip if needed and then hand line the whip back once the initial runs are complete. (I was not going to do that!) Balance was also totally different with it feeling top heavy- again it is usually used in conjunction with a small rest rather than being constantly held. These whips are often advertised with them picking up two full coke bottles to show how much it will bend!!!
The rig I was using was made up of 0.12mm Tornado to a 0.10mm Shogun hooklength and a size 18 B611. The rig is set up on a foam spool that fits into a neat box and rubber stops either side of a brass float adapter into which you push the float stem keeps it all nice and neat. I was using a bog standard cheap Chinese float as you can see in the top right hand pic, I think I paid about £2 for 10 floats and that included delivery from China! The bottom right is a pic of some of my match quality floats from China. The float I used took 2BB and 3 no 8, the BBs were placed under the float and the three no 8s were spread so that I could take advantage of the long tip on the float and spot bites at every level of its fall through the water.
The first attempt was on the first peg and I started by introducing a small ball of soft groundbait and catapulted 20 or so maggots every other put in, with a further small ball added every 15 mins or so.Double maggot was the only bait I tried, I bumped one good fish and ended up with 85 roach for 8-08, so they were of a better stamp than on peg 2 with most fish coming in the last 18 inches of the 5 feet of water. I also lost a fair few by using a barbless hook.
Peg 2 was next and I had amended the tackle by using a micro barbed hook.
You can see the minimal tackle I used (making use of my lad’s stool as he is in China!) Fishing the same way I had a similar experience except I lost a good bit of time as a strange cloud came down from the weir and slowed things down. I had 90 roach in the time and they were of a similar size to my first visit with the waggler, weighing in at 7lb but that included one of 1-07.
But I also hooked a far bigger fish that was fighting like the roach before the hook pulled- it was significantly bigger than the largest I had caught there – I think I may need to target the water a bit more in future. Interestingly I fed maggots but on the waggler it was caster but the result was the same in terms of average size. The one thing I did try this time was some artificial corn that I bought from China, I had used it on the carp on the Stock Pool with success while feeding pellet, it was again successful with a couple of slightly larger roach falling to it.
The whip was very forgiving and performed as well as could be expected, the floats I have used elsewhere such as Boddington for the roach and they are very sensitive. Most of my reels are now Chinese and cost less than £10 but perform well and in fact are better than some of the more expensive “brands” that have a good reputation. Interestingly in 3 visits to Pondtail I have had 300 roach and no other species!