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22 Dec 2016
by Terry Hearn
Should you be paranoid about tangles?
We ask Terry Hearn...

Question

Before I sign off, I’m interested to know how much heed do the other contributors pay to rig tangles and poor presentations? I must admit I’m completely paranoid about it and I struggle to leave a cast too long that doesn’t look spot-on as it travels through the air or if I haven’t watched all the way out – when possible. It also has to hit the clip with the right intensity and the feel of it touching down on the deck has to be exactly what I’m after. This paranoia stems from fishing Stoneacre, back when rigs had to be cast, but they could then be checked from the boat to see how they were presented. I saw so many tangled rigs (even Choddies hooked back round the line/leader) and so many rigs that were poorly presented – hookbaits held up in weed etc. But when the rig is retrieved the tangle has straighten itself out or it just feels normal as it’s pulled off the spot. I hear so many anglers on the bank say things, like “I don’t get tangles” or “I just don’t worry about it”.

So I just wanted to know what the contributors’ thoughts on it are? Would you rather have 20 casts and know everything is spot-on, or isn’t it too much of an issue in your mind? Ed Betteridge

I’m the same Ed, if I’m going to leave it out there for hours on end then I want to make sure it’s dead right, and like yourself, I’d rather make twenty casts if that’s what it’s going to take. I like the bit about watching the rig fly out in the air as well, as I do exactly the same where possible, especially if I’m using lead clips, which I find much more prone to tangling than helicopter type lead arrangements. Seeing a double splash is always nice too, from both the lead and hookbait, but obviously that’s something we only get to see when putting the rods out in daylight.

You’ve pretty much given the best advice already when you said about hitting the clip at the ‘right intensity’, something I’m very fussy about myself. Ideally I like to catch the lead or hit the clip when the rigs only a foot or so away from hitting the surface, straightening everything out and almost freezing time for a split second before letting the rig splash down, rather than thumping through the surface like a bullet from a gun.

Mention of Stoneacres reminds me of a story from my time at the lake. I remember well the H block markers dotted over the surface and the way the regulars were able to cast out alongside them before going out in the boat to check on how things were laying. Well, one of the lads, Barry Davies did just that, but after spinning around and around in the boat alongside his marker for a while without finding his rig, he eventually decided to just bait up anyway, as he knew that it must be down there somewhere as he was very happy with the cast. You can probably guess what happened. When he got back to his swim he immediately noticed that his rod was missing, and looking into the margins the realisation of what had occurred quickly sank in, as he could see a ploughed line in the bottom snaking its way out into the lake! The last thing he was expecting was a take whilst he was on his way out to the spot in the boat, and so he hadn’t slackened off the clutch. Poor old Barry was distraught, not only had he lost a fish but he’d also lost a rod and a brand new Basia reel!

I seem to remember the rest of the lake finding it more than a bit funny, but fortunately Barry managed to get his rod and reel back after boating about with another line for a while, minus the fish, but still a much happier ending.

Thinking about it, whatever happened to Barry? I do hope that he’s still fishing, I still owe him a favour for lending me his boat and getting out of bed to help load it onto Nick’s car at gone 1am one summer night when I had a special carp snagged up in another Oxfordshire water. Without their help there’s no way I would have landed it.

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