Shorter poles, or ‘whips are an ideal tool for catching fish at short range on any canal. Most are telescopic and tend to be cheap, although you could fork out many times the cash for a beautifully light, top class model. Used with a simple float rig the same length as the pole itself, they represent true simplicity. With no reel to tangle, they are also ideal for youngsters and novices. That said, some of our finest anglers also use whips to fish with total control at close quarters, catching fish like roach, perch, gudgeon and bleak at incredible speed.
Cheaper whips are a great starting point for the canal, but many have pretty dodgy tips. If this is the case, an excellent solution is to carefully remove the very end of the tip and glue on a stonfo-style sliding connector; these are reliable and a really easy way to attach your rigs via a loop knot.
Canal Map Of Uk Photo Gallery
Most fish are swung to hand with the whip. Larger samples require a landing net. These short poles will handle fish like bream, but bigger surprises can lead to problems. Whip fishing is fun, light-line fishing. With a few rigs set up on winders, you can be fishing within seconds. Lines are seldom greater than 3lb breaking strain, often lighter.
If ever a piece of fishing equipment was tailor-made for canal fishing, it must be the long pole. The advantages they offer in terms of accuracy, control and finesse are huge. Nor are they just for small fish or match anglers – these days, poles are cheaper and stronger than ever. A model of 11-13 metres will hit the far bank of most canals with deadly precision. For the lowdown on pole choices, rigs and techniques, see the dedicated chapter on p127.
A multi-section carbon pole is the perfect weapon for canal fishing.