Shots and Smaller Weights
It goes without saying that you require weights to cock your floats. A selection of smaller shot can be vital where canals are concerned, especially where finicky, shy-biting species such as roach and skimmers are concerned. A selection of shot from AAs and BBs will be required for wagglers and larger floats, while tiny shot right down to size 10 and 11s are needed to correctly dot down a fine-bristled pole float.
A range of split shot. For really small sizes, styls or ‘stotz can be a superb alternative.
Olivettes are also worth mentioning for pole fishing. These make a tidy, tangle-proof weight for fishing on or near the bottom
Coventry Canal Fishing Photo Gallery
Another good alternative is the use of styls or ‘stotz’. These are cylindrical rather than round, and seem to stay put much better than smaller round shot, which can ping off light lines during use.
Old or poor quality weights can damage your line, tend to come off easily and should be avoided at all costs. Go for a reputable make such as Anchor or Dinsmores.
Accurately gauging the depth is an essential part of canal fishing. There is a world of difference between having it ‘about right and absolutely spot-on. A thorough job with a suitable plummet also gives you an impression of the bottom and whether it is silty, hard or weedy.
The problem with many of these weights is that they will plunge into the silt, giving you a measurement that is slightly out. For a more accurate result, go for the lightest depth plumb you can find, or just use a split shot such as an AA pinched next to the hook.
For an accurate reading of depth, opt for the smallest depth plumb you can find – or try a larger split shot.