Piscatorial Quagswagging

...the diary of a specialist angler in around the Warwickshire Avon and its tributaries.

Friday 29 September 2017

Warwickshire Avon – Tits and Tintinnabulation

I’d say 5 to 8 hours is about my limits for a day’s fishing, ok, maybe it doesn’t help as a suffer of restless leg syndrome as I find it difficult to stay to one spot but….

a 24 hour Barbel session, you what !!!!


I saw it on a forum the other day and find it hard that some people put themselves through that pain. I assume bite alarms, bed chairs and bivi’s are used, because when do you sleep FFS…?

What do you do when you have to ‘drop the kids off at the pool’

And believe you me, I can have up to three bowel movements a day.

Shower and a wash, yeah, enlighten me….

As much as I love fishing these long sessions are not for me, that am for sure. Ok maybe I can see the appeal if you fish for huge French mud sifters and you coincide it with a holiday where sun is guaranteed as are the many barbecues. As I suppose the social aspect if you’re sharing a swim with a mate, would be pretty good as I enjoy a weekend away from the family from time to time.

But 24 hours sat in one of the swims I fish, not a chance. I’m a fishy philanderer at heart, a room by the hour sort of man.

Dayuse.com for those with more nefarious pursuits.

I’m more a wait for the ding, and then finish by the bell at the end of the 6th round.

Yes you’ve guessed it, and I'll say it again, long stints are not for me.

So with some water on, with a little tinge of colour this was a quick after work session (2.5 hour) at an area a little away from the well trodden but an area that I suspect is a transitional route for the Barbel where especially when the water is up the much needed limbo turns in to a tail flick meander.

I largely discounted it after fishing a few times and only banking a small Barbel that nearly ripped the rod off the rest and a couple of chub at last knockings, but a sharing of info from a fellow club member, my hunches were ruffled again.

As with many of my posts and sessions, preparation is involved.

So rods made up, pva bags, even hairs baited.

A quick hope over the meadow, settle in the swim.

The water looked lovely, 5 or 6 inches on with a nice colour to it, to be honest I should have had some deadbaits with me as it looked ideal for Zander. With rods out for an hour with the odd pluck and pull eventually headed in to dusk the rod was getting attention. I'd love to know what was going on under the water because the left rod was moving to a rhythm and then eventually

WHAM !!!

It eventually hooped over and the tip was riverward, I fully expected to connect to a fish because it was such a characteristic Barbel bite, but wtf, I didn't connect.

Bait back out, damn....

With ten minutes to go and adhering to the club rules the right hand rod goes and I'm taken off guard, this time with the bank slippy, I've gone arse over tit and banged my backside on one of the wooden steps cut in to the bank, arhhhhhhh !!!!

The Chub barely scrapped two pounds and I'm car bound with tail firmly between ones legs. I bumped in to two club members just leaving and they only had Chub so at least wasn't just me that blanked for Barbel.

This weekend I'm on family duties, need to get more fishing in, especially during the week, so venues might have to change and an area I can fish in to dark will be on my mind.

Saturday 23 September 2017

Warwickshire Avon - Floats and Flibbertigibbets

I went to the Warwickshire Avon this morning.

I caught a Barbel on the float.

The end....

Thursday 21 September 2017

Warwickshire Avon – Albuttbarbelbutt and Autothaumaturgists

It’s a long story so I won’t bore you with it, but during a fishy related bedtime story the mysterious and biggest Barbel in the Warwickshire Avon which has eluded me so far has been nicknamed by 6 year old Sam as the infamous,

Albuttbarbelbutt !!!!

Now Albuttbarbelbutt has been spotted by me sometime ago now and more recently by someone I bumped in to from a club water we fish. You see, because of an additional book for the season, he had strayed off his patch and found himself in waters very familiar to me. So with the river low and clear as it is, he had, like I tend to do, went from swim to swim to check out the contours and features of the river as it will be of benefit when the waters are up.

Bed mapping if you will.

Holes, deep runs that sort of thing.

One particular swim where I have fished from time to time for winter Chub, the nameless spotted a Barbel of brobdingnagian proportions calmly going about its business.

Albuttbarbelbutt, bold as brass, right there.

Having seen this mythical creature with my own eyes, it’s nice to know someone else has seen its unmistakable silhouette, after all, seeing is believing.

"It was massive"

"sadly motionless tips after trying for a few times"

Since the sharing of information I fished it once since, and remained biteless, but this short evening session, I was here in to dusk, if it’s around, I was hoping to tempt.

To be honest any Barbel would be nice here, for starters there seem to be less of them now, but not only that, the ones that I have caught here in the past have been a good stamp, culminating in my mediocre PB of 11lb 11oz's.

It’s a decent size swim with no pressure, so two rods, upstream rod a 18mm Mainline Spicy Crab wafter, the downstream rod a Hinders Barbel Bomb Chunks, both with PVA bags of freebies, also a scattering of small boilies.

I've had success with big baits for Barbel especially when trying to avoid the Chub, so these are my standard fodder to be honest.

So three quarters of an hour before dusk the rods go in....

Nothing much happened till the isotopes and bats were prevalent and then the Chub moved in to the swim, these are not quite the Poka-Yoke rig I developed but bang, tug, twang the baits were getting attention but nothing properly doing.

Then 10 minutes before my leaving time as don't want to take the pee, the left hand rod does the three confident pulls before usually the rod hoops over and it's a Barbel but this time it didn't get past the pulls, hmmmmm.

With one rod retrieved and packed away a few taps develop in to a bite and a fish is on.

Sadly a small Chub that got my landing net wet, the little ******

I'll be back, as Arnie said....

No I haven't been drinking, well no more than usual anyway.

Monday 18 September 2017

Warwickshire Avon - Lures and Lycanthropy

Sam was convinced he heard a werewolf the other day, and out of the animals and creatures he is frightened of , such as foxes, wolves and yeti’s, werewolf’s, even though he knows they are not real, scares him the most.

Now talking about werewolfs, the American Werewolf in London, is one of my favourite films, so much so I visited some of the locations in the film when I found myself in Builth Wells, which was a stand in for ‘Yorkshire’

The moors were filmed around the Black Mountains and ‘East Proctor’ was the tiny village of Crickadarn where the ‘Slaughtered Lamb’ can be found. The exterior was the actual pub, the interior somewhere entirely different. 

What is scary mind you, is that it was filmed on 1981, yes really, so time really is flying by as I remember is like yesterday.

The effects at the time masterminded by Rick Baker really were superb and he won some awards for it and quite rightly so.

The noise Sam actually heard was the fake farmer down the road who has some cows just to convince the local council he needed the barn he was retrospectively applying for planning permission for.

They really don’t sound like they look, and to the unwary especially in the dead of night can give you a right shock.

It put him out of kilter for a bit, but a promised lure fishing session got him back on track as he was convinced he was going to get nightmares.

This area of the Warwickshire Avon I’ve hardly fished, above it and below it more so, but others that have, it’s a good place for predators.

Zander suspicious in their absence, Pike very dominate.

It is still ridiculously clear so I knew it would be tough and after 3 hours chucking a lure around we were fishless.

Sean was fairing a little better fishing twitched dead’s, but I’m surprised nothing took a fancy to the lure.

Sam was very much independent with his casting though, which gave me the opportunity to fish myself.

Now the lack of Zander has got me interested, because if the Pike have eaten all the schoolies if there are any milling around, maybe they are biggies.

I’m not ready to give them a go yet, but heck I’m looking forward to.

Some extra colour would be nice, and if that is not forthcoming, fishing to dusk and a little beyond is the way forward.

At least the afternoon was a little more exciting. 

Friday 15 September 2017

Warwickshire Avon – Maggots and Magnets

I caught something on the news the other day that got me thinking, hey maybe I should have a dabble in magnet fishing. I frequent so much water with this pastime of mine, maybe there are some hidden treasure to be had.

The other day a father and son who used magnets to trawl the bottom of a lake for sunken treasures were stunned to haul up a huge cache of guns from the depths.

From the murky depths of the Grey Lake at Kingsweston, in Somerset, Neil Hopkins and son Billy pulled up an astonishing total of 12 guns.

Their haul included a Thompson machine gun, a US Civil War pistol and a musket from the 1800s.

There appeared to be between 20 to 30 parts of firearms all of which are badly rusted including a Thompson machine gun, a US civil war pistol and an 1800s musket.

Ok hidden treasure may be a bit much, gold isn’t magnetic after all

But safes certainly are….

Surprising what can be picked up too, heck might even get Sam involved bet he would love partaking in it.

A diamond bracelet from the Thames, an ornate cutlass from a water in Coventry and a Tukaway pistol from the Babingley river in Norfolk.

I wonder what I could find in the Stratford-Upon-Avon canal.

Heck might even be able to retrieve the countless lureS I’ve lost after being snagged up.

So having a butchers on the net a 3.95” and 500lbs of pull Neodymium magnet should sort out all but the biggest safe.

Suppose why would you need a maget that strong, well not rocket science because these neodymium magnets are tested on a totally flat, clean piece of 1/2″ thick steel. When you go magnet fishing you will find items that has been in the water for many years, so there are rust, a lot of it.

Rust significantly decreases the pull power of the magnet. The power of the magnet will decrease up to 70% when pulling it horizontally. So, the higher pull power on the magnet, the bigger are the chances that you won’t drop your item you hooked on to.

The one I’ve found is a round base rare-earth cup neodymium magnet (NdFeB) is made with A3 steel plate and coated with Nickel-Copper-Nickel to be the strongest type of permanent magnet available.

I dread to think what could be discovered in the >13ft depths of the Warwickshire Avon stretch I'm enjoying discovering.

But then having watched a few you tube videos, read a few blogs, not sure I can be bothered.

Looks like a lot of hard work for not much return, unless you out there have had some success.

Now for this short Friday afternoon session where it is still relatively low and clear I wanted to fish one particular swim, you see after a narrow streamer weed and tree covered section the river opens up, gets deeper and it all flows nicely over gravel.

The plan, baitdrop a load of maggots and some hemp, leave for 45 minutes whilst I'd do some tight to snag fishing with lobworms and then, return to the swim, top it up and again leave it for a while before the last bait drop where I would fish some fake maggots on a hair over the top.

Upstream you see is such a great place for a decent Barbel to reside so a large buffet laid out on a dining table I was hoping it was an offering a giant barbel if it was around could not refuse.

I certainly wouldn't if I was house bound and a hog roast was set-up outside the front door.

Ones belly takes over in many circumstances....

Problem is my fishing sessions are generally dictated for me and sure enough when at the swim, it really is properly gin clean.

A Barbel was spotted pretty quickly but even a head raised above the swim, the odd chub that stuck their nose out were quickly back under their canopy.

Spooky as anything....

So with a few big droppers of maggots and hemp down I let it rest and went for a nose to see if I could spot any fish. In all but two swims I could clearly see everything in the swim and larger fish were very illusive indeed.

So some more droppers went out, left for half an hour and the when I returned to the swim after another mooch around this time the fake bait went out as did the last couple of droppers.

Usually if there was a Barbel dining a bite would come pretty quick....

After an hour without a wrap over, it was desperate measures, so a lob worm went out and vibrant Perch was caught. 20 minutes later I packed up and decided to fish under a canopy over a shallow swim.

I removed the float from the trotting set-up that was in my quiver and changed to a lump of plasticine on the line as a weight, line tied direct to a hook.

Bait this time was a couple of lobworms and sure enough the first run though and when the bait settled something took the bait with a positive bite.

This was as expected a Chub that as per usual was snag bound, with some decent side strain I managed to remove it from under the canopy and it was out in to the main river.

Not the biggest of fish, probably less that 3lb but at least the bend in the rod was decent and I do love this sort of fishing, its not all about BIG fish.

Thursday 14 September 2017

Warwickshire Avon – Elips and Eleutherophobia

Like many of us busy Dads with young kids my life’s diary is generally dictated to me, no harm in that, that’s what I signed up to after all, but unless there is some freedom in one’s life to do what ‘you’ want to do, life can get on top of you very quickly.

If you think about it, deprivation of freedom is a type of criminal punishment, ok I know its compulsory isolation of the criminal from society but unless you sort your work-life balance out you might as well be watching your back when picking up the soap.

The problem is the work-life balance is not a one-size fits all type of deal, so you have to find what “size” fits you best on any given day. In order to find balance in your everyday life, your best bet is not to focus on what worked yesterday, but rather what will work today. When there is a sense of routine, organization, and consistency in your life, balance just happens naturally. A great deal of learning how to balance your life and work lies within knowing how to prioritise, delegate, and create efficiency wherever possible.

Sounds easy doesn’t it….

Thing is I’ve heard the saying ‘choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life’ but modern life generally dictates that is unlikely to happen, well not if you have many dependents like I and many have. At the end of the day for me it’s what is needed in my pocket at the end of the month that puts pay to that. I've experience and skills that people want to pay pretty well for, and change and uncertainty for someone who likes some planning in his life, would be difficult to throw that completely out the window and change what I do, what I earn.

What has worked for me working in the automotive industry all my working life is the lunchtime finish on a Friday. As the kids are back at school now me and her indoors generally have a lunch out, meet for a swim at her gym, or we go separate ways and I go fishing and she meets up with friends.

The real secret behind balancing work and life is having the freedom to run your own life. I welcome the increase in flexible working, with employers letting colleagues do their work whenever, wherever and, sometimes, however they want. Being trusted with the freedom to do your job in your own way is, in itself, good for an individual's confidence and well-being.

So I find myself on the banks of the Warwickshire Avon when most people are still at work.

You see as a contracting jobber and an early starter I burned through my hours last week pretty quickly because two unplanned and impromptu meetings took place, both around the clay model I’m providing feasibility on. One was with the MD, so no chance I could get out of it.

So a quick chat with the client, yeap, a couple of hours time in lieu.

It’s 2017 remember, flexibility in the work place, especially as for many both parents work, surely must be a given.

This fishing lark for me gives me something that I dictate in my life, and I’ve said before it’s what keeps me sane I’m sure, well that and a dram from time to time.

So this after work midweek session I planned to do what I don’t usually and that is to sit behind ones rods in to dusk.

Oily Elips hardened hookbaits on one rod with a matching paste wrap and the other, a krill wafter with a PVA bag of freebies.

Having not had ones string pulled properly for a long time, I was hoping for a Barbel. They are here in numbers but as it sees some pressure, from time to time they can just switch and for the uninitiated you’d might not ever fish the stretch again.

So the session….

Well I had the pick of the swims so I settled in one that recently had some reeds removed, the flow looked great the colour a little better too, weirdly levels looked more or less the same.

Within 5 minutes of one of the baits being out the rod tops starts to bang and a Barbel is on. It was giving a good account for itself too, giving a couple of powerful runs.Rested in the net it was a fish with a lovely colour, probably because it's been so clear of late.I noticed a little damage to the fish, otter, cormorant, keepnet, who knows but one of his Whiskers was visibly marked too.

Not the biggest at an oz under 6 lb, but a lovely proud fish all the same.

Martin had turned up not long after and he settled in the swim down from me, oddly he was geared up for carp having spotted one here the other day. So small boilies were swapped for ones twice the size, PVA freebies and some hand fed ones too. After a natter and a catch up with an hour to go before dusk the wind really started to pick up and my rods were bouncing all over the shop, the rain came down too, not exactly pleasant.  A couple of small chub, but no more Barbel but then headed in to dusk, Martin's upstream rod starts to get some attention and he is eventually in to a fish.

"Mick, I've got one"

I was on landing net duties and the fish was giving a good account for itself, at first I thought it was a decent eel the way it was going but after it was persuaded away from the reeds it's flanks and mouth were visible, yeap, the intended target a carp.

In cracking condition too, a lovely common.

8lb 4oz, not the giants that we know are in the Warwickshire Avon but heck, it's a river carp after all, and the first one on the bloggers challenge board.

There is probably a small head of carp here because another challenge competitor has had one down this neck of the woods too.

When this is a bit more colour, I'm on it.

Monday 11 September 2017

Warwickshire Avon - Irma and Ichthyophiles

After 2 weeks sailing a Lagoon 440 catamaran with two other couples in the British Virgin Islands I was fishless, ok some small fish caught on bread whilst moored up at Jost Van Dyke after frequenting the soggy dollar bar and some whilst taking a dingy over to a sand bar for lunch overlooking Richard Branson’s Necker Island.

but nothing of note….

But then on route to Anegada having just left Virgin Gorda some bait fish started to jump out the water and as soon as the lure hit the disturbed surface a fish was on.

This was bending the rod like no other fish had done before, I wouldn’t say I was disappointed when it finally surfaced because it gave me utter respect for what I caught, but yeah the Tuna was pretty small.

God only know what anything half decent would feel like….

The barracuda sitting there just like Pike, the turtles, like basking carp.

So I’m hoping once Hurricane Irma has past and done its worst the people can get back on their feet again, unlike the US Virgin Islands lots of it still unspoilt, a fantastic part of the world.

Other memories, well freshly caught huge Lobster at the Big Bamboo, flamingos, rock iguanas and rare plant species like sea lavender. Horseshoe Reef with its rich marine life and shipwrecks. Mosquito and Prickly Pear Island with its isolation.

I want to go back….

Sadly my suitcase was lost on the way back which contained some souvenirs but was easily my favourite holiday.

Now talking of nothing of note, up till now on this blogger challenge hasn’t gone that well, ok quite a few species have been crossed off the list but all of relatively average size, so for this session I wanted to try and up the bream size and also maybe try and bank another species, yeap a mud sucker.

Sam was with me for this session to practice his casting so my rods would be left to sort themselves, both on alarms and bobbins, yes I know I’m a heathen, but needs must and all that.

It’s not about me, I’ve the tangle King to contend with, but like me, he is becoming a lover of all things fishy.

The problem became evident quite early on, you see the river was clear very clear and the swims where the bream and patrolling carp would likely to see were small fishless. Sam was becoming impatient with the lack of fish action so after switching swims once and fishing a couple of hours without even a bite on maggot, we were weir bound.

Luckily some fish were found and it gave same some unhooking practice

With the odd nudge on my boilie set-up it was time to head to Lucy's Mill, you see it's nice and open here so he could get some practice casting in without much to get tangled with.

Well apart from my eyebrow that is, yes somehow when de lidding the maggot box he managed to dangle the line over my head and try to cast it.

"Sam, don't move the rod, you've hooked me"

Barbless for obvious reasons, so easy to remove, but noted for future session, stay clear.

He went away relatively happy, I not so.

With some time off in lieu this week, hopefully a Barbel session, fancy a proper bend in the rod.

Saturday 9 September 2017

Warwickshire Avon – Righyni’s and Rumpots

I was sat outside the other day, Wife with some American rubbish on the TV, feet up, patio heater taking the chill off, Buck Corner Mix from Mika Dutsch on the Bluetooth speaker , and a big glass of an impulsive purchase whist in Sainsbury’s.

Yeap, another Whisky to add to the collection….

And to be honest the Balvenie Caribbean Cask ain’t a bad Whisky for £40 odd quid, matured for 14 years in traditional oak casks before being transferred to Caribbean rum casks to impart some extra flavour, so nose of passion fruit, and creamy toffee, palate, well, sweet vanilla and notes of apples, mangoes with a hint of orange in the background, the finish creamy and lingers.

Not my favoured cask strength, but at 43% a reasonable kick and makes a palatable nightcap….

The rum cask gives it a subtle sweetness you see, but it’s the creaminess I was impressed with, certainly made it very quaffable, dare I say it with a big fat cigar.

I did make quite a dent in it, come morning, simple pleasures, nothing like it.It maybe even become a default go to Whisky such the impression it gave and after trying many a dram now, if you find something you like, stick with it.

Talking about sticking with it, I used this Righyni grayling float both times when I’d visited the Lower Itchen Fishery and loved the way it presented itself, for long trotting in pacey and the pedestrian, it just looked and felt right.

It’s a self cocking jobbie (more or less) just needing a couple of BB shot to sink the bait and to ensure that the tip sits correctly, also as the majority of the weight is at the float end, it was much easier to cast compared to a big loafer for example where the bulk shot is at the business end.

Grayling after grayling fell for the presentation as did the odd brownie, and even after a good 50 or 60 yard trot the tip was visible and hence why it’s fitted to my heavy trotting set-up for use on the Warwickshire Avon.

I don't trot enough as it's a great way to catch fish.

So the session....

Well it didn't help that the stretch I intended to fish was sadly unavailable due to a match on there but luckily I'm close to many a water so it was off down the brook.

The water was clear, shallow and quite snaggy in places but I still managed to find some fish.

Mainly Perch but chublets and eventually a Chub that probably wouldn't even make a few pounds, quite enjoyable mind you, fishing close to cover would have been the better option but still nice to be out.

Back out in the morning, this time with the 'king of tangles'

Wednesday 6 September 2017

Warwickshire Avon – Dudgeons and Decoys

After ones of those days at work there is a tonic that gets one mind back on track, yeap a two hour lure fishing up the deep and pedestrian.

Great this fishing lark isn’t it, despite an active mind you don’t think about anything, and that’s why I love it as a hobby, it’s a much needed tonic.

I don’t mess around when I lure fish especially on the river, 12cm’s or over generally and I get bigger throughout the session.

Now the Avon is low, vey low, and clear, very clear but this area is deep, very deep so there are predators in numbers. I’ve not used deadbaits in anger up here yet, but come winter that will probably be my main attack, you see Zander especially when it’s cold love a Roach and if there are any in residence usually they will take it.

The thing is, it’s big and wide up here so roving is the key to banking a fish, so in winter it will be a matter of trying to find where the fish are holding up, ok fish near visible feature for sure but I’m hoping the deeper will give me an advantage highlighting any troughs for example. I’ve already found a couple and a bait in the hot spot produced fish first cast.

So the session, well, it produced a 6lb Pike first cast and then the heavens opened, for nearly an hour.

It was properly hammering it down too, so I had to seek some shelter, luckily a huge tree provided a massive canopy.

When it past, the next swim produced a Zander that was seeking sanctuary among the lilies and the surface weed, a lovely dark fish that had its fins proud from landing to releasing.

I do love these Zander, no fault of their own found themselves here, but they certainly have made it their home.

The switch to a 6” Kopyto produced a tiny jack first cast that had literally had swallowed it whole, easy to unhook mind you, that’s why I like single hooks for all my predator fishing. I’ve had a few net, fish, treble instances that I’d rather not go through again.

On to the last peg, out with the deadbait and in to dusk, sadly only a small Jack.

There are big Zander here that’s for sure, winter cannot come soon enough.

Sunday 3 September 2017

Warwickshire Avon – Ecdysiasts and Entozoons

The humble lobworm has few equals, a few on the hook.

The sight feeding Chub in a visual trance, in front of it, a lap dancer named Medusa, she enjoying the attention, his wallet about to get raided.

They find them irresistible you see and for fishing a clear river where trotting is difficult because of the snags, reeds and thick streamer reed, static fishing is the order of the day.

A simple link ledger, quiver rod, rove from swim to swim, this is the kind of fishing I love but with the fish tucked up out the way, a visual treat climaxing in a full belly can get them out of their sanctuary, out beyond the cover.

Now talk about wallet being raided, a friend on a skiing trip really did get in to that trace like state whilst visiting a lap dancing establishment on the last night of the trip, private room, two girls, champagne buckets, sparklers, the works.

A moment of madness, a final bill as much as a small countries national dept.

And sadly because of the state of bladderation, a forgotten memory.

I lost BIG Chub here on steak last week so a rig adjustment was made. Gone was the hook link, this time a float stop up the line, the Kamasan B983 tied direct to the line, a SSG shot on a weaker line attached to a running bead.

Simple tactics that have caught me plenty of fish, and yet I'm still to catch a Warwickshire Avon 5 lb'er though and to be honest, I really want to get that Monkey off my Back. The thing is after catching numerous 4lber's it is really only a matter of time, just got to stick at it.

There is a swim I going to fish in the winter in an area away from my usual stomping ground that I know for sure they are there, but as I don't particularly like the venue I'd rather wait till they are at their biggest the banks quieter and if one caught, it would certainly smash my PB.

So the session, well 6 or 7 swims fished, with bites in all but one of those. The first swim where I lost one last week a Chub of around 2.5lb nailed the lobworms as soon as they settled.

It's so, so low and clear at the moment that even with the cocoons donned, bigger fish were properly tucked away and after a big black cormorant was disturbed (never seen one here before) I had to fish close to cover and snags to get anything half decent.

The biggest Chub went 2lb 11oz, a good scrap admittitdly because I like fishing balanced tackle when fishing for them, 1lb 2oz TC TFG River and Stream rod is a great tool for the job, but the fish was well below the stamp that are here in numbers in the winter.

Two chaps who were fishing the weir were biteless after a number of hours so they were on the move too, it's a roving venue that's for sure, or settle in one prior to dusk.

On to the next one then, with a load of lobworms I might get the trotting gear out again and try for a Barbel, especially as I've recently had my Paul4 rod fixed and I've not used it for a while.
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