Thursday 30 January 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Love Beads and Lobcocks

To hold the pungent cheesepaste I use for chomping chevin the Korum paste cage was always my default piece of end tackle.

A simple design for sure but what I liked about it was that even when the rubber lips chub or a strong flow on the river had removed most of the paste, there was always a piece remaining in the centre of the cage that would still be attractive to the fish.

Now for some reason, discontinued or maybe out of production for a while they seemed to be getting scarce in the tackle shops. Ebay usually the default for a specific piece of tackle also seemed devoid of these expensive clear pieces of plastic.

I had a small stash myself but hey maybe I could design one more suited to my needs.

I'd tried the paste coils in the past but they are never robust enough to me, often getting caught up in the landing net meaning that a new one had to be fitted quite often.

Also I thought the fish had to deal with a hook but an additional piece of metal wouldn't be ideal, especially if it resembled a straggly pubic hair from an urinal in Hubei Provence.

A server kaput at a client, some thumb twiddling, then an idea, I could knock up a few on CATIA quickly before it came back up.

A some keyboard bashing and knob twiddling I came to the conclusion after designing four, the 'depth bomb' looked more what I was after.

Again paste would be retained if it was almost all entirely gone but being printed in white would also mean a gluttonous chub with his usual cautious eye on the prize may well mistake it for a piece of bread.

When you're designing something on a screen even after thousands and thousands of CAD hours when you actually get to see in the flesh it can look a different scale than intended. A simple 2D drawing to scale is the easiest way to confirm what you've knocked up is what you actually intended to design but I also printed off them afterwards to confirm exactly what I wanted and which one to develop further.

I wanted to fish a ball of paste hence the shape but also when filled so that the protrusions were hidden the attachment point was still prominent outside the paste ball. The scale looked ideal but I'm sure a slightly larger one would probably be better. I used 50 pence sized balls of paste you see, for now though, great for testing out.

So where better to test this piece of tackle I'd designed that would be added to my little box of creations.

Yes down to one of my favourite places on the Warwickshire Avon. I'd caught a 5lb 2oz fish the last trip out here where to be honest, their cautiousness went out of the window and they devoured the pungent cheese concoction often within seconds of being dropped in the swim which the fish

as pictured did and nearly caught me off guard the bite was so quick, instant more or less. 6 or 7 more Chevin caught it was a memorable session indeed.

I don't know why but I've always done brilliantly for Chub in the winter using cheeepaste, it can often bring a bite when other baits are actively ignored.

Why that is ?, I don't know but roving from swim to swim like I do, if you haven't a bite after ten minutes it's time to move to the next swim as they is most likely no fish stationed in the swim, it can draw them out from wherever they hiding, be it undercuts, rafts and snags.

Anyway back to the session, I didn't have long but I was hoping for at least a bite or two to try them out.

Now I'd stupidly manage to snap the quiver right where it joins the tip eye on my 10ft Prologic MP Specialist Pro Rod, that is usually set-up just for Chub.

A decent backbone, an a nice sensitive tip, whilst I was waiting for an eye to turn up so I could fix it, it was out with a new purchase I'd not used before.

I'd bought Sam an Advanta Discovery RVS River Ambush 5.5ft'er but this was the £30 7ft version. It is 1.75 TC which should be man enough for a decent Chub but ideal for small rivers like this, especially when some of the swims mean a duck of the head, a bend of the knackered knees to get through the branches and thicket down to the swim.

After missing a bite in the third swim the all wasn't lost as the paste was gripping nicely to the bead, in-fact they are very light indeed so it complements the paste rather than adding to it. Opposite a heifer and a bull were distracting me from watching the rod tip because he clearly wasn't interested, she wanted help with the dishes.

The problem was something wasn't right at all, usually by now I'd have a fish but having now reached the 7th and final swim I was staring at a blank. It was mild though and the river maybe 3/4's of a metre or so lower when I fished it last.

Maybe dusk was the time for a bite, the last swim I know very well. I've had a few double figure barbel from it, the most recent a few months ago, but the big Chub as pictured came from this swim. If they are off their feed for whatever reason, dusk can often bring a bite out of nowhere. Here is a little deeper than the surrounding areas and fish like it here for that reason.

So I stuck it out, waited to the sun went down and the plan was the leave half an hour past official dusk. What a sunset though, very red indeed it was just nice to be out.

Anyway as the isotope was beginning to be noticeable a few tentative plucks developed in to a full blown bite and a fish was on. To be honest I knew straight away it wasn't big, but still it proved the prototype worked fine, but then these are Chub after all, they'd eat anything if the need is there, but hey the paste didn't some off and that was encouraging. I didn't bother to weigh it because it was almost dark and I knew it wasn't a PB beater quite early in to the fish.

Their feeding seemingly moved to dusk and beyond for some reason, mad how different things can be in just two weeks.

Design tweaks ? not sure, needs more testing when it's proper cold, the levels nice, the water a blue tinge. Oh and the rod, the rod, yeap you couldn't make it up, I've done a Nic from Avon Angling UK after landing the fish, my own fault, but I snapped the quiver tip because of the need to leave to get back to the diary makers, luckily I could buy a new one for the price of a fish supper.

The fish well, just like me, I'm sure he has some stories to tell.

A blank avoided, most welcome....


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