Sunday 5th July, Brandon Right Hand Pool - 19:30 - 21:00. Warm and overcast with the odd light shower.
I like braid. I started using it firstly for maggot feeder fishing on the river then stepped up for my Barbel fishing last year. It's lack of stretch offers superior transmission to the tip for all kinds of bites, dinks and donks. It is thin, twenty pound braid is about the same diameter as 5lb mono. This means there is reduced drag on the line from a river current. It is also slick through the rings and so casts well.
To balance the praise I can offer the following negatives. It can cause casting problems if only loosely wound onto a fixed spool reel. When casting the loose braid spills from the spool and quickly forms knots which will pass through the rings on the cast but will weaken the line considerably if not unpicked - a hard job as braid knots are tiny. Secondly, knots which work fine on mono are prone to slipping on braid i.e overhand loop or five turn grinner.
Last Sunday evening I had a couple of hours trying for the Carp at Brandon off the top. As I had braided mainline on my reel I joined it to a 10lb mono hooklength by loop-to-loop and soon painfully discovered a third negative to add to the list.
There were simply loads of Geese and a Swan on the lake so I didn't put any loose bread out at all. I cast a single piece of crust out towards some fish without the feathery armada noticing and within ten minutes had a take. I lifted the rod tip and felt the fish. Still in striking motion and before the rod reached forty five degrees from the perpendicular the line pinged and fell slack.
I'd seen the Carp and it was a decent fish. I wound in to find just the loop on the end of my braid mainline remaining. I think the braid had cheese-wired through the mono. I swore under my breath quite a lot.
Thinking this was just a bit of rum luck I tied on a twelve pound mono hooklength and was soon fishing again. Once again the feathered half-wits did not clock the bread land and within ten more minutes I had another slurping take. I lifted the rod tip and felt the weight of the fish. Still in striking motion and before the rod reached forty five degrees from the perpendicular the line pinged and fell slack. The same thing had happened again! The braid had sheered the mono at the join.
Swearing was no longer a viable option so I put my head in my hands and left it there for a few minutes, teeth tightly clenched. The second Carp was also a decent fish. I've been fishing Brandon quite abit recently and have yet to catch anything decent. To lose two fish in such quick sucession to the same tackle-failure related reason was a heavy blow. I gave myself a stern talking to, went back to the car and got reel with mono mainline.
On my firtst cast with the mono line one of the winged mafia saw the crust hit the surface and set off on full power towards it. Seeing something was going down his thirty odd mates all did the same. My heart sunk further as I looked across the pool and all I could see was wall to wall Goose streaking towards me. Once they'd located my bread my game was up. They just hung around the area for the rest of the evening. I couldn't cast out as they would all pile for the bread and be on it within seconds. Forty pairs of dead-cod eyes glared constantly at me.
I tried walking up the bank and dropping some bread in away from where I was fishing. It worked for a short while but they then associated me with food so soon came gliding back up to where I was sat, squabbling as they swam.
I didn't have any more chances and had well and truly blown the other two.