Tuesday, 30 April 2013


After a few days of northerly winds and bitterly cold nights I thought there may be a reduced turnout for today’s match, but this was definitely not the case as there were 40 plus here again! With this in mind it was decided to split the match over two lakes so everybody had a bit of room; the two lakes used for today’s match were Laurels and Willows. These lakes are almost a mirror image of each other and contain a very similar stocking level, which should make for a fair match.

As in most matches here at Lindholme there is a golden peg drawn. Today Neil the owner has decided to split the golden peg money over three different pegs, giving more people the chance of winning it. All three pegs drawn out the bag are on Willows.
Out of the draw bag comes peg 16 for me on Laurels, which I am not disappointed with. The peg is situated on the point of one of the arms, which gives me plenty of options and room. The only thing that will spoil this peg today is the wind, as it keeps swirling round from every direction! With this in mind my approach for today is going to be a three pronged attack.

Attack #1
Line 1 is to fish small cubes of meat at 13 meters on the deck at a 10 o clock angle.

Attack #2
Line 2 is to fish banded pellet shallow at 13 meters at a 2 o clock angle.

Attack #3 
Line 3 is to fish down the edge either side of me, with worm on the hook over lose ground bait, with a few micros in the mix.

The wind whilst plumbing up is currently blowing from behind me.

The Rigs I am going to use today are:

Line #1  

·       Pole is Browning Z12
·       Mainline  - Browning Hybrid power 0.14
·       Hook length - Browning Hybrid power 0.12
·       Hook - Kamasan B911 F1 size 18
·       Float - An adapted Durafloat 4x14
·       Shotting - A bulk of no 8 Stotz with 2 no 10 droppers
·       Elastic - yellow Browning Cenex

Line #2

·       2 Pole - Browning Z12
·       Mainline - Browning Hybrid power 0.14
·       Hook length - Browning Hybrid power 0.12
·       Hook - Kamasan B911 size 18 hair rigged with a micro band
·       Float - An adapted Garbolino DC6 float
·       Shotting - A bulk directly under the float
·       Elastic - double 4

  Line #3

·       Pole - Browning Z12
·       Mainline - Browning Hybrid power 0.16
·       Hook length - Browning Hybrid Power 0.16
·       Hook - A size 14 B911 Kamasan
·       Float - A custom built diamond body 0.2 gram
·       Shotting - A bulk 6” from the hook (just above the hook length)

The Match

On the all in I bait up line #1 with a 6mm cube of meat and put a few free offerings in the pole mounted pot, along with a few micros and shipped the pole out to 13m. After tapping in the loose offerings I slowly lowered the hook bait over the top. Following a few lifts and drops of the float it buries; a quick lift and a stream of elastic erupts out of the pole. After a short battle an f1 around a pound is in the net.

Over the next few drop ins it’s the same story, things have started well, all the time I’m fishing line #1, I’m loose feeding line #2 with 4mm pellets via a catapult, prepping it for fishing shallow. After around 40 minutes the wind starts to really give it some, then it totally changes round, making fishing in front of me near on impossible!

A Change in Tactics

After plumbing up a new line at 6 meters to my right hand side, I start with the same approach as line #1. It is not long before I start getting bites, but the rate I am catching at is quite slow. I persevere on this line for a couple of hours, with the odd try down the edges.

With a couple of hours to go the wind relents, giving me the option of fishing further out. The thing is I’ll have to fish at the same angle as I’m fishing the short line. I move my rollers into a position that is makes shipping back from this angle easy. I start feeding 4 mm pellets every 20 seconds to prep the line for shallow fishing whilst continuing on the short line.

Slap & Tickle!

Decision made its time to try it. The rig is set at 18” deep (a depth I like to start at). I put a 6 mm pellet in the band and ship the pole out. I slap the rig onto the water once, and before I can pick the catapult up to feed, a stream of elastic omits from the pole. After a short fight an F1 approaching 3lb is safely netted. Once the fish is in the keep net I quickly feed then re-ship out, a couple of slaps of the rig later I’m in again. The fish is of similar stamp to the last one.

In Conclusion

This continues to the end of the match, the stamp of fish I caught varied from a 1lb to 3lb. I must have put 60lb in the net in 2 hours; If only I could have started on it earlier. Who knows?

At the weigh in I have 90lb 9oz, which considering the start I had I am highly delighted with. This gets me absolutely nowhere, as there are quite a few weights well over 100lb. 156lb is the winning weight. The lakes have fished unbelievably well, if they fish like this now, who knows what sort of weights will come out when it warms up properly!

Thursday, 18 April 2013


After the tiniest amount of arm twisting from Shep  #www.carlshepherdsonstittletackle.com/            I decided to go with him to Lindholme for the Tuesday open match on Bonsai Lake. As you are probably aware this is one of my favourite lakes; but today we were in for a battering, as strong winds were on the cards all day!



The Battle Plan 

After some banter with Aaron in the onsite tackle shop it was draw time! Peg 43 was my peg for the day. On arrival at my peg I was greeted with a strong side wind going from right to left. In front of me I had the choice of 2 islands to fish too. The islands are roughly 25m apart, so I also have a decent amount of open water to go at too. My approach today… bomb, bomb and bomb, on top of this I have set up a top kit plus 1 section for my left margin.

Rod #1

I set up 2 bomb rods: Firstly the trustee Browning Force Bomb 10 foot, married with a Browning Backfire reel loaded with 6lb Browning Cenex Feeder line. On the business end was a 10g square lead, free running, with a 0.12 Hooklength with an 18 hook hair rigged with a micro band. 


Rod #2

The second rod is my new Browning Commercial King F1 wand 8 foot, married with a Browning Xitan HM reel again loaded with 6lb Cenex feeder line. The business end is exactly the same as the other rod.


For the edge set up I am using a top kit plus 1 section from my Browning Xtreme Margin pole. There are some really big fish that come down the edges in this lake, so you need to be geared up for them. The rig consists of 0.14 Browning Hybrid line, the hook length is the same material to a 16 B911 Kamasan hook. The float is a diamond shape float in a 4x14 pattern.

The Match 

On the all in I cast a bomb close to the left hand island; the reason I went for the left hand island instead of the right one was because the wind was extremely bad at this point, and the tree on the right hand island was being blown right over, causing an obstruction for where I wanted to fish. One positive aspect was that it was easy to get the 6mm pellets to the left island.

 The first bite came after 10 minutes. and a nice F1 was in the net; however the wind was really hindering casting, it sometimes took 3 or 4 casts to get the bait into the right place! Once in the right place bites came within 2 minutes. If I casted the bomb too far away from the island I would remain biteless, so taking a few extra casts was more than worth it.

Change needed!

During the day the winds became more powerful, making casting with the 10 foot rod difficult, so I changed over to the 8 foot wand. This helped improve accuracy by quite a bit, as the rod was less affected by the wind. This improved my catch rate considerably with regular flurries of fish.
With a couple of hours to go I decided to start feeding the margins with lose ground bait with a few micros in it. I left it to settle for 20 minutes before trying it, with 2 fish in quick succession, then nothing, so I topped up and went back on the bomb. For the last hour or so I kept swapping between the bomb and pole, picking up a steady run of fish.

Final Whistle

On the final whistle I didn’t have a clue what weight I had, after 2 weighs I totalled 80lb 15oz which gave me 4th place in the match, a cracking days fishing considering the conditions. I cannot wait until my next visit!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


 I recently paid a visit to Burton Constable Lakes in the grounds of Burton Constable Holiday Park. A venue I have not visited for almost a year. On offer are 2 well stocked lakes which contain a large variety of species, namely Bream, Roach, Carp and Pike. Today I chose to fish the Boating Lake, of which I have had some fantastic days on in the past. On arrival I was a little taken back when I discovered all the trees down the designated fishing bank had been cut down.

After parking at the club house car park, and a short walk over the bridge (which separates the 2 ponds) I arrived at my peg. My plan for the day; due to a vicious wind, was to fish a ground bait feeder for the Bream and Skimmers.

  •  I set up one of my trusted Browning 10 foot Force Bomb rods armed with a Browning Backfire reel; this has a large spool perfect for feeder fishing 
  • The line on the reel is 6lb Browning Cenex Feeder line
  • On the business end I had a small cage feeder. I have chosen a small cage feeder because the lake is relatively shallow and I want as little disturbance as possible, also due to the bad wind I have decided to fish short distance for accuracy
  • For the hook length I am using 0.12 Browning Hybrid Power line to an 18 hook
  • For bait I used ground bait loaded with dead red maggots and dead red maggot on the hook


I started the session by casting 5 feeders full of ground bait and dead reds to the designated spot; for accuracy I had clipped up. After 2 minutes of the 1st proper cast, the tip pulled round, a small Skimmer was safely in the landing net. I had a good spell, catching small Skimmers and roach before bites became almost impossible to hit. I did hit one and the smallest roach ever was on the end of my line. 


It was now I decided to make a dramatic change; up the bank went the Feeder rod, and out came the pole. The short pole has given me some amazing catches here in the past, resulting in 200lb bags of Bream to 8lb!

Because the wind had eased back slightly, it was a little easier to fish the pole than it was at the beginning of the session.

  • The bait I used on this line was a 6mm expander on the hook, and feeding 4mm hard pellets over the top
*As I rigged up the pole I started to prime the swim, feeding around 20 pellets every minute or so.
  • The rig I was using was a 0.14 browning Hybrid main line to a 0.12 hook length of the same material
  • The hook was a Kamasan B911 size 16
  • The float was a diamond shape in a 4x14

On the first drop in the float buried in seconds, and a decent sized Skimmer was in the net. This was the start of 2 hectic hours; good sized Skimmers and Roach were coming every put in. I never managed to catch one of the bigger Bream on this occasion, but I will be back in the near future for another go!


Monday, 8 April 2013

Xitan Revolution Z12 Pole

I have recently taken delivery of my new Pro package Z12, and what a package it is. On delivery the first thing I noticed was the size of the holdall it is supplied with; it is huge! It is the new 12 tube, 2.05m long version, which for its size and quality is extremely light weight. On opening up the holdall you realise how much you get with this package!

  • 17.5m Z12 pole
  • Section 5/6 pole protector
  • Section 7/8 pole protector
  • Section 9/10 pole protector (which extends the pole to 18.6m)
  • 2 x power 3rd sections
  • 2 x short 3rd sections
  • 10 x Single Length Kits (SLK,s) in your choice of tip diameters, tension puller or standard
  • SLK cupping kit and set of 3 cups

After half an hour of unwrapping packaging, I finally got to have a good luck at every part supplied. It screams quality!


The top kits are all pre bushed, and areall exactly the same length regardless of the tip bore you choose, hence the name SLK. They are also extremely light in weight, but the wall strength has not been compromised, something I was eager to inspect. Each size is colour coded for easy recognition; they also come in individual protective tubes, which have colour coding stickers on them.                         

My first job was to elasticate my selected top kits, this is a simple job, especially when no cutting back is needed. A further bit of clever thinking by Browning is that they have designed the medium storage bungs to fit into the top kits perfectly with no cutting back, making life even easier! (These are not supplied with the pole package)

*For my choice of kits, I chose a selection which suited me! 

·        SLK match puller 3.9mm X 3
·       SLK match puller 4.5mm X 5
·       SLK match puller 5.5mm X 2

*You can choose between puller kits or standard kits.

·        SLK ultra match 3.0mm (Yellow)
·       SLK match         3.9mm (Blue)
·        SLK Carp           4.5mm (Green)
·        SLK Carp XL      5.5mm (Red)
·        SLK match puller      3.9mm (Blue)
·        SLK Carp puller        4.5mm (Green)
·        SLK Carp XL puller   5.5mm (Red)

...The choice is yours!!!!


Laurels Lake at Lindholme Lakes Nr Doncaster is the venue for the first outing. I have drawn peg 47, which is on the end of one of the arms which jut out into the lake; this gives me open water only to fish in too.  Due to been slightly restricted in options with people on the opposite banks, I decide a line at 13m line for my initial approach.I take the 13m pole out, and start fitting it together, this is when you start to see all the features that this pole incorporates. First of all the feel of the pole, it effortlessly slides through your hands, making shipping it in and out easy and smooth,  the Diamond surface finish is amazing. The next thing I notice is that all the sections have over wrapped joints on both the male and female joints. This is to help reduce wear and chipping. All sections have alignment points at each end, this maximises stiffness, by creating what can only be described as a back bone.  

One feature that I have never seen before on any pole is the unique strengthened stress points, these are approximately 6” from the male joint (where you hold the pole when splitting the sections). It incorporates an extra carbon wrap, which again gives you added confidence. I can imagine other manufacturers trying to copy this feature in the near future.

Another feature with this and other poles in the Xitan range is the pole protectors; it comes with 3 of them. They are designed to fit in sections to fit every section from 5th through to the 16/17.5m butt sections. Each pole protector is reversible, therefore fits 2 pole sections and with built in skid bungs it give maximum protection.

For today’s session I am using a 3.9mm puller top kit which is fitted with double 4 elastic for my 13m line. I have also rigged up 2 x 5.5mm puller kits fitted with Browning Green Cenex Reflex Elastic, these are set up for the margins either side as they are different depths.


On the all in, I bait up with a 4 mm expander pellet and put a few micro’s in the small pole mounted pot and ship out to just beyond 13m (I  have the pole protector fitted). It’s not a long wait before the first bite. On lifting into the bite, the poles stiffness and instant tip response is immediately noticeable. A small Skimmer is on its way to the net. Over the match the fishing is quite hard with mainly small Roach and Skimmers, with a rouge bigger Skimmer and an F1 thrown in. I have had approximately 12lb.

The Z12 is an absolute joy to use. Enough said!!!

*The next section shows all the information you will need with regards to available packages, and the pole features mentioned above.


Z12 Standard Package comprises:

Z12 ‘Professional’ package comprises:

• 16m Z12 pole
• Section 5 / 6 Pole Protector
• Section 7 / 8 Pole Protector
• Section 9 / 10 Pole Protector (extends pole to 16.8m)
• 1x Power 3rd section
• 1x Short 3rd section
• 8x SLK’s in your choice of tip diameters, Tension Puller or standard
• SLK Cupping kit and set of 3 cups
• Full sized, top quality holdall
• 17.5m Z12 pole
• Section 5 / 6 Pole Protector
• Section 7 / 8 Pole Protector
• Section 9 / 10 Pole Protector (extends pole to 18.6m)
• 2x Power 3rd sections
• 2x Short 3rd sections
• 10 x SLK’s in your choice of tip diameters,Tension Puller or standard
• SLK Cupping kit and set of 3 cups
• Full sized, top quality holdall


Single Length Kits – no cutting back, no bushes, just add elastic and you’re fishing!

All SLK top kits are the same length and are pre-bushed with top quality PTFE bushes, so no more cutting back or lost length. There are 3 types of SLK (Standard, Extra-power and Long) with 4 different tip diameters to suit different sizes of elastic. There are also matching cupping kits with screw attachments fitted.

  Pole Protection System – protect sections from damage!

Pole Protectors are purpose designed short butt sections. Each of the PPs is designed as an integral part of the pole, has built-in skid bungs and is reversible, therefore fits 2 sections. There are 3 PPs for each pole range and they fit every section from the 5th through to the 16m butt sections. They protect the main sections (particularly useful on the 5th & 6th sections) and give useful length options if fishing to islands or features.

Nano-Carbon Construction – strong and light, but not brittle!

How strong is the Browning Z12 I here you ask?
The Browning Z12 uses similar carbon technology as the Z9, which has been on the market for over two years and has proven to be adequately strong for all styles of fishing. Of course, no top-end pole is unbreakable! However, following extensive testing, the Z12 has proved to be a strong pole, especially in the hands of an experienced angler.
The high-modulus carbon needed to make a pole light and stiff can often be brittle. The pole is strong but a “knock” against something hard or dropping a section can result in breakage. We use Nano-carbon fibres, which makes the sections much more durable!.

Section Alignment Points – for maximum stiffness!

All sections have alignment arrows for maximum rigidity. Sections are also numbered for identification and carry a part number, so if you need to order a replacement you will always get the correct section
 Why does the Z12 have fewer sections than a conventional pole?
The Z12’s SLK top kits are all 2 section; this means that the 4th section on a conventional pole is the equivalent to a 3rd section on the Z12 – hence it has “Power 3rds instead of “Power 4ths”.  The Z12 has 8 sections at 13 m and 10 sections at 16 m, the “missing” section is the long thin tip found on most poles.

Overwrapped Joints – designing out wear

The top-end Xitans have carbon overwrapped male and female joints to resist premature wear and chipping. The overwrap on the female joints also increases hoop strength which helps unshipping when the pole is under load.

 Strengthened Stress Points – designing out weak spots

Xitans have visibly strengthened grip areas on the middle sections and also on the elbow areas of the butt sections. These resist crushing when unshipping and cracking when striking.

Diamond Surface Finish – smooth and fast shipping!

Xitan pole sections have a special diamond ground surface finish for easy “non-stick” shipping in and out. Wet or dry, the Xitans are very “fast” poles to fish with. Browning also use the minimum of paint to reduce weight and minimise “sticky” areas on butt sections, so it slides through the hands easily;

Precision Points – accurate feeding is important to success

The butt sections of all Xitan poles have a series of full diameter markings, which allow consistent and accurate fishing and feeding when using a pole cup

Premium Protection Tubes!

Xitan poles and SLK top kits are supplied in premium quality protective tubes. These resist both cracking in low temperatures and distortion in high temperatures.


*Browning prides itself on its spares service, and always do their very best to meet there customers’ needs. They aim to keep spares for up to 5 years after a pole has been discontinued, and substitutes for old poles can often be found.
If you have any trouble locating spares or extra sections, you can contact them via phone, or e-mail through their spare parts service web page: www.browning-fishing.com/SparePartService.html


Monday, 1 April 2013

Lindholme Lakes - Bonsai

As I've said before, Bonsai Lake; which is dubbed the jewel in the crown at Lindhome Lakes, Epworth, Doncaster is one of my most preferred fishing venues. It contains an abundance of F1s as well as a diverse amount of other species such as Carp, Barbel and chub and a multitude of silver fish.

Saturday 30/3/13 Open Match

There was a great turn out for the Saturdays open match, with over 30 anglers in attendance. On the draw I drew peg 9; a peg I have not fished before, but still I had a good feeling about today.
On arriving at my peg I was highly delighted; the island in front of me was only 13 meters away, which would be a comfortable distance, even with a strong swirling wind!

Directly in front of me was a cut out in the island reeds, which led right to the mud bank, approximately a meter wide; the rest of the island was reed lined.

In summer the cut out would be my target area due to the water being shallow, but with the temperatures lower than 5 degrees, I decided to target the deeper water in front of the island reeds.   

Plumbing Up 

The first line I plumbed up was in front of the reeds, immediately left of the cut out, which gave me approximately 3 ½ feet of water. After plumbing up other areas of the island I could utilise the same rig for these areas too.  

*The second rig was a backup rig for the cut out, just in case the fish backed off into it. The depth here was 1 ½ - 2 feet deep.  


For both rigs I utilised the same material, the only difference will be the depth.  

  • Main line - 0.12 Browning Hybrid power line 
  • Hook length - 0.12 Browning Hybrid to a size 16 Kamasan B911 F1 hook 
*I have started with a 0.12 which gives me scope for change if bites are hard to come by.  

  • Float - Dino Sedge 0.12 gram 
  • Shotting - strung out bulk for both positivity and sensitivity.  

*I have also set up a bomb rod for fishing the gaps either side of the island. This will be a backup line.  

Bomb set up  

  • Rod - Browning Force Bomb 10 feet long 
  • Reel - Browning Backfire loaded with 6lb Browning Cenex sinking feeder line 
  • Bomb - 10g square lead (free running) 
  • Hook length 0.12 Browning Hybrid to an 18 Middy hook tied with a knot less knot with a short hair rig to a micro band.  


Today’s bait could not be simpler:  

  • 6mm fishery pellets - for the Bomb 
  • Fishery micro pellets - for feed on the pole 
  • A mixture of 2 and 4mm expanders - for the hook 

    *I also have some bread if things become really difficult for the bomb 

    On The Whistle

    About a minute before the all in, I baited the hook with a 4mm expander pellet and put around 10 micro pellets in the pole mounted pot. I have learnt in previous visits that over feeding causes the fish to back off really quickly, so minimal feeding was today’s approach.  

    On the whistle I shipped out the pole to 13m, to the area in front of the reeds, I tapped in the micros and the lowered the rig in slowly over the top. It was not long before my first bite, and after a short battle a nice Mirror Carp was in the net. Just the start I wanted!

    The first hour was very productive; I had around 10 fish in the net. The second hour however was extremely frustrating, as I must have foul hooked around 5 fish and lost them; but I did manage to land a few properly hooked ones.
    Even though I had foul hooked and lost fish, I didn’t get too despondent, as it meant there were plenty of fish still in the swim. The third hour was again quite productive with no foul hookers. I put around 7 fish in the net. 

     As the match went on the bites slowed right down, so I started to target the other areas that I had plumbed up along the island. The rewards were instant; I picked up a couple of quick fish before again bites became scarce.

    The rest of the match resulted in me picking up odd fish from different areas. I had to wait quite some time for the bites, but then again so did everybody else that I could see!

    At the end of the match I thought I would have close to 50lb, but when I weighed in it was 60lb 11oz, I was more than happy; this gave me 4th place in the match, and a section win. A cracking result!