Fishing for Schools instructor Bob Goble shares his tips for good fishing in April

A lot has happened since last month – I have moved home and my car has been in for repairs due to someone ramming its rear end – but there has been very little fishing.

I probably don’t need to remind you how cold March was and that there has been a lot of snow around as well as the lakes being frozen. But it has given me time to sort my tackle out and do some fly tying. If you have not already, it’s time to give your gear the once over, ready for the new season.

This month I’d like to think about rod actions and the grips on fly rods, which are a little different from those on coarse and sea rods.

It’s quite important to understand what your holding in your hand, and how to perform the cast. Have a look at the illustrations,. You will notice three different rod actions, (A) tip action or fast -this is more for the expert, (B) middle to tip action – this is more forgiving and the perfect choice for the beginner or intermediate and especially youngsters, and lastly (C) through action – this is a much slower action which will bend down to the butt (handle) and I would only recommend for delicate presentation and using light tippet material, like nylon.

Rod butts come in different shapes, sizes and thicknesses, as illustrated, (A) full wells, (B) half wells, (C) reversed half wells and (D) cigar shape.

The reel seats are all up-locking. Rods from a 6 weight upwards usually come with a small fighting butt. This is useful for fighting larger fish as it will give you extra hold, and especially for younger fishers whose wrists can lack strength initially. Over time muscle memory will kick in, but a little trick I teach is for the young person to hold the rod with two hands, one on the handle and the other holding the fighting butt. This will give them better control, with less stress on the wrist and makes casting easier.

If possible, try practicing casting with a fighting butt over grass. If you haven’t a large garden, try the local park. There are several grips you can try, but the most used is the thumb on top. By watching your thumb, you will slowly realise where the tip of the rod is in relation to your hand. Start with the rod tip at the ground, then slowly accelerate to a stop on the back or up-cast to 1.30 o’clock. Give yourself about 20ft of fly line outside the rod tip to start. You will have a slight pause then immediately perform the forward cast stopping at 10 o’clock. Let the line unfurl then slowly return the rod back to the water or ground (the basic cast), keeping slack line to a minimum.

You can find all this information online, in books or even better have a lesson with a qualified fly casting or fishing instructor. I belong to the Game Angling Instructors Association (GAIA) and if you Google them you can find an instructor near you.

Keep warm, be safe and have fun.  Best Bob G.