First Of All Lets See A Brief History
Lets look at how to use the centre-pin
They say what you never had you never missed,and perhaps in essence this is true.But I feel there could just be an awful lot of new freshwater anglers around who miss out on the joy of various types of float fishing techniques,particularly trotting,laying on , and stret-pegging also utilising the lift method and trundling/rolling a bait down a swim or across a river using a centre-pin reel.
I can understand that the cost of some of the newer centre-pin reels that are available may seem a bit excessive and puts them in the field of the elitist bracket but it's not really like that.Its the same as all things really some of them expensive reels are very well engineered and worth every penny while other seem over priced to catch the unwary angler and take his money.[Reel Reviews]But a good centre-pin reel can be betrayed by its price tag take the Leeds centre-pin or the Shakespeare Lincoln Centre-pin are both excellent reels at a very reasonable prices from around £35-£60 both are good reels for beginners to learn on.
Whatever the model,the pre-requisite is,Of course that it revolves freely.So if You where to bat the drum (strike the spool with the palm or fingers of your hand) hard and the spool isn't still fastly spinning after around 45-60 seconds later it is best left alone.
there are two main types of centre-pin reels ,there's the standard in-line type (the aerial and adcock stanton types and there clones) & then there's the combi-type side casters (Lincoln & ray walton Rollin pin)which are attached to the rod inline but can be turned through 90 deg.and be cast in a similar fashion to a fixed spool reel.then returned to the in-line position for the actual fishing,both types come in various forms and patterns and even colours . some are traditional looking whilst other's take on a more modern space-age appearance,either way they all do the same job,so as to which one have comes down to personal choice.
The difficulty experienced by most newcomers to the centre-pin fishing life,is that of the line becomes tangled behind the back plate.In windy conditions this occurs with such regularity that concentrating on the technique of trotting becomes impossible.Your eyes darting back & forth between the reel and your float tip as it winds its merry way downstream you will inherently miss many bites and do lots of false striking.the answer is of course to have a centre-pin with a removable line guard fitted or make & fit your own.[SEE HERE] this will eliminate line flap.so there it is if you've ever experienced line flap around the back of your centre-pin and this has inhibited your use of a centre-pin then set to and make a removable cage guard you will then be using your reel in more fishing situations.
Beginners also have to get used to the way that line is re-wound back onto a centre-pin.There is two ways of having your line wound onto your spool(see also putting the line on)either you have it coming of the top of the spool parallel to the rod and strait through the rod rings,but this restricts the types of casting you can do!In this manner you wind on the line in a clockwise fashion. Or you can have your line coming of the bottom of the drum (spool)and coming up at a slight angle to the but ring (first big ring),which aids curtain types of casting,You then wound back the line in a anti-clockwise fashion. for example:if for instance you are right handed and hold the rod in this hand,the reel should be fixed with its handles(if it has them fitted)facing to the left.with the line coming of the bottom of the spool upto the rod ring.and retrieving line by winding anti-clockwise whilst your right hand grips the rod and reel controlling it while you play your fish.It can be a little disorienting for a novice to wound a reel this way as most fixed spool reels operate in the reverse manner by retrieving line in a back-wards clockwise rotations.
we will look at the centre-pin reel and the techniques and uses we can use one for. The centre-pin reel,has a variety of uses not just in rivers but also on still-waters. Its sensitivity and the feeling of being in direct contact with the fish put it above the fixed spool reel in some situations.
First of all lets see How They're Made
Ways to use a centre-pin reel
What can we use it for? On rivers some sort of trotting technique is ideal for the centre-pin and the great thing with a centre-pin is that the reel does all the work. It is best to choose a swim that gives us access to a good glide downstream, a small promontory is good or the end of the outside of a bend in the river. If you like getting 'as one' with a river though,use a pair of waders and stand in the river in the edge and trot down from that position; generally I choose a weedy or reedy margin to shield by presence from the fish. Choosing swims like these mean there is little need to cast, the float can be just flicked into the current that takes the float away downstream. As the line tightens, gently start the reel to rotate and as long as the current is strong enough, the reel will turn on its own as the float and line is pulled along by the current.To retrieve the float at the end of the trot, instead of turning the reel with the handle and winding in like a madman (no gears and ratios on centre-pins mean that retrieving line is slow) instead, ‘bat’ the edge of the drum of the reel to make it spin in the opposite way to the trot and the line will be retrieved a lot quicker.
The various forms of float fishing in river can be approached with a centre-pin, long trotting, stret-pegging and laying on. All involve being in direct contact with tackle and fish only use of a centre-pin can really do this. I use mine for many different fishing situations so I am always putting line on it and taking line off it to meet the different requirements for the situations. My only gripe with it is that it does not have a ratchet, or a drag, so I need to be careful of line over-run when putting the rod down.I will look now at other methods of using the centre-pin in such situations.The simple side-loop cast made into the fast water and i watch as speed of the tackle as it was whisked away downstream its checked by using the thumb on my right hand as a brake. The trot itself is never more than 30-50 yards so I never loaded the reel with more than 50-70 yards. When the float dives under I clamp my right thumb down and would wrap my left hand around the drum of the reel and pull in to the fish.once hooked, I might have to follow the fish downstream a little, winding the centre-pin madly, keeping in contact with the fish. Despite catching chub to 4lb on this method I never felt I was going to run out of line nor that the tackle was inadequate.and the use of the centre-pin reel for bigger species and also the use of the centre-pin in still-waters.
Carp fishing with a centre-pin is even more fun due to the power and speed of a hooked fish. However a centre-pin is the ideal tool for getting a bait right in under the bank or between reeds. Again, the sensitivity of a centre-pin is ideal to get a feel of exactly what is going on before a strike is made.There's is plenty of techniques for this sort of carp fishing everything from touch ledgering in the margins ,waggler fishing,laying on these methods are covered in [My Other Articles] so instead will now look at still-water fishing with a centre-pin in general, after other species such as crucian carp and tench.
The ideal still-water for a centre-pin is a small overgrown estate type lake thats no more than 4 feet deep lined with lily pads and reed beds. I have to search out such waters some local but many require travelling to.my local lakes that contain crucian carp up to specimen size plus a large head of tench. The technique I use is to load the reel with 3lb mono and use a small self-cocking float about 4 inches long with a single BB shot three inches from a size 10-14 hook with single bait. The shot is set at the exact depth of the water, the lift method in fact. The lilies are no more than two rod-lengths out so a loop cast is easy and accurate every time, an important factor in this sort of fishing. Crucian carp are delicate feeders and the bites very fast so I find the centre-pin is a big plus with them, just with a flick of a finger I can tighten or slacken the line by gently moving the drum of the reel as I stare at the float. A hooked fish is a pleasure to play on a centre-pin, every thud of the head is felt through the fingers and every dash for freedom exciting and fulfilling.
When a fish is hooked the fun begins. If you are used to fixed spools then it comes as a pleasant surprise and a shock using a centre-pin. The feel of the fight will be different, you will feel much more in control, and the gaining and loosing of line will be exciting and frightening at the same time. A word of warning, never ever try to back-wind using a centre-pin or you will end up with a huge tangle of line and a lost fish. Instead control the amount of line taken by the fish by applying pressure in the drum of the reel with the thumb of your right hand, using it like a clutch. Obviously retrieving line with a fish attached we will need to use the handles of the reel.
Fights with big fish on a centre-pin are nothing like that of a fixed spool reel. Every movement of the fish can be felt; every inch of line taken you can feel under the thumb of your right hand as the reel drum slips an inch or two. The fights are also more exciting or frightening, as the fish moves around the swim, snags become far more dangerous. To stop a kiting fish getting to a sunken tree in the water with a fixed spool reel takes just a couple of turns of the handle, with a centre-pin you need to wind the reel like a mad man to gain enough line and then holding the fish from the snag as you wind down is felt right through the rod and into your hand as the drum slips and you need to gain more line quickly.
There is no doubt about it, the centre-pin reel is the ideal tool for these tiny estate lakes, whether it is small roach we are after or carp. I love the places and I love my centre-pin reel.
LETS TAKE A LOOK AT CASTING TECHNIQUES
I hope you find this article helpfully and informative as this was my intention,in what started out as a simple article about fishing with a centre pin has turned into a major piece of work which for a amateur writer/web site maker has involved a lot more than i bargained for ,but i think that all the effort has been worth it and although its not quite finished yet i will continue to work on it adding new items as and when i can , any suggestions for improvement would be welcome.
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Copyright © 2006 Steven Devereux. All Rights Reserved.