BIG RIVER ROACH, ULTRA LIGHT LEDGER VS FLOAT

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Stuart Whiting

BIG RIVER ROACH, ULTRA LIGHT LEDGER VS FLOAT

Post by Stuart Whiting » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:36 pm

Hi there peeps,

For many years it's been regarded as a sought of tradition that quality roach are generally caught and fished for by fishing the stick float, others on wider rivers especially tidal often prefer to use the waggler although in fairness the stick will still work just as well :Hat:

One of my preferred ways to target big river roach is to use ultra light ledger tackle and fish on a roving principle, pretty much the same as one would fish for winter chub.

I've never believed in using link ledgers or running rigs when using any less than say 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 oz of lead reason being for example if one was using 1/4 - 1/2 oz of lead there is absolutely no way that the line will pull through a run ring or swivel to register on the quiver tip without moving the lead, the reason being that the lead is far to light for it to affectivly be used as a run rig , the lead probably and realistically needs to be about 1 1/2 oz to be able to stay put on the river bed, also one needs to remember that any object regardless to what it may be is far more buoyant in flowing water :Thumb:

With this explanation is the reason why I now just simply pinch 3-4 AAA shot onto me mainline 3-4 lb, about 18-24 " away from a size wide gape 14 - a std size 12 hook.
If I need to I will incorporate the use of some 0.5mm silicon on which I squeeze the shot onto to protect the mainline.

The shots only weigh just a few grams and would redeem inferior if used as a link or free running rig as explained above :eyebrow:

This is generally how I fish roving for big river roach, I generally walk the stretch and introduce a golf ball size of mashed bread into several different swims and then fish them in rotation often covering about a 1 mile stretch in one day.

Image Image
Some of me many Medway roach swims,

I prefer to go looking for small groups of quality roach that could be hidden up in only just a few certain swims rather than spending hrs in one swim trotting and trying to bait up little and often all day long with often very little to show for efforts, yes I can fully understand that many roach can be caught out of one swim and carefully creating a feed line throughout the day but from my experience once a number of small roach get caught the bigger, older and wiser roach all to often back off :rant: .... :fingertap:

Nowadays the only main time I tend to fish the stick or waggler is when I'm perhaps fishing the tidal Thames in big exapancies of water which obviously wouldn't be suitable for for me light ledgering and roving tactics which I now only do on the smaller tree lined rivers :Thumb:

I'd be interested to here from other opinions on ledger vs float

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Duebel
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Re: BIG RIVER ROACH, ULTRA LIGHT LEDGER VS FLOAT

Post by Duebel » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:43 pm

Very interesting write up, Stuart. I'm not really a roach man, but maybe I should give them a go. My local river Regnitz keeps plenty.

The problem with ledgering for me are the millions of round goby that cover pretty much all the river bed. These little fish take any bait offered as soon as it hits the bottom. They can be a nuisance and most of the time I try to avoid them by float fishing 1 or 2 inches off the bottom.
But I think what I could probably try is your roving approach. How long do you wait for the roach before you decide to go to the next swim?
I think after 15 minutes without any roach showing up will be enough, won't it?
I'll probably try to catch some decent roach at the weekend. Usually I'm after the small ones for my pike fishing.
Greetings from Bamberg
Martin

Stuart Whiting

Re: BIG RIVER ROACH, ULTRA LIGHT LEDGER VS FLOAT

Post by Stuart Whiting » Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:13 pm

Duebel wrote:Very interesting write up, Stuart. I'm not really a roach man, but maybe I should give them a go. My local river Regnitz keeps plenty.

The problem with ledgering for me are the millions of round goby that cover pretty much all the river bed. These little fish take any bait offered as soon as it hits the bottom. They can be a nuisance and most of the time I try to avoid them by float fishing 1 or 2 inches off the bottom.
But I think what I could probably try is your roving approach. How long do you wait for the roach before you decide to go to the next swim?
I think after 15 minutes without any roach showing up will be enough, won't it?
I'll probably try to catch some decent roach at the weekend. Usually I'm after the small ones for my pike fishing.
Hi there mate,

Right basically what you can do if you wanna try ledgering is to use bread flake or small pieces of crust which will naturally pop up off of the bottom, place 1 BB or AAA shot a few inches from the hook and now yer bait will effectively hover a few inches off of the bottom, I will stress though that some applications of presenting bread flake don't always float / pop up especially if moulded around the shank of the hook which a lot of people seem to do :Hide: this is ok but not my preferred way of presentation.

The way I use bread flake i actually learnt from Bob Buteox a few years back and is so very simple but pops up the same as crust, basically take a piece of bread about the size of a penny, now fold in half and on the hinge of where it's folded just simply pinch in the centre with thumb and finger so there's now a small flattened bit on the hinge if this makes sence,
Now simply get yer hook and cleanly hook once through the centre of the flat piece,

Once this is in the water the bread will swell and the fluffy flake will gently surround the hook but the hook is still firmly enough in place until you get a take :Thumb:

As for length of time I spend between swims it's normally about 20 mins max, the only time I'll stay longer is if I've had 1 or 2 half decent fish from any particular swim, if after 1 or 2 fish and the swim suddenly goes quiet or I start catching very small roach I'll then simply move on to another swim :Hat:

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Duebel
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Re: BIG RIVER ROACH, ULTRA LIGHT LEDGER VS FLOAT

Post by Duebel » Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:50 pm

Thanks, Stuart! As I was going to use bread anyway, I'll try some light ledgering with popped up bread flake. Our German bread is much easier to put on a hook and it floats very well. I'll try the folding technique never the less. Sounds quite good.
I've got some hemp left - should I feed a little of that as well or will it attract the small ones that I don't want to catch?
What about stret pegging? It might be a good technique for big roach as well. I know, it's a little tricky but it might combine the advantages of both worlds - ledgering and float fishing - and would give me the possibility to systimatically search for the big ones ...
Can't wait for Saturday! 20 minutes a swim - 3 hours fishing - rotating 3 or 4 swims?
Greetings from Bamberg
Martin

Stuart Whiting

Re: BIG RIVER ROACH, ULTRA LIGHT LEDGER VS FLOAT

Post by Stuart Whiting » Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:12 pm

Duebel wrote:Thanks, Stuart! As I was going to use bread anyway, I'll try some light ledgering with popped up bread flake. Our German bread is much easier to put on a hook and it floats very well. I'll try the folding technique never the less. Sounds quite good.
I've got some hemp left - should I feed a little of that as well or will it attract the small ones that I don't want to catch?
What about stret pegging? It might be a good technique for big roach as well. I know, it's a little tricky but it might combine the advantages of both worlds - ledgering and float fishing - and would give me the possibility to systimatically search for the big ones ...
Can't wait for Saturday! 20 minutes a swim - 3 hours fishing - rotating 3 or 4 swims?
Excellent mate, hope it all goes well on Saturday :Hat:

Yes by all means stret pegging and also" laying on "are both old school methods which are now often ignored by many but can prove to be very effective in there own right,

Also take the hemp with you as lot of serious roach anglers would often say, never leave home without hemp :Wink:
You can mix some in with some mashed or liquidised bread as yer loose feed, only put in a golf ball size into each swim though as the idea is to not to fill em up but just enough to give em a taste and hopefully keep em interested until you quitely drop yer hook bait into position :Thumb:

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Duebel
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Re: BIG RIVER ROACH, ULTRA LIGHT LEDGER VS FLOAT

Post by Duebel » Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:24 pm

I'll keep you updated! I'll probably catch a roach, no matter the size ...

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Penninelad
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Re: BIG RIVER ROACH, ULTRA LIGHT LEDGER VS FLOAT

Post by Penninelad » Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:56 pm

You can get around the difficulty of using light leads when using a quiver tip or rod tip detection by using balsa dowel links of various lengths. Araldite a ring to the top and a link swivel to the bottom to attach the lead. This will hold the line clear of any debris or weed on the bottom.
Mark Davies

Stuart Whiting

Re: BIG RIVER ROACH, ULTRA LIGHT LEDGER VS FLOAT

Post by Stuart Whiting » Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:05 pm

Penninelad wrote:You can get around the difficulty of using light leads when using a quiver tip or rod tip detection by using balsa dowel links of various lengths. Araldite a ring to the top and a link swivel to the bottom to attach the lead. This will hold the line clear of any debris or weed on the bottom.
Hi mate to be honest with you I very rarely encounter any problems as regards to fishing in or amongst weed, I can exactly see where yer coming from but in truth my leads would be far to light for this tactic and the balsa dowel would probably float to the surface :Chuckle:

However I have use the balsa dowel rig when dead bait fishing for pike over the top of weed :Hat:

Stuart Whiting

Re: BIG RIVER ROACH, ULTRA LIGHT LEDGER VS FLOAT

Post by Stuart Whiting » Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:08 pm

Duebel wrote:I'll keep you updated! I'll probably catch a roach, no matter the size ...
I'm sure you'll do ok and should connect with a few fish,

Be lucky mate :Hat:

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Harry
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Re: BIG RIVER ROACH, ULTRA LIGHT LEDGER VS FLOAT

Post by Harry » Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:26 pm

One method I have used, is a running paternoster with 4 or 5 AAA strung out over 6 or 7 inches of the paternoster.... there is enough weight spread over the riverbed to hold bottom in some quite heavy currents.. you can fish bread on a long tail for the Roach or meat/cheese for the Chub... :Thumb: :Hat: :Cool:
Just one more cast love, and I'll be on me way home

Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures and memories

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