In early October I paid a visit to Docklow pools situated in Herefordshire, where I was greeted by Giles, who had kindly agreed to compile this feature on waggler fishing, and the fishery owner Mike Bozward. It was my first visit to the place and to say I am impressed is an understatement. The fishery complex is made for the angler with nine pools catering for well in excess of 300 people, Bed and Breakfast accommodation on site, a tackle shop and Pub, With great hospitality from Mike, what else could an angler ask for! I can fully understand why Giles likes visiting the place.
For those of you who don't know the 35 years old ABU Petersfield sponsored angler, his pedigree is one that many a match angler would be proud of. The former Welsh international competed in the World Championships in 1986 and 1987, finishing 7th and 8th respectively, which by anyone's standards is no mean feat! More to-date you will see Giles name having finished second in the Whiteacres ABU festival last autumn, along with a three -day festival win here at Docklow over the last August bank holiday. He also holds the following 5 hour match records:
The lower Wye; 133lb 6oz. The middle Wye; 122lb 4oz (chub). River Usk;158lb 10oz (chub). Moorlands Farm; 166lb 8oz (carp..winter match record). RiverTaff; 49lb12oz. (roach). Docklow (snake); 87lb 12oz. (carp)
It was only fitting then that Giles agreed to compile this feature on the former day ticket water, now known locally as the Mickey Mouse pool, with peg 14 being his chosen spot. On arrival at the peg, he immediately began to set up his Team Normark Titan 2000, 13' match rod, his Shimano reel loaded with 0.12 maxima line to which he fixed a 1.75gm loaded insert peacock waggler. The waggler was locked by a single AA and Number 8 shot and a loop was tied into his line just below. To this he tied a 15" hook length consisting of 0.10 Shakespeare Omini line, a Drennan carbon barbless size 18 hook ( which he tied by hand!) and together with two number twelve droppers, the set up was complete.
Knowing the water as well as Giles meant that he knew the approximate depth of the peg and the depth was set accordingly. He explained, however, that if he had to plumb the depth he would have left the tail of line from his hook, the piece you normally snip away once the hook is secure, to which he would attach a single AA shot to act as his plummet. He would aim to have his float set 6" over depth for caster fishing, as is the preferred method to-day.
Before a line could be cast, Giles explained his set up. The maxima line was his preferred choice because of its ability to sink easily. The hook length being 15"-18" long, due to its stretch. A short hook length is not as forgiving as a longer length as obviously it will only stretch a short distance before snapping. He will always use a hook length to aid presentation. When fishing in shallow water as he is to day, the preferred float is one with an insert because of its sensitivity.
Giles and Mike
If fishing in deeper open water as at Moorlands farm for example, he will fish a crystal waggler up to 4gm in weight, with all the shot around the base of the float, apart from three number 12 droppers down the line, which will keep the line straight between float and hook.