Monday, 4 January 2016

A Trotter's Arsenal "The tools of the trade".

 Here's some handy tips I've picked over the years and hope they can help improve your trotting for various coarse species.
For every section of river there are variations in flow, speed, consistency of depth and indeed obstructions, depending on these differences the correct tackle should be used to get the most out of the small amount of time we all get on the banks.
Your rod and reel should be light enough to use all day, especially if roving is the plan, nothing worse than having a poorly-balanced set-up, this could make fishing quite difficult where it needn't be, depending on where I am tackling I'll select a rod based on this although I find a 12ft rod is a good length to go with if your'e new to a specific venue and the reel is equally important.
For trotting I couldn't think of anything worse than using a close-faced/fixed spool reel, of course some angler's will find centrepin's difficult to use but they are in my opinion the only type of reel to use for this type of fishing, various pin's are available on the market but I strongly recommend the "Okuma - Sheffield", a magnificent reel and reasonably priced in comparison with some on the market, although the "Grey's - Berwick" is a decent reel too for a little less than the aforementioned, wind can prove tiresome when using a pin but for a large majority of the time they are brilliant, control is second to none and presentation is therefore much better and more likely to present that bait as naturally as the fish would expect.

There are various rods out there available too with the "Drennan Acolyte" one of the better example's although I prefer and almost always use the "Grey's Prodigy TXL", it hasn't let me down once and has landed me canal carp over 20lb and double figure Barbel on the trot, along with a list of specimen Roach & Dace, as a light and compact all-rounder it is the best I've used for a very long time.
Difference species I believe require certain amount of fine tuning when being targeted, Grayling 9 times out of 10 will be held up in pockets or slacks in the main flow, so a decent sized float must be used to keep the bait within the striking zone, too light and the bait could be carried up into the upper-layers where they're less likely to take. The above rod and reel set-up should enable you to do this and effectively.
My favourite pin, the sheffield by Okuma.

Whereas slower deeper water I prefer to use more delicate end tackle as to not rouse suspicion and keep drag to a minimum, easier said than done sometimes, we've all been there but experimenting with various floats and shotting I find the correct balance can be found and this will improve your catch rate.
Having a range of different floats can be very useful should conditions change during the session.

Species like Roach can be difficult at the best of times, large Roach are even more difficult to catch as they're so rare, but when they are located I feel it's a matter of time, I tend to trot for Roach but fish as light as I'd dare, with the shot half way up with a single dropper shot ( no4 or no1 ), but again the pace of the watercourse will dictate this. Line is open to debate as is any of what I've mentioned already but line is quite important and for most river species excluding Barbel and Chub I wouldn't like to use more than 5lb and if I can get away with it then 3 to 4lb is best.

You can never have too many floats.

When I travel I always pack a variety of floats, (wire stem, balsa, plastic stem and a selection quill trotting floats), all of these will be varying in weight in shot they each take, as to match the condition's that I'm met with, being prepared for everything means that you could be successful on the most unlikeliest of visits, bare everything in mind. Plus a couple of small cage feeder's (10-30g) tucked away in the bag, this can sometimes be priceless should trotting not be the flavour of the day, it's saved me on a number of occasions with some memorable catches experienced too.
Be lucky.


  1. After watching you trot, I've plenty to learn, especially line retrieval which you make look easy. I don't do it that often but after my first bash at Grayling, I should do it on my local rivers more often.

    1. I tell you something Mick, you didn't do too shabby for a "novice", took me three attempts to catch a Grayling of 1.08!, with the practice it will come. I trot on the pin for Dace, Barbel, Carp, Roach and what ever else I can find, I even use centrepins on lakes and Wallis cast. It has it's limitations but oh well. You fancy another blast at the Grayling do you?