STANDARD LOADED PELLET WAGGLER.
This cigar shaped loaded pellet waggler is mainly used for open water, with the largest size casting over 40 yards.
Fishing the pellet waggler is one of the most exciting ways of catching carp. The method is easy and you do not have to be an “expert” to enjoy a fabulous days fishing. Loaded floats are the most popular as they are easy to cast and do not require any additional shot on the line, which can only be a bonus , as present day split shot is rather hard with a tendency to damage the line as well as being relatively expensive.
Loaded floats by the very nature of their make up, may dive below the surface on casting. To eliminate this problem completely a product called the Anti-Dive Disc (ADD) has been produced. It is simple to use, takes seconds to fit and into the bargain is very cheap to buy. When you have chosen your loaded float we strongly suggest that you fit an Anti-Dive Disc as it has additional advantages. Besides eliminating your float diving, it will also act as a bolt rig and the plop it makes on entry really does attract those hungry carp to your swim.
THE RIGHT GEAR
Rods for pellet waggling should have an all through action with a test curve of around 1½lbs. Main lines of around 6-8lbs breaking strain are ideal, anything stronger will impede casting and cut down distance. Hook lengths of around 9 to 12 inches(20-30cms) long and with a breaking strain of 5-6lbs are perfect. These should be tied as hair rigs, either to use a banded or drilled pellets and allowing the pellet to sit just below the bend of the hook. Strong hooks in sizes 16-12 are best, as anything larger appears to make the fish shy. Even a size 16 will give a good hold allowing you to land big fish. In this type of fishing the takes can be quite violent and lines should be mono so that the shock is taken up by the stretch factor. A small match swivel between the main line and hook length is essential otherwise you will experience line twist, which can be annoying at the best of times. When using a quick change adaptor and a heavy float it can be advisable to place a small shot or leger stop just below the adaptor as with continuous casting the adaptor may slip, altering your depth without being noticed.
FEEDING AND CASTING
Fishing the pellet waggler is always easier when the wind is coming from behind you, although, fishing in wind that comes from the side can be just as productive once mastered. It is also noticeable that even when the wind is coming from behind, takes will be more frequent from the wind disturbed water rather than the calm area. Feed pellets for distance fishing need to be in the sizes 6, 8 and 10mm. Taking fish meal and halibut pellets with you can be a good idea as some times a variation of lighter or darker pellets will work better on the day. This also applies to the hook bait. When catapulting your feed pellets always aim for the same mark. Try to form a feeding area approximately 2 metres wide by 3 metres long. This can be done by firing out 6mm pellets almost as far as you can comfortably cast then firing out some 8mm pellets a little further to your maximum distance. Never feed pellets past the furthest distance you are casting, you will only be pushing the fish away from you.
Set your float depth at around 2ft and cast to the furthest point of your baited 'corridor', remembering to slow your float down just before it hits the water. This will allow the hook bait to pass the float and help to eliminate tangles. Wait for 30 seconds or so then flick the rod top making your float jerk. Your pellet will rise and fall and at the same time the float and anti-dive disc will cause a disturbance on the surface attracting the attention of fish in the area. Wait another 30 seconds and then repeat. Continue flicking the rod top and float until you reach the nearest end of your baited area, remembering to take up any slack line between flicks. Once you have reached the end of your run through the baited area, reel in and repeat the process.
GETTING THE RHYTHM
To get the best out of pellet waggling you will need to get yourself into a rhythm. Place your rod to one side at a slight angle of 20 degrees with the butt of your rod resting in your lap. This will give you enough time to pick up the rod should a fish take. Feed 4-6 pellets aiming high to make them splash on entry. Give the float a jerk, feed more pellets, jerk the float again, feed again. That's the rhythm you need to get into. Feeding is the key to success,. Feed when you reel in. Feed before casting and feed when you land a fish. This may seem like hard work but believe us, the rewards can be fantastic. Most of the takes will come when the float first hits the water or immediately after one of the flicking actions. You may not see the actual take, as it happens in a split second but you will see the line tighten up and the rod top begin to move round. Don't strike! Just pick up the rod and enjoy the battle.
If when fishing, you get indications on your float but no takes, these could be line bites or small fish nudging the bait. In this situation you must take a guess. If you suspect line bites it means the fish are shallower than your bait so you need to reduce the depth you are fishing at. On the other hand if you are getting no indications it usually means the fish are deeper so again alter your depth but only alter your depth up or down by a couple of inches at a time.
On some days when the weather is colder the fish may be much deeper in the water. At times their comfort zone may be 6 or 7ft deep. You will still catch at this depth, however, continuous feeding will excite the fish and they'll move up in the water in order to be first in the queue. Don't expect instant results when pellet waggling. Occasionally it can take time to get the fish feeding but, remember, always keep the feed going in.
SMALL FISH WATERS
Where a fishery contains a large head of small fish in the 1½-3lb bracket, you will find that they have a tendency to shoal up in large numbers, most times close to the surface. In these situations the fish do not spook easily and you will not need to cast more than 25-30 yards to reach them. Which type of float you use is not important, but the main criteria is that it should be as short as possible, allowing you to fish that bit shallower. Fitting an anti-dive disc is a distinct advantage as it will help set the float immediately and also act as a bolt rig.
You can 'clip up' for distance, make sure though that your line is strong enough also that the rod is flexible enough to take the initial shock, as even small fish take hard and at speed. Feed pellets should be 4-6mm with the hook bait a banded 6mm pellet preferably on a hair rig and with a hook size of 18-16being ideal. You will need to feed constantly as these shoals of fish can indeed be large. Do not feed large amounts, just 4-6 pellets every 15-20 seconds. When feeding 4mm pellets the fish may come up so high that they begin to boil on the surface taking the pellet the moment it hits the surface. This can be very frustrating as you will get many false bites and foul hooked fish. If this happens simply reduce the fed rate or use 6mm pellets as feed. This will push the fish down again but be careful not to reduce the feed to much otherwise they may move off. Always feed to the same distance and the same mark do not follow the float. When the float drifts out of the area recast. Small feed pellets are light in weight and should be dampened a little before use otherwise some may float and drift, taking fish out of your swim. Try not to feed past the furthest distance you are casting to, as this will only push the fish away and out of reach.
FISHING IN WIND.
Unfortunately when visiting a fishery you cannot always get the swim you would prefer, leaving you with the choice of fishing a swim with a side wind or even a head wind. It will obviously be harder to fish than with a back wind, but with a little practice you can still have a very rewarding session. The important fact to remember on lakes, is that when wind blow in one direction there will be an undertow in the opposite direction. This back tow will be vital in slowing down the float in the wind.
Small pellets will scatter over a wider area, using a larger pellet will group much tighter, allowing you to keep distance and line much easier. Use a larger float than normal casting it upwind and slightly further out than the chosen feed area, sink the line between float and rod top immediately and allow the float to drift through the baited area. The undertow should kick in and you should notice the float slowing down. How far upwind and further out you need to cast and whether you jerk the float as it drifts will depend on conditions. No two days are the same. One day you’ll think you have cracked it and the next is completely different. Variation and experimentation are the keys to success.