The Angling Metric and Imperial Battle


Anglers really are a strange lot when it comes to the terminology we use when fishing. We frequently mix between metric or imperial units of measure all the time. With not a lot of match fishing happening at the moment I turned my thoughts on this, to create this latest blog post. It must be very confusing to the new comer to the sport! 

We commonly refer to poles being 13,14 and 16 metres long (metric), probably due to the fact that the Europeans starting using them long before us and we just adapted to using the same terminology. Yet when it comes to Rod’s we are happy being old school. Using 10, 12 and 13 foot match and feeder rods (imperial). Bomb/match cubes come various sizes, 15g-45g (metric) and using a heavier one will allow you to cast that extra 20 metres which does fit the same metric terminology yet we refer to them as 1/2oz and 1 oz leads (imperial) and so on.

This got me thinking, what else do we confuse the new comer too! Landing net poles are sold in metric in sizes but we go back to imperial with 3/8 male and female thread sizes to attach the landing net and then we keep in the imperial theme regarding the diameter for our landing nets in imperial. Often sold in 18-24 inch sizes. 

Then it gets even more confusing with anglers often saying they pole fished at 13 metres all day in 6 foot (imperial) of water feeding a pint (imperial) of maggots/caster and kilo’s (metric) of ground bait. All very confusing! Then when its comes to pellets we have 4mm, 6mm, 8mm and so on yet these are often sold by the pint (imperial) or by the kilo (metric) in larger bags. Fishing the running line doesn’t get any easier. Often fishing the feeder with 4-6lb (imperial) mainline with 0.10. 0.12, 0.14 (metric) bottoms etc. Again all confusing! Hooks are a different kettle of fish and sizes vary from manufacturer but that’s another story. Then when we come on to pole float these are sold in either grams and styl sizes using 0.3g (metric) etc silicone rubbers blah blah blah. 

We do however have a bit of uniformity when we tie our own pole rigs up having dropper shot spread 2 or 3 inches (imperial) apart from the bulk 18 inches (imperial) from the 4 or 6 inch (imperial) hook length but then when you buy the readymade pole rigs these go back to metric and are sold in 2 or 3 metre (metric) lengths. Now pole elastic’s are jumping on board and confuing us even more going from numbered grading to diameter. Confusing even more when many top kits have elastic rating up to 20 and then that shiny new elastic packet says 1.8mm etc.

When we come to match fishing we often weigh in with old school imperial lbs and oz’s while the bigger national contests seem to be going down the metric route now using digital scales. Hopefully getting the scales set correctly on metric in-between weighs. We’ve all been then, yeah. 

And there you have it. Just a light hearted observation between our use of metric and Imperial terminology and something to blog about during the current Covid lockdown when I’m unable to blog about my matches.

 We really are a lot of confused anglers. 

Author: Phil Seedhouse

Match fishing Blogger, Based in Worcestershire, fishing Commercial Open matches

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