Summer evening pleasure fishing the Traditional Waggler for large carp with pellets.


I’m very fortunate to have the Manor Farm Leisure complex here in Evesham right on my door step and what better way is there than to spend an evening, fishing the traditional waggler on the island pool after a hard day at work for a few hours on a perfectly calm summer evening.

At only a fiver for an evening fishing this is daylight robbery. The sport on offer at Manor Farm in the evenings is simply fantastic, bites all evening and it only gets better and better as the evening progresses. Evenings like this are perfect to fish the waggler.

Regular visitors to my website will know most of my fishing revolves around matches where fishing the pole often dominates and if you are going to compete, the pole rules but post the original Covid lockdown in 2020 where we had to stay local to pleasure fish I’ve had a lot of summer evening pleasure fishing sessions down at my local water, Manor farm Leisure. I have to say pleasure fishing the traditional waggler here has been a revolution to me last year and also this summer. No match pressures, you can just set up one rod, feed a few pellets and off you go. Nothing fancy and all the enjoyment to look forward to playing hard fighting Carp and quality F1’s throughout the session.

I’ve opted to go old skool on these sessions fishing the traditional waggler rather than the pellet waggler shallow. These are pleasure sessions where I want to sit back, take my time, enjoy the experience and take in the atmosphere these summer evenings give you rather than fishing the pellet waggler, constantly feeding and reeling in and casting all the time. These sessions are all about enjoyment.

The set up

Drennan’s Red Range 12′ Carp Waggler Rod

A long 12′ rod is required as I’m fishing at a depth which also helps with quick line pick up but it needs to be a powerful rod to be able to handle large fighting carp. I use a Drennan 12′ Red Carp Waggler rod which is a half decent tool for the job. I don’t do a lot of carp waggler fishing and this one retails at about 80 quid and suits my budget. Reel wise I don’t compromise here you need a good one able to cope with these hard fighting carp. I use the smaller/lighter Daiwa 2508 TDR reel for this type of fishing. They are expensive with a RRP of £250 but as all anglers know about angling RRP’s these reels can be picked up for around £150.00. The line retrieval and clutches on these reels are fantastic and there’s no better feeling than hearing that clutch slip when a big carp makes a run. Mainline is Guru’s N-Gauge 6lb (0.17mm) line. I use this as its thin diameter aids the distance that can be cast with a light waggler and even though it’s really suited for pole rigs I find it a very robust reel line for fishing a waggler.

Daiwa 2508 TDR
Guru N-Gauge 0.17mm (6lb)

Terminal Tackle

The business end of the set up is really simple. A 2.5g loaded Waggler. It doesn’t really matter whether its a insert and straight float. Your not looking for shy bites with the hook bait being a 6mm or 8mm pellet it’s going to be a carp or F1. The loaded float just aids the cast and it’s just attached between two float stops and then several no.8’s shirt button style down the line to dot the float down. Then just a pre-tied 15cm banded 0.17mm size 16 Preston KKM-B ready rig. There no need to fish light. To set the depth just band a SSG split shot and hook it straight on to the hook and plumb up a normal.

All you need is a bag of 6mm pellets, a few 8mm hooker’s and a catapult and off you go! Using the 12′ rod coupled with the fine diameter line makes casting out a 2.5g float easy. Just one quick flick of the line by dipping the rod tip into the water and a quick flick upwards to sink it and the float stays in place fine.

These pleasure sessions have really been enjoyable and have highlighted to me how much fun pleasure fishing can be compared to match fishing and as you go later into the evening at this time of the year the fishing on island pool just gets better and better. It’s great fun playing carp on a rod and line. Bites all evening for less than a couple of pints down the pub. Given the choice I know what I’d rather do on a pleasant summers evening.

Give it a go!!

A pleasure bagging session on the Bread and Bomb


With the Covid lockdown there’s not been much for us match anglers to blog about lately. My blogging website has really suffered with the lack of fresh content. So I’ve now decided to write blogs about some of my pleasure sessions. 

Pleasure fishing isn’t enjoyed by many match anglers eager for the competitiveness a match brings but I’ve learnt during this lockdown it can bring an enjoyable days fishing, fishing styles and methods for longer than you would normally do in a match. 

For my latest pleasure session I popped down to my local fishery, Manor Farm Leisure, only 5 minutes away from me so adhering to the current Covid lockdown rules. With the weather forecasted to be barely above 0oC and a bitterly cold easterly wind to deal with I planned to go fishing armed with just a bag of Warburton’s Toastie and my bomb rod for a few hours if I could bear the cold long enough! 

On arrival at Manor I spotted the famous banker peg 6 on the island pool still available. The other anglers there had decided to fish further along the pool as that bitterly easterly wind would be behind the backs. So my first decision was to either set up camp on island 6 or fish another peg out of the wind. My good Jubilee Nomad mate Robin had fished peg 6 the previous week on the bread and so I couldn’t resist it. Peg 6 became home for the day, or a few hours if I could bear the cold. 

Preston KKM-B Ready rigs
Preston KKM-B Ready rigs

Set up didn’t take long, one rod, an advantage over match fishing already. I pulled out my Preston Innovations 10’6” mini plus rod out of the holdall with an inline ICS feeder stem already set up and added a 30g match cube and a pretied Preston 0.15”size 18 Ready rig. These KKM-B 0.17mm hair rigged Ready rigs with a rapid stop are ideal for fishing bread. These long hair rigs allows 3 10mm discs of bread to swell up the hair perfectly and there really is no need to tie your own hook lengths these days in my opinion. The Rapid stops on these Ready rigs make hairing the discs of bread with a baiting needle very easy and you can cast really hard without the fear of the bait coming off. 

Preston ICS System
Preston ICS System

There was one problem though. It’s a long throw to the island where Robin caught the week before and with the wind my bomb was landing to short. This is where the versatility of the Preston ICS system is a big benefit. I could simply change the 30g bomb for a heavy 45g one to get the extra length required and I began catching a few. But I wasn’t happy, I felt the 45g bomb didn’t enter the water quietly enough, potentially spooking fish away and my casting accuracy was suffering because I was at the limit of my 10’6” rod’s capability. A change of rod was needed. So I returned to my holdall for my 11’6” Mini plus rod. This was a great help the extra length and power now meant I could cast accurately with a smaller 30g bomb. 

If I’d have been fishing a match I know I would have just persevered with the smaller rod and struggled, ending with me giving up the bomb and picking up the pole. This is one of the benefits of “just pleasure” fishing and a lesson learnt during this lockdown. Something to think about going forward with my matches. 

I was now fishing in the correct place with the right tackle set up, fishing the right bait and method considering the weather and the time of the year and I was soon catching well. I went on to catch very well, it almost felt I was summer bomb fishing. The rod was bending around for most of the session. I’d only planned fishing for a few hours because of the cold but I ended up fishing a lot longer than I thought I would be. It was a real bagging day. 

Fishing the bread and bomb was really enjoyable but you still need to get out and practise it with these pleasure sessions. It’s not a case of throwing it out and waiting. Experience is key. Feathering the line on the cast and tightening the line without dragging the bait into debris on the bottom comes with the extra time spent practising and why I’ve learn ’t pleasure fishing is really important to a match man and something I’m going to add to my fishing when we can finally match fish again. 

I must add that you really do have to be wearing the right gear fishing in these conditions. I recently brought a Preston Celsius suit for fishing in the winter and it kept me warm all day. You definitely need a warm hat, decent boots and fingerless gloves fishing in these conditions, boy it was a cold day but really enjoyable.