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Fishing with a pole – the easiest way to start a new hobby

Do you remember the first time you held a fishing pole, tossing the red and white float into the water? For many people, this is their first memory of fishing and angling. For those willing to dive deeper, fishing with a pole will prove to be a highly versatile and technical form of fishing. This article, however, focuses on the basics of fishing and your options for ensuring a successful fishing trip.

Equipment

Fishing pole


Fishing poles are available for any application: For beginners and children, for example, we recommend a pole between 3 and 4 meters long. This size is great for practicing and learning the basic skills, as the shorter pole is relatively easy to handle. As the angler's skills develop further, you can switch to a longer and more expensive pole.

As your fishing trips start to take up more time, you might also want to look at carbon fiber poles. Carbon fiber fishing poles are significantly lighter than fiberglass ones, which means that you can continue to fish throughout the day even with a 7-meter pole without tiring yourself.! See our range of fishing poles here.  

Hook, line, and sinker

You should choose your hook, line, and sinker based on your current location and the prevailing weather. If the fishing spot is windy, we recommend choosing a heavier float and sinker, as this will allow you to cast the bait to the right place even against a slight wind. Properly designed float and sinker combos are weighted to ensure that the fish encounters minimal resistance when tugging on the hook. See our off-the-shelf hook, line, and sinker sets.

Setting up your fishing pole

A common mistake among beginners is to attach the line directly onto their pole without measuring it first. Luckily, the correct length of line is easy to find out. Sit down on the ground, grab your fishing pole, and swing it toward yourself. The line length is correct if you can grab the sinker and hook with your other hand in the same movement. This length is typically 20–50 cm shorter than the total length of the pole. The line included in a typical hook, line, and sinker set varies between seven and ten meters.

Tip: Grab a rubber band and slip it onto the grip of your fishing pole at the correct height. Unravel the line and secure the hook with the rubber band. Pull the line straight and tie the other end onto the ring on the end of the fishing pole. Wind the line around the pole and secure it to the pole with the rubber band.

Now your setup is ready for future trips, and you will not have to worry about tangled lines when you arrive at your fishing spot! You should also measure any spare hook, line, and sinker sets you might carry for backup. If your set feels unbalanced, we recommend adding some split shot weights next to the existing sinker. Patience is key – test the weighting with the bait you are going to use. Our split-shot range can be found here.

Casting, technique, and baits

Proper casting technique

Don't rush! Proper handling of a fishing pole requires very little force – a moderate swing will typically suffice. Casting is also made easier by using the right equipment with the right length, so do not neglect the preparation.

  1. Lift your fishing pole up and grab the hook or sinker.
  2. Calmly swing the pole toward your desired spot, letting go of the line at the same time.Note! Sudden stops and tugs may cause the line to twist!
  3. Sit down and wait for the fish to bite.
  4. Not having any luck? Adjust the depth of your hook until the float is lying horizontally on the surface. Now that you have located the bottom, adjust the float until it is vertical in the water once again. This will tell you whether your bait is near the bottom.

    Tip: Different species move at different depths, which means you can affect your target by varying the catching depth!

  5. And this is the important bit: Relax!

    Baits
    Earthworms are a traditional fish bait. You can buy from Hong Kong department stores or dig them up from the compost at the end of your garden. You can also try other bait in addition to earthworms. Readily available options include corn, wheat flour dough, and boiled macaroni.

    Tip: Remember to mash your fishing spot, i.e. feed the fish! You can attract carps and minnows by mashing the spot in advance or even during fishing. Sweet corn or oatmeal, for example, work well as mash. Mix the oatmeal with sand, as that will allow it to sink down to the bottom, where it will spread around, attracting more fish.

Prey fish

Perch

In Finland, our national fish the Perch is a common target that can be found nearly throughout the country. Small perch can be caught near the shore. During dusk, larger perch may also approach the shore, thus making them a potential catch as well.

Carps and minnows

In addition to perch, carps and minnows are a common prey fish. In Finland, there are dozens of such species. The most common species include roach, rudd, ide, chub, bleak, tench, bream, and silver bream, all of which are quite easy to catch. Carps and minnows are often referred to as nuisance fish, but they are in fact quite delicious if cooked properly. For example, many top anglers believe that dry-cured roach is one of the finest food fish found in our waters. What would you say to smoked bream or ide? Smoking equipment and dust in our range.

The bright red fins are the best distinguishing feature of rudd. In addition to the fins, rudd also has a taller side profile than roach. Larger rudd have a yellowish color. Rudd favors reed beds, and in the summer you can spot their flashing sides and bright red fins next to the dock.

The easiest way to identify a roach are its red eyes. The eye color varies regionally and, for example, in more eutrophic areas and sea areas the eyes may not be as red as expected. In addition to the eyes, other distinguishing features of roach include its bluish back and large scales.

In turn, ide puts up a good fight on the other end of the line. Smaller ide can be distinguished from a similarly sized roach by the smaller scales. Ide also lacks the distinctive red eyes of a roach. Ide can grow up to weigh several kilos.

Chub prefers rivers and deltas in sea areas. Chub is a strong fish that can be caught using bologna or even dog food as bait. Chub can be identified by its wide head, large scales with black edges, and convex tail fin.

Bleak has bright sides and its scales come off easily. In addition, its mouth is pointed upward. Bleak like to swim near the surface film, catching insects from the surface. Bleak makes for an excellent bait fish.

Tench is another strong fish that can be most commonly found near yellow water lilies. Earthworms and corn are the preferred bait of tench. Tench can be identified easily by its tiny scales and beautiful green color. It has dark, rounded fins.

Tip: Season your mash with garlic. Buy sweet corn and garlic paste and soak the corn in the paste. Use the result as both mash and bait.

Bream is one of the largest species of the carp family in Finland. Bream and silver bream are almost identical in appearance, which means that they are quite easy to mistake for each other. The two can however be distinguished by the bream’s smaller eyes and darker fins, compared to silver bream. Silver bream’s eyes are large in proportion to its head. Its fins are also more orange than those of a bream. Bream prefers the bottom, which is where your bait should also reach.

What did I catch?

Carefully review the distinguishing features of the fish and if you are still unsure, take another look. Multi-species fishing is a growing form of fishing in Finland, and we recommend familiarizing yourself properly with your catches. In principle, there is a specific technique for each species, which means that you should vary your fishing style to increase the variety of catches. More information on multi-species fishing can be found in the article on the topic.

Fishing is the best place to be, so grab your fishing pole and head toward the nearest shore. Tight lines and relaxing times!

Text and photographs: Juha Salonen, fishing blogger

 

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