The rule of balanced tackle is your major consideration when picking reels to match your rods. A dinky little fixed spool, capable of holding a hundred yards of 2-3lb line is perfect for a light match or feeder rod. Even for larger canal specimens such as carp and pike, however, reels needn’t be huge, and a mid-sized bait-runner capable of holding a hundred yards of 15lb mono or 30lb braid is about the biggest I use.
As with all tackle, it pays to get the best quality reel you can afford. A reliable drag is a must and it never ceases to amaze me how few anglers seem to spend a minute or two setting this to perfection before they fish. The drag should give line well before the line breaks. You can always tighten up during the fight, whereas it’s far more difficult to slacken off on a hard-running fish without getting smashed up.
Delta Mendota Canal Fishing Report Photo Gallery
A great range of fishing lines are involved in canal fishing. Each species chapter will deal with recommended strengths and types. Quality is essential where any lines are concerned. Once you have hooked a good fish, it is too late to do anything about weak or suspect line.
Different lines have very different qualities: floating lines are perfect for waggler fishing, for example, while sinking lines are better for legering. Treating agents such as sprays can also be useful to make your line perform properly, whether you want it to stick crisply to the surface when float fishing, or sink your main line beneath a ripple.
Lines for canals range from tough braids to the finest of monofilaments.
Monofilament lines should be changed at least once each season and regularly inspected. A common fault is to load the reel spool improperly. The line should come only slightly shy (to within 2-3mm) of the edge or ‘lip’ of the spool. Not only does this aid casting, it also allows you to discard a little line as required while still leaving plenty on the spool. I like to do this on a fairly regular basis, removing the last 3-4ft that have suffered the most wear and tear so I am always using fresh, undamaged line.