Jeanes Pond tench tackle test

June 7, 2024 at 10:47 pm

Following a successful visit to my local Jeanes Pond last week, I needed a repair session on my tackle before I went out again. Losing a 3 lb tench at the net had resulted in the elastic of my pole catapulting the float rig high into a tree behind me. An attempt to free the rig had seen the elastic snap at the Stonfo connector between the pole and float rig, sending the elastic back inside the pole.

This meant two jobs to be done, rethread the elastic down inside the pole from the PETFE bush at the tip, to the bung winder in the base of the second top pole section, then tying a new Stonfo line connector to the elastic at the tip. To get the elastic down inside the pole, I have a fine 1 mm dia soldering rod, to which I Super Glue one end of the elastic, laid on in parallel to the rod. Allowed ten minutes to set, the soldering rod is fed down through the PTFE bush, then a quick swish of the top section fires the rod and elastic through. The securing cover of the Stonfo should be threaded on first. Next the Stonfo connector is tied in tight with a double hitch knot. I leave a small tail of the elastic to protrude, once the cover is clicked in place for extra security, when playing a big fish.

With the float lost, I had to prepare a replacement float rig. Fortunately I had a spare 2 gram antenna float in my stock of floats. This was the most straight forward task. A 10 foot length of 5 lb line, was the base, which was passed through the top eye of the pole float, then through a fine 10 mm long piece of hollow neoprene. I have a large magnifier on a flexible stalk, which aids these fine jobs. The neoprene with the line, was then slid onto the fine carbon stem of the float. Pulling 150 mm of line through, allowed me to fit the weights to the line. To try the shotting of the float, I have a clear 2 litre Coke bottle filled with water to the neck, lowering the float in allows a clear view of the flotation point, in this case I prefer to leave the antenna 25 mm above the surface. Last of all two loops are tied in at either end of the line, the lower taking a loop to loop fixing of the hook link and the top to the stonfo clip.

With the pole and float ready for action, couldn’t wait to try them out and drove down to Braybrook Recreation Ground, where Jeanes Pond is and walked round to peg 5, which was vacant. By 3 pm I was ready to fish, making up some groundbait and putting in about ten baitdroppers full, 4 – 5 metres out, setting the depth for the bread punch bait to lie on the bottom.

Fine bubbles were soon rising across the fed area and I began catching small roach, despite using an 8.5 bread punch on a size 14 hook, some roach so small that that they were not hooked at all, just hanging onto the bread and falling off.

An hour into the session, bursts of larger bubbles began moving toward my float, the disturbance rocking the antenna before it slowly sank out of sight. I lifted into solid resistance and the elastic began stretching away from the pole. This would be a good test of my preparation a few hours before. I quickly added two lengths of pole as the fish made a bee line for a bush to my left, pulling the pole to the right it brushed the branches of a tree, that I had not been aware of until that moment. The fish turned and ran out toward the middle, while I kept the pole facing skyward. The Stonfo connector became visible, then the float, then the black, green back of a decent tench. Not for long though, it was away again. I was collecting an audience. Two young children, then Mum and Dad. A dog walker and a pair of school age sweethearts hand in hand. I could not relax, this was a very lively tench, almost netted twice, it zoomed off each time. On the third pass it was in the landing net.

The size 14 barbless was in the outside of the top lip and just lifted out, I was lucky to keep it on. At 17 inches long, this female weighed in at 3 lb 12oz. I think I can safely say that my tackle has been tested to the full. A similar bite ten minutes later turned out to be a 2 oz roach. I continued fishing until 5 pm. The wind had got up, the temperature had dropped and it looked like rain. More tench would have been nice, but I had proved the tackle.

Below are the roach and rudd that managed to get the 8.5 mm punched bread in their mouths.