A day with the England squad
When I was asked to meet up with the Angling Trust England junior squad to look at their casting in preparation for the home internationals in Wales nothing prepared me for the enthusiasm that these 11-16 year olds have for their sport.
We all met up on a cold and raw Southbourne beach with England Manager Dave Graham his assistant and sponsor George Cunningham of Tronix Pro, Darren Phillips, chairman of selectors, and Mal Hulcolm England Youth Manager along with a few of the lads dads.
THis was the first time that the squad had met but they all seemed to get on well and after Dave had given his introductions and welcomes the beach had been pegged the battle started
The plan was for me to walk down the line of anglers offering any advice I could to help them gain a few yards as we all knew that given the conditions fishing would be hard but the lads were keen to start
This was my first eye opening moment the amount of gear these lads had!! All rods were of the continental style 15 /16 ft rods all with fixed spool reels not a 7 ht in sight!!, loaded with 0.21 line 30lb leaders bait waiters where the norm as was spare rod rests for all their rods! . The rigs were standard 3 hook flappers but with fluo carbon rig bodies and snoods with 3ozs pyramid lead
Watching from a distance I noticed that all the lads cast the same way, that was to stand front on to the sea arms above head and then a wild thrash! rather like you would use a spod rod on a lake.
To be fair a few where getting a good distance but sometimes the direction was missing. I felt that they were not making the rod work so I suggested to Jay that we tinker with his style. So we put the lead under the rod arms out look up and PULL punch but as with them all he was still thrashing at the rod (as many older anglers do!!) so once he understood that with this style the rod is bending from the start, he only needs half the effort to reach a good distance and it was going straight he really improved in fact he was the caster of the day.
The rest of the squad took their turn at this Brighton Cast and I think they all benefited from this relaxed way of casting, and the management team were happy with their progress. Hopefully they will continue to use this cast and keep up the practice until it becomes second nature to them.
THe fishing however was dire a few rockling and pin whiting were caught. Dan Stote the most experienced member of the team had a nice bass in close, the lads gave it their all most were blue with cold a few had wet feet,but the continued with smiles on their faces.
George from Tronix Pro brought some of his new rods to play with so it would have been rude not to! So I crept off to play , what fun they were to use 16ft fspool reel 0.21 line 3 0zs lead and 30lb leader , lead on ground turn and hit wow it really flew and for me straight!! these would make a great outfit for Plaice at Chesil on a nice day also for garfish on light and pop ups which I suppose is what the match people use these days as distance is unlimited and bite detection first class.
So thanks Dave for the invite I hope the guys do England proud in Wales, I learnt as much as the lads did and will modify my own rigs for the up coming Doubles league and pleasure fishing, anybody want to buy some second hand zzipies !!!!!!!!!!!!(joking)