We have covered some of the techniques required when fishing up to seventy or so metres from the beach over the last weeks so this week we will cover methods needed for some distance. Firstly you will require a fixed spool reel with a cone shaped spool. Most reels designed for surfcasting come with a spare spool slightly coned and if you look on the barrel of the spool you will find some markings. These markings detail what capacity of line the spool holds in either thickness or poundage. The thinner the line the more it holds. For distance you need between 0.12 mm and 0.20 mm thickness line. These line thicknesses are obviously very thin and a tapered shock leader must be used with them.
Tapered shock leaders usually come in a pack of five on a roll. If you are using a 0.20 mm main line you ideally need a 0.20 mm to join to the main line tapering up to 0.50 mm at the terminal rig end where you will attach your swivel clip. To tie the tapered leader to the main line is just a matter of practice. A diagram of the Blood Knot is below and I find this is the easiest and most practical knot to use for this purpose. Overlap the shock leader and main line ends. Take one end and twist it four or five times round the other line. Bring it back and pass it between the two lines. Repeat this with the other free line end. Watch out that the first stage does not unravel at this point. Wet the knot with saliva and pull it tight. Trim off the loose ends. A tip here if you are trying to load a line onto a spool on your own. Anchor the reel of line, to revolve by using a pencil through the hole in the middle, then trap the line a foot or so in front of the spool between the pages of a heavy book. Turn the reel handle slowly feeding the line correctly onto the spool. The line has to fall off the spool very quickly on casting so load the spool to the maximum capacity. Most spools have a marking on them which indicates how near the top to load the line. Bear in mind the shock leader and allow for this as they usually come in fifteen metre lengths. The shock leader knot should be nearly seamless as it leaves the spool, so again no resistance is caused, allowing the line to fall away smoothly.
Not loading the spool correctly will hinder line coming off and reduce the distance of your cast.
The best terminal tackle to use here is the two hook paternoster. This rig is something we have covered in depth before and together with a 120 gram weight is the best tool for distance casting. Worm bait, Coreano or Arena, are best as we are targeting Magret (Striped Sea Bream).
Once on the beach cast out as far as possible. One hundred and forty metres is achievable as an average with a fixed spool reel. Start at the maximum distance you can achieve but do remember if no fish are in that vicinity then try a few metres less. Wind in four or five turns every ten to fifteen minutes. Do not stand there hour after hour without a bite. It is pointless casting massive distances if the fish are not there. Try different distances and find the fish. At night time here in the Mediterranean Magret are usually feeding between fifty and one hundred and fifty metres. Another point to remember is that when using very thin main lines it is important not to snag the line on rocks or even weed as damage can occur very easily. Use this line only in clean sandy sea bed areas. Check the condition of the line and shock leader regularly as it is annoying to have a decent size fish take the bait only for the line to fail on retrieval.