What is Traditional Angling?

steve2

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Just been reading about and without wanting to start any arguments what do you see as “Traditional Angling”.
There must be more to it than just using tackle from yesteryear or is it mindset about trying to turn the clock back to simpler times.
Does anyone on here do it? What age does tackle stop being Traditional?
From what I have read some of the tackle I used when I first started is now classed as “Traditional” although at the time it didn’t seem it. It was just what we used at that time.
 

rich66

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I suppose for me traditional angling is how I fished when I first started. Rod and reel with a float, most of my angling is still the same. I have far better rods and reels though. I don’t get the cane rod brigade, but then I don’t get the bait boat and bivvy up/ wait for 3 days approach either.
 

Peter Jacobs

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To me "traditional angling" is more of a frame of mind than the use of discrete tackle . . . . although a cane rod and centrepin reel does help.

When I go off on a "traditional" day I tend to stick to the old fashioned baits, maggot, bread, worms and casters and not a boilie of pellet in sight.

I have a fair few old bits and pieces and also use old Efgeco rod rests and bait boxes, and an old Egfeco "standard" tackle box, as well as using some rather old floats that I have collected over the years

To me it is a reminder of when I fished as a nipper, in those days there was none of the modern electronics and fixed spool reels were also rather "new", but of course it is nigh on impossible to try to use lines of that era or indeed hooks, or lead split shot (more's the pity)

I also try to chose a venue that is much like those I fished when much younger, so a pond or a small river, or even a day in a Royal Park lake . . . . .

One of my few remaining angling ambitions is to fish Redmire (again) but next time with split cane rods and Mitchel reels . . . . but not par boiled spuds so boilies or simialr . . . .

I also find that I am none too fussed if I catch or not, although catching is preferble and more usual than not, but I tend to be far more relaxed on these days; difficult to explain really but just . . . is . . . .

That is how I see it, others will naturally differ.
 

seth49

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I do like a few days a year, doing so called traditional fishing, cane rod, centrepin reel etc, I do enjoy it, and sometimes I seem to catch more fish than using more modern methods.

I find it a nice way of fishing as well, sat watching a quill float, on a warm summers day, if I do get to join the club me and mick have put are names down for, one pond will be ideal, crucians,tench, and silvers, and no big carp. It will be ideal for this way of fishing.

I have a cane rod with a threaded top eye, a swing tip on that should be good as well, I’ve plenty of modern tackle, just like using the old things as well, it’s a different way of fishing and I must admit I do like it. and it gives me a chance to use some of my centrepin collection, and the couple of cane rods I possess.
 

peter crabtree

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adjective [usually ADJECTIVE noun]
Traditional customs, beliefs, or methods are ones that have existed for a long time without changing.

One could argue that angling and its methods are always changing so traditional angling doesn't exist...
 

John Keane

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Its probably using outdated tackle in the belief that you are something of a purist? I like “traditional” float fishing as much as the next bloke but with a modern carbon rod and a lightweight, large spool reel.
 

Peter Jacobs

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Its probably using outdated tackle in the belief that you are something of a purist? I like “traditional” float fishing as much as the next bloke but with a modern carbon rod and a lightweight, large spool reel.

I guess that would wholly depend on how the word "purist" was being used, as in a pejorative or complimentary context?

When I set out for a "traditional" day fishing it doesn't enter my thinking in all honesty, but rather just to enjoy a totally different way of fishing for a day.
 

nottskev

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What’s “traditional” is in reality prone to change as time moves on. Keep a rod long enough, and one day it will be “vintage” or “a classic”. Keep doing what you do, and one day people will call you “old school”. There is no fixed “tradition”.

Some like to adopt a retro style and police the boundaries between them and us (or us and them according to where you stand) rigorously. The Traditional Fisherman’s Forum, for instance, is a nice place to visit, and I like the general spirit and outlook, but the ban on mentioning or picturing carbon rods strikes me as a bit comical, as does adopting Edwardian gentleman dress codes, calling maggots “gentles” etc.

I think of the fishing I like as fairly “traditional”, even if others don’t, and by that I mean floatfishing, legering and feeder fishing largely in the ways they were done before the commercial fishery scene, with all its new tackle, tactics and baits, exploded, and the invention of methods like carbelling adapted carp-based approaches to other species.
 

sam vimes

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I've absolutely no idea what traditional angling might be. I've never seen a definition and those that claim to be "traditional anglers" vary so much in both the equipment and techniques they are prepared to use. Floppy hats, split cane, centrepins and the like may all be indicators. However, I have two of the three and would never consider myself to be a traditional angler. If it has nothing to do with kit used, and is just a question of techniques, then perhaps I am a traditional angler. I can barely remember doing anything but float fish for the last three or four years.

I understand the old boys on nostagia trips and reliving their youth. I don't really get the younger fellows (sub 50) that go for cane rods and a Hardy Altex reels when they weren't exactly the kit of their youth. Chuck in the loonies that insist on Tweed, plus fours and deerstalkers and I'm at a complete loss. However, they aren't doing anyone any harm, so if that's what floats their boat, good luck to them.
 

S-Kippy

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I think there's a difference between " traditional angling" and using " traditional tackle"....or more correctly vintage tackle. Put the two together ( with or without soppy hat) and you are on a major nostaglia trip. Nothing wrong with either in my book so long as you're enjoying yourself though I do not agree with the purists that contend that their " traditional tackle" and/or approach is as good as more modern stuff.

I have been known to occasionally ( increasingly occasionally) use a cane rod and will use a pin much more often than not simply because I enjoy it. However, I've really no desire to trot a pelican quill taking 3 oz of lead on a cane rod that weighs a pound and a half and is about as straight as a banana.

The BF is often to be seen sporting a Tilley hat...personally I think that's a typo.
 

Jeff Woodhouse

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I don't know how you would define 'traditional' either, but I do like to use a cane rod now and then just to remind me of how we are blessed these days with beautiful lightweight and slim carbon rods. I bought a cane rod back in June, a Black Seal, mainly because it was a charity, one that I like to support, shop in Aylesbury and I have used it since, but my method might be considered modern with wafter boily and a PVA pudding bag on the end. It just feels different to strike at a bite and then wait for 2 or 3 seconds for the tip to react. I must take out my Sealey sometime and have a go with a float, but it's the cack-handed Mitchell 300 reel that gets me. Why did everyone want them in the 60s?
 

Keith M

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but it's the cack-handed Mitchell 300 reel that gets me. Why did everyone want them in the 60s?

But Jeff despite Walker writing about the way the spool rotated in the wrong direction the Mitchell 300 was still one of the best fixed spools on the market back in the 60s and very early 70’s, and you had very little real choice apart from a few Abu reels and a very few lesser quality other fixed spool reels like Shakespeare who didn’t do any comparable reels. Yes the clutch wasn’t the best but that was true on most reels in those days but every good Angler and his dog used Mitchell’s in those days and a some anglers still use the Mitchell Match reel even today.

That changed pretty quickly once Abu and Diawa started to catch up and overtake them from the mid 70’s onwards but Mitchell still had a lot of anglers who still liked them and because they lasted a long time anglers still used them.

I caught my first Barbel on a french made Mitchell 300 back in 75 and let’s be honest their range of different capacity line spools which fitted nearly all of their other reels and their perfect line lay still puts a lot of the modern reels in the lurch; however I wouldn’t use one now as I think they are poor relations to the more modern reels of today in all other areas.

Although I might still be tempted to use my Mitchell Match reel if I ever wanted to start chucking a light onion waggler tight up to the far bank on the Grand Union canal again after Chub, as I used to find them to be unbeatable for this.

Keith
 
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Alan Tyler

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For me, there are several sorts of traditional fishing. One is using ancient tackle (or modern replicas) to fish ancient methods and see if they still work; another is using the kit I could have had as a boy if Mum and Dad had been Mater and Pater and in a position to spend a bit, and seeing how rubbish an angler I would have been then; this is my favourite, and I have a battery of 10'6" "Bottom Rods" with whole cane butt and middle joints and built-cane tips with which to play that game.

Then there's seeing what it was like for the toffs, using high-end cane that only became affordable after carbon drove glass down the market and cane almost vanished...and ebay came along...

But one factor that appeals and appals by turns is the reaction against the "Efficiency" counselled by Walker in the introduction to "Stillwater Angling"; does the enjoyment you get out of fishing depend solely on the size of the fish you catch? I can see how the float-fisher may be drawn in this direction, for he has eyes for nothing but his float, and is knackered from concentrating by the time he leaves, but the guy sitting behind a brace of sleepers on bleepers has plenty of time to enjoy his surroundings, botanising, birding and star-gazing to his heart's content, cooking and brewing-up on Kelly or Coleman and having a bit of a social life... yet some seem to spend muchof their time playing tech games in their bivvies... and some of both sets look so grim-faced in their trophy-shots in the papers that you can only wonder why they bothered to spoil a good camping trip by wasting time fishing.

Tradition angling is very much what you want it to be. If you have forked out a hundred quid for a Bazin "London Quill" float, you don't HAVE to risk it in the trees, you can fish just as traditionally with a crow-quill while it basks in its display cabinet... and it doesn't really matter a tuppenny dam' whether you use said crow-quill with a carbon whip or a Sowerbutt, the method is as traditional as it was in Walton's day (though Dame Juliana might have been impressed). You can collect old kit and just look at it, while fishing with replicas or modern equivalents, or buy "bargain" tackle and try to restore it and use that, you can fish bolt-rigs under a pair of Mk IV's, as long as some part of it harks back, in the angler's opinion, to a "better" time, he/you can call it Traditional and believe it.
IMHO, of course! ("Wink" emoticon here...the topic does raise some hackle in certain quarters!)
 

markg

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I just love all that old stuff, old cork floats, wooden rods, old books etc. Don't know why just something about it appeals to me. I dont fish with any of it much, occasionally I have tried something out for a bit but I understand why some do make it a thing all though it can be overdone like all things.. I think "traditional" is a bit of a mis-nomer. "By gone age enthusiasts" or something like that maybe.
And you learn stuff, just read how to make a dead weight out of wood for roach and the affect of shadows on your fishing. (Captain Parker on roach fishing) You just dont find stuff like that in the modern reportoire.
So, for me it has just inadvertantly become a bit of a hobby, some I keep, some I sell on, some I use occasionally and I get hell of a lot of pleasure out of it.
PS- my Grants Vibration Spliced salmon rod (you dont get many of them to the pound) has just gone into auction for £60-£80, if it sells I have a further wad of profit to play with. Just a load of fun to me.
 
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John Keane

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I think there's a difference between " traditional angling" and using " traditional tackle"....or more correctly vintage tackle. Put the two together ( with or without soppy hat) and you are on a major nostaglia trip. Nothing wrong with either in my book so long as you're enjoying yourself though I do not agree with the purists that contend that their " traditional tackle" and/or approach is as good as more modern stuff.

I have been known to occasionally ( increasingly occasionally) use a cane rod and will use a pin much more often than not simply because I enjoy it. However, I've really no desire to trot a pelican quill taking 3 oz of lead on a cane rod that weighs a pound and a half and is about as straight as a banana.

The BF is often to be seen sporting a Tilley hat...personally I think that's a typo.

When sedentary fishing I take two hats, a cap and a broad-brim. Always start off with a Daiwa cap but when (if) the sun gets high, out comes the Tilley. No sense in getting a burnt neck and ears just to look “cool”
 

mikench

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I cannot really comment as apart from a brief period as a 10 year old with a bamboo rod, intrepid black prince reel and an aluminium maggot tin, all my experiences are within the last 3 years and using modern Tackle. I liken the term traditional to classic and would draw an analogy with older cars, valve amps, vesta chow mein and so on. They are full of nostalgia, evoke a feeling of a byegon era but untimately cannot compare with their modern equivalents. I had a collection of cars which one might consider as classics but they are all gone as the novelty of using one or more became more and more infrequent.
 

S-Kippy

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When sedentary fishing I take two hats, a cap and a broad-brim. Always start off with a Daiwa cap but when (if) the sun gets high, out comes the Tilley. No sense in getting a burnt neck and ears just to look “cool”

Thats why the BF wears one as he does seem to suffer badly from scorched ears when the sun shines. I just dont get on with that sort of titfer....I dont like brims and they give me a headache because I have a large bonce and have never found one that fits me properly. TBH i have the same problem with caps but I've found a make that fits and have several of that particular brand.
 

John Keane

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Thats why the BF wears one as he does seem to suffer badly from scorched ears when the sun shines. I just dont get on with that sort of titfer....I dont like brims and they give me a headache because I have a large bonce and have never found one that fits me properly. TBH i have the same problem with caps but I've found a make that fits and have several of that particular brand.

Tilley hats aren’t meant to be jammed on your loaf, the Tilley recommendation is that you should be able to fit 2 fingers between hat and head for a relaxed fit. If the wind really gets up you can use the chinstrap cord but I never have and never had one blow off.
 

steve2

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but it's the cack-handed Mitchell 300 reel that gets me. Why did everyone want them in the 60s?
I never realised until it was pointed out recently that they rotated in the wrong direction. I never had a problem using them and they were my go to work horse for over 30 years. It was only recently that I sold the last ones. I do still have a small Mitchell 308 in prefect working order.
 
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