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What to buy for a canal fishing starter kit

You’ve visited one of our Let’s Fish! events and now you want your own fishing kit. Here’s what to ask for from your local fishing tackle shop. Be warned, some small shops may try to sell you equipment that's utterly unsuitable for canal fishing.

Fishing kit and tackle

To have the very best chance of catching plenty of fish, you'll need a few basic pieces of equipment.

The list below has been put together by our professional, experienced Let's Fish! coaches to get you up and fishing in no time.

You will need:

  • A five or six metre take-apart pole or even longer if your budget can stretch to it. This gives you many more options and usually better bait presentation than say a cheap three or four metre telescopic whip. If you are not sure what is meant by bait presentation, we suggest booking on to another Let's Fish! introductory event and asking our Let's Fish! coaches to fully explain.
  • The top section of the pole should be elasticated with a number 3 or number 4 elastic, which all good shop staff should be able to do for you. They will also be able to supply and fit the bung and stonfo connector. Plan B would be to do this job yourself. There is a useful video featuring Simon Mottram to Canal Fishing basics set up your pole. A common error is for pole elastic to be set far too tight which leads to lost fish and the associated disappointment that goes with that.
  • A couple of rigs suitable for canal fishing. Float of around 0.3 to 0.4g and mainline diameter around 0.10 to 0.12. The hook size should be around size 20 or a 22, with the hook length line around 0.08 to 0.10.
  • A disgorger and perhaps a spare one just in case you lose one.
  • A plummet (ideally the lightest one they stock)
  • One or more bait tins or plastic storage boxes for keeping pinkies in.
  • A landing net and a landing net handle. Dinsmores produce a budget version that is fit for purpose.
  • Fishing box to sit on (optional). Colmic amongst others produce a range suitable for young people.
  • A packet of spare hooks to nylon, size 20 or 22. Preston Innovations do a great range of these.
  • A receptacle to mix your groundbait in.
  • A rod rest.
  • If you are participating in the National Celebration of Young People and Fishing or Commonwealth Communities event you will require a keepnet and two metal bank-sticks.

Top tip

If you can't find suitable rigs in your local store, come along to another Let's Fish! event and ask one of our coaches for advice on how to make up your own rigs and tie your own hooks. Many Let's Fish! clubs also run classroom sessions where you can learn these skills. Motty can help you out too, there is a useful video on how to tie your own rig here.

Canal fishing nets

Last Edited: 06 March 2023

photo of a location on the canals
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