Glossary of coarse fishing terms

The most commonly used fishing terms defined

To help the newcomer get to grips with the wide range of fishing terms bandied around by anglers, realbuzz.com have compiled a list of the words most commonly used, to help you on your way to fishing success.

Bale arm: A revolving arm on a fixed spool reel which winds line onto the spool.

Glossary of coarse fishing terms

Bankstick: Usually a stainless steel spike with a threaded end, so you can attach a rod rest, keepnet or bait alarm. This is pushed into the ground. Two of these can be used to hold your rod in position.

Barbless: A type of hook without sharp barbs to help retain bait and fish. Barbed hooks are banned from most fisheries.

Bite alarms: These are electronic sensors that detect the movement of line caused by the fish. They usually have an audible alarm or light to alert the angler.

Bivvies: These are domed tents with an opening at the front providing a shelter from the elements.

Bread punch: A bread punch has a circular 'punch' at the end which is pushed down onto a slice of bread and cuts a small piece out which is placed on the hook. There are many different sizes of punches for different hook sizes.

Breaking strain: The amount of pressure a line will take before snapping.

Casters: The chrysalis form of a maggot.

Deadbaiting: The use of dead fish for catching predatory fish such pike, perch, and eels.

Disgorger: A long device to help remove the hook from a fish's mouth. Always have one with you.

Floats: A float is a buoyant indicator that indicates when a fish has taken your bait. Types of floats include wagglers, pole floats and stick floats.

Groundbait: A dry mixture intended to be thrown into the water to attract fish. Usually consists of bread crumb, crushed biscuit, crushed hemp or other ingredients.

Hooklength: A short length of line, of lesser breaking strength than the mainline, to which the hook is tied. It is used to make it less likely to be detected by the fish.

Keepnets: A tube net designed to hold fish. They allow the fish to be weighed in total at the end of a fishing session, often in competitions. Many fisheries ban the use of keepnets.

Landing net: A net attached to a long handle which enables the angler to gather the fish safely. Landing net heads come in many different shapes and sizes, but the size of the net should cater for the fish you are catching. A net should be deep enough and wide enough so that a fish fits in comfortably without its tail hanging out.

Legering: Bait held on the bottom by means of a weight or feeder.

Line: Fishing line comes in many forms and strengths, the most common being monofilament line made from nylon. Anglers should use as light a line as possible to prevent detection by the fish, while still ensuring that it is heavy enough to prevent breakage. Line should always be disposed of sensibly to prevent wildlife becoming caught up in it.

Loosefeed: Small offerings of loose bait, such as maggots or sweetcorn, which are thrown into the water to keep the fish interested in the area you are fishing.

Lures: Artificial fish, used to tempt predators such as pike and zander.

Match fishing: A competitive form of coarse fishing which involves people drawing out a random peg (a place to fish), and then trying catch as many fish as possible within the allotted time. Usually the winner will be the one with the greatest weight of fish caught.

Peg: A peg is a pre defined fishing area. Venues are split up into evenly spaced fishing zones which are often marked with a wooden peg or marker.

Quiver tip: A special type of rod used to detect bites when ledgering. It has a sensitive tip that curves over when the angler has a bite. Quiver tips vary in strength and stiffness which can be changed according to the weather conditions.

Reels: A device for holding and retrieving line. Most coarse fishermen will use a fixed spool reel.

Rod rests: The rod rest is an instrument where you can place your rod at rest.

Seat box: Seat boxes are boxes made to hold all of your tackle and can also be used to sit on while fishing.

Shot: Small round pieces of metal with a groove cut half way through, which are attached to fishing line to set the correct buoyancy for a given float. Lead shot have long been outlawed.

Spade end hooks: Spade end hooks have an up-turned flattened piece of metal instead of an eye to which to tie the fishing line.

Specimen: A term given to any fish that is a particularly good size for its species.

Strike: To respond to the taking of the bait by pulling the rod in an upwards or sideways motion to hook the fish.

Swim: The area of water where you are fishing.

Tackle: A term used to refer to any fishing equipment.

Test curve: The test curve is the time and weight needed to make the tip bend 90 degrees from the rod butt. Each rod has a test curve with those being used for specimen fish such as carp having a greater test curve than a general coarse rod.

Trotting: Allowing a float to travel at the speed of the current.

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