With modern-day technology such as iPads and Xboxes taking over people’s lives, it is all too easy for today’s younger generation to shut themselves away in their bedrooms and not experience the great outdoors. There are numerous outdoor activities that children would enjoy and benefit from and one of those is fishing. Through fishing, children will discover and grow a respect for nature and learn about the environment. It teaches them to be patient and stay focused on the goal ahead as well as having to think and keep their concentration. Fishing can also strengthen the family bond too as it is something the whole family can participate in and enjoy together. Fishing can also keep children of the streets and out of trouble.
When children try fishing for the first time there are a few essential things to consider to make the experience more enjoyable and will hopefully encourage them to go again. It is advisable not to take them when it is cold and wet, as that would probably not be a very enjoyable first experience for them and may discourage them from going again. Although there are several different methods to employ, start off float fishing so they have something to watch and to focus on plus target the easy to catch species such as roach, perch and rudd.
Keep things simple so they find it easier to learn and remember things such as how to find the depth of the swim by using a plummet or how to tie on a hook and add bait. Explain to them why throwing in free offerings around the float will attract fish and keep them in the swim.
Before you take any child fishing in England and Wales make sure to find out if they require a rod licence or not. Any child under the age of 13 years does not require a licence and any child between the ages of 13 years and 16 years requires a junior licence. These are free of charge and are available from the GOV.UK website, by calling the environment agency or from a local post office. Rod licence laws vary in Scotland and Ireland depending on where you fish so check on the government’s website before fishing.
Choosing the right type of tackle is important, there are many factors to take into consideration when looking for fishing rods for kids for example; When children are young, the perfect type of rod to begin with is a kids fishing pole, which is a telescopic rod that folds down for ease of transport. This type of rod is ideal for a beginner as it does not require a reel, so it alleviates any possibility of tangles and avoids the need to cast.
Whips, such as the Middy Impact 4m Elasticated Mini Pole are light and easy to handle and are designed to catch smaller species of fish such as roach, perch and rudd at close range. Some whips, such as this version, have a hollow tip which is designed to hold a length of elastic into which the line is attached, which can help to bring in slightly larger fish as the elastic will stretch and absorb the pressure. The Middy Impact 4m Mini Pole comes ready pre-elasticated making it easier for the beginner to set-up and use straight away. The downside of the whip is that if a large carp or tench are hooked there is a good chance that the line will break as there will only be a certain amount of give in the line and elastic.
As the whip does not have a reel the angler will only be able to float fish, but it is the perfect choice for the young child or newcomer to fishing.
A good option for a teenager who is looking to catch slightly larger species such as carp is the Wychwood Carp MLT 9’, as this rod is easy to handle, light and is inexpensive. This rod is stronger than a whip and requires a reel so larger carp can be hooked and landed because of this.
This rod also enables the angler to cast out and fish at longer ranges. It can also be used to fish with various methods such as float fishing, ledgering or putting out a surface bait so it makes it a more versatile rod than the whip.
Shorter rods, such as this 9’ model, are a good choice for the mobile angler who wants to walk around a water stalking carp, as they are easier to carry plus a lot more manageable if the angler needs to sneak into a tight area to present a bait.
Another carp rod that is ideally suited to teenagers is called the Scope and it is from a range of rods from a company called Nash, a market leader when it comes to carp fishing. There are ten models in the range with two short 6’ options available that are called Sawn Off. The Sawn Off rods are available in two different test curves, one being 2lb and the other 3lb. The test curve indicates how much pressure is needed before the rod bends to its maximum, so a 3lb test curve rod will cast larger weights further and be able to handle larger fish than the 2lb version.
These rods are a lot more expensive than many other carp rods on the market, but the components and materials used to manufacture this range are of a higher quality than some other products that are available. The rods are constructed from high modulus carbon blanks with a 1k weave which gives the rod extra strength but at the same time making it light and easy to handle.
These short rods are not only ideal for stalking carp in the margins and for working in tight spaces, but they also make great travel rods due to their small size making it easy to transport them. If a longer version is required, four 9’ models and four 10’ models are also available in the range.
Overall, fishing is a wonderful hobby that can give a lifetime of enjoyment and many fishermen start their fishing journey from an early age.