Time Spent at Worsbrough Reservoir by Alan Scotthorne

I grew up fishing this large expanse of water close to my home in Barnsley, so it holds some great memories. It was used regularly to hold some big competitions through the 80s and 90s, including the UK Championships that I won there when I was just 27.

Testing equipment is just one part of my work for Drennan International and when I received some new Drennan Acolyte feeder rods to test, this was the perfect venue to put them through their paces. Once on the bank of this huge reservoir I realised just how much I missed fishing it! At times it’s a real silver fish heaven and I just couldn’t wait to chuck out and see what I could catch.

Fishing at distance with a feeder is always a good winter tactic at Worsbrough and when braided line came on the market I was one of the first on it. My match weights improved dramatically: from averaging 10kg to 12kg in matches I was suddenly catching top side of 20kg of skimmers per match and framing on a regular basis. This was down to the braid having no stretch, so accuracy was improved dramatically. All of a sudden I was casting in a metre square area at 70-plus metres. I would always use braid now for fishing any distance past 40 metres with a feeder, as my results were so cut and dried that, for me, mono is no longer an option for distance work.

There has been one major change at Worsbrough: it has now been stocked with a large head of carp that have grown quickly in this food-packed environment and double-figure fish are commonly caught. With this in mind, the normal fixed paternoster I use with a 30g feeder was now looking like the perfect tool to get cracked off with by these hard-fighting fish and even on the bite this could happen with a fixed feeder.

As I still wanted to catch bream and skimmers, I wanted to use a paternoster rig, but I needed this to be sliding in case I hooked a carp. So, in my tackle room I made up some short powergum links with a swivel bead and safe clip, attached with metal crimps to the powergum to attach the feeder to.

I use about eight metres of 6lb Drennan Feeder & Method mono as a shock leader that I attach to the braid simply by forming a loop in the braid and tying the mono to the loop with a half blood knot – not a fancy knot but easy to tie and it passes smoothly through rod rings. Threading on the swivel bead and then a float stop, I then twist 10cm of line and knot this off. Sliding the float stop down to the knot I can then attach the hooklength.

The feeder is left free running and butted up to the float stop on casting. Now with this rig I had a big chance to land a carp on the 0.129mm Supplex hooklength that I would use for the skimmers if I was fortunate enough to hook one.

The day proved more difficult than I expected, but with the venue carrying heavy colour from a large deluge of rain water I couldn’t really expect a hectic day’s sport! I did manage to catch five skimmers, although I never hooked a carp to test out my feeder setup.

As for those prototype Acolyte Feeder rods, for such a thin blank I was totally blown away by the power of the 12ft model: with just a 30g feeder I managed to cast over 100 turns of a 4000-size reel with relative ease. If you check out the picture I think you can safely say I put this rod to the test. I can’t wait for the production models!

I returned to Worsbrough to do a feature for Pole Fishing magazine and this was the result. Just like the reservoir I used to know and it was a pleasure to fish!