Waggler Fishing 

I grew up fishing the waggler, small and large, on the canals and drains in Lincolnshire, England. The Three Rivers at Keadby, and the Stainforth & Keadby Canal were where I learnt to fish. 

From the age of 10, every weekend, every evening after school, every chance I got, I was fishing. My Aunt bought me a fishing rod for Christmas 1970, and ever since then fishing has been a large part of my life - and it all started on the waggler.

Back in the 70's the Bonny Hale stretch of the Stainforth & Keadby was a fishing mecca to many anglers, and I had to be there at first light to get a good peg in the reeds. It was great fishing, but only when fishing a waggler tight to the reeds on the far bank. 

I loved every minute of it. Anglers would loose their wagglers in the reeds, so I 'borrowed' a floating raft from the local Sea Scouts hut and collected them. It was very interesting to see how the anglers had built their wagglers. Mostly peacock wagglers, with lead wire wrapped around the bases, intricate adapter systems and different kinds of inserts and plastic sleeves. I learnt many things about making wagglers from the ones I found.

I used to use peacock waggler from Drennan, but the paint usually chips off after a couple of uses. 

Today, Drennan make some of the best wagglers, and they are the ones I choose to use. The Drennan Visi Wag 1 and Visi Wag 2 are great floats and I have all of the wagglers in the ranges. The Visi Wag 1 has a thicker insert and goes up to 4 g. The Visi Wag 2 has a much thinner insert - perfect for on-the-drop fishing - and goes up to 2 g.

I use a Preston Innovations 14' float rod - the venues are quite wide here in Holland - fitted with a Centris  NT 420 reel loaded with 4 lb (0.16 mm) Dave Harrell line. Light line is not affected by the wind as much, so always fish as light as you can. 

I don't stand up any more when fishing the waggler - too old for that now - but standing to fish the waggler is much easier.

Keep the waggler rigs as simple as you can. I use a 30 cm hook-link tied to a double-barrel swivel to prevent line twist. Then I use either No. 8 or No. 6 Stotz on the line. You can set up either a bulk with droppers, or string them out for a slower fall through the water for the Roach. Lock the float with 4 float stops - I also put 2 Stotz below the float to stop slipping. If you set the depth to say 5 cm over-depth, then when you shallow-up, leave the top float stop where it is. Then you can easily go back to the same depth without checking the depth against the rod.

I hope you get the chance to try some waggler fishing on the match rod. It can be much quicker than the pole when the fish are feeding well.