The Compleat Angler Store

Mugs and Stuff for Anglers and Fishing Tales For Everyone


Llay Reservoir, An Absolute Welsh Gem!

llayreservoirgreenLast month I paid £7.00 to join Llay Angling Club. This was their discount price for joining so late in the year. Today I found out that to renew my membership I’ll have to pony up a whopping £13 for 12 months membership. I’m in! I visited Llay Reservoir, their main water, for the second time since joining and I have to say that it really is a fabulous venue. Of course I said that last month as well after my first visit but as you get older you forget stuff and so I have to mention it again.


As usual my peg is a mish-mash of old fashioned rod rests, a “Bait Waiter” bait tray and my lightweight seat box. One day soon I’ll spring for one of those full-Monty fishing seat boxes if only because a lot of coarse fishing venues now have hard-standing pegs and it’s not always easy to push bank sticks into the ground.

I decided to fish live and dead maggots and feed with maggots and pinkies. Cereal based ground-bait is forbidden at Llay’s waters and they’re all the healthier for it. Half of my plan went to perfection as I brought the maggots but forgot the pinkies. When I arrived at the reservoir there was a brisk wind blowing but the high bank on the south west side of the lake kept everyone nicely sheltered and the water there was mirror-calm throughout the session.

I went with the pole at about 8 meters but I also decided to slowly feed a nice looking margin area to my left. Fish came right away in the shape of some nice roach, rudd and the odd perch at the longer range. When I switched to the margin I immediately lost a nice fish which is pretty normal for me.

llayview1There was a small match in progress when I arrived at the venue and after a couple of hours fishing I wandered around because some carp were coming out on the pole and I wanted to snoop. I learned that micro-pellets are not classified as cereal based groundbait and a combination of feeding the pellets and fishing either worm, corn or caster seemed to be attracting the better fish. There were some cracking perch caught during the match. Even I caught one or two nice perch on my humble maggots.


Hook size was 20 which I stepped up to an 18 after bumping a few roach. Bait was single maggot, dead or alive, it didn’t seem to matter. What DID matter was that I did not register a single bite when I tried double maggot.


roach netNow although I caught plenty of fish I now know that I have to step up to a higher quality pole for fishing any sort of length over 6 meters. My present pole is the Ron Thompson Gangster and for the money (under £65 quid) it does a decent job. In fact as a margin whip it’s really good. But, it’s far from rigid and this makes it hard to control a finely presented float when the pole is wobbling around at 7 meters or more. I would not want to try and fish it at its maximum length of 11 meters. It would be like handling a rabid python. Watching one angler fishing around 7 meters out on a really stiff, high quality pole and easing the carp out without any bother was a bit of an eye opener for me.

maver thema margin 9mHere’s one I’m considering: The Maver Thema Margin Match Pole looks like it might combine good value for money at well under £150 as well as high performance. But, I won’t buy it (or any other pole) until I’ve handled it in the shop. This particular pole is only 9.5 meters but having observed some top anglers recently it’s clear to me that fishing a pole at 13 – 16 meters is not going to work for me. My eyes are not that good!

maver powerlite 9 m margin poleAnother pole which caught my eye is the Maver Powerlite 9m Margin PoleAn added bonus is that it comes with two power kits.

I might ask for help from you, Readers of The Compleat Angler blog. I want to keep my spend to under £250 including a side puller, under £200 would be even better. I saw this video (below) and of course I’ll have to have a reinforced section in order to fit one of these. Having watched anglers play fish with the side puller I can see that it’s a must have for me.

I found this (see below) on Amazon, so if I can’t get a pole at a reasonable price with a reinforced section for side puller installation I can always something like what you see here and tailor it for my new pole.

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Bear in mind I’m really a Compleat Beginner when it comes to this sort of stuff. Until a few months ago I never even knew of the existence of side pullers, pulla bungs and top two kits. So, if you have any recommendations I’m open to suggestions! I’ll open the Comments section of the website and I’ll be all ears over the coming days.