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December 22, 2007

HOW TO: Spod

Spodding is a bait delivery system which allows accurate baiting of a very wide variety of baits. There is no quicker way of delivering bait than a spod (besides a bait boat which I'll talk about in a future article). If done correctly, spodding can produce large bags of fish.

Rods and reels
When filled with bait a large spod can weigh as much as 6-7oz, far to much for the average carp rod to cast, so a dedicated spod rod with a test curve of 4lb or more is required. Most manufacturers now offer a bespoke spod rod in their range.

I use a Greys Marker spod rod which is a 12’ rod with a 4lb test curve

A large spooled reel is essential to take the strain out of spodding. These big reels will make casting and retrieving the spods a lot easier.

I use a Shimano GTX 8000 reel filled with low diameter non stretch floating braid (Whiplash Pro) in 30lb breaking strain. Even at 30lb breaking strain the braid has the same diameter as 5lb mono.

The spool of braid should always be wetted before you start casting to minimize wind knots. The floating braid makes gathering the line after the cast really easy and assists in lifting the spod onto the plane during the retrieve of the spod.

It is important to note that the spool must not be filled to the lip of the spool as you would with mono as you will suffer from wind knots during the cast

When using braid you must always use a leather finger stool or a golfing or dedicated casting glove to protect you casting finger from the braid.

When casting a heavy bait filled spod you need a leader that will take the stress of the cast. Many manufacturers make very good leader material in both mono and braid.
This leader not only protects against snapping the line during the initial stages of casting but also helps to protect your fingers against line cuts.

I have been using Korda Arma-Kord in the 50lb breaking strain

The leader is connected to the mainline with a double grinner knot

A spod is like a large groundbait feeder blocked off at one end, often as large as a coke can. Unlike a groundbait feeder the spod has a buoyant nose cone which when filled with bait and cast into the lake causes the spod to tip and therefore self-empty.

A wide range of spods are available to suit most baiting needs

When we know where we want to place our bait and our marker float is sat in the required position in our swim (see my article "Feature finding with a marker float") its time to range the spod to the marker float. We do this by replacing the spod with a heavy lead and casting at the marker float until we land the lead next to the spod with our rod held vertically, cushioning the cast.

With the lead still out in the lake, place the line in the line clip and mark the line. It is now trapped behind the line clip so it is essential to feather the casts with the spod by holding the rod vertically. This prevents the spod from stopping too abruptly and bouncing back towards you and therefore potentially causing line-breaks and damage to the line clip on the spool.

Set the range to spod to using a marker float

Tying a marker knot with pole elastic

Pole elastic marker knot now in position which slides freely through the eyes

Knot lays neatly onto the spool and does not impair the cast

Placing the line in the line clip ensures the spod lands at the same range on every cast

Spods can be used to delivery a wide rand and variety of baits. To get the best accuracy when we are spodding it is critical we do not overfill the spod.

Overfilled spods do not fly straight and will want to tumble during flight

Loose baits like pellets, maggots and small boilies (particles) will if not trapped in place fall out the back of the spod during casting (known as spod-spill). To stop this you can use a little plug of ground bait or a couple of large PVA nuggets in the back of the spod.

Cap the spod with a groundbait plug to prevent spod-spill during casting

Cast out your spod towards your marker-float, overhead style. During the cast it is important that you cast with enough power to just get past the marker float. After releasing the line on the cast pull the rod back to the vertical position. As you feel the line tighten quickly drop the rod forward to the horizontal to allow you to cushion the cast and ensure better accuracy and prevent line snapping and breaking the line clip off the reel spool. When the spod hits the water it should hit with a slap on a tight line, this takes a lot of practice but ensure the minimum amount of disturbance to the swim.

Cast out your spod towards your marker-float, overhead style

Allow the spod time to settle and the feed chance to escape the spod

Give the rod a couple of short sharp pulls to agitate the spod and assist the feed to exit the spod

A nice tight bed of maggots and ground bait, right ontop of your marker

When the spod is empty, lift you rod and reel fast and smooth to retrieve the spod. Always try to get the spod to come up onto the surface of the water as quickly as possible. This will it easier to retrieve and make the process less tiring.

Have fun with your new spodding skills and remember - you can always add bait to your swim but you can't remove it.

Tight lines!



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