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My Marker and Spod Reel Set ups.

Posted by Shaun Harrison on 11 August 2020 |

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I would welcome a free drink for every time I have watched anglers cast a marker float out and not be able to get it to rise, then repeat the process again and again whilst spooking anything that may have remained there after the first cast.

Some real experienced anglers I see suffer this problem as well and the biggest cause is braided line or braided leaders. Yes, all the magazines tell us we need braided line for marker work, but for many years now I have used a Co-polymer or a fluorocarbon leader on the end of my braid to stop the frustrating habit of the marker float spinning around the soft braid on the cast and temporarily tangling, which prevents the float from rising. Using too small a lead can cause this too, but this can be seen during the cast as the float separates from the lead.

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A mono leader will give you far less problems

When pointing out that a stiffer leader material would prevent the issues they are having I usually get a response along the lines of...

“I don’t want to lose the feel of the braid when feature finding and a monofilament leader will do that”.

Had I been born 20 years earlier I might have answered something along the lines of
“Poppycock, utter nonsense”, there is hardly any stretch noticeable in 18 ft of mono, particularly if you choose one that has been pre-stretched a little anyway. Just feel around the margins with your normal rod with just 18 ft of mono out and it transmits everything quite clearly. Yes, cast a 100 yard and you will notice a lack of ‘feel’, but just a few feet of it there is hardly any difference and certainly in my mind a no brainer if it stops that frustratingly swim wrecking scenario of having to cast several times before you can get the float to rise.

The other big advantage with a more discreet mono leader is if you end up leaving your marker in position for a while. A mono line popping up through your swim is much less visible than braid, particularly the fashionable bright coloured braids. I never got that myself, why you would want your marker braid and in some cases spod braid to be a bright colour? Anything running through my swim I would prefer to be as discreet as possible.

So, cast hard and feather your marker down to keep the float tight to the lead and then totally locking it up a micro second before it hits the surface letting it sink on a tight line, with a mono leader in place, you will no longer suffer the dreaded marker not rising scenario.

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My Marker and Spod reels, total opposite in line choice.

With marker and spod rods seemingly going hand in hand, my spod reel set up is a reverse of my marker set up. For Spodding/Spombing I prefer a braided leader but a monofilament main running line. I never have liked braided main lines for spodding. They can be a pain for the spod drifting out of place before emptying completely and I don’t like the less cushioned jolt when you hit a clip which can bounce the spod back a bit too far.

I do favour a braided leader though, so every last gram of power I put into the cast is transmitted to the spod, rather than the slight cushioning you get when loading up a straight mono. A bit of a contradiction perhaps to what I wrote in the marker section but mono behaves different with heavy loads than it does with hardly any load.

Well, there you have it. These set ups have been my preferred for more years than I care to remember.


Marker Reel
My Marker Reels usually carry a braid in the 20 – 30 lb breaking strain but with a .41 mm Copolymer leader.

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I simply use a loop for quick lead change or removal


Spod Reel
I choose a braided leader of 40 lb plus which is usually adequate for my casting. I have never needed to go to 80 lb like some do.

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I choose a braided leader of 40 lb plus which is usually adequate for my casting

My mono main line is usually around 0.25 - 0.28 mm.  I simply tie a large figure of 8 loop in the end of the braided leader and attach the spod or Spomb loop to loop through the swivel. I see people using snap swivels etc but they are not needed and merely add bulk and extra weight which will cut your distance.
Best wishes as always
Shaun Harrison

About the Author: Shaun Harrison

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Quest Baits boss Shaun Harrison has put over 40 years of experience into developing his range of carp baits ” This bait range is the culmination of the bait knowledge I’ve gained throughout my carp fishing career, a journey which started in the 1970’s. It has truly been a long and winding road – frustrating at times, fascinating and rewarding at others….. Our range you’ll only find proven baits, the ones I use myself 

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