Wednesday, 29 January 2014

LRF, well almost

a little bit of light rock fishing on the East Float

LRF On the East Float, Birkenhead

I am not very good with labels; it seems like latest one, LRF (light rock fishing) should stand for something new, despite that in the tackle shop the old gits tell me they have been making little worms from bathroom sealant for longer than they can remember. When all said and done I am no stranger to dangling bits of fluff and rubber off piers and landing some little monsters. But I think like all labels or brands LRF is a bit aspirational, and my trouble with it is that it seems to be something that is vaguely cool and for most of my life if not all, cool has always been some other country I would of liked to have visited.

So I set off to do some kind of rock fishing with light gear in the docks where I had fished as child with garden worms and a rod bought for me with my grandfather’s cigarette coupons. Instead of a selection of miniature soft plastics I had tied up some micro sabiki rigs with size eight hooks on 6lb fluorocarbon line and rather than just lash on some curling ribbon I got the fly tying vice out. The inspiration for my newest lure venture had come from another handmade fisherman Jan from the south coast of England who had sent me some standard sized rigs he had tied himself based loosely on one of my mackerel feather rigs from the videos I had made. I say loosely because it is fair to say he had taken them to whole new level and by all accounts has been going home early from his fishing trips due to reaching his personal bag limits rather more quickly than expected.

Where as Jan had used fur, at short notice I could just about rustle up some marabou from a bag of craft feathers and a bit of flash borrowed from some Christmas decorations. For thread I had sewing thread in some garish colours all topped off with a drop of nail varnish. After dropping no.2 son off at school it was off the docks.

Dockside I sat in car testing the air temperature by winding down the window down far enough to
realized that even with the vast amounts of insulation tucked into my clothing it was not going to be enough. Undecided on whether to stay or go I was finally encouraged out by another hardy soul who was threading line through his rod eyes at the far end of the car park. Out in the wind I set up quickly while I still had the use of my fingers and dropped my feather rig into the water. There was to be no yanking or long cast this was LRF, all be it a bastard form. I made delicate taps and tweaks to the line imagining myself performing tai chi, which I then realized was Chinese in origin were LRF is Japanese inspired so I tried imaging myself as graceful geisha but I couldn’t really find a mental connection between high class prostitution and fishing with feathers plucked from a turkeys back.

It was a baby cod that fell for the dance first in a little spot sheltered from the wind by the rear end of a Mersey ferry. I made my way along the dock to fish and chat to the other fisherman, who as luck would have it was making coffee on a stove in the open boot of his car. A mugful later I was feeling almost human again with just a touch of freezer burn on expose parts. I took a few more fish finger sized specimens and a whiting before I finally succumbed to the elements and retreated to the car.

Was it LRF, who gives **** I caught some fish, shared a coffee pot and some of my ludicrous fishing stories, my rigs worked and I got to come home with all my fingers.

Image above: Jan's rig, Cheers Jan

Image below: Iris's rear end


  1. Hello from Chicago. I found your videos on youtube while looking to fix a broken bale. Great stuff. I wish I had the tools and time to do it. Everything's frozen solid here so this blog'll have to hold me over til spring.

    1. Sorry to hear about the ice, glad you like the vids and the blog, in the uk our winters tend to be a bit like sleeping on cold damp while realizing it aint going to get any warmer if you get up.


    2. You are more keen than me,just bought a middy radar 7ft lure rod new today for 15 quid ,but too cold to try it out yet. I am in the Saddleworth/Oldham area ,there are a fair few reservoirs and small stream/rivers and canals with brownies ,pike .
      Do you ever get over to Wales? I grew up in Deeside and used to get flatties and eels out around the Queensferry area .
      Apparently there are good stretches of free fishing past the weir in Chester.
      There was a place we used to go as kids behind Shotton steelworks ,it was a water works with two small square reservoirs ,we used to chuck out a big worm on one of them orange hand lines ,we would sometimes get fat eels up to two foot long which we would give to an old cockney guy on our estate.
      Now and again the hook line would be bitten through or the hook straightened out.
      One day I was sitting on my line eating my butties and the line shot out tight ,I expected it too snap as I hauled it in ,excited we slid down the steep concrete bank and stared at the black water to see if we had a big un.
      The eels head that came out of the water was massive,like a conger, me and my mate actually screamed and ran up the bank and into the field as if it was chasing us.
      After collapsing laughing into the grass we went back ,I chickened out and cut my line.
      I see the two square ponds now and again when I go that way, stuck out in the fields to the right of the new flint bridge.
      It looks abandoned.
      I wonder if that eel is still there and whether I should go back and settle scores.


    3. I don’t get over to Wales much, I was planning to this year spend bit of time over that neck of the woods for some sea fishing. I worked in Oldham for a couple of years about ten years ago but never fished over there, I used to live over the pass in Yorkshire, still go over there once in while. I guy who fished in the docks when we were kids used to swing the eels still attached to his line against the warehouse walls to stun them