For the beginner virtually any rod will do. However, it will soon be discovered that a rod 3-4 metres long is the ideal. This gives greater control when handling large fish and when fishing over weedy margins. Also a long rod is needed when bottom fishing in deeper water.
Presentation of the bait is important and a line of 2-3kg is adequate unless large koi carp are the target when 4-5kg may be needed.
Hook size will vary depending on the bait being used and the size of fish expected. Sizes 8 to 12 will cover most situations. Competition anglers generally target small fish and will use smaller hooks.
The commonest method of fishing is to use a float. Always use the lightest float for the job. The usual method is to have a bait suspended under the float with the bait just on the bottom. Sometimes the bait may be held at midwater for rudd or perch. The prime aim of the float is to be a indicator of a bite. Small lead split-shot are used to hold the bait at the right depth and to sink the float to the correct level.
There is a great range of baits and anglers have their favourites. Rudd, tench and koi can be caught on bread (bread crust or bread paste), live bait (worms or maggots) and sweetcorn (canned or frozen whole kernels ). Perch refer live bait but can also be caught on spinning gear using light lures.
Groundbait can be used to attract fish to a particular spot. Poultry meal is commonly used and often mixed with breadcrumbs. It is mixed to a porridge-like consistency, moulded into balls and thrown in to the “swim”. Small quantities of the hook bait are often added.
Remember to check the regulations before fishing as there are some waters where it is illegal to use baits such as sweetcorn. A copy of the regulations should be given to you when you purchased your Fish & Game licence.