Getting more from Spodding
Tackle for the Job
The first thing to get right is the rod and reel that you are going to use. The smaller spods can be cast using most standard carp set-ups, however if you plan on using the larger models you will need to invest in a rod and reel designed for the job. Rod wise you need something with plenty of power that is capable of casting a weight between 4 and 6oz. Couple this with a big pit reel which offers the advantage of allowing you to retrieve the spod a lot quicker than with a standard reel. My choice is the Emblem Spod reel, which has been designed to take this a stage further still and retrieves over 100cm of line for every turn of the handle.
I’m a big fan of braided mainline for spodding, it tends to have a much thinner diameter than monofilament which aids casting distance and the lack of stretch means that even at long range a quick flick of the rod will help empty the spod. I tend to use 20lb breaking strain braid and combine this with a shockleader to avoid crack offs. Make sure you use a finger stall though to avoid cutting your finger.
In terms of the spod itself, I tend to carry with me a number of different sizes and models so I can match them to the swim and conditions I’m facing. In most situations I’ll reach for the standard spod which allows me to get a bed of bait down quickly. However for longer range spots a more streamlined spod is better suited, while the smaller ones are perfect for topping up a swim with bait with as little disturbance as possible.
Making the perfect spod mix
One of the benefits of spodding is that you can use almost anything bait wise - boilies, pellets, particles, whatever you wish. I tend to like using a mixture of items, which helps to maximise attraction and provides different breakdown times in the swim.
Most of my mixes include groundbait, which helps to stodge the mix up and keep it in the spod when casting as well as providing an attractive cloud. I’ll tailor the contents of the rest of the mix and its consistency depending on the time of the year and what I want it to do. For example a sloppy mix with little in the way of food items can be perfect for spodding over zigs if the fish are in the upper layers. Once you have put a mix together always check a spodful in the margins to make sure it empties ok and how long it takes. Spodding Accurately
Ideally when spodding try to make sure you are as accurate as possible. Use the line clip on your reel to ensure you hit the same distance each time. Another good tip is to keep the braid wet at all times to avoid wind knots, I keep a cup close by to wet the spool at the start and then every 12-15 casts after that.
It also helps if you can get into a rhythm when casting, and I place the bucket containing spod mix on top of another one so I don’t have to keep reaching over to refill. Make sure you don’t over fill your spod as this can lead to bait spilling out on the cast, around three quarters full is perfect. Also make sure you allow time for the spod to empty once it’s hit the water, a couple of quick flicks of the rod tip can help to get the last few bits out.