Fishing tackle comprises of following parts:- rod, reel, line, floats, hooks and lure. The essential qualities of a fishing rod are balance, elasticity, toughness, pliancy and lightness. In order to attain these qualities quite a large varieties of wood have been used at different times. Earlier cane-sticks were used but gradually split-cane were introduced. About 6.8 splices of split-cane were bound together to attain best results. These splits-cane rod were quite popular throughout the world during the early part of the century. In recent years however, fiberglass and steel rods have become more popular. The fiberglass rods are solid, stronger and tabular in form. They are extremely light in weight, rust-proof and have an added advantage of casting longer distance with greater accuracy. The steel rods, besides being light and delicate are the most strong and can withstand greater amount of pressure.
Reels fall into three main types; the drum, fixed-spool and the multiplier. The drum reel is the sample wheel type, operated by a handle. The centre-pin is a more sophisticated version of the drum, running on bell bearing around a control point. The line is wound on by revolving pick up arm. Excellent for casting light baits long distances, it is probably the easiest reel to use.
The multiplier reel is fitted with a system of gears which turns the drum. Several times for every turn of the handle. It is excellent for spinning or long distance casting and recovery. The thread use for tying the bait is called the line. It may be made up of silk, braided linen and flex or nylon. The main qualities required in good line are:-
- Should be of best material
- Should be hard, compact, close and easily from the reel
- Should be smallest possible calibre consistent with the strength
- Should absorb as little water and should not krink or snarl during casting
- Should be suitably coloured so that in water hardly noticed by fish.
Nylon lines are strong, smooth and durable. The tensible strength of nylon line is nearly 7200 Kg/ 0.0m. The elasticity at breaking is about 35%.
There are many kinds of floats-made from quill goose, swan, porcupine, wood, corck etc. Bubble floats are good for surface fishing while the sliding floats are used where the depth of the water is greater than the length of the rod. The line runs freely and is checked by a rubber stopper tried on the required depth. The slide floats act like an ordinary float but when the line is wound in the stopper passes through the rod rings-leaving the float to slide down the line and allowing the fish to be brought in close in the normal way.
The hook is the most vital part of the fishing tackle as it plays the main role in angling the fish. Hooks are hold in three basic shapes; round-bend, crystal and model perfect. The round-bend has a wide gap and so can carry warms and other large baits. The crystal starts from the shank as a round bend, then turn sharply upward towards the point. The model perfect looks like a crystal from the side has the point offset sideways at an angle. The makes hooking more certain.
Uniformity of temper, accuracy of pattern and excellence of finish are some of the qualities of a good hook. Combination of hooks include the hooks used for spinning and live baiting-these hooks set back-to-back at angles of 600 to each other and worm tackle, which is three round bend hooks mounted one above the other. Hooks are also classified as ‘Eyed’ and ‘Uneyed’ hooks. The common eyed-hooks are turned-down, turn-up and straight-eye etc, while uneyed hooks are short and long shank, kirby-bend, square-bend, wide gape etc.
Live-bait fishing is considered as effective method to land the mighty mahseer even in the muddy waters. The live-bait may be of any size but not exceeding 20gm. The rod is set on the bank with the reel free to turn, when required. The most suitable place to put in the live bait is one of the eddies near the head of the rapid preferably in the back water of less than 1.0 m depth between channels of a rapid. To prepare live bait, the body hook is inserted while the point of shank is held close to the trail and then turned over so as to allow the shank to lie on the side of the bait. The bait should not be curved. Then the mouth hook is inserted. The bullet is then attached with a piece of thread to the line. The curve of the side hook stands out at right angles to the side of the bait so that it may immediately act when the bait is taken. The mouth hook is pressed through the thin, flap in the upper lip while the body hook is under a bit of skin.
Mahseer is known to have specific preference for any particular species of fish as live or dead bait and is known to take Garra gotyia, Chela sp. as favourite bait. The fish, to be used as bait, however should be dishevelled in preparing the bait. Channa qachua serves as greed bait because it is tougher and keeps good look. The mouth being wide it can take a large sinker.
As per report published by Himachal Angling Association (1979) spoon fishing is quite successful in Beas waters. These spoons are from oval to willow-leaf shaped, silver shine and 15 g in weight. These spoon run in a smooth zigzag line which is more attractive for the fish. Several anglers recommend(1979)Eirich spoon n Beas waters. It is an significant silver bar spoon (c 7cm) long with no bend or bowl, mere an elongated sprat like lure. According to Boote plug is a good bait and ensure larger mahseer in hills rivers. Sombre colour hugs are the best and these must be fitted with extra strong troubles-very securely aunchored in the of the plug.
The cast the bait with a pliable rod, it is convenient to hold the rod with a middle finger of the upper hand above the running line and the other fingers below it. To swing the bait for a throw close the upper finger on the running line to prevent it’s being jerked out. During spinning, take it off so that the line is perfectly free to run out the moment, the fish strikes.
Fly fishing refers to single-handed red and high tackle used in trout angling. The choices vary regarding the king of fly to be used but normally the black coloured fly gives the best results as it is readily seen in clear waters. The commonly used fly are "Black anoor" "Cock o the walk" and " Smoky Dun". The size of the fly ranges from No. 3 limerick to 10/0 limerick. Thomas (1897) and Mcdonald (1943) recommended No.4 to No.1 for mahseer fishing in Beas. Anglers also recommend fly fishing for mahseer of four pounder or less in the tributaries of major rivers of Himachal Pradesh.