Love them or loathe them, F1s now play a huge part in stillwater fishing; A ‘first cross’ hybrid between a king carp and a crucian. They can be surprisingly shy biting and difficult to catch so here’s some quick tips to help you on your way!
1. Dotted floats
Shotting your float tip right down to a bare minimum is necessary to spot very shy F1 bites in the winter and spring. Sometimes the float won’t go under at all but just dips or shakes!
There’s a misconception that you should use really fine float tips for F1s. But the truth is you’ll struggle to see them in certain light and if you dot down a fine tip you’ll liable to foul hook a lot of fish. So use a slightly thicker bristle of about 1.5mm but dot it right down so you can still see your bites!
We recommend: Preston F1 Pellet
2. Sharp hooks
F1s have very small mouths and it’s very easy to lose them when shipping the pole back. Don’t use too small a hook, a size 18 is about right for both maggot and pellet baits. Use the sharpest hook you can find such as one of the very latest PTFE coated versions. A wide gape is required for pellet baits.
We recommend: Guru F1 Pellet Hook
3. Move swims
F1s are not daft and as soon as you’ve caught a few in one place they will often back off and move to another. So don’t be afraid to get your plummet on and move your spot. Simply plumbing up a metre to the left or right, or going a metre further out, will usually see you catching again. Only if its extremely warm or you are on a load of fish are you likely to be able to catch from one or two spots all day.
Try and fish dead depth for F1s, especially with pellets, so you see your bites instantly. To do this plumb up so just the bristle of the float is showing.
We recommend: Guru Plummets
4. Soft elastic
With fairly small hooks and light lines required, it’s not a good idea to fish heavy elastics. Rather fish soft, stretchy versions such as hollows mean you’re not going to lose fish on the way back. Always set your elastics soft too, a tight elastic is just going to bump fish off or make them bolt out of a peg, spooking others.
We recommend: Daiwa Hydrolastic (Pink and blue)
5. Correct feeding
Feeding is massive for F1s. If you put too much in you’re likely to suffer line bites and foul hook fish. Too little and you might not get past small fish. As it gets warmer you should feed more but it doesn’t mean go piling full kinder pot fulls in.
Micropellets are a great feed for F1s in shallow water up to islands, especially in 2.5ft of water or less. If it’s deeper however or if roach and skimmers are a problem, try stepping up to feeding 4mm hard pellets, with the same on a band on the hook. Use a sprinkle style pot to feed 5-8 pellets at a time.
We recommend: Preston Sprinkle Soft Pot