Meanwhile, whilst conditions are unfavourable, I thought we could take advantage of this time off the river and look at something
constructive that some of you may find useful during your future fishing trips when the river levels settle down again. So to that end I thought we might take a look at a way of using some of that spare backing line that may be sitting in a drawer somewhere gathering dust, and putting it to good use in the form of "sighters" for Grayling fishing.
Not much you will be pleased to hear, you will probably have most of it at home already. Here is a list of items required to make your bespoke sighters:
- Scissors, Tapestry Needle, (size 22) Super Glue (picture 1)
- Indelible Marker, AA Battery (picture 2)
- Backing Line, Tape Measure (picture 3)
Once you have all these things in place you can now set about making your bespoke sighters. To help with this task I have included a series of pictures (starting from picture 1 above) and a step by step explanation of the process below:
1. Thread the end of your backing line (whilst still on the spool) through the eye of the tapestry needle (picture 4). Why use a tapestry needle I hear you say! Well you can use an ordinary needle, but as a tapestry needle is purposely blunt (has a rounded business end) it is easier to slide through the centre of your backing line, without it constantly popping out of the side wall during the next process. (I find that a size 22 tapestry needle works well with backing line).
2. Now push the business end of the tapestry needle through the side wall of the backing line (picture 5). This is a bit fiddly, but it will go through.
3. Once your needle has penetrated the side wall of the backing line, push the needle gently through the centre of your backing line for about 20mm (picture 6). You can push it through a little further if you wish, but the further you push it through the more difficult the next stage becomes!
4. At this point make the needle exit the side wall again (picture 7) and continue pulling the needle all the way through. This will also pull the threaded backing line into the centre of itself (picture 8) and back out of the side wall again (picture 9). Continue pulling the backing line through itself until the tag end pops out, (picture 10) taking care at this stage not to pull the backing line completely into itself at the top end (opposite end to the needle in picture 10) as the objective is to leave a small neat loop peeping out (picture 10). Keep hold of this loop as you pull the needle clear so that this cannot happen. You can then neatly form your loop by gently pulling the loose tag end to accommodate the size of loop you require. I like a small loop of about 5mm - 7mm, but this is simply a personal preference.
5. Now completely remove the needle from the backing line. Once the needle is removed and you have successfully formed the loop to the size you require, use your scissors to cut off the excess tag before tidying up the section the needle went through (picture 11).
6. After you have cut off the excess tag, you can now tidy up the section the needle went through. By waiting until now to do this, enables you to draw this slightly out of shape stretched section of the outer layer of your backing line, neatly over the cut off tag end as you smooth it out, (picture 12) affording you a neat seamless finish (picture 13). You have now successfully completed one end of your sighter.
7. Now measure this length of backing line to the length you prefer for your personal fishing requirements, this will often be unique to the individual. If you have never used a sighter before then I suggest you make a couple of different sizes to try out first, allowing you to see which you prefer whilst fishing. One at 40cm and one at 50cm. Always measure an additional 5cm over and above the size you require before cutting, as this will allow for the inevitable shortening of the sighter as you create the final loop (picture 14).
8. After cutting your backing line to your desired length, follow the same guidelines as before to create your second and final loop at the opposite end of your backing line. Your sighter is now almost complete, all we need to do now is mark it up (or not, once again the choice is yours).
10. This is where your AA battery and indelible marker come in handy (picture 2). The AA battery is just a personal preference as I find it offers me just the right diameter for what I require, but in all honesty what you use is entirely up to you, I am sure you will have your own preference after making a few up.
Good luck with your new sighters!!!