Some answers to FAQ received by the RNC Angling Club over the years.
Q. How do blind people do fishing?
There are various bite alarms and suitable equipment on the market which can be utilised by Visually Impaired anglers, it all depends on the person’s sight condition to what tackle can be used.
Q. What is the point of blind people fishing?
Fishing is a good pastime for anyone, regardless of visual impairment or good sight. It is a relaxing, healthy and affordable hobby, and is accessible to all.
Q. I am registered blind and want to go fishing independently, how can I do this?
It is not recommended that you go fishing on your own. This is not only for the obvious health and safety reasons, but also if there is a problem, for example with line tangles or deeply hooked fish, then there is someone who can be your eyes. Having someone with you will also make the day out more sociable and enjoyable.
Q. I find touch ledgering hard, how else can I detect bites?
There are lots of “carp” alarms on the market. There is also a version called “Onrod” that fits on the rod and you can cast as normal with it on. There are also quiver tips that fit near the butt of the rod if you have some vision.
Q. Bite alarms are so expensive, is there a cheaper alternative?
Alarms distributed by Fladen which represent the “inexpensive” end of the market. These are very sensitive when coupled with a light Fox bobbin which is on a cord. With this setup you will detect bites down to small roach and rudd quite easily.
Q. What type of reel would you recommend for a friend of mine who has a visual impairment?
Fixed spool reels can be very hard to handle, and because of the bail arm mechanics it is possible for line to peel off in the wind. A closed face reel is the best for smaller fish. It is simple to use and can be easily handled with one hand. The choice is limited, Abu or Daiwa. Try to get one of the older Abu 506’s if you can, as they are tough reels. Closed face reels are not the best to use when fishing for larger fish or for carp fishing, as the strength and speed of the fish may result in frequent line breaks.
Q. I can use a short pole but due to my peripheral vision loss I lose sight of the pole float from time to time, how can I overcome this please?
It was suggested to me that a small polyball (obtainable from art shops) is glued to the bristle. This not only makes the top more visible, but creates big ripples when there is a bite. The ball can be coloured to suit.
Q. How can I find help in my area?
You could always try your local tackle shops or angling clubs. Or try local voluntary services.
Q. I find it hard to align the rings on my rods, is there anything on the market I can use?
Use tactile marker solution to make raised markers at the ferrules. It is obtainable from RNIB.
Q. I find it difficult to put maggots on the hook properly is there anyway I can solve this?
There are really good artificial maggots and bait substitute (see example picture below), and you can use tinned sweetcorn, pellets etc., that will work well, especially as the water warms up. They are made by enterprise tackle and stocked by most tackle shops.You could use one artificial and one real.
Q. I have trouble hooking pellets as they are often dark and I cannot see them to put the hook in.
Try Polar Pellets from Carp Vader. They are soft white pellets, they really work well, not only for carp, but for roach, bream, rudd and tench. They love them in winter and summer, as students confirmed. If these are not available, ask in your tackle shop if there is anything similar. An added bonus is they smell nice as well. Another idea, is to use a piece of white board or card behind the pellets, to give the dark pellets a contrast.
Q. I do all my fishing from a wheelchair, and due to my visual impairment need the equipment close by. Is there an attachment I can fit to my wheelchair to put accessories on please?
The picture featured here is the Korum any chair adaptor. This is the first time I have been able to find an easy on/off adaptor, that you can use other accessories on, which will fit a wheelchair. We have tried the feeder arm on it with a rest for a rod or for a pole. We are trying it with a bite alarm on the arm to see how useful that is. Two fittings can be put on at the same time, such as the feeder arm and a bait tray.
Q. I struggle with putting on ready tied hooks, split shot, even down to fish recognition. I have tried a magnifying glass but I need to alter the contrast. Is there such a thing as an electronic magnifier that is portable?
We used an Eye-C video magnifier. Although quite expensive, it is a brilliant piece of kit, which can be used for lots of other purposes as well as fishing. The contrast changes are excellent and should cover what you need.
The Eye-C comes with a large colour 4.3 inch wide-screen that does not lag or “ghost” as some LCD screens do. Looking at maps, photos and newspaper articles becomes a breeze. It also includes built-in foldable writing legs, allowing you to easily sign cheques and write up brief notes.
Enhanced Contrast & Magnification
As well as displaying natural colours, the Eye-C allows you to view documents in white/black, yellow/black, yellow/blue or the reverse of these combinations. Magnification is variable in 5 steps from 2.5x to a massive 16x.
- Adjust magnification and colours while in freeze frame mode.
- No break-up, flickering or ghosting while in motion.
- Up to 4 hours battery life.
- Tactile, colour buttons designed for maximum clarity
- 2.5x to 16x magnification
- 4.3” wide-screen provides a crisp and high contrast image.
- 7 colour display modes for all manor of users.
- Freeze-frame capability for easy viewing.
- Writing stand provides plenty of writing space.
- Wrist strap and slide-proof design protects against the unit slipping.
- Power saving mode prolongs battery life.
- Compact & lightweight: 149 x 81 x 25mm, only 232g.
Listed below are suggested suppliers for the Eye-C Tech Magnifier, though it is always worthwhile doing a web search. (Note selecting these links will take you to an external website).
- techready.co.uk (Now Microlink PC)
For enquires on adaptive equipment contact the BDAA