• You need to be a registered member of Barbel Fishing World to post on these forums. Some of the forums are hidden from non-members. Please refer to the instructions on the ‘Register’ page for details of how to join the new incarnation of BFW...

Using a drogue whilst fishing

Jean-Pierre Bantin

Active Member
I’m hoping for some advice on how to get the most out of using a drogue when fishing.

This month I went twice to Rutland for my first UK Zander and noticed that my boat was moving slightly faster than a couple of other boats near me.
One, just like me, had it over the side of the boat but was using a longer rope, the other used it over the bow.

I assumed over the side ment that there was more drague from the boat itself, but then again it also means it catches more of the wind.
Does the distance the drogue is located from the boat make a noticeable difference and does the best distance vary on the conditions?

My first trip was a disaster, I only caught the one fish but winds were 32km/h (20 miles/h) , the second time (yesterday) the conditions were much better with winds only being 14k/h (8.5 miles/h) and once I stopped fishing the points advised by the guy in charge and fished drop sharp drop off using navionics to work the best locations, I had a 6 zander. All the fish were small, but the last one of the day was just over 4lb and on my light baitcaster (up to 14g casting weight stated) was a joy to play. I lost a few fish, I think because of the depth I wanted to bring them up slowly and perhaps this affected the hook hold? I don’t mind, as I would rather lose a fish than damage it and very few seemed to be in the shallower areas. The last fish I did pull up a little quicker, it did have a mild effect on the eyes slightly protruding, but at least the air bladder didn’t come out. Still a lot to learn but was a great experience.

I also noticed that starting from the same point did not emulate the same drift. One being relatively straight, the other travelling in a bend. I’m guessing this was the weight distribution in the boat being different (perhaps where I chose to sit)? This made it a nightmare to get it to pass over the same point consistently.

All and any help appreciated.
 

Paul Collins

Senior Member
I'd advise getting hold of a copy of a Bob church book, Reservoir Trout fishing, which has a few chapters on boat handling using drogues, Lee boards etc, on Graham and Rutland. I've done a fair bit of reservoir boat fishing although I'm no expert I can offer a little bit of advice
The size of the drogue determines how much the drift is retarded, and the size of the central hole. I've seen anglers with small, medium and large on board. The longer the rope the deeper the drogue will bite. Whether this slows the boat more I don't know. Be aware of strong undertows that are not necessarily going in the wind direction, often opposite.
Ideally you want to follow a constant depth where the fish are holding which means following the shore line, the book will explain all. It's a fascinating subject.
Plenty on Ebay.
P.S only pull on one cord to lift the drogue LOL.
 

Jean-Pierre Bantin

Active Member
I'd advise getting hold of a copy of a Bob church book, Reservoir Trout fishing, which has a few chapters on boat handling using drogues, Lee boards etc, on Graham and Rutland. I've done a fair bit of reservoir boat fishing although I'm no expert I can offer a little bit of advice
The size of the drogue determines how much the drift is retarded, and the size of the central hole. I've seen anglers with small, medium and large on board. The longer the rope the deeper the drogue will bite. Whether this slows the boat more I don't know. Be aware of strong undertows that are not necessarily going in the wind direction, often opposite.
Ideally you want to follow a constant depth where the fish are holding which means following the shore line, the book will explain all. It's a fascinating subject.
Plenty on Ebay.
P.S only pull on one cord to lift the drogue LOL.
I found out the hard way concerning pulling on one rope 🤣
I'm using the fox rage drogue as it was in stock and reasonably priced for the size.
https://www.foxrage.com/home/product/fox-rage-drogue?b=Rage&c=tools-equipment
It does not go that deep (the longer the rope the deeper it seemed to go).
I'll look for the book mentioned, thanks!
 

John Allan

Active Member
I thought you were only allowed to use the drogues and nets supplied in the boats at Rutland and Grafham, to stop the spread of disease and parasites?
I havent been this season so the policy may have changed.
 

Jean-Pierre Bantin

Active Member
I thought you were only allowed to use the drogues and nets supplied in the boats at Rutland and Grafham, to stop the spread of disease and parasites?
I havent been this season so the policy may have changed.
No idea concerning drogues, it's not mentioned in the rules I read and the staff saw me as well as others birding with them. Perhaps an old rule?
They do supply their own nets but most people brought their own. The larger of the two nets supplied, meant for pike are far to small, especially when it comes to resting the fish.
I used their nets and found them adaquate, especially for the Zander I was targeting. The largest I got was just over 4lbs 😓
 

Tim Marks

Senior Member & Supporter
You could use 2 drogues - bigger surface area….

Furthermore where you attach the drogue makes a difference - the bigger the surface area of the boat that catches the wind the faster it will move. So if you fix the drogue to the pointy end the boat will catch the least wind.

Boats tend NOT to drift straight down the wind - they usually slide one way or the other. To counteract that adjust where/how the drogue is attached to the boat (that’s one reason for having 2 ropes rather than 1). Also adjust the balance of the boat eg where you stand and where you put heavy items like the anchor - it makes a difference.

you can also deliberately ‘steer’ the boat across the wind - which effectively slows it down ; if you see what I mean. You do that by adapting the attachment points of the drogue(s) and the weight distribution within the boat.

one point on that type of fishing - it is easier to control the tackle in big winds if you use heavy jigs eg 35g plus.
 

Jean-Pierre Bantin

Active Member
I thought you were only allowed to use the drogues and nets supplied in the boats at Rutland and Grafham, to stop the spread of disease and parasites?
I havent been this season so the policy may have changed.

Just had a quick check of their rules: https://anglianwaterparks.co.uk/sites/default/files/2020-09/AW Fishing Rules 2020 - published_2.pdf
I was worried I was doing something wrong so had a check. Seems no mention of the nets or drogues. A bit odd concerning the nets, as you say cross contamination is a risk.
I'm hoping to go for a final trip until next winter on Monday, I'll ask and let you know the latest.
 

Jean-Pierre Bantin

Active Member
You could use 2 drogues - bigger surface area….

Furthermore where you attach the drogue makes a difference - the bigger the surface area of the boat that catches the wind the faster it will move. So if you fix the drogue to the pointy end the boat will catch the least wind.

Boats tend NOT to drift straight down the wind - they usually slide one way or the other. To counteract that adjust where/how the drogue is attached to the boat (that’s one reason for having 2 ropes rather than 1). Also adjust the balance of the boat eg where you stand and where you put heavy items like the anchor - it makes a difference.

you can also deliberately ‘steer’ the boat across the wind - which effectively slows it down ; if you see what I mean. You do that by adapting the attachment points of the drogue(s) and the weight distribution within the boat.

one point on that type of fishing - it is easier to control the tackle in big winds if you use heavy jigs eg 35g plus.
Thanks, the pointy end it is.

I'm hoping to go this monday and will try to put this into practice. Sadly the fox rage drogue seems to one of the few with only the one rope. I don't mind if the boat does not drift in a straight line, just want something more consistent than I was getting. Starting at the same point, I was ending up in totally different locations.
However the weather being similar on Monday (event the same westerly winds) to my last trip and with a consitent weather pattern (no sudden pressure changes), I'm hoping the same sharp drop offs will be as productive as last time.

I was mainly using 25g and 30g lure heads and seemed to work well. I've got a couple of hefty 40g heads if there is a need. At least I could feel enough to discern the bottom clearly and not having to go by the line going slack, which I noticed is unreliable in higher winds as the boat is moving too fast. Before they re-open in September, I'll likely invest in a second drogue. After some practice, I intend on moving from Rutland to Gratham. The latter being a harder water but bigger fish from what I've heard.

More importantly though, I've finally got both rod and reel ready for me to finally go Barbel fishing. I can't wait to give it a spin.
 
Last edited:

John Allan

Active Member
Just had a quick check of their rules: https://anglianwaterparks.co.uk/sites/default/files/2020-09/AW Fishing Rules 2020 - published_2.pdf
I was worried I was doing something wrong so had a check. Seems no mention of the nets or drogues. A bit odd concerning the nets, as you say cross contamination is a risk.
I'm hoping to go for a final trip until next winter on Monday, I'll ask and let you know the latest.
I remember a couple of years ago a Polish angler being most irate after being told he could not use his own drogue- he had bought it from the lodge just ten minutes earlier and would have appreciated being told the rule before he paid his money! I know the rule is not printed on the tickets, and I used my own drogue in the past.
 

Tim Marks

Senior Member & Supporter
Thanks, the pointy end it is.

I'm hoping to go this monday and will try to put this into practice. Sadly the fox rage drogue seems to one of the few with only the one rope. I don't mind if the boat does not drift in a straight line, just want something more consistent than I was getting. Starting at the same point, I was ending up in totally different locations.
However the weather being similar on Monday (event the same westerly winds) to my last trip and with a consitent weather pattern (no sudden pressure changes), I'm hoping the same sharp drop offs will be as productive as last time.

I was mainly using 25g and 30g lure heads and seemed to work well. I've got a couple of hefty 40g heads if there is a need. At least I could feel enough to discern the bottom clearly and not having to go by the line going slack, which I noticed is unreliable in higher winds as the boat is moving too fast. Before they re-open in September, I'll likely invest in a second drogue. After some practice, I intend on moving from Rutland to Gratham. The latter being a harder water but bigger fish from what I've heard.

More importantly though, I've finally got both rod and reel ready for me to finally go Barbel fishing. I can't wait to give it a spin.
If you attach a drogue to the ‘pointy end’ then a one rope version is simpler !

If (not at Grafham!) you have an anchor rope long enough to actually reach the bottom in deep water, then it sometime pays to anchor and cast and retrieve, rather than jig from a drifting boat. The Grafham ropes are short to stop you hooking underwater infrastructure.

Grafham can be really hard Z fishing - but there are also a few big pike and plenty of decent perch. Rutland has loads of zander and they are growing fast.

PS just seen the forecast for Monday and it sounds perfect …….
 
Top