What is Freelining?

Freelining is along the same lines as fly fishing you use a rod and a centre pin reel, but with this method you will have a hook on the end of the line and some form of bait on it.

You then cast it out and allow the bait to float down the river watching for a fish to rise and take it.

The method is not as popular today as it was twenty or thirty years ago. Most people are who are starting fishing are doing float or lure. What this means is if they want to try free lining they would have to buy a center pin reel, although you could use a fixed spool reel to do it, you run the risk of getting your line all tangled if you try to reel in the wrong direction.

This is one of the most natural ways of presenting the bait to the fish. To get it right requires a lot of practice, having said that you can still go down to the river on a summer day pop a worm, grub, maggot, castor or even a piece of bread on a hook. Cast it out into the water and catch a fish.

Freelining – The Presentation

The method of presentation when freelining depends on the species of fish you are trying for and the bait you are using. For example if you are trying to catch perch you may be using anything from a maggot – which will float on the surface and draw the fish up to take it, to a nice big lobworm – which will drop below the surface and tumble along the bottom.

Freelining for Chub using a SlugWhereas if you are trying for Chub you might try a slug which any self respecting Chub will gobble down without thinking twice.

As you can see the bait may change but generally the method will not change. Sometimes it may be necessary to add some form of weight to allow you to get greater distance on your cast.

Adding weight when Freelining can be achieved through the use of something like a float or a piece of cork, you can even use some ground-bait forming a ball on the line that will dissolve in the water, this will also help to draw the fish out because it will drift down stream along with the bait.

The tackle used for Freelining maybe simple but it can be expensive – a top of the line center pin reel can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. But wait don’t panic you can do it for a lot cheaper. Have a look at the freelining tackle page for some advice on what to get to get going.