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An Indian Summer of Coarse Fishing for me?

I'm getting ready for some perch fishing again, after what's been a very long break and to be honest, this old geezer is at a loss when it comes to knowing what tackle to get.
For the last thirty years, we've lived on the coast and all I've done is sea fishing and then more sea fishing.
Today, I bought a half price fishing rod from a well known outdoor/camping shop that's started selling fishing tackle. They had quite a lot of rods on offer and I really didn't have a clue as to what to get but  for better or worse, I ended up with what was described as a two piece nine foot bomb rod by Avanti priced at 11.99p and while I know the rod I've bought is a cheapo, I'm hoping that it will do the job.
My next purchase will probably be a light spinning rod. I want something to use with those modern light rubber lures that so many of you fish with these days. I've had look on the internet and I'm absolutely baffled by the amount of choice there is. Prices varied from four and five hundred quid do to the low twenties and I could do with a bit of advice. The height of  the rods seemed to start at five foot six but I've never spun with anything as short as that.
I'm currently waiting for April before I buy a rod licence, so I'm not in any rush to purchase just yet. I have a weeks holiday booked in The Lake District in July and sometime this year, we're hoping to move house, when I hope to be able to do quite a lot of perch fishing on canals. All advice will be much appreciated.

For me there is a certain pleasure obtained from watching a waggler float above a worm on a size 12 hook erratically bobbing upon a river riffle with the almost absolute ache of anticipation of decent Perch taking that bait   ....   ....   ....   I love it.  

I like to go drop shotting for perch on the canal's near me,great method for perch and other coarse fish species ... I can best describe it as micro lure fishing with the lure set at the desired height off the bottom by a weight that simply clips onto the fluro leader and is fully adjustable so the lure can be set to fish in the layer of water the perch are feeding in ... The idea is to keep the weight on the bottom whilst you the angler puts movement into the lure by gentle twitches of the rod ... Works from the far bank to the tow path,around any kind of structure,between boats and such ... Just keep the retrieve ultra slow to static and watch the rod tip as the lure does it's stuff

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