The transient storage model is a popular tool for modelling solute transport along rivers. Its use requires values for the velocity and shear flow dispersion coefficient in the main channel of the river together with two exchange rates between the main channel and transient storage zones, which surround the main channel. Currently, there is insufficient knowledge to enable these parameters to be predicted from the type of hydraulic variables that may typically be available. Hence, recourse is made to tracer experiments, which provide temporal solute concentration profiles that can be used to estimate the parameters by optimizing model output to observations. The paper explores the sensitivity of such parameters to the spatial and temporal resolutions used in the optimization of the model. Data from 25 tracer experiments covering a river flow rate range of 300–2250 L/s in a single reach of the river Brock in north-west England were used. The shear flow dispersion coefficient was found to be the most sensitive parameter; the velocity was found to be the least sensitive parameter. When averaged over all the experiments, mean percentage differences in parameter values between a coarse resolution case and a fine resolution case were of the order of 2% for the velocity, 70% for the shear flow dispersion coefficient and 30% and 20% for the two exchange rates. Since the shear flow dispersion coefficient was found to be small, both in numerical terms and in comparison with an estimate of the total dispersion in the reach, it is suggested that it may be viable to omit the shear flow dispersion term from the model.