Monday, 22 September 2008 20:13

Hooks, rigs, leads, line, rig tube, pva and other carp fishing terminal tackle



Seasonal Changes 2006 - Part 1

With runs drying up, Mr Carp getting harder to find & the winter weather becoming even less inviting, it was time to start thinking, debating, putting a few changes into my coming seasons quest.

I decided upon three areas of my fishing that needed a bit more concentration, modification etc. Terminal Tackle, Location and Bait. I chose these three points as like many other anglers we become lazy, “It worked last time, why change it”, “Everyone else is using this”. It’s so easy to fall into complacency but a few little changes can pay off big time!

I hope from reading this article you can pick up some ideas which may help you put a few extra carp on the bank.

Part One: The End Bits !

Terminal Tackle? Where do I start? We are bombarded by magazines, videos & crammed shelves full of all the latest gadgets & gizmos at the local tackle shop.

Don’t get me wrong I have tried, tied some of these space age rigs & had some great results, but I prefer to keep it simply with a few modifications.

Lets start with hooks, this past year I have switched to using Korda hooks, the wide gape & the long shank X. These hooks are incredibly strong & stay sharp even fishing over gravel, stone etc. The wide gape I have found to be perfect for fishing against weed & snags. They seem to be like a magnet in the carp’s mouth, absolutely brilliant. I have used other brands of hooks with a few problems, opening out on the bend, snapping at the bend etc.

Hook links have become a bit of a fashion accessory to me, manufacturers bring a new one out, I gotta have it !!

I prefer soft hook links, in various lengths, but I’m decreasing them in length.

During a visit to one of my local lakes, I had a quick walk round, visited the four other anglers in situ & got the same response from all of them “Its hard going Marc” not exactly what I wanted to hear!

This got me thinking & after a few searching questions a pattern emerged - they were all using hook links from 6”-9” in length with loads of freebies scattered around.

Rather than just getting my rods & casting to the hot spots I sat there for while, smoked a cigarette, deep in thought. I proceeded to take my rods out of the quiver & cut the long hook links off. I tied one rod with a link around 3” long & mounted a single 14mm boilie. The next rod I tied a link around 2” & mounted one piece of glugged maize & a small piece of yellow foam above it. The third rod I kept to the normal pattern I had been using in the past. All three rods had a small pva bag of chopped offerings attached & cast out to the likely spots.

I was hardly settled into my chair when the maize rod was off, not a monster fish but a carp all the same. I made another pva bag up & cast back out to the same spot (I all ways mark my line whether day or night). I had literally resat back down & poured a coffee out when the maize was off again, two runs in less than thirty minutes of fishing - this time an upper double graced my mat & the attention from the other anglers was growing. The nearest angler kindly did the photographs for me & as I slipped the fish back into the water the single 14mm boilie rod leapt into action, I was in again, another small double laid on the mat.

On returning the fish, the owner of the fishery popped over with two other anglers, all with the same question “What bait you on then mate”? I replied “Two fish on maize, one on boilie” there was a bit of head shaking going on in disbelief from the other anglers as they departed to their swims.

I went on to catch another four carp that day all from the short hook links, not one of the other anglers asked me about my presentation, just about the bait?

As I mentioned earlier I try to keep my hook links simple, eighty percent of the time I use the knotless knot with a small piece of tubing near the bend of the hook & a piece of heat shrink of about ¾”. The heat shrink I like placed opposite the point down the hooks shank & about ½” above the eye with a slight bend towards the point.

I have also been using a micro ring on the hook replacing the tubing - this does increase the weight of the hook towards the point & aids in hooking/turning of the hook when entering the carp’s mouth.

I do use combi-link materials too; however I do prefer to use them when fishing pop-ups.

If I want a stiff rig presentation I use amnesia (fluoro) rather than combi material.

I have had some blinding results from single bait popped up 2” from the lead.

This season all of my rigs incorporate the kwik change links that are available from most fishing tackle suppliers; they simply speed up all the process of swapping rigs & getting fishing again.

Another change I made this season was my lead arrangement, rather than follow all the other anglers with the semi fixed lead I started using running leads, leads with a stop bead 3” up the rig tube & the helicopter rig, all with different sized leads. Yes some rigs do rely on a heavy lead to function properly, but this season saw me use leads only heavy enough to reach the baited area.

My rig tube choice has to be Korda, the sinking version; they make various colours, its always super smooth & supple. Tungsten putty seems to grip to it beautifully too. Above the tubing I will normally place a flying back lead with a stop of about 3ft-4ft on the main line. I find these little weights great for pinning the last few feet of rig down to lake bed.

For the last two seasons I have been loading my reels with the unrivalled X-Line - it sinks like a brick, its fluorocarbon based, casts well & has yet to let me down.

I hope upon reading this you may get some useful tips, ideas to try out yourselves & please remember to keep your rigs safe!!!

By the way I’m not a Korda consultant; I just love & have 100% faith in their tackle.

Next time I’m going to have a natter about the bait changes I made during the season 2006.

Tight lines Marc

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