Backleads are an item of tackle I have rarely used, mainly because on the gravel pits I fish I find they are not appropriate due to the amount of weed present most of the time. In this case I believe the use of backleads would lose me fish.
So what are the types of Backleads and how and when would you use them? I found this article on the ‘Carp Fishing Ireland’ Forum where I felt the types and usage was well set out by the author Tom Hillgrove.
Tom wrote: …Someone asked me about using backleads on the forum so I thought I would do an article on when and where to use them. Backleads can be a very useful piece of kit if used in the correct situation. They are basically a second lead that you have on your line to make sure that it lies on the lake bed. There are 3 main types of backleads on the market, Normal backleads, Captive backleads and Flying backleads. The type of backlead you use on some waters can kill or improve your catch rate, each type has a completely different effect on your line lying on the bottom.
1) Normal backleads are clipped onto the line after you cast out and then they slide down the line. The one major advantage of this type of backlead is that you can hold your rod high in the air as the lead slides down the line and you can then place it where you want. When you do get a fish the backlead then slides down towards your main lead as you play the fish.
2) Captive backleads are also clipped onto the line after you cast out but they are made to detach them selves from your main line when you get a run. They have a bit of cord tied onto them so that you can retrieve the lead afterwards.
3) Flying backleads are put onto the line above your tubing so that when you cast out they slide back up the line and land a few feet back from your main lead. I have always found that these types of backleads work best with slack lines.
When to use a Backlead:
The main reason I use backleads is to keep my lines away from all the birds on the Lough, if I didn’t use one my lines would constantly be picked up by the swans feet as they pass over my lines, on some lakes you use them to keep your main line pinned down so that if a fish passes your line they will not get spooked out of the area.
The fig 1 shows how your line would go to the main lead without the use of a backlead. The points that are marked A and B would be the spots where if fish did pass it they would cross your line and might get spooked out of the area.
The fig 2 shows the same situation but this time a backlead is added to the mix. Notice how the line is kept close to the lakebed at spot A but not that well at spot B, any fish passing B could still get spooked by your line.
The fig 3 shows the same lake bed but this time the bait is positioned in a different spot. Notice how most of the line is on the bottom so if a fish does pass it they have a much better chance of not getting spooked. This set up would be the best way to fish this spot.So you can see from those images how important it is to use backleads in some situations but also how they can have no or little effect if not used correctly. You should have a good understanding of what the lake bed is like in your swim and then apply a backlead if you feel it is necessary..)
There are number of companies out there who supply these items, Fox for example has a comprehensive range as to Gardner and Nash. These items of tackle used in the right circulstances can catch you more fish, but in the wrong place can have the opposite effect. Understanding what they are and when to use them is an important part of Carp fishing.
When we shot the Angling Lines DVD at Remy, Shaun Harrison used the Fox captive backleads to great effect and landed a lot of fish. On the shallow margined silty lake his wise choice of their usage certainly contributed to his success.