French Carping from the Start – Part 2

Part 1Part 3

Angling Lines have asked me to put together an itinerary of the tackle that I use for my carp fishing in France, and to talk about tackle in general for the angler just setting off for his or her first French carp fishing adventure.

In part 1 I covered the most essential parts of a carp angler’s itinerary; rods, reels and line. Following on from that, I will cover the next section which will include alarms, bite indicators and how/why I fish both slack and tight lines.

Sapphire Lake carp caught on tight lines with additional weight on the bobbins

Bite Alarms

Delkim Carp Bite Alarm

There are numerous bite alarms on the market today working with either roller sensors or vibration sensors and come with all manors of settings and sounds, we have all used them but I have

returned to basics and now use one of the simplest and easy to use alarms on the market, the Gardner ATTS alarms. The unit is completely water proof and there are no switches or buttons on the indicator, just a roller sensor that works on a magnetic breaker system that sends a signal to a receiver. There is no speaker on the alarm, nothing can go wrong, and this is simply a transmitter.

Fox Carp Bite Alarm

The ATTX receiver again is simple to use with volume control, tone settings and also has a vibrate setting on the unit. The receiving range is good and it makes any bite indication on your alarms personal so that nobody else on the lake is disturbed by a run.

I always carry 2 spare alarms with me just in case I do have a break down. On a couple of occasions, I have been in France with my Delkims, and 2 out of 4 have broken down due to wet humid conditions. Some cheap inexpensive alarms from Lidl have saved the day that cost about £9 each, so you can see that you do not have to have the most expensive and up to date indicators on the market to catch carp, but always carry a spare with you.

Bite indicators

Again, this is a mine field, as there are so many indicators on the market and it all boils down to personal choice. I have used all sorts of indicators and still keep a small collection which cover different situations. I presently use the Korda Stow indicators which I find are very versatile, and I can use them for fishing both slack and tight lines, with back leads or not and they pack away easily in my ATTX receiver case.

Korda Stow indicators with ATTX alarms.

Korda Stow indicators with ATTX alarms. The rods are high with tight lines due to marginal weed

I must admit that I Still get out my MCF Rattlers every so often for my slack line fishing as these are without doubt the best indicators for that job. They are difficult to set up, but once set, they keep the line slack and deliver brilliant early indication without spooking the wary old carp. I have had some excellent results with the Rattlers and I know some very good anglers that swear by them, not a popular choice but they can certainly help to put that extra carp on the bank.

MCF rattler indicators and Delkim alarms

My MCF rattlers are excellent for slack line fishing. Here I am using them with Delkims.

The next system is the drop off chain indicators. Again I have a full set of these and they are ideal for some of my distance fishing where I need tight lines and good back drop indication. You can pile on the weight with these indicators making drop backs appear like screaming runs. I visited the Angling Lines water of Sapphire lakes when it first opened back in April 2009. I was testing the water for A/L and only 2 weeks prior, Ron Key had been on the water and told me how finicky some of the carp were. He thought that the carp were picking up the bait and showing no indication at his end of the line. To combat this he had put additional weight on his indication system. I did the same except I put an additional 3 ounces on each indicator to get an immediate indication. I fished tight lines only 34 yards from the bank and landed 50 carp that week, all down to the drop off chain indicators with additional weight on.

Loaded Rattler Carp Indicators

Sapphire Lake!  I put an additional 3 ounces on each indicator to get an immediate indication

The last types of indicators are the swingers and springers. These are not so popular now but still work and allow you to fish tight or slacker lines as you require. Jim Kelly uses nothing else and he still catches well although the indicators he has are probably the oldest pieces of tackle in his itinerary.

Rod Supports

Well now that I have confused you with indicators I will move onto Rod pods and Buzzer bar systems. Again there are lots of examples of rod pods on the market today. I purchased a Stainless steel Solar Globe Trotter pod some years ago; it is heavy, solid and expensive. It isn’t broke so it won’t get replaced, not just yet.

View from the Bivvy on a French Carp Lake

Swim 2 on Blue Lake. A rod pod is always necessary for this swim

Buzzer bars are very much standard, either in stainless steel, plastic, carbon fibre or other metal, but most have the same screw thread patterns and fit all. I have 2, 3 and 4 indicator bar systems in stainless steel, which covers me for all waters for different rules.


Swim 3 on Margot. A rod pod is essential, this one with the 4 bar system.

As a general rule if I am fishing 2 or 3 rods I prefer to use bank sticks rather than pods but unfortunately this is not always possible on some waters due to the ground conditions, hard core,  rock or too the ground is too soft.

When I fish on staging or boards I use the Matrix Stage Stands. Each Stage Stand comes with an inner sleeve which means that the stand can be used with almost any bank stick. All that is needed is 1 screw per stand to fix it to the staging, simple but effective.

The Tackle trade has a vast variety of alarms, pods and indicators, but once again don’t break the bank. The likes of Shaun Harrison, Ron Key and lots of old and experienced anglers, including myself, have made do with cheap alternatives before angling technology advanced and still caught carp.

Tight Lines, Paul Cooper

Part 3



3 thoughts on “French Carping from the Start – Part 2

  1. […] Part 2 – […]

  2. […] In The 1st Blog I covered the most essential parts of a carp angler’s itinerary, Rods, reels and line. Following on from that, I will cover the next section which will cover alarms, bite indicators, and how I fish both slack and tight lines and why. Click here to read the full blog …………. […]

  3. […] Part 2 – […]

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