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 in Part 2, I covered the next section including alarms, bite indicators and how/why I fish both slack and tight lines. The 3rd part of the series of blogs will cover essential end tackle that you need to make your trip a successful one.
Lets first have a look at the last few feet of your line, or as I would refer to as “the business end”
It is essential for the last couple of feet of your main line to be pinned tight to the contours of the lake bed. One of the obvious tactics is the use of lead core or lead impregnated leaders, but due to fish welfare and the rules brought in by most responsible lake owners, the use of these are strictly banned, to which I am in full agreement.
Rig setup using tubing and safety clips and rubber
I would encourage the use of tubing every time to fulfil the requirement of pinning down your end line. The tubing not only follows the lake bed contours but also reduces the damage caused to fish scales when retrieving a fish. All that is needed is between 12 to 18 inches of tubing for it to be effective. Not only is the tubing safer it also reduces tangles when casting. The tubing that I now use I purchase from thefishingbag.com in 0.75mm diameter which I find adequate for easily threading up to 18lb line.
The next decision to make is that of safety clips and lead ejection.
Again we enter a minefield of products and different concepts that are available to the carp angler. All have a place in carp fishing but they can easily be abused to create “death rigs”. The most important part in using these products are using them safely, Always ensure that the lead can be ejected with very little pressure when a fish runs into weed etc.
A popular rig being used at the moment is the Chod rig, which in simple terms is the helicopter rig that I used to use 30 years ago. The only problem with the Chod is that the lead is fixed to the main line and you have to use a bead or rubber stop to keep the hook link in place during casting. This can be lethal to the carp as the bead or stop can jam especially if the main line picks up silk weed or heavy silt. Also if for some reason a fish runs through snags the main line can easily get tangled in the snags, making it impossible for the hook link to break free from the main line if a breakage occurs further up the line. This rig has been banned on a number of waters. In fact this was one of the 1st bans that I put in place on my lake when I took it over 3 years ago after finding a dead carp tethered by a Chod rig.
Quick Change Swivels
I shall now move onto hook links and attachments.
I use the quick change swivels for all my fishing, for the simple reason I do like to have a replacement hook link ready to be cast out following a fish capture or for a recast. The hook links that I use all have the figure of eight knot to enable the removal of the used hook link to be replaced by the new hook link, simply and quickly.
Quick change swivel
Again there are numerous products on the market. Braids, braids covered in a plastic type skins, some stiff, some subtle, different colours, textures, fluorocarbons and nylon monofilament lines. All serve a purpose in different fishing situations but at the end of the day, I would suggest to select 2 or 3 different ones to take down to the lake. The times that I have seen anglers with over 10 different hook-link materials in their tackle box and they only ever use one sort.
Korda N Trap and Kryston Merlin
I use three, 15lb Kryston Merlin, 20lb Seaguar fluorocarbon and 15lb Korda N Trap.
The Merlin is a braided material and is one that I have used since Kryston brought it out around 30 years ago. It is very subtle and easy to use and is perfect for my ultimate pop up rig presentation along with lots of other rig combinations. For all my other work, which includes blow-back rigs I use the N-Trap. The N Trap is a semi-stiff coated braid with the coating easy to peel off for making combi-type rigs.
The Seaguar fluoro I incorporate in a combi-rig or on its own as a stiff rig presentation.
All 3 lines have caught me hundreds of carp over the years.
Long shank hooks fro the blow back and SP310 for all other work
Again these come in all shapes and sizes, as well as barbed, micro-barbed, barbless, down eyed, straight eyed, spade end, there are hundreds of combinations.
Again I have settled on 2 types of hook.
For my blowback style set ups I use long-shank hooks from size 4 to size 8. There are a few makes on the market but the ones that I tend to use are the Korda Hybrid Long shank X or Fox Armo long shanks.
For all other rigs I use the Smart Point SP310 in size 4 or size 6, which are a replacement for the Ashima C310. The C310 was first introduced to me by Shaun Harrison when we fished the Mangrove a few years ago. For some reason they stopped producing this hook with the duplicate replacement being the SP310. I have not looked back since, catching lots of carp on them to over 50lb.
These are the basic materials that I use for my “business end tackle”. I have made a few videos which are located in the technical video section of Angling Lines and also on my blog pages on the Quality Baits site.
Tight Lines, Paul Cooper