How safe is the use of backleads. Can I use them in every event? Definitely not!
The use of backleads have been about for a long time now. It would be during my time on the Fox Pool that I first used backleads to pin down my main line to the lake bed. I didn’t put too much thought to it really. I never felt confident unless I was backleading. The only time that I wouldn’t use them was when floater fishing with dog biscuits. Obviously my attitude has changed drastically since this period of my carp fishing. These days I very rarely use back leads, and if I do, I use the captive type. Why?
What is a Backlead?
A backlead is usually a small weight between a quarter and one and half ounces in weight that have some form of plastic or wire type attachment for placing on and removing from the main line following a cast.
The back lead is then lowered into the water so as the line sinks slowly to the lake bed creating a fairly tight line from the backlead to the rig set up.
Backleading appears to be the perfect set up but there are many flaws.
A lot depends on the lake bed itself. The only time that I would now use a backlead is in the event of fishing reasonably close from the swim and the lake bed is more or less perfectly flat. Any changes in the lake bed such as humps or drop offs, in other words an uneven lake bed, then I would disregard backleading altogether.
Weed is another major problem. Line backleaded on top of or through weed again presents a problem due to poor presentation and also for fish welfare.
The trouble with backleading is that when you get a run, you have 2 focal points for the line to tighten too. The first is the backlead itself, and the second is rig set up where your main weight is. It is not until the backlead has ridden the main line down to your rig that you have full control of the fish which obviously can cause a load of problems with fish kiting and being out of control.
Flying backleads are part of the rig set up, being threaded on the main line during the initial set up. The idea of this is that during a cast the small barrel shaped lead slides up the line, pinning down the main line midway between the bank and the hook bait. I have never used this set up but I can envisage problems with kiting fish and also reducing and misaligning a cast. A lot of anglers use them but I choose to leave this one alone.
Where possible this is my favourite set up. I believe that this is by far the best way to backlead, both safely and efficiently as long as the lake bed is level enough to do so.
The captive backlead has one end fixed to the bank with a length of cord attached to the backlead which is clipped onto the main line and lowered into the marginal water. Again this is only efficient if the marginal depths are sufficiently deep for the line to follow the contours of the lake bed to the hook bait without rising or falling on features.
So… that is backleading. These days, due to uneven lake beds, weed and better types of indicator set ups, I tend to fish straight lines direct to my rig set up, either tight or semi-tight lines. Air pressure and the weight of the line usually sinks the last few yards of line onto the lake bed. My confidence in catching these days is gained through good quality baits and a sensible rig set up. I do not feel disadvantaged by having line passing through the water to my rig as long as I am presenting a good quality food source for my target fish.