Barbed hooks versus barbless hooks – which one is better for carp fishing


This is a subject which has been debated for many years and both barbed and barbless hooks certainly have their place in modern carp fishing. I believe that on the majority of waters and in the majority of angling situations, barbless hooks are better for the carp. Most fisheries these days have a rule governing the type of hooks that are allowed, I would say that the majority of waters have a barbless only rule, but some still rule in favour of barbed hooks – which is correct ?

There are several factors involved in why these rules are made, some of which are fact and some of which are speculative. Continue reading “Barbed hooks versus barbless hooks – which one is better for carp fishing”

CV Safety rig, the best way to make a leadcore helicopter rig

Preamble,  I originally wrote this for Spiegel magazine last year and it was archieved in the articles section, however looking at my hits I can see that no one was able to find it so I thought I would recreate here as a post so that people can find it.

Introduction – CV Safety Rig
Please note I am not the originator of this rig, I am merely someone who cares about fish safety and wants to get the knowledge out to people that there are safer ways to fish leadcore helicopter rigs. On some of the lakes I fish I have seen some horrible contraptions all under the banner of helicopter rigs.
There are some disadvantages to this rig. Unlike the original CV safety rig, which used a piece of metal called “the bit” which was free to rotate around the lead core, and allow the hook link to spin ( hence the name helicopter rig), this is impossible with this setup. I have not, however, had tangle issues so far so I am not sure if it is worth investigating incorporating a piece of wire into this setup. I have found a source of the original “CV Bits” ( called rather helpfully – the bit ) from Harefield tackle the originator of the “CV” or Colne Valley brand. Check back here for a follow-up article on a rig using “the bit” and recreating a bit of history 🙂
Continue reading “CV Safety rig, the best way to make a leadcore helicopter rig”

Carp Rigs, How complex do you need to go ?

Every time I pick up a magazine it seems that screaming from the front cover are normally the words “NEW RIG” or “TIE THE WONDER RIG – We show you how” and yet fish still continue to get caught on simple easy to tie rigs. In a previous article I pondered some simple “beginners rigs” and I think that perhaps I misnamed them as beginners carp rigs. They are nothing of the sort. They are simple rigs granted, and good for the beginner but a hell of a lot of fish also get caught on them by more advanced anglers.

Take the rig above for example, it is a simple SSC curved shank hook tied to a small length of coated braid. This rig has accounted for huge numbers of fish both for myself and for many other anglers yet you very rarely see it in the magazines. Why you might ask ? well the cynic in me would argue that it does not seem “sexy” enough and certainly will not sell much in the way of advanced end componentry.  The other reason ( and I suspect the real reason) is that you can only show rigs like the one above so many times before they stop being “new”.
Continue reading “Carp Rigs, How complex do you need to go ?”

Attaching your hook bait to a Chod rig

For while a while the only way to attach your bait to a chod was to use the time honored tradition of tying it on with bait floss, however times have changes and as I posted here solar have got a really nifty way of attaching baits to rigs and not just for these kinds of rigs.

So with that in mind, as I hate tying on baits lets explore the different kinds of ways that we can attach baits to chod rigs.

Tying them on
Continue reading “Attaching your hook bait to a Chod rig”

Tying the Chod rig using a Domhoff knot

The Chod Rig, where do we start ? At 1st glance it seems to be against all known rig principals. The hook link is super short and can be very stiff ( in the original format), there is a popup fished straight off the bottom, how can a fish be fooled by it ?

Well they are, and in large numbers. If you fish lakes with silt issues, with debris on the bottom ( often know as chod hence the name of this rig) that will get tangled in a normal rig… then this is the setup for you !

Effectively it is a standard helicopter rig with a very short hook link and a pop-up. It is worth pointing out that the rig has to be fished with a popup if the anti “chod” capabilities are to be realised else with a bottom bait the bait may lie in the detritus that you are trying to avoid.  The anti silt capabilities are also helped by virtue of the helicopter rig in that you can fish the rig as far from the lead as you desire and if you add on a Solar bag clip with an in-line lead you can even fish a bag of freebies close by.

Another use for the rig, and certainly the one I have put it to most use, is that of a “roving rig” ie a rig that you want to cast out to showing fish, or one that you want to regularly move about in open water when you have little idea what the bottom composition is. If you cast in a rig using a lead clip with a short hook link and you end up casting into 2ft of silt then you are unlikely to catch. With a “chod rig” you know that the rig is working as designed no matter what the bottom is. This was a tactic that I put to good use in France last year and my “roving rod” was set up with a chod rig and single Ccmoore strawberry pop-up. This rig with no freebies and just by moving it every few hours ( or when ever I remembered to be honest) picked up 1-2 bonus fish per day. Anyway onto the rig… Continue reading “Tying the Chod rig using a Domhoff knot”

Beginners rigs – Where to start if you are beginning carp fishing

Please note, this article was originally created as a PDF, I have posted it here as convenience and to make it more web friendly

All of us at one stage started somewhere in our carp fishing lives, and I think that it is sometimes easy to forget that there are beginners coming to the sport all of the time. Recently we have seen many people starting Carp fishing who have not had an apprenticeship from catching skimmers as a child under a father’s watchful eye to later, migrating to carp or another specimen species.

This leads beginners to  wonder “ where do I start ?” and often they start by pouring through the magazines for the latest wizz bang rig that uses £8 of swivels and tubing and then they end up blanking. They blank not through lack of enthusiasm but because they didn’t have the confidence to realize that simple is most likely better. Some of the rigs you see in the magazines have been designed for really specialized applications that 99% of us will never see. The cynic in me also suspects that they are to sell magazines and tackle :).

Carp fishing is all about confidence, confidence in your bait, tackle and rigs, in this article I want to cover some really basic rigs that I wish that I had known when I started carping some 24 years ago ( though with a 10 year break). A lot of what you will see here might have been covered by other anglers but I want to boil the rigs down to the very essence of what they need to be. Once you have gotten experience with these rigs feel free to move onto other more complicated rigs as if you have the basics right then you can’t go too far wrong. Continue reading “Beginners rigs – Where to start if you are beginning carp fishing”

Flurocarbon rigs – the ultimate in simplicity

Fluorocarbon, when it was first released to the angling community several years ago it suffered from many issues namely that it was brittle and super stiff. The brittleness was resolved but the stiffness remained. Recently Fox released their new product, Illusion soft fluorocarbon and i am pleased to say that stiffness in fluorocarbon hook links is a thing of the past. The hook link is softer and more supple and like all fluorocarbons is practically invisible in water as it is a refractive index close to that of water. Some anglers mistakenly fish with red coloured lines believing that as red is the first colour to disappear the deeper you go that their red lines are therefore “invisible”, the anglers who know a thing or two use fluorocarbon as it truly is invisible.

Continue reading “Flurocarbon rigs – the ultimate in simplicity”

Using anti tangle tubing – for those places that lead core is banned

I have posted several times on my love of leadcore and have even written an article about it that was published in “De Spigel” magazine, a local Dutch Carp fishing publication. So you all know that I love leadcore and have been using it for that last few years.  My love of leadcore is tempered by the plain fact that it can be so dangerous if used in the wrong hands (see an upcoming article on the safe use of leadcore) and due to this some lake owners have banned it out right. Whilst I might not agree with the bans I will always respect the rules and where it is banned I will use of of two solutions, either plastic leaders or tubing. For a long time I always used the plastic leaders as they ape lead core in almost every way but recently I was tempted to try going back to tubing. I also like to use lead clips, they are a wonderful invention and they really come into their own when distance is not the primary issue bit getting rid of the lead is. If you are fishing a weedy swim the lead clip will allow you to loose the lead should the fish embed its self into a weed bed. Also should you loose the fish the lead clip will alow the lead to be discharged ensuring that the carp is not trailing a heavy lead as well as the leader.

As Fox has just released a new range of tubing in several different colours I though I would give it a go and see how it can be incorporated into my fishing.
Continue reading “Using anti tangle tubing – for those places that lead core is banned”

In Praise of – Solar Spikers

Do you love to fish D-Rigs but hate tying lasso knots in floss ? Do you have issues in melting the floss with a lighter when it is dark and windy ? do you just think that there is a “better way” tm ? well for those of you who think that there should be, there is the Solar Spiker. In effect they are a small device that you can incorporate into any “D” style rig to allow quick and easy baiting no matter what the conditions are. They are so ingenious I am surprised that no one has copied them as they are really quite simple. Continue reading “In Praise of – Solar Spikers”

Loop Knots, which is better ?

We use a lot of knots in fishing and particularly in carp fishing. One of the most often used knots is that used to create a loop. Whether it is to create a loop on the hair or in your mainline to create a loop for your leadcore we tie a lot of loops. In recent conversation with anglers I realised that many people use the overhand loop knot to create their loops, something that I also used to do. A few years ago I was shown the figure of 8 loop knot and I have found it to be far stronger and so it amazes me that some people still use the overhand loop.

In the words of Harry Hill,

“I like over hand loop knots, I like figure of 8 knots, but which is better ? There is only one way to find out….. Fight !”

I have therefore decided to run a fair and independent test to compare the 2 knots and finally put to bed the notion that the overhand loop knot has any use as a load bearing knot.

First lets look at the knots themselves and how they are tied

Figure of 8 loop

first make a loop ( note that I am using fluorescent string to make it easier to see what I am doing)
Continue reading “Loop Knots, which is better ?”