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”

The evolution of a rig – the big pig line aligner rig

Let me begin this article by stating, for the record, that there is no original thought in this rig. This is not to denigrate the article or my thinking in the 1st line but there is very little “original thinking” in 99% of carp rigs today. Almost all carp rigs are just an evolution on someone else’s ideas or are designed to encourage people to buy more rig components. The main exceptions to this in recent years ( after the hair rig) have been the Drig, the Chod rig the combi rig ( and coated braid ) and the now ( thankfully) banned “bent hook” rig. There have possibly been more but these are the ones that I can think of and the ones that I use or have used on occasion.

This rig is the product of several years of thinking and would not have been possible with out ” a little help from my friends”. To explain, earlier in 2009 I was a little annoyed that I couldn’t get a good hook hold which was strange as when I 1st started to use long shanked hooks that is all I got but over time I managed to migrate to short hairs and stiff flurocarbon and the hook holds got poorer and poorer. Then a chance discussion with a mate ( who is sponsored) and an impromptu rig clinic on the bank and I was set straight. later in the year whilst on a fishing holiday I had the chance to have a good look at a mates rigs and ( with his permission) incorporate a good chunk of what he was doing into my rig design.  Not only did catch rates improve but also losses decreased which was crucial at the time due to the hard fighting nature of the fishing the lake.
Continue reading “The evolution of a rig – the big pig line aligner rig”

Review – Fox Horizon SFD rods

Well some of you may know that I was unhappy with my rods, don’t get me wrong they were fine rods but 2 3/4 lb tc middle / tip action rods were not actually cutting it where I was fishing. I have lightweight rods in my stalking kit so I decided that to go with my new Fox 12k reels ( well not so new now) what better than a set of Fox rods. I had the advantage of a “try before you buy” when I met up with Mark for a quick session earlier in the year and I was very impressed. So armed with this knowledge I bought myself a 3 some of rods off of the Internet.

When the rods arrived it was like Xmas and I couldn’t wait to get on the bank with them, I popped out to Bosbaan for a quick session in August. Well I was noting but impressed. As you can not loose feed in the lake I tend to fish with largish PVA bags or sticks. This used to present an issue to my previous rods as they lacked the backbone to really punch out a 3 Oz lead and bag. Not so with the Fox rods, they load up nice and slow and release all that power exactly where you want them. Some of the casts in the lake are 85-90 yards and with a big bag it is a difficult cast. Sure, anyone can punch a single hook bait out to 150 yards but add a bag and you really sort out the pack. Continue reading “Review – Fox Horizon SFD rods”

Fox Coretex Review

Over the years I have been through the whole range of material to make hook links from. When I started carping on the distant past we used mono and then quickly progressed to black Dacron which as I was fishing a clay pit must have really stood out against the bottom. Strange that in the 20 odd years since I started carp fishing that we have effectively gone back to mono with the surge in the usage of flurocarbon ( for which I myself am guilty). Anyway recently after having issues with other hook link materials from another manufacturer a friend suggested that I try cortex. I dutifully bought a spool from my local tackle shop and had a play.


As you can see it comes on a rather handy spool that is comprised of 2 plastic halves. This has the effect of sandwiching the cortex as it comes off the spool making over runs a thing of the past. On the rear of the spool ( not shown above)  there is a cut out that allows you to see how much of the product remains on the spool, handy to check before a foray to  the tackle shop. Continue reading “Fox Coretex Review”

Fox Stratos FS 12000e Review

Well after my lovely wife bought me 3 Fox Stratos FS1200e’s  I had to just get out there and use them. This review is a little late in coming as I have been busy using them.


The Reels, well 1st thing you notice is that they are super smooth. There is no sense of wobble when you reel in fast with them that is common with other big pit reels. the clutch is smooth as silk and the bait runner is as positive as you could ever wish for. When I was debating what to ask for as a present I was considering the magnesium versions but after seeing Ian “Chilly” Chilcott cranking in a big conger with the graphite versions my mind was made up. Regarding the clutch, a lot of people back wind, I am not one of them and believe that the clutch is there for a reason. In France this year the clutches were tried out to their limits with carp to 39lbs being landed and several times the clutch saved me when a fish made an unexpected turn. On previous reels I had been used to a “grabby” clutch and so had the clutch set far far lighter then I normally would, not so with these reels, it is set dead on as I have that much confidence in it.

The Stratos 12000FSe’s are not only silky smooth but thanks to their graphite bodies they are super light as well. For any of you that doubt the long term durability of graphite in reels I draw you attention to a set of old graphite bait runners which are 18 years young and still going strong and are used today for lure fishing. Casting is a dream with large coils of line looping up the rod with every cast and there is a little rubber “wiper” between the rotor arm and the spool that stops any line causing a nasty tangle should it ever get loose. One thing you have to get used to if you have been a shimano person is that on the fox reels the baitrunner lever “goes the wrong way” ie it is against the reel body when disengaged and popped out when engaged. This seems non logical at 1st but then you realise that it is better to have the lever out of the way when playing fish !

Over all I love these reels, out of the box they will add a huge amount to your normal cast allowing you to explore areas of the lake that were impossible before. The build quality is second to none and they are available at a price that must make other reel manufacturers wince.

Rating : Good solid buy.