ecrets are exactly that. Well, they were. You see, this new series is all about secrets. The type of thing that once discovered, you endeavour to keep to yourself for as long as possible. It might be the smallest thing in the world, but sometimes those edges are all it takes to transform a season.
I’m not professing to be the originator of anything you see in this series. Far from it! I’m merely lifting the lid on a box of tricks that is the accumulation of fishing hundreds of venues with hundreds of different anglers. They’re the result of listening, watching and learning. Oh, and catching a few, too!
This month's secret...
For my opening gambit, I’m going to look at an elasticated lead set-up that when assembled correctly appears to be the difference between getting a bite or not on some tricky venues.
There are a few of these sorts of ideas kicking around; The Recoil Rig, The Hermit Rig, The Hopper Rig. I’ll cover some of these in future issues, but for now it’s the elasticated lead clip I’m going to look at.
I can remember sitting on Richmond Lake up in Lincolnshire once upon a time and two guys were absolutely slaying the fish on singles chucked to the middle. At the time that was all I did and I’d say I was fairly good at it, but despite this, I couldn’t get a bite. I casually went for a walk around and just happened to appear in their swim just as they were netting another fish. I saw all I needed to know exactly what they were doing that I wasn’t. The lead was still on the lead clip, only the lead clip was still bouncing around on the line in a running fashion. Inside the lead clip was a swivel a size too small that had a short length of pole elastic tied to it. I knew exactly why.
A few years before, I was shown an in-line set-up that was basically the same thing. It was popularised by Steve Renyard (remember him?) and could be achieved by trapping the elastic between the lead and tail rubber and tying it to a running swivel. When you pick the rig up, the elastic pulls back and drives the hook home quicker than if the elastic weren’t there. It’s still 100% safe and really easy to put together.
Following my discovery at Richmond, I used elasticated set-ups to great effect there and further afield.
In more recent history, on some of the RH Fisheries venues the guys really struggle through the colder months if they’re not using this arrangement. It’s funny watching the better anglers in a blind panic trying to hide their set-up when they’ve got a fish in the net. I photographed a carp for a guy at Acton Bottom Lake this year and he was so flustered trying to hide his secret. Once I told him I had no intention of copying him or fishing the lake he calmed down a bit, but it was still interesting to see how secretive he and others have been about this particular set-up.
How I set it up
I tie with Power Gum now rather than pole elastic, purely because the colour is a bit nicer and the tension that can be achieved in such a short length is more like what I’ve found most productive.
I use a size 10 swivel inside an Avid Zig Clip, and I use the tag on the back of the Zig Clip to hold the Power Gum neatly out of the way. This makes it a lot easier to re-thread the Power Gum after a fish, as it can be longer than you need it in the first place.
As I mentioned earlier, there are a few set-ups that pull back and this idea of trapping elastic or power gum under the tail rubber extends itself to use with an in-line lead. On an Avid Carp Bag Lead it’s a superb little set-up and one a few friends of mine have been enjoying some great winter success on.
How often do I use it? Well, that would be telling, wouldn’t it? It’s supposed to be a secret you know!