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22 May 2017
by CARPology
25 of the best inventions in carp fishing
All 25 are bloody brilliant, but there can only be one winner...

25 Bait boats

It’s with thanks to Pete Regan and his invention in 1978 that thousands of remote controlled boats have spawned, with the latest creation to go on-sale costing a cool £5,000 and comes complete with an underwater camera so you can suss out the area before you drop. The bait boat’s impact was huge: it overhauled even the hardest of lakes thanks to its pinpoint precision.

24 The pram hood style bivvy

Although bivvies such as Nashy’s Titan and Fox’s Evolution are amazing shelters, it was Chris Manifold’s invention that created a million copies. The original Aqua Products Armadillo has now been copied by every tackle manufacturer the world over and its design changed the way we stayed on the bank.

23 The Indulgence Bedchair

It was Cliff Fox in 1982 who brought us adjustable legs and ratchet height settings, but it was Kevin Nash and his going-totally-against-the-norm 2004 launched Indulgence Bedchair that changed the way we slept on the bank. Since then, every bedchair producer has copied it – but never eclipsed it.

22 Dissolving Foam

It’s the by-product that literally every big named angler has attached to their hook. When Solar Tackle launched this in the late 90’s, it changed everything. It was such a simple product but one that meant you could cast out in the knowledge your rig was sitting pretty above anything else on the lakebed.

21 Carp Cradle Unhooking Mat

Unhooking mats have been around since the late 80’s, but it was Mark Gardner’s (MD of Carp-Tech) creation that changed fish care forever. When he launched his Carp Cradle in 2002, it received critical-acclaim from the likes of Jim Shelley and Tim Paisley and is now commonplace on virtually all fisheries.

20 Retainer Slings

The brainchild of tackle designer extraordinaire, Jon ‘Shoes’ Jones. Launched under VentureCarp, Jon’s employer at the time, it meant for the first time you could retain your catch whilst getting the camera gear etc. ready without the need for sacking. It also doubled up as a weigh sling.

19 The Dynamite Stick

Along with bloodworm produce and Chod Rigs, the Dynamite Stick has probably received more column inches than any other method. When Nick Helleur revealed this tactic that allowed you to (a) hide your hooklink (b) have attraction around your hookbait and (c) never have another tangle again, we all went mental for it.

18 The Spomb

The humble spod dates right back to the 80’s and although there have been hundreds of inventive designs over the years, it’s the Spomb that’s had the biggest impact in recent years. It casts better than a regular spod. It retrieves better too. And it doesn’t give off any ‘spod spill’ either, hence why it sold over a hundred thousand in its first year.

17 The Chod Rig

Frank Warwick created it, Nigel Sharp developed it and every magazine the world over ran features on how brilliant it is. It’s a rig that has made the marker float redundant, become the biggest selling ready-tied rig and received more views on YouTube than any other rig set-up. It’s changed the way we fish in weed. Fact.

16 The Lead Clip System

When Kevin Nash developed a small plastic clip that had only previously been used for feeder fishing into a fish-friendly, semi-fixed lead set-up, not even he could have anticipated how it would take the market. The lead clip system also meant you could switch between lead shape and size with total ease, something that until that time wasn’t possible.

The brand new Fortis Vistas

15 Polarised Sunglasses

Ask any successful angler what their top three must-haves are and we’ll lay our stake share of CARPology on it’ll feature a pair of polarised sunnies. The invention of this filter allowed us to see through the water, spotting areas on the lakebed and more importantly, what our quarry was up to.

14 Leadcore

It was Keith Sykes who introduced leadcore to the world of carp fishing in 1978 and since that day it’s gone onto become the biggest selling leader material of all time. It’s a material that’s super abrasion resistant, super heavy and goes perfectly hand-in-hand for the now famous Chod Rig.

13 Trout Pellets

During the early ‘trout pellet’ phenomenon, super hard waters suddenly became, well, easy. Anglers such as Jon Coxhead for example took full advantage of their appeal, even making Yateley’s Car Park Lake look – dare we say it (big gulp) easy. They’re now the country’s most popular background feed.

12 Artificial Hookbaits

2001. That was the year when the masses discovered Enterprise Tackle’s Artificial Sweetcorn – all thanks to Terry Glebioska and his 59lb 7oz new British record. The invention of fake baits allowed us to fish previously un-Hair-rig-and-long-distance-friendly baits such as sweetcorn, hemp – even bread.

11 Braided Main Line

The use of braid as a main line would have featured much higher up our list if it wasn’t for this year’s Below The Surface series. Switching from mono to braid allowed us to feature-find better, spod more accurately and snag fish more effectively, but our findings from BTS reveal, even with braid, we’re not actually fishing over the type of lakebed we think we are.

10 Fluoro Pop-Ups

It’s the single biggest item that has changed our catch results in winter – and when the close season was abolished, spring too. It was Frank Warwick and Dynamite Baits in 2003 that first made them commercially available and since then, 99% of the carping population now has a tub of ‘bright ones’ in their bait bag.

09 Chemically Sharpened Hooks

For those that didn’t live through the transitional stages between ‘normal’ hooks and those which were chemically sharpened, you’ll never quite know what their impact had on catch results. To put it into today’s perspective, it’s like Jason Hayward supplying everyone with his sharpened hooks. Yeah, it was that good.

08 The Baiting Needle

It’s such a simple device but without one you couldn’t attach your chosen hookbait to the Hair. It’s also incredible to think that for an item, which in essence does the same thing, there could be so many different versions: you can get a fine or heavy latch, a braided or lip close, barbed, there’s even a finger-friendly needle…

07 Coated Hooklink Materials

Launched in the summer of ’95, Snake-Skin was not only the first ever coated hooklink material to be launched, but incidentally it incorporated Kryston’s first hooklink material – Multi-Strand. It got its name thanks to a removable outer-coating, which for the first time allowed anglers to tie all manner (namely combi’s) of rigs with total ease. So what’s been the ‘Skin’s’ magic moment? Probably when Chris Ball and Paddy Webb took six months of Carp-Talk back issues to conduct a survey to determine which was the most popular tackle in that period. Snake-Skin accounted for a staggering 93% of all captures…

06 Funnel Web PVA

PVA, as a whole, had a huge impact on angling when it first became commercially available. From when Rick Gardner of Gardner Tackle launched PVA string to the Broadlands era of solid bags filled with trout pellets, PVA has been a Godsend. However, in terms of usability, angler-friendly, cost, raw sales and number of copies, the funnel web system that Steve Spurgeon and Chris Rose came up with changed the way we fish with PVA forever.

05 Carbon Fibre

Carbon fibre? Number Five in our 25 Greatest Inventions? Preposterous! But pre-carbon fibre rods, hitting that 77yd mark just off Bird Island wasn’t possible. Glass rods were like a giant elastic band; you simply couldn’t compress them, but then someone came up with the bright idea of making fishing rods from carbon and the rest, as they say, is history.

Of course over the years, rod manufacturers have come up with some wild and whacky ideas on how to improve the feel, balance and overall castability of the rod. Daiwa’s ring-less blank (the line ran through the middle of the carbon) never took off, nor did Shimano’s Tribal Ultra – a rod that retailed at £699.99…

04 Knotless Knot

For something so simple it seems utterly amazing. The Knotless Knot is now the staple diet of all anglers’ rigs. Where previously, before (reader: insert name of inventor if you know because we can’t find it) revealed it to the angling world, the hook was whipped on – a far more complicated knot – and still never sat as well as a Knotless Knot attached hook. It can be used on any hooklink material; it can be used on any pattern of hook; it can be adjusted so the hook sits in a different position; it can even be used to attach a hook without the Hair. Knotless Knot, we salute you.

03 The Bite Alarm

From a penny on the reel spool to Herons, onto touch-face controls and sensitive adjustment to the modern-day Nash ‘remote-controlled’ Sirens and receivers that work to over a mile, we think it’s fair to say the bite alarm has come on leaps and bounds from its primitive days. The invention of the bite alarm allowed anglers to camp out for days on end now they didn’t have to stay up all day and night for fear of missing a bite.

It was the great, late Richard Walker who came up with the concept and though the likes of Cliff Fox, Max Cottis, Steve Neville and co. we now have bite alarms that can be set to bleep should a carp fart near your line, be adjusted from the comfort of your bankside house and comes with a built-in burglar alarm. Technology, isn’t it great?

02 The Boilie

The fact the bait industry is now worth over 150 million a year in Britain alone tells you how much we all love boilies. It’s not only great for the economy but the carp have massively benefited from them too. In 2011 265 forty-pound carp were reported to Carp-Talk – just 3% of that figure appeared in 1995…

The idea of boiling your balls of paste, like the bite alarm, Knotless Knot, coated hooklink material and so on, changed our fishing overnight. With a ‘skinned bait’ it meant you didn’t have to recast every 20 minutes as the silver fish whittled your lump of paste down to nothing.

Today’s carp’s growth-rates can be dated right back to the 1970’s when Fred Wilton developed the ‘High Nutritional Value’ (HNV) bait theory. The original idea was that if you introduced a high protein bait on a regular basis, carp will learn to recognise the food value of that bait and see it as a preferred food source. It clearly worked: The Cell, Scopex Squid, Activ-8, Trigga…

01 The Hair Rig

No other, nor is it likely anything in the future will, had such an impact on carp fishing than when the Hair rig was first publicised. To quote one of our monthly columnists, Pete Regan, “it made it a level playfield”. From catching one or two fish a session, anglers would be getting 15 to 20 bites. It made even the hardest of waters look easy.

The creators of this, the greatest invention in carp fishing, were Lenny Middleton and Kevin Maddocks, two brilliant anglers in their own right. Their idea of removing the bait from the hook and having it hanging two inches below it, seemed, at the time, totally mental.

But, as we all know, there are hundreds of different variations, from the way we connect the hook (KD style for example) to the rig itself (the Chod Rig), but one key element has always remained the same: the hook and bait are detached and that thinking is all down to Lenny and Kevin. Cheers, chaps.

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