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Rigs
23 Feb 2017
by Elliott Gray
How to decide what lead set-up to use...
We ask Elliott Gray...

Question: How do you decide what lead set-up and hooklink to use when fishing? Is it softer bottom, softer hooklink, and harder bottom, stiffer hooklink and in-line leads? Ben Dent-Willoughby

I’m very stuck in my ways, not that it’s a bad thing, I’m just settled and confident in exactly what I need for each scenario. I would say that ninety per cent of the time I will use a helicopter rig on leadcore, or a Chod arrangement, which also incorporates the helicopter style arrangement. This is my go-to lead set-up and I’ll use it whenever I can – it’s only for edge fishing and weedy situations that I will change. When fishing in the edge I will pretty much always fish over clean gravel, and in this situation I will use a 5oz flat pear, drop-off style. Carp can be tricky in the edge and with no need to cast the lead I will use a nice big one! When the water I’m fishing becomes very weedy and I do not have the privilege of a boat for landing fish, I will always use a drop-off lead system. When fishing silty areas I will stick to my helicopter arrangement, but I’ll use a Heli-Safe in order to lose the lead. If it’s gravel areas that I’m fishing then I will use a 3.5oz Skyliner in-line lead, drop-off style on leadcore.

I use N-Trap Soft in either 15 or 20lb for a huge large percentage of my fishing

You will have noticed that I have only mentioned the lead systems, not the rigs, and that is because I rarely stray from a select few rigs.

My bottom bait rig is tied from N-Trap Soft, which I find great for both hard and soft bottoms. My Chods are very stiff and tied from Mouthtrap, and my Hinge Rigs are tied from a combination of the two. I use the N-Trap Soft because it is so versatile and enables me to present a bait almost anywhere.

My go-to lead arrangement is a 2.5oz lead on a simple helicopter system, incorporating a Kwick-Change Swivel
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