Matt Eaton's lead arrangement trick
Cut your losses...
I make no secret of the fact that a lot of my fish have been caught on Chod Rigs. Chods suit my style of mobile angling and the weedy venues I fish along with my liking of fishing over a spread of boilies. For many though they are an occasional method, not least because they tend to lose fish on them.
I think part of the problem is that the hook is in such close proximity to the lead that a shake of a carp’s head can dislodge the hook. Try it yourself with a lead on the end of some line. Hold the line three-inches away from the lead and give your hand a flick or shake to imitate the movement of the head of a carp. The action of the lead bouncing around is really quite violent and, in my opinion, certainly enough to pop a hook out. Now try the same thing but holding the line a foot away from the lead and you’ll find the whole feeling is softened.
When I started using Chods I designed my set-up to utilise this property of damping the lead’s movement in order to ensure that what is hooked stays hooked. It’s a simple extension to my leader which also incorporates a weak link that will, if absolutely necessary, drop the lead. The extension prevents the Chod’s ring swivel from sliding down close to the lead which hangs harmlessly a foot below. In fact, the hanging lead helps keep the hook secure by keeping gentle downward pressure on the hook which is a bonus in situations such as a weeded fish, where one may have to slacken off.
Another benefit is that the extra piece of leader extends the overall leader length making it more suited to Chod fishing. I use a simple ‘loop-to-loop’ system which makes the whole process of changing from a standard set-up to a Chod (and vice versa) painless and without any need to cut my main line.
My tackle pouch always contains a few of these, made up in readiness. I make the extension link from the same material as my leader. Usually this will be Heavy Plummet Leadcore but I also utilise Camflex Leadfree in order to comply with venue rules or a thick fluorocarbon if “going naked”.
The weak link is merely a loop of 7lb power gum which does a good job of absorbing the force of the cast with a light lead, but will part on a sustained pull if the lead becomes stuck fast. I’d prefer to keep it on if possible but I do like the fact that the lead is jettisoned if necessary and feel happier with the additional safety aspect.
Some anglers use Chods as a last resort purely because they’ve had a bad experience with them in the past, whilst losing fish has put others off the method completely. I feel entirely the opposite and am more confident of landing a carp hooked on a Chod set-up than any other. The addition of a Chod extension helps to ensure more of the fish I hook end up where they should - in the net!
How to construct the Chod Extension
Losing fish on Chods? Not confident they’ll stay on the end? Don’t use Chods when you should be? Then cut your losses with a Chod Extension
1. Leadcore, 7lb power gum and a couple of size 8 swivels are all you need to make Matt’s Chod Extension.
2. First off cut a 14-inch length of leadcore and splice a swivel to each end in the usual manner.
3. Tie a two-inch loop of power gum through one of the swivels; this will act as an emergency weak link if necessary.
4. Next, thread a buffer bead onto your leader to cover the Extension’s swivel - this just neatens everything up nicely.
5. ‘Loop-to-loop’ the Extension through the spliced loop at the end of your normal leadcore or, if you’re “going naked”, tie it to the end of your main line.
6. Attach your lead to the weak link ‘loop-to-loop’ style. The lead will be kept well away from the mouth so it can’t bounce the hook out.