FREE-LINE 01.pdf - Page 128



The Frozen North
already had decent pictures of this
fish at 25lb 14oz, so I stuck it back
without the need to sack it up until
m o r n i n g. I c h e c k e d t h e t i m e –
10.35pm. Surely I could bag another
before I left for home the following
morning. I checked the rig and it was
still totally sharp. A recast and two
half spods over the rod later, and I was
back in bed. I woke up to motionless
bobbins, and received no further
action before going home after introducing another 2kg of the black B5
bait to the right hand bay spot once
again, ready for next week.
The following week I was back
down and back in the Point swim. I
couldn’t believe it – the weather was
still blowing into the bay. Quite often
this is a bad thing, as the fish on here
would move off a “stale” wind after a
while with angler pressure, but I knew
that nothing had been caught since
my last fish, and that no one had
fished my swim, so I was happy to set
up there again. Same as last week,
rigs checked and baited, flicked out
towards my far bank tree markers,
and they hit the clip, “donk”, line
(Top) No mouth damage here!.
(Below) The Gazza Rig. The cylinder
hookbaits just slide on and off.
128 FREE LINE
sunk, bobbins on – let’s ‘ave ‘em! I put
a few half spods of black B5 out to the
right hand rod, and fired a few freebies out with the catty over the other
two. The cloud cover was low, there
was occasional rain, and I reckoned it
to be around ten degrees. I looked
hard for fish, but again saw nothing,
and the day soon turned to dark, so I
climbed into bed and slept. I had a
good kip that night – no liners, no fish.
Oh well.
My mate Stu from work was due
down for the day; he’d just got into
carping that season, and was keen to
soak up any tips he might pick up off
people. Stu arrived and we had a few
brews, chewing the fat and all that. I
started to talk to him about rigs, he
asked what I was using, and I tied one
up and showed him. With all the talk
a bo ut ri gs , I s ta rte d w o nde ri ng
weather a rig change might just help
bring me one of the bigger residents.
I’m a firm believer that there are certain rigs that will help nail warier
(usually bigger) fish, so I had a good
think. I’ve always been a bit of a rig
mechanic, and I have my thoughts on
the principles of which functions rigs
should perform, and how to achieve
this. Basically, like most anglers, I
want the hook to turn fast, the hookpoint to be pointing downwards
always, and for the bait to be independent of the hook, like two separate
entities. From watching fish feed in
the past, and unpressured fish at that,
I came to realise that carp near
enough blow out anything they pick
up at least once before they are confident in its identity. With this in mind,
I try to make my rigs utilise the carp’s
defence mechanism of ejection to
actually nick the hook in for me. I like
a flexible hair coming off as close to
the eye of the hook as possible,
(sometimes using an overhand knot
on the hair round the hook shank to
act as a blow-back setup, a tip I
picked up from a Jerry Hammond article. I prefer this to having a ring on
the shank, as I think the rattling of
metal on metal could make the fish
even more wary). When the fish does
blow the bait out, the hook doesn’t
end up leaving the mouth bend first,
as it does when the hair comes off the
hook at the bend – instead if the point
is pointing downward and the fish
blows the bait out, hopefully it will
pull the point into the carp’s bottom
lip area before the carp has even
tightened up to the lead. It’s all just
theory I know, but that’s the way I
personally look at it. While sat there
with Stu, I devised a new rig for fishing over the light weed that was different to the norm, incorporating a
reverse combi-link sort of setup, and a
balanced bottom bait. The stiffer end
section was made of 15lb Stiff-Link,
about 1in long attached to 11in of
25lb Super-nova. A blob of putty over
the combi-knot would hopefully
ensure the point would be facing
downwards at the time of ejection,
and a slight curve in the Stiff-Link
should ensure the hook turned no
matter which angle the fish sucked
the bait up from. Oh well, I had to
have a go. Stu was suitably impressed
with my efforts, and watched as I tied
it to my right hand rod along with a
4oz running lead and balanced bottom bait on the hair. I then flicked it

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