freeline-22 - Page 182



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Use a reputable, safe and tested oil.
informed. Yes, fish oils are safe to use,
of course they are, and, if you buy
them from the fishing industry then
they are going to be of a quality that
is acceptable to the carp and come
with instructions and advice as to
what time of year and water temperatures will be suited to what type of
oils. A lot of oils are ‘winterised’
nowadays, and I am assuming this
means they do not coagulate as easily, therefore passing through the
carp’s system without clogging
everything up. Again, it is possible to
source your own, but I believe the
quantities you would need to buy are
quite large, and the chances of the
second half of the drum being rancid
by the time you use it is pretty high.
Again, like salt, it is an ingredient that
needs to be used sensibly and in
moderation.
Back in the day, probably about the
time I first met Rob actually (I believe
you were propping up the bar in the
Horse and Barge and turning a beer
towel into a very lifelike phallic symbol with an amazing show of your
origami skills, Rob), way back then
when oily fishmeal baits first hit the
scene, I think we were all a bit guilty
of overuse and ignorance of the
effects we may have been having on
the carp. I remember every angler you
182 FREE LINE
met had a clear plastic bag of baits
that was saturated in ‘Nodd Oil’ or
‘Fish Feed Inducing Oil’ and as we
baited up we’d send slicks of it across
the lake that would put the Torrey
Canyon tanker disaster to shame. We
know better now, and so we should.
So yes, use your fish oils, but make
sure you stay within the recommended guidelines, as someone has
put a lot of time, experience and
research into working out the maximum safe amount that will benefit the
fish but keep them healthy and fit.
Long range lines… I don’t know
what everyone else uses, but I am a
total convert to braid for all my carp
angling nowadays. I know Jacko also
swears by it, and it was our mutual
friend Paul Forward who finally talked
me into giving it a go, and for that I
am eternally grateful. A lot of lakes do
not allow braided mainlines however,
and on these occasions I am very
fussy about what monofilament lines I
will use, and, having been involved in
a great deal of product development
and product sourcing over the years, I
have come to find one manufacturer
that I hold in higher regard than all
others. I cannot say who of course,
and, even if I could, it would mean
nothing to most people, as they do not
market their lines direct. They do
however supply a lot of the lines that
are on general release (more than you
would ever believe, actually). A line
for range fishing has to be supple, it
has to come off the spool with the
least resistance possible to stay in
flight as long as we need it to, for it’s
only the friction of it against the spool
and rod rings that slows it down, that
and the weight of the line being
trailed behind the lead. A smaller
diameter will cast further, obviously,
but it still needs to be strong enough
to land a fish from huge distances,
and the further out you fish then the
more obstacles you will find along the
way. I have recently sourced, tested
and approved a line from the supplier
I favour, which is now marketed
under the TF Gear banner as ‘NANTEC’ and the 10lb version, when coupled with a casting leader, will get
you most places you need to be, and,
most importantly, it will get the fish
back again, although personally I
never drop below 12lb, as I like to be
doubly sure.
One thing worth noting when you
are comparing lines is the actual
diameter, as this will tell you far more
than the stated breaking strain. Lines
are bought from the manufacturer by
diameter, and the breaking strain is
added by the guy putting together
the finished product and label artwork, and not everyone has the same
idea of what constitutes 12 or 15lb
line. To my mind 0.28 is the bare minimum I would consider for my distance carp angling, and, in reality, I
usually aim for something around 0.36
for my general angling, which is the
high end of the 15lb rating and probably not a distance line as such. On
the braided line front I have tried
plenty; there is a vast difference in
braided lines depending on their construction – round braids, flat braids,
high Dyneema braids (sinkers) and
the amount of fibers used in each separate strand before it is woven – all of
this will affect the finished performance. The floating braids such as Fireline or Whiplash will always outcast

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