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Volume 9

avidcarp.com

March/April 2014

FMROENTEHLY

BI-

INE

MAGAZ

. . . E U S S I G I R E TH NOW 52 PAGES! CONTAINING MORE HINTS, TIPS AND TRICKS THAN EVER BEFORE


CONTENTS... COVERFEATURE 22

D A Y-T I C K E T H A U L I N G

Chris Lowe recounts a very special session on St Johns Lake.

04

2

06

12

INTRO/NEWS

THE PIN DOWN RIG

ZIGGIN’ MADE EASY

Jon ‘Shoes’ Jones introduces the magazine and reveals what’s going on at Avid HQ.

Ian Russell reveals a super-simple boilie rig.

Jon ‘Shoes’ Jones lifts the lid on Zig rigs.

Avid Carpers March / April 2014


C O N T E N T S AV I D CA R P E R S FOR MORE ARTICLES AND VIDEOS CHECK OUT THE FOLLOWING ... 18

28

THE STIFF BOTTOM-BAIT RIG

CHOOSING THE RIGHT HOOKLINK

Nigel Williams shows us his favourite stiff rig.

Jamie Simpson explains the importance of selecting the right hooklink.

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38

IN SESSION

TOP RIG TIPS

We join Christian Kessler live on the bank at Acton Burnell Lower Lake.

Jon Finch reveals his top tips for improving rigs.

KEEP UP-TO-DATE... 40 THE LAKE IN THE FOREST

Ed Skillz looks back on a very memorable session.

44 THE TUBING CHOD

Dave Magalhaes talks us through his unique take on the Chod rig.

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48 THE BALANCED CORN RIG

Jason Umney shows us how to tie a simple corn rig.

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Find out how you can subscribe to Avid Carpers.

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INTRO JON JONES

WELCOME...

Hello and welcome to the March/April edition of Avid Carpers. After the success of the magazine over the last couple of issues, we have decided to increase the number of pages, which will allow us to include even more great content. We’re really excited about the future of the magazine and, looking forward, expect to see even more instructional features, stories of epic captures from our team and even inspiring European content. With spring just around the corner and more anglers preparing for various challenges and campaigns in their own fishing, we decided to make this issue a rig special. Whether you’re trying to catch your first twenty or you’re currently sitting it out for an ultra-tricky forty, there’s bound to be a rig in here that will appeal to you.

As usual, there are a whole host of great features in this magazine, but my favourite has got to be the story behind Chris Lowe’s epic brace from Linear Fisheries’ St Johns last autumn. The man is like a machine and has caught countless carp from the venue over the years, yet he’s never been lucky enough to bag one of the A Team. Fortunately,

this all changed last year when, after a few tweaks to his rigs, he braced the Small Plated with the Box Common. Turn to page 22 to read the full story.

Shoes

Jon ‘Shoes’ Jones

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Avid Carpers March / April 2014

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N E W S AV I D CA R P E R S

NEWS

LEAR N F R O M THE B E S T

FROM AVID HQ... DREAM TEAM We’re absolutely delighted to announce we have recently signed a string of high-profile anglers to add to our team of European consultants. Top Dutch anglers Ed Skillz, Kobus vd Vorstenbosch, Richard Gans and Davey Gans are all now on board, along with Tomas Spiechowicz from Germany. As well as passionate anglers, they are all extremely talented photographers and filmmakers, so expect to see lots of great content from them over the coming months. These guys are already team members of the incredible Carpcrossing website in Europe, which prides itself on top-quality video content. Welcome on board guys, we cannot wait to start working more closely with you.

ERS

RP AVID CA FREE e6 2013 Volum tober ber/Oc Septem

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GO

LONG! g you everythin e e reveals fishing at rang t Chris Low know abou need to

RODS SUP

NEW PR O D UC T A LE RT After the success of our Captive Coated Hooklink, which we originally released in weedy green, we have launched two more great colours that will allow anglers to tie a rig that will blend in perfectly on most lakebeds. As well as Weedy Green, the hooklink is now available in Brown and Gravel/Clay. Get on it! Do you struggle to tie Zig rigs? Well, look no further, because we have created ready-tied Zigs. Another first from Avid Carp! Available in 8ft or 10ft, each rig tied using a super-sharp size 10 WDG hook on an 11lb monofilament hooklink. The rigs boast a black/yellow Zig Lite hookbait, a Zig Grub and even come with a Zig Clip and Tail Rubber. It’s Zig fishing made easy! Turn to page 12 for more info…

ER HAIR

NEVER MISS AN ISSUE

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PLUS:

DING Russell RE FINhine Ian FEATUchin g mac finding DUCTS:

Well why don’t you book an Avid Carp tutorial with one of our highly skilled consultants. They can teach you E W LO S CH RI 1763 everything you need to 51 7 0778 know for the year ahead and create a tutorial experience to suit your needs.

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CHODS rigs MICROing down yourrenc e

NEW PRO

Are you starting a new challenge this year and lacking confidence in a certain aspect of the sport? Do you need pointing in the right direction and a confidence boost?

TOP TIPS STOPS

ZIG BOX

REACTIO

N HOOKS

MARKER

BRAID

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Avid Carpers March / April 2014


THE PIN DOWN RIG IAN RUSSELL

THE PIN DOWN RIG Ian Russell reveals a simple rig that he’s been having considerable success on over the last couple of months. Over the last year I’ve found myself travelling to several venues run by Rob Hales in Shropshire for filming and features with the Avid Carp team. Anybody who has fished any of Rob’s waters, or that far bloody north for that matter, will know that lots of the venues around Shropshire tend to be shallow and very silty. For a southerner like me, who’s cut his teeth on gravel pits down south, it’s been quite difficult getting used to fishing in such soft silt. You see, I’m used to casting out, feeling the lead down and getting a pronounced ‘donk’.

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Super-buoyant and durable, High Lites make perfect hookbaits.

These are the materials Ian uses to construct the rig.

A hook with an outturned eye, like the CHD, is essential.

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Avid Carpers March / April 2014

As soon as I started fishing Rob’s venues, I instantly started playing around with a whole host of different rig presentations. Most of you are probably thinking that the Chod rig would have been the perfect option and, although it would suit the venues down to the ground, the fish have really taken a battering on it over the last few years. Having fished several venues that have been dominated by the Chod before, I’m certain that it’s the kind of rig carp can get used to dealing with. All of Rob’s venues contain large carp so I knew I’d probably be using boilies for the majority of my approach and I was looking for a rig that had some kind of big-fish pedigree. After a little bit of thought and experimenting with a few different rigs, I came up with a presentation that I knew would suit the soft, silty meres perfectly, and any other big-fish venue for that matter. Having fished the hinged-stiff rig numerous times over the years on big-fish venues, I started playing around with the presentation on Weston Park. Due to the severity of the silt, the stiff boom section that makes up the rig was changed for a much suppler boom. Now I know people use all kinds of materials for this boom section, but I don’t think you can do much better than a length of the Avid Pin Down leader material. It’s super supple, abrasion resistant and due to it’s mottled finish, it virtually disappears on the lakebed. Due to the unique nature of the material, you can even tie knots in it so it’s extremely easy to work with and use.


THE PIN DOWN RIG IAN RUSSELL

HO W TO T I E T H E P I N D O WN R IG

0 1 . S lide an Avid CHD hook onto a

02. F ix the CHD hook in place

03.

Slide a large rig ring onto the tag end of the material like this.

04.

Pass the tag end through the back of the eye and blob it with a lighter.

05 .

Tie a size 11 Avid Ring Swivel onto the end of the stiff hooklink section.

06.

Pass a Bait Screw through the large rig ring like this.

07.

Screw the High Lite hookbait of your choice onto the Bait Screw.

08.

Tie a Pin Down boom onto the end of the Ring Swivel.

09 . F inally tie another size 11

length of Captive Stiff Rig Filament.

using a simple knotless knot.

Ring Swivel onto the end of the Pin Down.

10. T he finished rig should look like this. Perfect!

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ANGLER PROFILE: Ian Russell

51 5 7 l b 8oz O c c u p a t i o n : F u l l T i m e Angler Age:

UK PB:

10

Avid Carpers March / April 2014


THE PIN DOWN RIG IAN RUSSELL As soon as I started using the rig, I started catching. The results were absolutely incredible and, since then, I’ve had success on it at places like Linear, Sandhurst and a whole host of other pressured day-ticket venues. The rig is brilliant because it has great anti-tangle properties, it’s a great big-fish rig and it suits the boilie fishing I’ve been doing over the last couple of years. As well as this, I think it’s absolutely devastating on venues that are dominated by the Chod rig because it’s a similar concept, yet different enough to snare pressured carp. I’m certain the extra movement and flexibility created by the boom section is enough to trick the wariest fish. When fishing in soft silt, it’s advisable to use a helicopter presentation, yet I’ve actually been catching really well using this rig with a standard lead-clip arrangement. Using a light lead, the rig will not bury in the silt too much and the suppleness and weight of the Pin Down material means that the rig will always be sitting pretty on the bottom. Although I’ve been using this rig in silt a lot of the time, I’ve also fished it in a variety of other situations on different venues. If you’re looking for a presentation that’s a little bit different than the norm, give this rig a try. I know it’s nothing revolutionary, but it’s certainly transformed my catch rate over the last couple of months, especially when fishing in the soft stuff.

IanRussell

This stunning 20lb-plus common was caught from a soft, silty mere using the Pin Down rig.

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ZIGGIN’ MADE EASY Jon ‘Shoes’ Jones reveals why there’s no excuse not be using Zig rigs this spring.

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Avid Carpers March / April 2014


ZIGGIN’ MADE EASY JON ‘SHOES’ JONES

avidcarp.com

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The Zigs are available in 8ft and 10ft lengths.

It’s fair to say the popularity of Zig fishing has exploded over the last couple of years, with more and more anglers realising how productive targeting the upper layers can be. Although Zigs are very much in vogue at the minute, I still think it’s fair to say the tactic is still neglected by lots of anglers. Now I don’t think anglers are ignoring the approach because they don’t think it works, I believe it’s because they struggle to understand the principles of the approach. I can totally understand this. It can be a huge leap of faith chucking out a tiny bit of foam into a huge expanse of water. If you’ve never tried a Zig rig or even heard of one, I’ll start by explaining what a Zig is. It’s simply a buoyant hookbait that’s attached to a long monofilament hooklink which is generally fished

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in the mid to upper layers. So what makes them so effective? Well, contrary to popular belief, carp don’t spend all of their time swimming inches off the bottom gorging themselves on all the freebies anglers introduce. They actually spend a lot of time off the deck, especially in the spring, milling around in the mid to upper layers. They regularly come across suspended food items and, like lots of wild animals, the predatory instinct kicks in and they end up eating a wide range of naturals. Plus, when anglers introduce spod mix some of their free offerings will inevitably drift away at mid-water level and will be eaten well before they have chance to settle on the bottom. Over the winter myself and the

Avid Carpers March / April 2014

rest of Team Avid spent lots of time at various carp shows across the UK and Europe. Throughout the shows we run rig clinics and Q & A sessions on our stands so we can hopefully help carp anglers catch more carp. If I had a pound for every time I’d been asked how to tie a Zig, I’d be a very, very rich man. As I stood there explaining how to tie Zig rigs for lots of anglers, I remember thinking there must be a way of simplifying this tactic. After a chat with the rest of the team, we decided to launch a Zig Rig Kit. Available in 8ft and 10ft in barbed and barbless varieties, the new Zig Kits contain everything you need to start Zigging effectively. Inside the packet there’s a ready-tied Zig, a Zig Clip and a soft Tail Rubber.


ZIGGIN’ MADE EASY JON ‘SHOES’ JONES

HO W T O S E T U P A Z I G R IG KIT

01.

Thread the supplied Tail Rubber onto your main line.

02. Pass your line through the middle of the Zig Clip.

03.

Carefully unravel the tag that holds the Zig rig together.

04. Straighten the Zig rig out by pulling it through

your fingers.

0 5 . Tie the swivel on the Zig rig to your main line

06. Pull the swivel into the Zig Clip ensuring that it

0 7 . Slide the Anti-Tangle Sleeve up the hooklink and

08.

using a Grinner Knot.

over the swivel eye.

‘clicks’ into place.

Simply attach your chosen lead and you’re ready to start Zigging.

avidcarpers.tv

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The Zig is tied with 11lb monofilament that has an incredibly low diameter of 0.26mm, yet is still strong enough to perform well under pressure. At the business end there’s a super-sharp Reaction WDG hook and there’s even a Zig Grub on the eye to add some visual attraction and increase hooking potential. Knowing that yellow and black are both extremely popular colours for fishing in the upper layers, there’s even a black and yellow Zig Lite already attached to the rig.

The Zigs are supplied with a black/yellow Zig Lite.

A Zig Grub adds attraction and improves hooking.

As a general rule of thumb, I like to fish my Zig rigs two thirds off the deck. More often than not, I’ve found that carp tend to hold from half way to a few inches below the surface. Once I’ve determined the depth I want to fish, I simply snip the Zig to the correct length and tie another loop in the end. It’s just a case then of attaching the Zig and Zig Clip to your main line. I have used Zigs for many years now and I cannot imagine not having them in my armory. Next time you’re struggling on the bottom, try flicking out a Zig rig. There’s now no excuse not to use them because they are easier than ever before due to the new ready-tied Zig rigs – another first from Avid!

A super-stiff anti-tangle sleeve completely eliminates tangles.

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Avid Carpers March / April 2014


ZIGGIN’ MADE EASY JON ‘SHOES’ JONES

After blanking on the bottom, a quick change to Zigs produced this cracking little common.

ANGLER PROFILE: J o n J o n e s Age:

42

UK PB:

47lb z

Occupation:

B ra nd M anager o f Avid C arp facebook.com/avidcarppage

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Avid Carpers March / April 2014


STIFF RIGS NIGEL WILLIAMS

TH E STI F F

BOTTOM-BAIT RIG Nigel Williams reveals a super simple and often neglected presentation that’s perfect for banking pressured carp. Although stiff hooklink materials have been around for many years and lots of anglers probably have a spool or two in their tackle box, many probably haven’t realised the potential of the stuff. Don’t get me wrong, most anglers have probably knocked up the odd Chod rig or tied a Hinged-Stiff rig, but how many have tried a stiff bottom-bait presentation? I’d hazard a guess that the answer would probably be hardly any.

The Captive Stiff Rig Filament has brilliant anti-eject properties

If I could, I’d use stiff rigs a lot more in my fishing but, unfortunately, due to the nature of the material, this simply isn’t possible. The perfect situation for a stiff rig is a firm, clear lake bed. I generally avoid using them when I’m fishing over silt, debris or leaves because, in most situations, the hooklink can kick up and sit at a funny angle, which can spook the fish. Avid CHD and LSK hooks are Nigel’s first choice.

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HO W TO T I E N I G E L’ S S TIF F R IG

0 1 . T ie a loop in the end of a

length of Stiff Rig Filament.

03.

05.

07.

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Fix the boilie in place using a Corn Stop.

Thread the hook point through the tubing like this.

Fix the hook in place with a knotless knot.

02. Thread a boilie onto the hair loop.

04.

06.

08.

Thread a slither of silicone tubing onto the hooklink.

Pass the hooklink through the back of the eye on the hook.

The finished rig should look like this. Perfect.

Avid Carpers March / April 2014

The main reason I choose to use stiff hooklinks is because the anti-eject properties simply cannot be rivalled and, in most cases, the presentations is probably completely different to what most anglers are using. On pressured venues, if most anglers are using conventional hooklinks, like coated and braided varieties, the fish may become accustomed to picking them up and ejecting them. As soon as you drop something a little bit different into the mix, like a stiff bottom-bait presentation, the results can be astounding. Due to the nature of the material, as soon as a carp sucks in your hookbait, it will find it extremely difficult to eject it. Regardless of how much it tries to spit it out, it should stay in position, giving the hook enough time to take a firm hold in the carp’s mouth. Stiff rigs are also brilliant because they have great antitangle properties. Whether you’re fishing single hookbaits or attaching small PVA bags, it’s virtually impossible for the rig to tangle around the lead. As long as you feather your line before your lead it hits the water, the hooklink will kick out from the lead, ensuring everything is sitting pretty on the bottom. When it comes to rigs, regardless of the material I’m using, I always like to keep things simple. The number one rule for tying stiff rigs is to ensure that you’re using a hook that features a straight or an out-turned eye. Hooks with in-turned eyes can reduce the gape of the hook and have a detrimental affect on the hooking


STIFF RIGS NIGEL WILLIAMS potential of the rig. Although an out-turned eye is probably the most sensible option in theory, I like to use a longshank style hook that has a straight eye. If you look at the rig in detail, you will notice the hooklink kicks over ever so slightly and almost creates a section that’s like a shrink-tube kicker. This simple yet effective presentation is absolutely incredible and is one that I’ve caught lots of big carp with it.

Nigel is a huge fan of balanced hookbaits.

Although stiff rig bottom baits aren’t in vogue at the minute, this doesn’t mean they are not very effective. If you’re fishing a lake that’s dominated by conventional hooklinks or you think you’re getting ‘done’ by pressured carp, give this rig a try. I’m certain it will convert more pick ups into runs and put you more carp on the bank.

Nigel

s m a i l l i W

The stiffness of the hooklink almost creates a kicker.

This 30lb-plus mirror was nailed from a pressured water using the rig outlined in this article.

A small blob of putty ensures the hooklink sinks quickly.

ANGLER PROFILE: N i g e l Wi l l i a m s Age:

37

UK PB:

4 1lb 10oz

Occupation:

S elf Empl o yed instagram@avidcarp

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Avid Carpers March / April 2014


D A Y-T I C K E T H A U L I N G C H R I S L O W E

DAY-TICKET HAULING Chris Lowe recounts an amazing session where he managed to bag a string of Oxfordshire carp to over 43lb.

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It was Monday morning when I pulled into the St John’s car park at Linear Fisheries. The sun was just starting to rise and there were a few anglers on the lake, obviously trying to make the most of the perfect fishing conditions. I headed straight for the large double swim on the road bank, because it was a slightly deeper area of the lake and a place where the fish had been showing quite a lot recently.

decided to introduce some bait. Due to a previous session in the swim, I knew exactly where I needed to be fishing.

The weather was surprisingly mild so I flicked a couple of rigs out into the lake in a bid to nick a quick bite. I sat behind motionless alarms until midday, when I

I then proceeded to spod out a good helping of bait. The idea was to give the fish

The spot I targeted featured an extensive weed bed that, although starting to die down, seemed to hold plenty of natural food. I decided to place three rigs as close as I could to the weed bed on an area of low-lying blanket weed.

Avid Carpers March / April 2014

enough grub to attract them to the area and also hold them for a long period of time. Three kilos of mixed hemp, sweetcorn, pellets, chopped and whole Sonubaits Code Red boilies, and maggots were introduced onto an area the size of a brolly. The rigs couldn’t have been simpler. I opted for my everfaithful pop-up presentation with a Big Eye Hook Swivel sliding on the shank of the hook, to which I tied a washed-out Code Red popup. Knowing that I was fishing


D A Y-T I C K E T H A U L I N G C H R I S L O W E near weed, I opted for a Captive Coated hooklink because it would sit well over the light weed on the bottom. The hooklink was tied to a size 8 Avid CRV hook and I added slither of shrink tubing to ensure the hook flipped quickly should a carp pick up my hookbait. As the first evening drew in I started spotting the odd fish show beyond my baited area, so I knew they weren’t too far away. That night I had seven takes in total, with a 31lb 12oz common being the best of a good bunch. As soon as daylight broke, the runs stopped and the activity died down.

Chris used a Marker Float Kit to find a clearer area near a weed bed.

Fishing accurately is imperative when fishing on pressured day-ticket venues.

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HO W TO T I E C H R I S ’ A N TI-EJEC T P O P -U P P R E SENTATION

0 1 . T ie a size 8 CRV hook

onto a length of Captive Braided Hooklink.

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02.

Slide a Hook Swivel over the shank of the hook like this.

03.

Thread a Hook Bead onto the shank of the hook.

04.

Steam slither of shrink tube over the eye of the hook.

05.

Pass some bait floss through the middle of the Hook Swivel.

06.

Pull the bait floss through the middle of the hookbait.

07.

Tie a bait stop in position using the floss as shown.

08.

Finally add a split shot to the rig and it’s ready to go.

Avid Carpers March / April 2014

By mid morning I decided to introduce a bit more bait to see if I could grab the carp’s attention an encourage them to get their heads down. That day passed without any action and it wasn’t until 8pm when my alarm sounded again. This time the culprit was a chunky double-figure mirror. At 5am the following morning I received a steady take on the middle rod. The fish stayed deep and fought dogged throughout the whole fight but, after what seemed like an eternity, I slipped the net under the Small Plated at a mindblowing 43lb 3oz. I rebaited and recast in the hope of catching another fish before the day broke, but I received no more action. I certainly wasn’t complaining! Like the previous day, there was no action through the daylight hours and it wasn’t until 4am the following morning when the second part of the special session came. This time I bagged the stunning Box Common at 39lb 4oz. I was absolutely elated with the result and couldn’t believe I’d bagged two of Linear’s most sought-after carp in one session.


D A Y-T I C K E T H A U L I N G C H R I S L O W E

At 43lb 3oz the Small Plated is one of the most sought-after carp in the UK.

ANGLER PROFILE: C h r i s Lo w e Age:

42

UK PB:

5 6 lb

Occupation:

Angling Tu tor facebook.com/avidcarppage

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CHOOSING

THE R I G H T

HOOKLINK

Some anglers put very little thought into the hooklink they use, often choosing the same material for every fishing scenario. While having complete confidence in one material may seem like an admirable trait, Jamie Simpson is convinced many anglers are missing opportunities due to poor presentation.

CO AT ED BR AI DS I tend to use coated braids when I’m fishing on a firm/clear lakebed such as gravel, sand or light silt. Coated hooklinks have brilliant anti-tangle properties, due to the slightly stiffer nature created by the coating, so they are brilliant for long-range fishing. Generally, I like to peel the coating back a couple of centimetres above the eye of the hook to improve the mechanics of the rig and increase how naturally the hookbait performs on the bottom. As a general rule of thumb I’ve found coated hooklinks absolutely perfect for bottom-bait rigs and snowman presentations.

CAPTIVE COATED HOOKLINK

Available in Weedy Green, Brown, Sand/Clay in 15lb, 25lb and 35lb

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Avid Carpers March / April 2014

BR AI DE D HO OK LI NK S Due to the suppleness of braided materials, they are ideal for fishing over silkweed and light weed. Using a small lead, long hooklink and a balanced hookbait, you can create a presentation that will sit on top of any weed or debris. A top tip for this is to use a couple of dog biscuits inside a PVA stocking to hold the hooklink off the bottom for a few extra seconds. I also love using supple material in solid PVA bags with a bottom bait or a balanced bait. The suppleness of the material allows you to coil your hooklink up inside the bag whilst loading it with bait.

CAPTIVE BRAIDED HOOKLINK

Available in Weedy Green in 15lb and 20lb.


HOOKLINKS JAMIE SIMPSON ANGLER PROFILE: Jamie Simpson

40 3 4l b 8oz O c c u p a t i o n : Pr o d u c tion Engineer Age:

UK PB:

PI N DO W N This incredible material can be used in pretty much every single fishing scenario. I’ve been playing around with it a lot recently and I’ve found it works great over silt, weed and even clean gravel. It sinks extremely well and is less prone to tangling because it has a slightly thicker diameter than other braided materials. The biggest advantage of this stuff, as the name suggests, is that it hugs the lakebed. I am really looking forward to giving this stuff a go on the river this year because I know it will give me an edge and not let me down.

PIN DOWN HOOKLINK

Available in Weed/Silt and Gravel/Clay in 20lb.

ST IF F RI G FI LA ME NT Although stiff materials can be used for a variety of different rigs, I generally used them when I’m tying Chod rigs and Hinged-Stiff rigs. Due to the nature of a stiff material, once a carp sucks it in, it will struggle to eject it, therefore increasing the chance of your hook taking hold in the carp’s mouth. When used to tie Chod rigs with popups, you can use this material over every single lakebed imaginable but, if you use it with bottombait presentations, which I occasionally do, it’s essential that it’s sure it’s on a firm, clear bottom to avoid the hooklink sitting off the deck.

CAPTIVE STIFF RIG FILAMENT

Available in clear in 20lb and 25lb

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IN SESSION Christian Kessler visits a very special lake in deepest, darkest Shropshire for a quick overnighter in search of a whacker. Acton Burnell Lower Lake is approximately 7 acres in sizes and holds approximately 60 carp. As well as a good head of fast-growing stockies, the shallow mere is home to approximately 20 stunning originals. There’s estimated to be approximately 15 upper thirties and five forties in the lake. The largest carp that resides in the venue is a common, known as

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Bill, which usually hits the 50lb mark when it’s landed. Over the past couple of decades some of the best anglers in the country have fished this lake and, although it’s a relatively small expanse of water, the residents do not surrender easily. It’s an extremely tricky venue, but the rewards are there. Although the venue is currently

Avid Carpers March / April 2014

run as an exclusive syndicate every year, from April ‘till May, non members can book the lake exclusively for what is known as an open-access week. So you and a couple of mates could be angling for a 50lb common and numerous forties in beautiful surroundings. If you’re interested in fishing this magnificent venue, contact RH Fisheries now because weeks are filling fast!


IN SESSION CHRISTIAN KESSLER

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7.00PM

After a long day at Avid HQ, Christian drives down the long dirt track that runs alongside The Lower Lake. There’s nobody fishing on the lake at all, which is no surprise because it has been fishing notoriously difficult for the last few weeks. “First things first, I’m going to try and see if I can find the fish. Although the conditions may be far from ideal and there aren’t many carp in the lake, I should be able to find some signs of fish. The lakebed is made up predominantly of soft silt, so if the carp are feeding they should give away their presence with bubbles and fizzing. Unfortunately, after a lap of

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the lake, Christian spots no signs of carp and has no idea where the fish could be holding. The temperatures have been absolutely scorching during the day, and knowing that the weather is set to change during the night, the big-fish expert sets up in a peg on the road bank that allows him to target the shallowest area of the lake. “I’m certain the fish will have spent most of the day sunning themselves in the shallows today. I’m confident if the weather changes, like it’s predicted to do tonight, they will move out of the shallows into deeper water. My plan is to intercept them as they leave the shallows and head to the deeper water for the evening.”

Avid Carpers March / April 2014


IN SESSION CHRISTIAN KESSLER

7.30PM

Christian wades out and begins casting a marker rod towards the shallow area of the lake. Although the weed is not too dense, Christian still searches a slightly clearer area where he can present a couple of hookbaits. After just half a dozen casts, he finds an area at about 30yds range that’s relatively clear of weed. Perfect! “Although some people advise against using marker floats on short sessions, I think they can be a vital bit of kit. I’d much rather make a bit of disturbance and have my rig sitting on a great spot, rather than casting blind and hoping.”

7.45PM

“Knowing that I’d be fishing tonight, I tied a couple of rigs on my lunch break today. I had an idea that I’d be fishing in soft silt or weed, so I decided to tie a couple of Chod rigs. They may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but I’ve found they are absolutely devastating. I really don’t think there’s a better presentation when it comes to targeting large carp in weedy venues.”

Christian opted for 1.5oz Flat Swivel leads.

avidcarp.com

33


8.00PM

When Christian fishes Chods, he always sets them up naked on a fluorocarbon leader. This allows him, with the aid of the Avid Weighted Flying Chod Beads and a bit of putty on the rig, to create a super-balanced hookbait. When he drops the rig in the water, at first glance, it looks like it’s floating but, on closer inspection, it’s sinking ever-so slightly. The idea is to create a rig that will sit on top of any weed or debris, but also shoot into the carp’s mouth as soon as it mouthes the hookbait.

8.15

Christian gently flicks two Chod rigs either side of his marker float then places both rods on his buzz bars. When fishing the naked Chod, Christian emphasises that it’s essential to sink your main line and fish with super-slack lines. “I’m going to fish a bright hookbait on my third rod and cast it should I see any fish show or any signs of fizzing. When I’m fishing overnight sessions, I always like to have what I call a ‘roving’ rod at the ready.” For the time being, Christian casts the single hookbait into the middle of the lake onto an area of lighter weed.

8.30PM

With three rods in position, he decides to give the carp a bit of grub and introduces 2 kilos of Sonubaits Code Red boilies with a throwing stick. “I’m using Code Red pop-ups on both of my Chod rigs over bait,” begins Christian. “When I’m fishing over a scattering of bait, I always like to use hookbaits that match the colour of my freebies. I’m certain this is a better approach when targeting large carp because I think the carp can approach bright hookbaits over bait with a little more caution. I generally save the bright pop-ups for fishing singles.”

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Avid Carpers March / April 2014


IN SESSION CHRISTIAN KESSLER

10.00PM

As the sun sets behind the distant tree line, Christian sits on the edge of his swim, waders on, anticipating the night ahead. According to a couple of the lake’s regulars, bite time over the last couple of weeks has been first light, so it looks like Christian is going to have to play the waiting game. Although the clock is ticking, he doesn’t seem nervous one bit. In fact, he’s incredibly relaxed.

5.30AM

After a fruitless night Christian is up watching the water for signs of carp. Fortunately, at this time of year, it gets light mega early and Christian can take advantage of this. “I was up ‘till late last night and I saw absolutely no signs of life. Fortunately, when I woke up this morning and popped the kettle on, I noticed various patches of fizzing around my baited area. Although I’ve seen nothing show, I’m certain there are fish feeding on the bait. The bubbles are too large to be anything other than carp.” As Christian’s kettle starts to boil, a fish crashes over his baited area confirming his suspicions.

7.00AM

After an agonising wait and watching numerous carp crash and roll over his baited area, Christian’s right-hand bobbin pulls tight and line begins tearing from his reel. He dives for the rod, puts on his waders and

slowly walks into deeper water. After a short but spirited fight, Christian slips the net under a large ball of weed and hopefully his first Acton carp. Peering into the net, he lets out a sight of relief – he’s landed one. Although it’s not the biggest fish in the lake, it’s certainly an achievement on such a short session. After a couple of trophy shots with the pristine upper double, Christian slips the fish back to its watery home.

7.30AM

After casting his naked Chod rig back onto the spot, Christian decides to start slowly packing his gear away. There are still fish on the spot but, with a busy day ahead, it’s time to head back to work. As he dismantles his brolly, his middle bobbin crashes off the rod and line begins tearing from his reel. Still wearing his waders from the previous fish, he jumps straight into the water and begins battle with another Acton carp. “This is a better one,” murmurs Christian, staring at the large bow wave that’s clearly visible in the shallow water. Surprisingly, Christian manages to tame the beast fairly quickly and, after crashing through a few a few weed beds at close range and nearly seeking refuge in some lily pads, Christian slips the net under a huge mirror. Peering into the folds of the landing net, he lets out a massive cheer.

avidcarpers.tv

35


7.45AM

Unbelievably, the ancient mirror tips the scales to 39lb 4oz and, although it’s a few ounces below the magical forty barrier, Christian is over-themoon with the capture.

COMING SOON...

36

Avid Carpers March / April 2014


IN SESSION CHRISTIAN KESSLER

“This is certainly one of the lake’s regularly forties and I’m certain it will be back above the magical mark come the Autumn. I really wasn’t expecting to catch something this big in such a short time frame. I’m absolutely buzzing! I think I can pack away now a happy man and head back to Avid HQ with a huge smile on my face.”

Christian Kessler

ANGLER PROFILE: C h r i s t i a n Ke s s l e r Age:

25

European PB:

4 8 lb

Occupation:

Fi l m and Media Stu dent facebook.com/avidcarppage

37


Top tips for

Avid’s rig expert Jon Finch reveals a few simple tweaks that will catch you more carp.

TIPS FOR IMPROVING YOUR RIGS

T H IN K BIG

M ATC H T H E L AK E BE D

When it comes to hooks I’ve always been a firm believer that bigger is better. As far as I’m concerned, the larger the hook is, the more chance it has of taking hold in the carp’s mouth. What’s more, a big hook is much more cumbersome, therefore more difficult for a fish to spit out. As if this wasn’t enough to confirm my decision, I’m convinced big hooks give better hook holds and reduce the chances of you losing fish, especially in weed.

I’ve always been a firm believer that matching your hooklink to suit the colour of the lakebed will catch you more carp. It may not seem like a big deal, but I believe that it’s the small things that can make the most difference. The Captive Coated Hooklink is available in three different colours – Weedy Green, Brown and Gravel/Clay. Next time you’re tying a rig up, think about the lakebed in front of you. It could make all the difference.

ELI M I N AT E TAN G L E S This may seem like a really simple tip but it’s one that I see lots of anglers totally neglecting. I rarely cast out these days without some kind of anti-tangle sleeve, especially when I’m using supple materials. As well as eliminating tangles on the cast, the sleeves also ensure your rig returns back to its position on the lake bed should it get ejected. When selecting an anti-tangle sleeve, make sure you get one that’s super-stiff. I’ve been using the soon-to-be released Avid sleeves for some time now and I love them.

38

Avid Carpers March / April 2014


IMPROVE YOUR RIGS JON FINCH

MAKE IT FL IP Although some people may not agree with the flip and turn principle, it’s something I put a lot of emphasis on. Regardless of the rig I’m using, I like to ensure that it flips and turns quickly in the carp’s mouth, therefore improving the chance of the hook catching hold in the bottom lip. There are a variety of ways you can encourage the hook to flip, but the easiest way is to add a shrink tube kicker or overshot the hooklink with an Avid Line Dropper.

A N TI - E J E C T PR E S E N TAT I O N S

Jon Finch

As soon as a carp thinks something is amiss when it picks up your rig, the first thing it’s probably going to do is try to eject your hookbait. When a carp tries to spit out a hookbait on a conventional hair rig, there’s a chance the hook may be ejected too. A simple blow-back ring or anti-eject presentation can totally eliminate this and lead to more runs. When using a blowback presentation, even if the fish blows, the hook will stay in position and the bait will slide down the shank of the hook, increasing the chance of the fish getting pricked.

ANGLER PROFILE: J o n Fi n c h Age:

31

UK PB:

45 lb 9oz

Occupation:

O wner of Bankside Tac kl e twitter.com/avidcarpers

39


CARPCROSSING.COM

THE LAKE IN THE FOREST

Ed Skillz looks back on a memorable session he had on very special lake… It was quiet. I could hear my heart pounding in my chest. The darkness in front of me was lit ever so slightly by the soft, subtle tone of the moon. As I sat watching the mist slowly rise and roll over the distant treeline, I remember thinking how wonderful it was. It felt like a scene from a Hollywood blockbuster. I knew something very special could happen at any moment. I was alone at a lake deep in the forest. I was miles away from civilisation and there were no anglers in sight. It was no surprise really because it was bitterly cold and the nights were very long. The chance of catching were slim. I remember questioning my sanity and wondering if I was mad to be sat hoping and praying for a bite. On this lake though, one bite could change everything and get my adrenaline pumping to dizzy new heights. I had to be out fishing. Maybe it’s because I’m addicted

40

to the adrenaline rush. When I’m not on the bank, I feel empty and restlessly search for fulfilment in other areas. My lighter flickered from the cold as I lit my stove. Surely a tea would ease my mind I thought. I remember questioning my approach. Asking myself if my rigs were in the right spot and if I’d selected the right swim. The rods had been placed the previous evening and I’d heard and seen nothing in front of me. As I took the first sip from my mug all of my questions were answered. My alarm wailed loudly and line begun tearing from the reel on my right-hand rod. The cup crashed to the ground as I dived towards my fishing rod. With the freezing-cold blank firmly in my grasp, I jumped into my dinghy and headed out into the abyss. Applying very little pressure, I slowly drifted towards the fish.

Avid Carpers March / April 2014

My heartbeat was absolutely pounding in my chest because I knew this could be the only chance I’d get for a long time. When you’re playing a carp in over 52ft of water there’s always a chance the hook may pull. I slowly closed in on the fish but I could feel that it still had plenty of power. Every time I gained a couple of feet of line, the fish responded with powerful lunges. I stared intently at the water hoping to catch a glimpse of my opponent. She was playing me and it was obvious she was not ready to be landed. When I tried to turn her in her tracks, the rod was pulled to the side of the boat and my tip disappeared under the water. She had so much power. After a 20-minute battle of cat and mouse, she finally tired from the fight. It was time to see what I had been playing. A dark-toned mirror wallowed on the surface of the lake a few feet from the boat.


THE LAKE IN THE FOREST ED SKILLZ

instagram@avidcarp

41


CARPCROSSING.COM

HO W TO T I E E D ’ S R I G

0 1 . H ere are the components you

02.

 hip a CHD hook onto W some Trap Line using a knotless knot.

03 .

04.

05 .

Add your hookbait and steam the rig to straighten it.

0 6 . The finished rig is ready

will need to tie Ed’s rig.

42

Add a bait screw followed by a Hook Bead.

Avid Carpers March / April 2014

Snip off the tag end that’s left behind.

to cast.


THE LAKE IN THE FOREST ED SKILLZ I gently released some main line from the reel and eased her into the net. Back on the bank, I carefully lifted her into my cradle and caught a proper glimpse of her. What a beautiful fish. I lifted her up for a couple of trophy shots. I felt on top of the world. After a few pictures, I carefully released her and watched her swim back to the moon lit depths. Now the fight was over, I realised just how cold it was. I remember I had thrown away my cup. It was time to have another tea and this time finish it to warm up.

That morning I caught one more carp before I had to pack up and travel home. It’s this kind of fishing that powers me up before a hard week at

work. It’s this kind of adventure that lets me dream away while not being out on the bank. I’m always longing for the next chance to chase the carp. Don’t dream your life but live your dream.

Ed Skillz

ANGLER PROFILE: E d S k i l l z Age:

39

63 lb 5oz Ta tt o o is t a nd O wner of Car pcros s ing.c o m

European PB:

Occupation:

avidcarp.com

43


THE

TUBING Dave Magalhaes reveals his neat Chod rig presentation that works great on venues that ban the use of leaders.

CHOD

With more and more fisheries taking the decision to ban all forms of leaders, it’s fair to say that the popularity of tubing has risen over the last couple of years. Although fishing ‘naked’ can be very effective, most anglers prefer the use of tubing, because it guarantees their main line is pinned to the deck.

Last year, I found myself fishing a couple of day-ticket venues that banned the use of leaders, so I had to rethink my approach. One of the venues in particular was a water dominated by boilies but,

44

due to the leader rule, anglers didn’t seem to even consider the Chod. Although the Chod rig isn’t the be all and end all, it can be very effective in the right situation, especially on venues where it’s being totally neglected. While other anglers were neglecting the Chod, I decided to fully embrace it, choosing to set it up with tubing. Lots of anglers detest tubing but, as technology has advanced, it’s a lot better than it used to be. The Avid Tungsten Tubing is super-supple and sinks like a brick.

Avid Carpers March / April 2014


T H E T U B I N G C H O D DAV E M AG A L H A E S

avidcarpers.tv

45


What’s more, it’s available in three different colours, and is supplied on pre-threaded wires, so it’s extremely easy to use. There’s no more faffing around trying to thread your main line through it. I must admit, I absolutely love the stuff.

To make life easier the tubing is pre-threaded on wires.

You may be wondering how to set up a Chod rig on tubing. It’s actually very simple. The Rubber Beads manufactured by Avid Carp are actually designed to work in conjunction with our tungsten tubing. The beads have been expertly designed so they grip the tubing on the cast but, should they need to eject, they will slide off the tubing under pressure.

The Avid Rubber Beads fit snugly over the tubing for casting, but will still slide free under pressure.

So, if you’re fishing a venue that bans the use of leaders and you still want to effectively use the conventional Chod rig, take a look at this unique presentation. It’s extremely easy to setup, very effective and, more importantly, it’s extremely safe.

HO W TO S E T U P T H E T U BING C HO D. . .

0 1 . C arefully slide the tubing onto

02.

Now slide a Rubber Bead onto the tubing.

03 .

04.

05 .

Slide a Chod Buffer over the top of the tubing.

0 6 . Attach the lead of your choice

your main line using the pre-threaded wires.

46

Carefully push another bead onto the tubing.

Avid Carpers March / April 2014

Slide your Chod rig up the tubing like this.

ad slide the tubing and Chod Buffer down towards the lead.


T H E T U B I N G C H O D DAV E M AG A L H A E S

Chod rigs are one of Dave’s favourite presentations. It’s no surprise when you see the string of large carp he’s caught using them.

Dave s Magalhae ANGLER PROFILE: D a v e M a g a l h a e s Age:

31

UK PB:

49lb 10oz

Occupation:

Ta ckl e Sho p Sal es Assistant facebook.com/avidcarppage

47


THE

BALANCEDCORN

RIG

48

Avid Carpers March / April 2014


BALANCED CORN RIG JASON UMNEY Curved shank hooks take hold quickly in the carp’s mouth.

Jason Umney reveals his favourite rig for targeting pressured day-ticket carp. I first started using this super-simple presentation a couple of years back while targeting an extremely pressured day-ticket venue. The lake wasn’t responding well to large beds of bait and, in most cases, anglers were employing PVA bags of pellets, boilies and groundbait. Although the odd fish was getting caught I genuinely believed more fish should have been gracing the bank.

Jason favours a super-supple hooklink.

After a little bit of thought and a couple of blank sessions, I knew that I was going down the wrong track. I was convinced that fishing for bites was the best tactic, but I wanted to make my presentation stand out from the crowd. The only way I could do this as to use something completely different and, knowing that most anglers were neglecting particles, I started experimenting with them.

HO W TO T I E J AS ON ’ S B AL ANC ED C O R N R IG . . .

0 1 . S tart by forming a small hair

02.

Thread two real grains of corn from inside the Hemp ‘N’ Corn tin.

03.

04.

05 .

Carefully whip the hooklink down the shank of the hook like this.

0 6 . Finally pass the hooklink

loop in the end of some Avid Captive Braided Hooklink.

Thread the hooklink through the back of an Avid CRV hook like this.

Tip the two grains of corn with a Avid Floating Corn Stop to create a balanced bait.

through the back of the eye on the hook and the rig is finished.

twitter.com/avidcarpers

49


Jason always adds a PVA bag of Sonubaits Hemp ‘N’ Corn.

At the time, Sonubaits had just released their Hemp ‘N’ Hookbait tins, which were absolutely ideal. Although I could have made my hemp PVA friendly using salt, the tins were much more convenient. The Hemp in the Sonubaits tins is high quality, large grain with a supreme splitting rate. Plus, because the Hemp and hookbaits are cooked together in the tin, all of the juices are kept within the baits, therefore maximising the level of attraction. As soon as I started using the corn rig with small PVA bags of particles, the results were astounding. I went from struggling to get bites, to getting multiple hits of fish in short sessions. As far as I’m concerned, using a rig and bag mix that was a little bit different to everybody else’s made all the difference. Sometimes thinking outside the box can bring results fast. You don’t have to try anything revolutionary - just something a little bit different.

Floating Corn Stops are perfect for balancing the rig.

Jason Umney

One of the many carp Jason has snared on his balanced corn rig.

ANGLER PROFILE: J a s o n U m n e y Age:

50

26

UK PB:

3 6lb

Occupation:

Avid Carpers March / April 2014

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Avid Carpers Volume 9 - March/April 2014