The lake I tested this on had very clear margins so I would cast literally landing on the opposite bank, walk round and because the water was so clear close in, I could see how the rig landed. A hammered down pear would slice into the silt and depending on how much you feathered the cast the hammered in-line would do the same thing or land flat sinking in a little bit. This was great presentation because everything was pinned tight to the lake bed.
Because of the shape, when you fish it 'semi-fixed' the hook-link naturally flies forward on the cast, this is due to the short bit of silicone tubing that I slip on the front and then over the swivel, it doesn't allow the hook-link to fall back on itself creating great anti-tangle properties.
My Modified Old School Leads
I got pretty frustrated with the majority of leads on sale, I felt very limited, I was looking for something a little different. Companies started to look into rig materials and components that blended in with different lake bottoms but all the leads were the same sort of design and some of them stuck out like a sore thumb on the lake bottom. I started to think about using small rocks as leads, I made up one years ago which I still use on and off today, I've caught a lot of fish on it.
My Homemade Stone Swivel
When I got on board with Chris I thought it would be a good idea to start thinking about the possibilities of a flat in-line lead based on the one I hammered down years ago. The products he makes are unique and interesting, when I sent a picture through of what I was thinking he got to work straight away. My first set of prototypes arrived today and they're total quality.
Flat In-line Prototypes
I took a sample of clay from one of the lakes I fish and the colour Chris came up with is bang on the money. A few different coatings and colours have been worked on, each will blend in well on any lake bed you'll be fishing on. You can use this lead design as a simple running rig by putting a buffer bead in front of the swivel, or fish it 'semi-fixed' with a small section of rubber tubing. Below are pictures of both examples.
Tail Rubber Modification
The 'Running Rig Setup'
The above rig is totally 'carp friendly' the whole setup comes apart, usually on the take. It casts like a dream and I believe lands pretty tight hugging the bottom, this to me is vital, I feel that carp spook off of leads, if the fishing situation requires it I will back-lead. I also believe if carp feel any kind of line or something alien to their natural environment whilst approaching the bait, that can also spook them. I do give carp an awful lot of credit, the big girls are clever and finicky and it still amazes me how delicate they can be when picking up any kind of bait.
Below is a running rig version that still has all the elements and anti-tangle advantages, I am starting to introduce running rigs back into my fishing because I feel some carp are wising up to bolt rigs, some takes I have had recently have been very strange, as if the carp sits on the spot trying to shake the lead.
The 'Running Rig Setup'
I am going out on the bank this week for my first session with these leads, I am going to be paying close attention to detail. I've already got a few ideas how to improve tem but I want to live with them for a while. I'll keep everyone up to date with how I get on.
On a side note
A month of so ago Chris sent me a few of his new inline gripper leads, I have been using them for the past few weeks. Cosmetically these leads are beauties and I've caught a fair few fish on them. I believe they are now on sale and I highly recommend them. They come in different finishes and make the overall rig presentation very compact and tidy, they're great on the cast and enter the water with very little fuss.
Chris's In-line Gripper
I think this lead is perfect for fishing on steeper shelves because of its gripping quality and after checking it in the margin it seems to embed itself nicely into the clay and thin silt, I have been using the 1 1/2oz version, I think I may well try a 3oz one, I feel this could improve hooking potential. Every take I've had has been a screamer. I am feeling excited at the prospect of using and developing different kinds of leads and I have every confidence in Chris and his products. If you want an edge in your carp fishing then get on-em. ........ onwards and upwards !!!