Here is a simple guide to carp leads...
1) The Big Grippa
The Big Grippa is a unique lead, available in sizes up to 10oz, and is best suited to anywhere you need more grip, like rivers, on the sides of bars, along marginal slopes, boating out or at extreme range. The small raised nodules grip the lake or river bed. Like the other flat shapes, these leads are also ideal for sloping island margins or bars.
Grippas have become massively popular on the continent, where carping in wide, fastflowing rivers is the norm and where you have to boat out baits massive distances.
Available in 1.5oz to 6oz
2) The Flat Pear
Hard bottoms are the place for the flat pears. The short, condensed shape of this lead, married with the two flat sides, makes it the perfect lead for bolt rigs at short to medium range. By its very nature the flat pear lead lends itself to being fished on marginal slopes, the sides or backs of gravel bars and in rivers. It’s effective at short to medium range because it holds so well on the lake bed and offers so much resistance to a moving carp, endowing it with superior bolt rig effectiveness.
This type of lead is best used inside solid PVA bags with a short hooklength. It is unobtrusive if you are stalking the margins in clear water.
Available in 1oz to 5oz.
3) The Square Pear
Korda’s new Square Pear shape has been designed as the ultimate bolt rig lead. The shape is greatly condensed, so when a carp tightens the hooklink against the lead it will feel the weight straight away.
It’s an excellent choice for short to medium-range work on gravel or firm-bottomed venues, especially when fishing to island margins or on to features where the bottom may be sloping.
Korda are now on to the second generation of Square Pear – the original lead was too square, and sometimes would not roll over and lie on its side. Instead it sat on its end, with the swivel at the top of the lead sticking bolt upright off the lake bed – not ideal at all!
Available from 1oz to 5oz.
4) The Pear Lead
The classic Pear lead casts a very long way, almost as far as the Distance Casting type, and is less affected by cross winds because the shape is very condensed. This means the Pear lead is suited to most carp fishing situations when fishing up to the very limit of your casting ability.
The condensed shape concentrates the leger’s weight so that a carp pricking itself against it feels the full weight of the lead quicker than with a Distance shape. Tangles are reduced by its tapered profile.
The rounded shape means that the pear lead will still cast a long way. Pears can plug deeply into soft bottoms, so I avoid using them in silt and save them for medium to long-range fishing on gravel-bottomed lakes.
Available in 1oz to 4oz.
5) Distance Lead
This lead is designed purely for casting long distances. The nose-heavy design makes it very stable and keeps the lead condensed, making for good hooking efficiency.
The round nose ensures it flies straight, even in big crosswinds, which is key when you are striving for accuracy. The heavy nose means the weight is concentrated and improves the hooking properties by making sure the carp encounters the full weight of the lead quickly when it picks up the bait.
Available in 1.5oz to 5oz sizes.
6) The Tournament Casting Lead
This is the lead to have on when you have to go for maximum distance, because of its aerodynamic torpedo shape and because the bulk of the weight is slightly forward to help stabilise the leger in flight.
On a lot of silty meres lead penetrates deeply, but Tournament Casting leads are quite easy to pull out of the silt. I don’t think they bury in as deeply as the more dumpy designs.
Available from 1.5oz to 5oz.
7) Riser Tri-lobe Lead
A very under-used, versatile lead that rises on retrieval, avoiding snags and weeds on the way in. You can overcast, retrieve, then steadily let the rig drop on the fish without making a noise. This lead rests gently on deep silt, soft weed and poor ground. It casts relatively poorly, but is good for awkward situations.