Spring brings the promise of big catches, and that can mean tweaking at your tackle set-up. Hook sizes and line strengths can be increased, and we can begin to feed a bit more, but one thing I never do is change my pole elastics.
It used to be the case that in winter, when using smaller hooks, elastics had to be lighter to prevent lost fish, but I’ve never seen it like that. Instead, my elastic choice is geared to how many fish I’m likely to catch and how big they are going to be.
For example, if I’m fishing for only half-a-dozen carp, I want to get them all out, so a lighter elastic comes into play. On a more prolific venue, when 20 or so fish are on the cards, I need to be a bit quicker landing them and be more in control, and so going heavier is required.
‘Match the hatch’
When big fish averaging 6lb turn up in the peg, a stronger elastic lets me land them quicker. Hanging on with 12m of light elastic streaming out of your pole is no good to anyone.
Land the lot
I don’t want to lose anything that I hook, which is when White Hydro is unbeatable for carp and big skimmers. It may take me longer to land the carp, but that’s no problem – there’s no rush!
Mixed bag choice
If I’m after F1s or a mixed bag of silvers, I go for either Yellow or Blue Hydro. These give me a good chance of landing a bonus carp, yet have the softness and power for fish of 1lb and below.
Stretch it first
I always pre-stretch my elastic before fitting it into the top kit. A side puller kit with a bead lets me make adjustments on the bank, trimming off a bit of elastic to get the perfect tension.