Believe it or not, there was a time before all-singing and all-dancing handmade pole floats were all the rage and it’s pleasing to see that many of the patterns that were on the go 20 years ago are still catching plenty of fish in 2018!
One of those is the Colmic Jolly, several of which adorn the winder trays in my seatbox and there’s one very good reason why – versatility.
In the smaller sizes, the Jolly makes a super float for fishing hemp or pinkies into far bank rat holes on canals and drains but up this to the 4x14 and 4x16 sizes and you’ve got a very good model for catching roach and skimmers on deeper venues. Go bigger still and the Jolly becomes a brilliant float for to hand work the whip or for running a bait down a big river.
With a classic pear-shaped body, carbon stem and thin plastic bristle, the Jolly remains surprisingly stable for such a thin pattern, the carbon stem giving the hookbait a slower fall through the water than if you were using wire. Dotting the bristle down is easy too as adding a No 11 shot doesn’t suddenly turn the float from a Belisha Beacon sticking out of the water to the proverbial lead balloon.
Available in sizes 4x8 to 8g, the only off-putting part about a Jolly is the pink colour – but who cares if it keeps going under?
Mick Wilkinson Steady pole floats
Simplicity is important to me when it comes to pole rigs for commercial waters and I try to keep my float choices to a minimum.
That means you’ll find only five or six patterns among my pole rigs and of these, the Mick Wilkinson Steady is my first choice for the majority of open-water situations in anything but a gale.
With a highly-visible but thin hollow antenna of 1.25mm diameter, super-strong polystyrene body and 0.5mm wire stem, these floats sit up quickly, are unbelievably stable and can be used with confidence with baits from sweetcorn to maggots.
My Steadies have taken a right battering over the years but even stems that have bent after fish ploughed into reeds have been easily straightened. They’re consistent in shotting from float to float, and I find the 4x10, 4x12 and 4x14 sizes perfect for most of my fishing. Mind you, I’m pleased hear that larger sizes than 4x16 are soon to become available for when the wind really blows across the Fens…
Deputy Editor, Angling Times
I’m not proud to admit it, but as I’ve grown older I have become lazier in my fishing preparation. But can you blame me, when there are products like the range of Guru ready rigs on the tackle-shop shelves?
My favourite of these rigs currently are the superb Super LWG Banded ready rigs. For over a year now I have been using these hooks in sizes 18 and 16. Both come supplied on 6ins of 0.13mm diameter line, perfectly tied with small, strong but flexible bands on a small loop. I’ve used them for hard pellets in 4mm, 6mm and 8mm sizes, and also for banded caster and worm when shallow fishing, all on the pole.
Hand on heart, I haven’t have a single band break on me, and hardly any fish losses either – and I’m talking fish from 12oz F1s to 15lb carp. No wonder I’m getting lazy…
Deputy Editor, Angling Times
PRESTON INNOVATIONS MAG STORE HOOKLENGTH RETAINING SYSTEM
Preston's superb new Mag Store boxes boast weatherproof rubber gaskets to keep made-up hooklengths bone-dry.
Dual identification points make locating the correct box easy, and inside each box are magnets to locate individual Rig Sticks (8-10 supplied, depending on system size).
With pins at 7.5cm (3ins), 10cm (4ins), 15cm (6ins) and 20cm (8ins), the standard All-Round system can hold hooklengths for virtually any situation. Space at the ‘hook end’ accommodates hair rigs, bands and Quickstops. The system fits into the side drawers of Preston Space Station and On Box seatboxes.
METHOD HOOKLENGTH SYSTEM
The Method rig box will carry literally hundreds of short hooklengths on 10 reinforced glass fibre ribbed Rig Sticks. Once again, there is enough space at the ‘hook end’ to accommodate rig bits.
The sticks feature strong Neo Pro magnets, and the impact-resistant plastic case has a waterproof rubber gasket and stainless steel hinges.
Lots of winter carp are being caught on zig rigs, of which E-S-P’s latest barbed and barbless Damsel Nymphs Zig Bugs are a prime example. Expertly tied to super-sharp E-S-P Curve-Shanx hooks, they will support the longest of hooklengths for a long while.
Their black foam bodies form a strong silhouette, while the contrasting red, green, pink or yellow highlights add a flash of colour for added attraction. Available in hook sizes 8 and 10, four to a packet.
For big carp up in the water, these zigs are expertly tied on super sharp E-S-P Curve-Shanx hooks, and are buoyant enough to support a long hooklength for a considerable time. The black foam forms a strong silhouette, replicating an emerging nymph.
Top specimen carp brand Kodex has added several new items of terminal tackle to its range.
Everything from ready-rigs to surface controllers has been well thought out, with clever design tweaks that will stack the odds in your favour when targeting pressured and wary carp.
The Multi is a rig like no other. Its anti-glare size 8 swivel fits all popular lead-clips, and can be switched to a size 11 Flexi/Heli swivel (included) for heli rigs. You get two hook sizes with every rig – choose from sizes
3 & 5, or 5 & 7.
Hooks are super strong GenomicMGP Chods with micro-ground sharp points and a matt anti-glare finish.
They’re tied to the latest Micro-Strip 15lb coated hooklink material, which automatically sinks and pins down the rig, leaving you only needing to apply a small amount of Graviton putty on the knot near the hook.
Also included with each rig is bait floss and a micro rig swivel.
This semi-stiff coated hooklink can be stripped to reveal a flexible dyno-core. The pliable outer coating doesn’t crack when knotted. It sinks quickly and pins itself to the lakebed, excellent for bottom or pop-up set-ups.
This is the same material as used for Kodex’s ready-tied skin-coated stiff rigs and multi-rigs. In 15lb and 25lb options, on 20m spools.
These buoyant mini hair stops are shaped like a piece of corn and are designed to attract more takes. Available in fluorescent red and yellow colours, they provide added visual attraction to your hookbait, giving carp a target to home in on.
Each pack contains 20 pieces.
Meltz PVA Bags
Extensively tested by Kodex’s expert consultants, Meltz solid PVA bags are strong and securely sealed, but melt down at a quick rate for perfect presentation, leaving virtually zero residue.
They are available in three sizes, each in a plain or perforated version.
Each packet contains 20 bags.
AVID Carp’s new Outline terminal tackle range is the result of two years of product development.
With its semi-transparent colour pigment and dark camo fleck finish, Outline blends in with any substrate. The fast-sinking material stays pinned to the bottom, so no need to carry an array of different coloured or tungsten-based components.
The prices of the full collection of Outline accessories range from £2.99 to £4.99.
1) LEAD CLIP KIT
Click-fit lead clip, matching tail rubber and size 8 swivel. Compatible with Avid anti-tangle sleeves.
2) RINGED LEAD CLIPS
For a hinged rig presentation tie your mainline or leader to the rear and tie rigs on to the reinforced ring section. Compatible with all Avid tail rubbers.
3) QC LEAD CLIPS
Quick-change rigs and set-ups are easy with this double-ended QC lead clip system. Tie your mainline or leader to the rear and hook rigs on to the QC section at the front. Compatible with all Avid tail rubbers and anti-tangle sleeves.
4) LEAD CLIP TAIL RUBBERS
Compatible with all Avid lead clips, these streamline your end tackle and are super-soft for maximum safety.
5) NAKED TAIL RUBBERS
Compatible with all Avid lead clips, these provide streamlined end tackle when fishing without a leader.
6) X GRIP TAIL RUBBERS
These ensure large leads won’t eject on impact, but allow them to do so in snags. Compatible with Avid QC and ringed lead clips.
7) INLINE TAIL RUBBERS
For use with all Avid inline leads, these can also be used with Avid lead clips for a slower-releasing set-up or in colder conditions.
8) ANTI-TANGLE SLEEVES
Shorter anti-tangle sleeves kick your rig away from the lead perfectly. Compatible with Avid QC lead clips and QC drop off stems. It comes in two versions, standard-size and extra-large.
9) QC Drop off Stems
The first-ever drop-off stems for fishing with inline leads, with the addition of a QC link. Compatible with Avid anti-tangle sleeves and all Avid inline leads.
10) SOLID BAG STEMS
Pre-formed, so you can attach your mainline directly to the top of the stem. Great for quickly changing between pre-tied solid PVA bag set-ups. A ring swivel completes the process.
11) PVA LINKS
Attach a PVA link to your lead and then slide a PVA bag into the groove. A great, hassle-free way to avoid tangles when fishing with PVA bags.
12) SPEED LINKS
Change rigs or leads quickly with a speed link. Compatible with Avid chod and heli buffers, and can be used with the ringed lead clip system.
13) RING SWIVELS
Create safe rigs with extra movement with these high-performance size 8 ring swivels – ideal for helicopter presentations.
14) MEDIUM and XL LINE ALIGNERS
Neat, streamlined alignment over hooks sizes 8-12 or 6-2, respectively.
15) HOOK BEADS
These small, grippy beads work effectively on hooks size 10-4.
16) HOOKBAIT SWIVELS
Big eye hookbait swivels are neat, convenient and far less obtrusive than many others of their type.
17) BOILIE SCREWS
These camouflaged hard plastic Boilie Screws will grip almost any bait. Create the perfect quick change pop-up presentation.
18) MIXED GROOVE BOILIE STOPS
Streamlined, tapered camouflage boilie stops.
19) Shrink TUBE (two sizes)
Camouflaged shrink tubing. Use on hook sizes 8-4 or 4-1
20) MEDIUM and XL DROPPERS
Slot your line into the dropper and twist until you get the right level of grip.
21) MEDIUM and XL RIG DROPS
Tungsten rig drops, a modern alternative to rig putty. Pre-formed on thicker wires.
22) Braided hooklink 20lb
Fine leader material keeps the rig pinned to the river or lakebed.
23) Unleaded leader 50lb
Ideal for use on waters where braid is not permitted.
These leads recreate popular shapes of yesteryear, but add a durable Outline Camo coating.
A double barrel flexi-ring swivel is moulded directly into the lead instead of being mounted on a brass loop, to amplify the bolt effect and reduce line twist and tangles. The leads perfectly complement Avid’s upcoming Outline Terminal Tackle range. Available from 1.5oz to 4oz, in half-ounce increments.
Price: £1.40 - £1.60
The ultimate streamlined design for extreme distance work, a favourite that has stood the test of time.
widely used by big-fish anglers in the 1990s. Ideal for use on sloping banks and the sides of gravel bars.
The raised tooth design grips the bottom to hold your river rig firmly in position. Great for steep marginal shelves too.
Drop Off In-Line
Perfect weight distribution makes this classic shape with its Outline Camo inline tail rubber the ideal choice for PVA bags.
There's arguably no better way to attach a float to your mainline. These adaptors incorporate a micro-swivel, enabling them to be used with the smallest of line stops.
Intended for use with Guru’s new 10mm and 13mm Foam or Balsa Pellet Wagglers, their large rounded clasp ensures free movement of the float, which will always sit at the correct angle for straight, accurate casting and fold flat on the strike. The clasp opens easily, enabling quick float changes to be made. In packs of 10.
Few ready-tied pole rigs can match Maver’s superb Signature 1, 3, 5 and 7 series, which are made up with the highest quality mainlines, hooklengths, hooks, floats and shot.
Designed by Maver’s vastly experienced consultants and product team specifically for use on UK commercials, so you know they won’t ever let you down.
If you're fishing into shallow water, these wagglers from Middy should be on your shopping list. With white bodies that won’t alarm the fish, they are perfect for smaller snake lakes and pools. The fluoro tops are visible at range, and the floats come in a wide range of styles and weights.
Drennan’s new Carp Pole Rigs feature quality components and are hand-tied to exacting specifications. Robust and sensibly balanced mainlines, hooklengths and hooks, and strong reliable knots, give you peace of mind. Carp 1, Carp 2 and Carp 3 rigs all come on 3.5m of line, while the shorter Carp 4 Rig is on 3m of line. Each rig comes on a durable winder too.
Guru's new Kaizen is a super strong barbless, spade end, PTFE-coated hook ideal for any bait. The company's portfolio of top level consultants have told us that this pattern works especially well with luncheon meat however. Its unique offset shape, super-sharp point and extra-wide gape provide an impressive hookhold. The oversized spade allows it to be used without the worry of knots slipping off.
Sizes available are 10 to 20, with 10 hooks in each packet.
THE new Connect range from line manufacturing giants, Berkley, comprises of two monofilaments, a fluorocarbon and a braid to cover all the needs of specialist and carp anglers.
The CM90 Weed Green monofilament (£19.99) suits venues with plenty of weed growth and features an increased sink rate to get the line down quicker. It is also low-stretch with no line twist or memory making it easy to cast. It comes in 1,200m spools with six breaking strains from 8lb to 20lb.
The CM70 Muddy Brown monofilament (£12.99) is a high performance co-polymer boasting great knot strength and shock resistance. Supplied on 1,000m spools in breaking strains from 8lb to 20lb.
The CF600 (£49.99) is a 100% PVDF fluorocarbon and offers near invisibility under water. It sinks quickly and remains pinned to the deck so is ideal when faced with spooky or pressured fish. It comes on 1,200m spools and in a choice of five breaking strains from 10lb to 20lb.
If you’re thinking about doing some pike fishing and need to invest in some new wire traces, this new range of specialist Kodex Predatory pike rigs has just about every base covered.
Made from tough but fine seven-strand wire, with machined crimps, the 50cm-long rigs come in 20lb-25lb breaking strains and are fitted with dependable safety clips.
Twin Treble Rigs
These rigs, like all others in the range, use high-quality components.
The wire is Japanese seven-strand with hi-carbon X-Strong trebles, matt black size 8 swivels and black copper crimp sleeves. The crimps are tensioned by air pressure technology to squeeze them to the perfect degree of tightness.
The upper treble is adjustable to accommodate various sizes of bait, then the patented floating crimp can be engaged to stop the upper treble moving. A red attractor fin on the upper treble encourages snap takes.
Kodex Deadbait Rigs have semi-barbless X-Strong black trebles (only one of the points is barbed, and this should be used for mounting the bait). Wire, silicone-covered crimps and attractor fins are the same as on the Twin Treble versions.
Single Hook Rigs
These are ideal rigs for lip-mounting bigger baits, with all the technology and precision associated with the more complex rigs in the Kodex Predatory range.
These wire traces feature a secure safety clip to attach lures quickly and easily.
Always use a wire trace above your lure to ensure you won’t lose fish – pike will cut through mono in an instant, and leaving hooks in pike is very bad angling practice indeed.
Specifically for big-carp fishing, Tribal Carp line from Shimano comes in clear, green or dark colour options.
The super-smooth mono has excellent distance-casting qualities, good abrasion-resistance and superior knot strength.
It comes on 300m or 1,000m spools, and in 8lb, 10lb, 12lb and 15lb breaking strains.
These super-strong Kodex Genomic hooks are forged from the finest Japanese carbon steel, and feature incredibly sharp and slightly beaked micro-points for the best possible hookhold.
The pattern’s large offset eye helps to create the perfect bait presentation with pop-ups. They can also be easily tied using thick diameter chod rig materials. The non-flash, matt-finished hooks come in sizes 3, 5 and 7, with 10 to the packet.
Under the guiding influence of Danny Fairbrass and Damien Clarke, Korda has a deserved reputation for innovative carp fishing products.
The Essex firm’s Underwater DVDs enabled anglers to see exactly what their mainlines and rigs looked like under the surface. Feeding habits, bites and aborted takes from big carp could all be witnessed in anglers’ living rooms.
To the list you can also add the championing of PVA tactics, unique leads, bespoke hooks, and a raft of ‘must-have’ carpy accessories. Even in such exalted company, Korda’s latest ready-tied rigs are quite exceptional.
Every aspect of the mechanics is perfectly executed. I’ve viewed all the variations under a magnifying camera lens, and the closer I looked, the better they became.
With superbly compressed knotless knots, millimetre-perfect loops around swivels, ideal length hairs, correctly placed kickers, and seamless, identical stripping lengths of coated braids, they render home-tied rigs pretty much obsolete.
KORDA MULTI RIG
This, the most versatile big-carp rig there is, allows the hook to be changed in a jiffy. It is most often used with pop-up and wafter hookbaits. The rig is constructed from Korda Kamo coated braid, the colours of which blend in over most lakebeds. The Krank Choddy hook boasts a wide gape and sweeping shank. Available in sizes 4, 6 and 8, barbed or barbless.
DF CARP RIG
Carp god Danny Fairbrass’s favourite all-time rig. With quality Korda Soft N-Trap 15lb coated braid and a super-sharp Wide Gape hook, the rig’s aggressively curved inward-facing shrink tube turns the hook into the fish’s mouth. Ideal for bottom baits, snowman set-ups and popped-up plastics, the moveable rig ring allows for natural movement and stops the bait being blown back over the hookpoint. In barbed or barbless, in sizes 10, 8 and 6.
THIS ‘take it anywhere’ rig can be used for fish of all sizes from most venues. The Wide Gape hook’s efficiency is enhanced by a short length of shrink tube, and a small piece of silicon tubing on the hook shank ensures the hair exits at the optimum point. The rig is tied using Korda’s latest Dark Matter sinking braid in 15lb and 20lb versions, and finished with a size 8 swivel attached loop style, so it can be used with any quick change swivel. In barbed and barbless versions, sizes 10, 8, 4 and 6 hooks.
There’s no better big-fish rig out there. It’s all but impossible to tangle, even at extreme range, as the stiff element of the rig kicks the hookbait away from the lead on the cast to give perfect presentation. Constructed using 20lb IQ2 fluorocarbon and 20lb or 25lb Mouth Trap line tied to Korda Choddy hooks, the hook section is beautifully curved to allow the hook to spin into prime hooking position every time a fish mouths the bait. In sizes 4, 6 and 6.
This superb clear-water rig took a prized fish from the Linear complex during filming of Korda’s Underwater Part 7 DVD. The 12lb IQ Extra Soft Fluorocarbon gives near-invisible bait presentation, and natural movement is achieved via a long D-style loop and tiny bait swivel. Ideal for balanced bottom baits such as wafters, and slow-sinking plastics that hover just above the hook, the rig is well suited to small PVA bag work. You get free Korda Extenda stops too. Sizes 8, 6 and 4.
Fluorocarbon can be quite conspicuous when it’s off the lakebed, but the algae-tinted two-tone construction of these leaders makes them very hard for fish to spot at all levels in the water column.
New Avid Outline Fluorocarbon is indeed a very special leader or hooklink material. It combines supreme sinking qualities with new levels of invisibility, with great knot strength and abrasion-resistance.
On 50m spools in 18lb (0.35mm), 20lb (0.38mm) and 25lb (0.41mm).