Hooks & Leads – Does Size Matter?

I’ve been an angler now for far more years than I would like to admit to.  I was lucky enough to learn my angling skills on rivers like the Avon and Stour around Bournemouth and I’ve had the privilege of fishing with a lot of good anglers, always learning from them. I then went carp fishing for the first time with a friend and that was it… I was hooked on a new style of fishing and one that I still enjoy today.  But I still learn something from almost every guest we have here at Bletiere & that’s what makes fishing such a great sport… there’s no deffinitive “right way” and in most cases anglers are happy to share their methods and thoughts.

As I sat reading a copy of an angling magazine left by one of last year’s guests (I cannot buy them in France, well certainly not around here) I started to think about rigs and all the different variations that are out there.

So I’ve put this article together to show you what seems to work here. I appreciate that this may not work in other lakes for a variety of reasons, and others will say it’s no good, but for me it works and as they say “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”.  It’s not rocket science, but it works for me.

Carp Fishing Rigs

As with all rigs my first concern is safety for the carp – if the line snapped would the fish go free?  I have to say that most people fishing here also seem to care about that nowadays.

I just use the basic lead clips that most anglers seem to use today and don’t adjust or change it at all.

Rigs for carp fishing

I only buy good quality tackle, as some of the cheaper gear does seem to be a bit iffy.

As you can see from the photo below I use a straight combi-rig with a normal hair.  I use the combi-rig because I like to get my baits balanced;

Carp fishing in France

I believe balancing out the weight of the hook & bait helps get those extra bites and the combi gives you that bit of extra suppleness.

The hook size is something I have a lot of discussions here with our guests as I only ever use a size 10 barbless now.  I don’t have any problems with that size hook, but a lot of anglers say it’s too small and you lose fish… I don’t seem to, so that’s what I use.  I have a theory that the smaller hooks let the bait look more natural when you get it balanced correctly, and when the fish are feeding heavily and one goes by the bait it moves the rig and encourages other carp to make a grab.

The next thing is the lead – I only ever use a 1 to 1½ ounce lead as Bletiere is of a size that you can cast to most places with that much weight.  I also always put a pva bag of pellets on.

When our guest arrive and we have a walk round and talk about what’s been caught and how, it’s always interesting to watch the anglers that fish heavy leads and how long it is before they change or ask me for lighter leads. I’m not saying you will not catch with heavy leads as I know you will… but in this lake the lighter leads seem to pay off, and a lot of the times it results in the screaming runs that some say you only get with heavy leads.

Well that’s how I fish here & in my opinion size doesn’t matter and small & light works for me.  It’s the advice I give to all my visitors and then it’s down to personal choice, but next time you are able to fish a lighter rig give it a try and see what happens.  You can then make up your own mind.

Tight lines, John

Fishing Holidays at Bletiere



One thought on “Hooks & Leads – Does Size Matter?

  1. rushad diaffallah says:


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