Slack lines and running rigs for Carp

by Duncan De Gruchy

During a week of day sessions Duncan de Gruchy has 20 indications, 20 carp runs and 20 carp including a new lake record. Here he reveals his secrets… and at the end of the article you can watch a video of Duncan in action.


Flourocarbon mainline (pure flouro, not coated). The weight of the line laying slack along the bottom causes the bolt effect and gives you those screaming takes all anglers love. The lack of stretch increases sensitivity.


Use only enough lead to cast to the fish. Even when bait boating to distances beyond 100 yards you can still use a 1oz lead unless drift is a problem. It is not the weight of the lead that sets the hook, its the line. The running rig increases sensitivity, so you know when you are being ‘done’ and you can make adjustments accordingly.


Helps to kick the hooklink away from the lead thereby avoiding tangles.


Most invisible hooklink you can use but lack of stretch can make it hard to use for novices or anglers using stiff rods.


Increases sensitivity (opposite to what people think) no back leads required, fewer liners and even if fish do bump into your line they will not spook as they will think it’s is weed or bottom debris.


Have it set so it’s difficult to pull off the reel (but not too tight as the takes on this set up can be violent!). This helps set the hook.


Out of fashion these days but helps to set the hook.


No volume, just use the remote.  The sound of alarms going off can spook fish (I believe). Only good if you have a remote facility obviously.


Supple hair is hugely beneficial. Makes the hook turn easier and the bait behaves more naturally. In most cases, you want a minimum gap of 15mm between the top of the bait and hook shank. This makes the hook turn and gives you those nice hookholds, 1″ inside the middle of the bottom lip. If I’m being done this is the first thing I will adjust.


  • 16lb Tigerline flourocarbon main line.
  • 1 to 1.5oz Korda square pear swivel leads (swivels cut off)
  • Enterprise Tackle snag safe running lead clips.
  • ESP helicopter sleeve
  • Korum quick link swivel


  • ESP rig boom (long)
  • ESP Ghost 12lb flourocarbon (better to go up to 15lb for novices)
  • 22lb Dynon braid (for the combi link)
  • Size 5 ESP curveshank hooks
  • Korda ring (small)
  • ESP shank stop
  • Kryston Samson hair braid


4 thoughts on “Slack lines and running rigs for Carp

  1. Rich says:

    I’m planning to do some carp fishing (after a 24yr break!) from boat and I’m guessing I need to fish a slack line. Would this be a suitable rig? Seems good, but how do you deal with drop backs?

  2. Duncan de Gruchy says:

    Hello Rich
    Apologies for the delay in replying but I’ve just returned from a fantastic week’s fishing at La Bletiere (one of Angling Lines venues).

    I think there is 2 parts to your question:
    1) Do I need to fish a slack line? You dont have to but in certain situations it can be a real advantage, i.e. pressured carp, shallow water etc, I use the technique all the time as I have total confidence in it but if your just getting back to carp fishing after a long break then it may be better for you to use a “standard” semi-fixed set up to start with and build from there.
    2) How do you deal with drop backs? If you set this up correctly (totally slack lines with flourocarbon running rigs and a large bore running rig lead attachment) you wont get drop backs. If/when a carp picks up your hookbait it can swim or bolt off in any direction and you will get a screamer as it is the effect of the lay of the line, and not the lead, that makes the carp bolt, even if it swims towards you.

    Hope that helps.

  3. Rob says:

    Hi Duncan l’ve just started using this set up exactly like yours the only difference is instead of a helicopter sleeve l’m using one of the Korda run ring rubber the one with the shoulder so the rig sits at a nice angle but still seem to be getting the odd tangle even when feathering and hitting the clip on the cast, so any advice would be very welcome l’ve heard some tie the lead with Pva ? and do you ever use a very small pva stick or bag.
    Many thanks in advance

  4. Hi Rob, Duncan has asked us to post this reply;

    ‘Hello Rob,

    You shouldnt get any tangles with the rig set up correctly. I don’t use the ‘angled’ run rig buffer beads personally but I dont see why they would make any difference tangle wise.

    I have found that if I use PVA bags, stringers etc then I do get occasional tangles so I dont bother with them now. If you are still having problems then I would try pinching a pva nugget on the mainline, just above the lead. This will stop the lead moving up the mainline on the cast and therefore decrease the chance of the hooklink tangling.

    Hope that helps.

    Kind regards

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