Monday Top 5 - Terminal Tackle Tips

Certainly the most important part of your setup is your terminal tackle. The business end of things such as hook pattern and hooklength material; ultimately these components mean that you safety land every bite you get. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your terminal tackle…

Balance
Regardless of what you fish for there is always a balance you need to strike with your terminal tackle between everything. By this I mean if you are using a carp rod with a 3lb test curve you don’t want to be using 2lb line for example. You tackle has to match the rod setup you are using. Once this balance has been established you need to ensure you have the correct balance of strength and finesse. Using lighter lines may get you more bites due to better presentation but if you are fishing near snags or on a weedy lake, if your tackle is too light you won't have the means to land these bites. A good guide for general coarse fishing tackle would be a 6lb mainline used with a lighter hooklength of say 4lb/5lb; this will cope with carp, tench, bream etc on the float and feeder. For carp fishing, 15lb line with a coated braid of similar breaking strain or above is ample for most lakes and fishing situations. On the pole simply match your rig line to your elastic, for example a large, hollow elastic would need again 6-8lb mainline with a lighter hooklength and designated carp fishing pole hook.

Invisibility
Often over looked is the ability to make your terminal tackle as inconspicuous as possible. This is especially true when targeting very clear lakes. Materials like fluorocarbon are great for this, as well as hooks which have a coloured coating that matches the lake bed and is anti glare. Fish no doubt know what rigs ar,e so next time you are at a venue, have a look at the water clarity and the colouration of the bottom in the edge, and try to match your terminal components to this. This extra edge can help you get a bite or two when you may not have without this attention to detail. Nowadays things such as marker pens, coloured putty, coloured shot and a selection of different components can all be used to help blend your end tackle into the lake bed, helping to not alert the fish to your presence.

Pin It Down
It sounds simple but try to keep as much line as possible pinned to the bottom when ledgering on the feeder, bomb, or carp fishing. Fish can certainly detect when lines are in the water and them bumping into any line that is off the bottom is a sure fire way to ensure they spook away from your rig/spot. The use of heavy leaders, leadcore, tubing, shots behind the line and even hooklength weights all help in pinning everything to the lake bed where the fish can simply pass over your tackle without knowing it's there and continue to feed in the area of your rig. Look for a good quality sinking mainline as well, which will help if you are ledgering.

Considerations
There is a huge amount of choice when it comes to terminal tackle nowadays. Experiment with hooks, hooklengths, and setups. When you find something that works for you, stick to this and simply adjust it to suit each situation. For example if you have a successful shallow pole fishing rig, then when you are targeting fish shallow on the pole, use the same rig and just adjust the length and your feeding to maximise your bites, never doubt the rig; you’ve caught well on it before; just consider other factors. Use YouTube, magazines and social media to see what rigs are working and what new components are available and then experiment for yourself; you’ll soon stumble on some favourite rigs and presentations that you will stick too.

Compare Notes
Speak to other anglers, see what components and terminal tackle items they favour, and what has been working. This doesn’t mean copy them but, for example if you are fishing popups and everyone is catching on bottom baits on your lake then you may want to adjust your terminal tackle to suit this presentation. There seems to be a stigma attached sometimes with speaking to other anglers about rigs, but most anglers are open, honest and upfront with this information as, let's face it, we are always learning and trying our best collectively to help outwit our quarry.

I hope the following terminal tackle tips help you and give you something to think about in terms of your rigs/presentations moving forwards to you next session.

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