Tight or Slack?

C

Carp Angler

Guest
I've recently reverted back to really, really slack lines and ultra light indicators, this coupled with braided mainline has lead to unbelievable bite detection and awareness of activity in the swim.

I had previously noticed fish being very spooky of tight lines or even slack lines that are suspended thru the water.

Anyone else noticed otherwise or think I'm just being neurotic?
 
K

Keith Finn

Guest
Carp Angler,
I've been using braid for about a year now on feeder rods but not fully tightening the line to the tip but leaving it slack. And do you know what? the bites are still of the pull my rod in type!.I am sure that ,as the main line is slack, the fish are not so spooked.
 

GrahamM

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So where do back-leads come into this discussion?

I use them in situations when I think tight lines to the lead are in a position to spook the fish, and sometimes when I'm fishing multiple rods where the lines on the non-active rods could be fouled by a fish being played on another rod.

But I hate back-leads and avoid them whenever I think I can get away with it.

So that's why I'm VERY interested in this slack line theory. It could make back-leads redundant.
 
C

Carp Angler

Guest
If the swim allows, I use backleads aswell, only when there's not much weed about though.
Gardner captive backleads that strike off are my fave, but you can't use them with running leads and braid as the braid doesn't run smoothly through them, negating the running lead side.

Did that make sense?

When using ultra slack lines you need to make sure that your line sinks, obvious I know, but some braids don't sink or float, they seem to have a neutral density(buoyancy?) and waft around in mid-water.
You can only see this in clear water, just the time when you need it to sink.
 
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Darren Wilson

Guest
Interesting topic.

I know that there is a lot of discussion going around at the moment regarding tight lines and bankside vibrations generated through them. This I could accept as being genuine, but anglers have fished with tight lines for many years now and have caught still. Same can be said for the slack line approach which would obviously deplete the vibration factor dramatically. Going back to tight lines and fish being wary of them. If the fish could see the line cutting through thte water then point accepted withthe wary Carp being spooked by them, but what about the Flourocarbon reel lines available? Surely if the Fluorocarbon lives up to it's 'virualy' invisible properties then this would solve a lot of the tight line problems (apart from the vibrations). Should we go back to the high stretch lines of old that would certainly drop the number of vibration signals being sent through the water due to it's more giving properties, or do we use low stretch lines fished slack? I probably am talking utter nonsense here, but it is hard to put some things into writing. without going over the top and typing 3000 words in a topic. I would have also thought that the use of backleads with tight lines would have cut down the strength of the vibration signals by absorbing some of them itself via the contact point it has with the line?
Interesting topic again thjat will certainly get peoples minds working.
 

GrahamM

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The main problem with tight lines cutting through the swim (and not pinned down with backleads) isn't the fact that carp can see them (in daylight in clear water) but that they bump into them and spook.

Most carp waters are not clear, and most carp fishing is done at night as well as through the day when the line will not be visible anyway.
 
C

Carp Angler

Guest
Yes flouro are virtually invivible but they hang up like washing lines with the suspended detrius in most waters.
I've seen carp spook from visible lines.

Carp that swim into slack lines are less spooked than one that swims into a tight line, but then again, an even slightly spooked carp is harder to catch than a non-spooked one.
Once again it's horses for courses, slack lines at distance or with a big undertow are virtually impossible to fish with anyway.
A slackish line with a flying backlead, if there's no weed, would be my choice.
If there's a lot of weed then dispense with the backlead, keep a slackish line and the carp may think that thing brushing against them is weed.

Too complicated....I'm going barbelling.........:D
 
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Dan Wellington

Guest
Just thought i'd add a few points to the subject, for 90% of my carp fishing I use a 3ft leadcore leader and a slackish mono mainline and light hanger type bobbins, i find that this gives me the best of both worlds in that i can still get a certain amount of bankside indication (liners etc) but the line is pinned down in the buisness area.beyond 70 yards i don't really feel that leadcore is nessesary because the majority of the line will lie on the lake bed or in weed at that sort of distance and shouldn't cause to many problems in the spooking fish department, well not that i've encountered anyway, i always fish running leads on the understanding that this gives a somewhat clearer picture as to what is happening at the hook end i've found i certainly get more single bleeps and indications at the rod end that i'm fairly sure aren't pickups and that it's a good indication of fish in the area, has anybody else had similar happenings?
 
C

Carp Angler

Guest
In fish leadcore leaders and running leads on big bore run beads.
Why I don't know, if the fish takes the bait directly away from you then yes, but if the fish moves at any other angle then the leadcore is running at an angle thru the run ring and being heavy and full of lead it doesn't run smoothly and probably works like a bolt rig.
Strange but I still use it.
I prefer running leads as during a fight they move on the line unlike a fixed lead which could cause the hook to bounce out on it's pivot point......
 
C

Carp Angler

Guest
Darren, come on then 3000 word article for the site.
I'm sure Graham wouldn't object, he'll probably even let you post a link....
 
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Dan Wellington

Guest
Back to the subject of backleads, has anybody experienced pickups at close range, possibly as fish have moved towards you and only registered a few bleeps or twitches, only to have the fish kite into a weed bed ect or and lose the fish, I'm sure I'm fishing a sensitive rig/setup but once or twice I'm finding fish (possibly tench)drifting in to nearby weed or snags, this only seems to happen in deeper water 12ft-18ft I'm on the same leadcore rig as described earlier, is it perhaps the angle the mainline enters the water in relation to the backlead, not 15 yards away in clear bottom/no weed? I'm talking about the fish entering the weedbed before the rod is even picked up if i didn't make that clear earlier.
 
C

Carp Angler

Guest
I think this goes back to my point about leadcore not running thru the run ring.
If the fish moves towards you, the leadcore drags the weight and you recieve a drop back, but you're fishing light indicators and slack lines, thus no indication.
I don't believe that leadcore is the most suitable material for running leads and slack lines.
I think I'll go back to Korda clips and slackish lines with lightish indicators.

Oh bugger it, where's my float rod?
 
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Dan Wellington

Guest
Hi carp angler,I'm interested to see what your thoughts are on the older fashioned methods ( Rob Maylins book Tiger Bay and that era) on slack lines and semi fixed leads and tight lines and running leads and to see if any comparisons can be made, and if the results are relative to todays methods or not, I'm not just talking about the fish spooking off a tight line but the indications you might get at the rod end, personally I find line bites and the like equally as important as fish rolling / jumping particularly in the winter
 
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Philip Inzani

Guest
Hi there, joining late as I have been away but I think this is a great subject for discussion so forgive me if I go on a bit! I am a big believer in the presence of the mainline going through the swim being one of the biggest deterrents to catching. First point I do agree with Graham that on many occasions it is the FEEL of the line rather than the sight of it that fish detect. Regarding slack lines, I think there is a lot of misunderstanding here. Sorry if I sound patronising but I believe many people fishing with what they think is a slack line is not really slack at all. Even the presence of a very light indicator on the line is enough to create a bow in the line that lifts it off the bottom. At long distances on shallow gently shelving lakes this is not really a problem as much of the mainline will be on the bottom, but if you fish close in, particularly on waters with steep shelving margins then the problem is magnified. I try to have my rod tips angled down right onto the bottom if I can get away with it to sink my line, I know it looks untrendy as it seems to be the in vogue thing to fish with your rod tips pointing skywards with ultra tight lines coming from them but I think this is a recipe for your line to be detected.
When I fish close in swims I like to fish slack lines. To make sure it is REALLY slack I make sure that the mainline is hanging absolutely limp from the rod tip and dont attach any indicator at all. I also check it from time to time to make sure it is still hanging limply as it can and will tighten up. I know that drops backs will not show like this but at the sort of ranges I am talking the fish would need to jump out onto the bank to register a dropback! Actually I have started to do this when fishing a little further out and I dont think that it is causing me to miss fish.
OK about back leads. I also hate using them. Even if you use a back lead it does not mean your line is pinned to the bottom. First problem is that with sub surface drift, undertow etc there will be a gradual tightening of your line. As the line draws tight it will lift off the bottom between the leads. Even if this is only a very small amount it can be enough for the fish to feel with its fins/belly as it moves around the swim. Second problem with back leads is in swims with undulating bottoms. If you are fishing over bars/humps/gullies then your line will be going through all sorts of angles and some of it will certainly be off the bottom and in weed I think they are a definite no, no.
If you are worried about the presence of line in your swim and dont like the idea of back leads or slack lines there are some alternatives. I know some of you may laugh but have you ever thought about suspending your line on or above the surface ? I have done this on some very big lakes to keep the mainline away from problems on the bottom?a polyball or small float directly above the lead lifts the line to the surface?if you fish beachcaster style at shorter distances as well it is possible to have all the line suspended above the water. This way the only line in the swim is the bit running directly down from the polyball to the lead?a bit like floats fishing on some grand scale I suppose! I did also read about some guys who try and disguise that bit of line as well as a reed stem or similar when fishing shallower water.
Second point as I mentioned in the thread about multiple rods, the easiest way of reducing the presence of line in the swim is to fish with less rods!?.obvious I know but I think many anglers sling out three or fours rods in swims with only one or two producing spots.
Anyway sorry to waffle on but I think its a really important area.

Philip.
 
D

Dan Wellington

Guest
Hi Philip,several good points made, particularily about the polyball keeping the line on the surface,I remember reading an article a few years ago about a guy fishing in france and he did as you have suggested but with the emphasis being to keep the line away from some almighty tree roots and snags, but thinking about it you could kill two birds with one stone, keeping the line out of harms way on both accounts!
What sort of range do you feel this method would be seemingly unpractical, I suppose it would depend on wind strenght and direction,not just for casting, because I would imagine casting a poly ball of any size would cause a fair amount of drag, well it does when I pike fish, but if you were talking about fishing 80yds plus then that's a fair amount of line to be having on or near the surface and what about birds/boats?
I suppose again it just depends where you fish and if it is practicle,wow it's certainly got me thinking!
Do you not agree though philip that at 60yds plus that after a few hours in the water that the line will absorb a certain amount and will get heavier and sink possibly finding it's own way into weed and bedding into the contours of the lake, I'm talking about when fishing a slack / ish line not the cheese wires I see in some of my local lakes,would this happen more with a stronger line and therefore heavier?
I remember a few summers back when I surfaced fished for carp and didn't use a line grease of any sort just how quickly the line used to sink and that it could be very detrimental on the strike because the line had sunk so far in a short space of time.
Interesting point on number of lines in the swim sometimes its the simplist things! Dan
 
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Philip Inzani

Guest
Hi Dan, suspending the line on or near the surface is not practical on all venues, as you say, boats, people (windsurfers!) etc will mean it is unusable. As for distance if you are casting then there will be a limit but I do know some guys rowing baits out miles and using this method effectively. As you mentioned it tends to be used to suspend the line over snags on the bottom. At mega distance you will get some of the line sinking below the surface but it is still well out of harms way above the snags in anything but the shallowest water.
At shorter distances this is not such a problem but it must be used with very, very tight lines, so a big lead is essential to really tighten up to. The sinking of the line happens when you are fishing it too slack. Obviously a floating line is a major benefit and a floating braid will be best of all. I certainly am not suggesting that everyone should go out and use this as standard its just a another idea to get people thinking.
 
D

Dan Wellington

Guest
Hello philip, just a couple of points, if you were fishing the polyball method on a very tight line/heavy lead set up surely this would pull the line down to almost the same angle that it would be anyway without the polyball on the line? unless you have a veritable football on the line to suspend it higher.
Sorry to keep going on about it but it's a method I'm considering more and more.
Also is it vital to keep the line out of harms way? on some spooky waters it obviously is, people going to great lenghts to actually bury the line in sand/silt etc, but on less difficult waters I've found it beneficial to fish with slackish lines and use liners and twitches as a good source of location especially in the winter when the fish tend not to show themselves so much( forgive me if I'm repeating myself but I think I said that somewhere above)
What are your thoughts on the subject?
 
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Philip Inzani

Guest
Dan the simple answer is to use a float big enough! It also depends on where and what you are trying to achieve?..

On a big French reservoir for example at mega distance you are never going to get all the line above the water, that?s not even the goal. You are simply trying to raise it above snags. When you do tighten up the float will be pulled down but it will still (hopefully) be well out of harms way. Sure you need to use a float big enough OR several floats up the line at intervals. Of course it will never work if you are rowing out 300 yards using a massive lead and then just stick one tiny polypop on the line!

On smaller lakes where you are fishing at shorter (casting) distances I dont see it as being any different to say fishing a floating bait beachcaster style. I think this has been well documented in the past, where by you cast out a large float, say a pike bung or similar anchored to the bottom with a large lead and then have a floating bait attached rod side of the set-up which you then sort of "dap" on the surface. The rod is held high (like a beachcaster) and the idea is to have all the line out of the water and only the bait touching it. Sure if you try and fish it at a massive distance or use a porcupine quill as the float its going to sink when you tighten up!

Your second point about whether it is even necessary to keep the line out of harms way and whether just fishing a slack line is better?..well that ones up to you mate! I totally agree with you that sometimes getting or even deliberately trying to get line bites can be a great location aid, other times a fish touching the line is the kiss of death. I also agree that if you are going to do this, do it on a high stock venue. If you try it on a low stock one you might have a very long wait!
As is always the case there are no hard and fast rules and one venue will be different to another. Best thing is to experiment yourself.

Final point I was very careful to say that I do not expect anyone to go out and try and start using a suspended line as their standard set-up. It was just an alternative idea tossed into the ring for people to consider.
 
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Dan Wellington

Guest
Hello again philip, I too would not consider this the standard setup to use but it is a useful alternative,and one to be locked away at the back of the old brain.
just an after thought, when fishing running leads I feel that I am getting a clearer picture of what's going on at the bait end than when I fish with a semi fixed lead, do you think that is a fair comment even though alot of the bleeps are made from fish in between the lead and the rod.
It's certainly a grey area for me although I can now tell the difference between a fish getting away with it and liners(I think!)Although I'm glad to say not many do!!
 
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Philip Inzani

Guest
Dan, sounds like you are doing better than me if you are getting most of the fish. Could be a topic for another thread but I would hate to know how many fish pick up my baits without getting hooked!
Wow...fixed or running leads thats a big topic, I fish both but I am not am not always happy that my running leads are actually running! I am not as confident as you that I can always tell when a fish gets away with it, basically an indicator that lifts and then drops back immediatly I take to be a liner while one that lifts and holds I think is a possible fish...but obviously there must be a thousand other permutations in between!

Hey CA...your the man for all things Carpy what do you think ?
 
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