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As I’ve been spending the last 3 months at the lake working and fishing, I’ve had the opportunity to experiment with different things. I’ve tried new materials, new baits, new tactics, new hooks, new rigs and I’ve been thinking about simplifying our lake rules and giving anglers more options on tackle.

As a result, I’m making a few changes to the rules going forward.

1) Change of hooks:

You can only use barbless or crushed micro barbed hooks.

I’ve been a user of micro barbed hooks for most of my fishing life but I was inspired to give barbless a serious go this year and I have to say it’s been a revelation.

  • Firstly, I haven’t lost a single carp on a barbless hook this year and let’s just say that I’ve caught… a few.
  • 90% of hookholds have been so clean and neat that I can’t even see where they were hooked to apply antiseptic. The 10% that did leave mark were just small cuts which will quickly heal.
  • What was really impressive was how well hooked each carp was. The point penetrated to full depth each time. There was no way the carp was dropping off as long as some form of tension was maintained when playing the fish.
  • In the worst case scenario of a cut off, the fish can easily rid itself of a barbless hook.
  • Once the carp is netted, it’s very easy to unhook it in the net. This is much safer for the carp and safer for the angler.
  • There’s no issue hooking and landing massive catfish on barbless hooks either.

 

2) Mono hooklink: 

You can now use mono as a hooklink material.

This spring, I decided to use particle to target the carp over the cats and I wanted a hooklink material and a rig that didn’t mind getting knocked about and wouldn’t tangle. It turns out that Big Game makes an excellent hooklink and a simple mono D-rig is all you need to trip up our wily carp over large beds of particles. I’ve also caught big cats on this Big Game mainline/hooklink combo.

Note on the Big Game specs:
Berkley have changed the line rating and sizes in Europe so 25lbs is now 0.45mm dia (previously 0.48).

 

3) Leadless leaders:

Leaders have always been banned here and when micro barbed hooks were the norm, I still believe that it was right to do so. Leadcore and safezone leaders are still banned. However, with the switch to barbless hooks, if you are interested in using a high quality leadless leader of 65lb minimum then, with prior arrangement, it is now possible to do so.

For the full list of our lake rules, click here.

 

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