Certainly, the most important part of your setup is your terminal tackle. The business end of things such as hook pattern and hook length material; ultimately these components mean that you safely land every bite you get. Let’s look at a few tips to help you make the most of your terminal tackle.
Regardless of what you fish for, there is always a balance you need to strike with your terminal tackle between everything. By this we mean if you are using a carp rod with a 3lb test curve, you don’t want to be using 2lb line for example. Your 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 hook length of say 4ln/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 instance, a large, hollow elastic would need a 6-8lb mainline with a lighter hook length and designated carp fishing pole hook.
Often overlooked 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 are, 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, so as to avoid alerting the fish to your presence .