Tackle news & reviews

                                       Underwater Secrets

Underwater secrets

The submersible camera and the filming of Carp in their natural environment has become a great asset to us anglers who target the species.The abillity to examine the way the creatures behave around the rigs and bait that we have dropped into their homes has progressed our understanding of the carp and their routines far beyond the point of just being able to peer down through the waters layers with a pair of polaroids.
Brought to the attention of the Carp angling community by tackle giants such as Korda and subaqua photographers like Rob Hughes,the use of underwater cameras is set to become more popular as time passes,without doubt.
However,and i am no expert on this subject,but the filming of the Carp or indeed any other fish being angled for in their home environment must take skills surpassing the average keen photographer so for me it's easy to appreciate such undertakings as they bring masses of help to the way i approach my fishing,as i am sure it is the same for alot of other fanatical Carp fishermen.
Underwater Secrets is a site who's author has obviously got the gift/art of underwater filming down to a fine art.From the very first time i visited the site i was fascinated by the quality of the recorded footage.The site authors simple text that is written with each of their videos doesn't try to explain anything away in a know all fashion rather you are left to make up your own mind on what is happening and why.What has been put in the water in terms of rigs and bait are not overly explained,but there's enough for you to make an informed opinion on what's going on down there,besides if there is anything more you want to know about each piece of footage then you only have to ask.Underwater Secrets are obviously more than happy to answer any of your questions judging by the contact links on the site.Lay out and navigation are simple so going back and forth between videos is easy.Filmed in the Darenth valley area over the past 5 years and having a musical soundtrack rather than a narrated one Underwater Secrets is a great site uncomplicated in a lot of ways but totally invaluable in all the right ways.This site is fantastic and were hoping they keep the videos going up on the site for as long as possible.Brilliant!.
Follow this link to Underwater Secrets  www.underwatersecrets.co.uk or you can get to it through your browser,whichever way you get there if your mad about your Carp fishing then you simply need to visit this site.

Review: Ace I3 Wireless Alarms
The i3 alarm.RRP £165

 2012 saw a selection of quality bite alarms hit the market some good some not so good and some great.The Ace i3 definately comes in as great with it's traditional bite alarm look you could be mistaken for thinking that this alarm is just like any other,but nothing could be further from the truth.
The quality of these devices are instantly apparent as soon as you get them in your hands all a good sign and theres the features this bit of kit boasts to highlight yet.
Listing what features the i3 has is a task in itself,there are just loads so here goes.
IARS (Intelligent Alarm Recognition System) If you make any changes to your alarms then the receiver automaticaly updates to match the setting.Dual sensing technology can detect line movement and vibration highlighting the slightest movement.Roller sensitivity ( 'R' control ) can be set between 1.5mm & 75mm.This allows you to tailor the sensitivity to your angling situation.
Changeable LED lighting,can be changed between super-bright red,yellow,green,blue,white and purple,all at the touch of a button.A built in night light gives off a gentle green glow helping you to position your rod back on the alarm at night,the i3 can also accomodate beta lights.A nice touch is the mute facility so your able to keep noise down to a minimum as you reset your rod.The i3 has exellent battery life with a 3 stage warning system to show how much power is left.The electronics to the i3 are fully encapsulated to stop the ingress of water and whatever else the elements can throw at them.Bought from new the Ace i3 comes with a 2 year warranty and theres little doubt in our minds that Ace are not likely to be honouring many of those simply because the i3 will last much longer than 2 years.Each i3 alarm comes in their own protective hard case and has a 3/8" steel stud to connect to your chosen bankstick or pod.The quality and features of this magnificent peice of angling technology are reflected in the price a single Ace i3 alarm has an RRP of £165 and the RX one receiver's RRP is £165.To use the i3 alarms is an experience in itself the presence of the alarms brings finesse to your set up aswell as the confidence of knowing youv'e got an alarm working for you that's that packed with technology, missing bites will be a thing of the past.CAUK's verdict..oh yes.
Available from well stocked tackle shops or visit www.acecarp.com 
Also to  see a video review of the Ace i3 alarms follow this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mz2w0qEGIto
  The Ace RX One receiver.RRP £165

Review:Kryston Bogey
The neatly packaged Kryston Bogey
Ask most specimen fish anglers about Kryston and they are likely to tell you that they are responsible for some of the best braided hooklinks that money can buy,such is their pedigree within the angling industry but ask again if they have heard of a product called Bogey by Kryston and the chances are you will be told that they are unaware of such a product.Kryston Bogey particle fixer is a jelly like glue that enables the user to create solid seed hookbaits from the particle of your choice.Hemp,tares,crushed boilies,crushed tiger nuts there is a vast number of particle baits that can be used in conjunction with Bogey and the results can be outstanding.Simply take an amount of the Bogey out of the pot and work it in your finger until it becomes sticky,roll into a boilie sized ball then roll the balled piece of Bogey in your desired particles.You can now mount the ball with the particles fixed to it on a hair just like you would a boilie,as i said the results can be astounding.I tested the product we were given last time out and caught the majority of my fish on it.I had noticed Bogey before whilst in my local tackle shop but it was one of those products that just slipped past my chain of thought and it was only when a pot arrived through our letter box a few days ago that i decided to give it a serious go,certainly the best idea i had had in terms of hookbaits for quite some time.I rolled a ball into some attractant soaked dry hemp and casted it out over a bed of prepared hemp suffice to say i was into a carp within 15 minutes of the rod being cast out,far from the fish being a monster i was still chuffed to have a carp none the less.The session turned out to be quite productive with 10 fish in all going to 14Lb 7oz.I certainly won't be overlooking this ingenious substance again as soon as this pots gone i am definately going to buy some more.Kryston Bogey,what a fantastic substance and i would recommend that any serious carp angler should have some of this in their kit,wicked.
Kryston Bogey is available from most well stocked tackle shops and the RRP is £5.99
Also available from  http://www.kryston.com/

Review:Freeloader Classic Solar Charger
This review isn't focusing on fishing tackle as such but could become an essential part of any serious session anglers kit.If your like me and you need your iphone,smartphone or tablet ect to keep in contact with the outside world then the Freeloader Classic portable solar charger is what you will be needing.Charging your device is as simple as using the ciggy lighter socket in your car most of the time but if you don't drive or your vehicle is not an option then the Freeloader classic will save your bacon.
The Freeloader has 2 solar panels that fit together neatly and clip onto the main power cell of the unit making it light and compact and easy to store.Charging the Freeloader ready to deliver it's charge to your device couldn't be easier.Simply unclip the solar panels from the charge delivery unit seperate them and conect each panel to each side of the charge delivery unit,placing the solar panels in a position where it will receive optimum sunlight.An LED screen tells you your Freeloader is boosting itself so it can deliver a charge to your device.Charging time from the Freeloader to your device takes around half an hour,it may not seem like alot of time to charge your kit but it delivers a charge that can power most hanheld devices for ages more than enough to see you through your session.The Freeloader classic can collect and hold a full charge for up to two weeks and can also be charged via a usb socket on your PC or laptop so your first charge can be collected at home and took  with you.It's worth noting that a usb charge is advised by the manufacturers first time out of the box also periodicaly charging from a usb socket helps to condition the internal lithium battery.The Freeloader far out performs any other emergency charging device i've used so far from emergency chargers that take AA batteries to wind up ones that make you look inapropriate when your backs turned from afar!The freeloader classic also has a supercharger panel that can be purchased seperately making it even more speedy and efficient although i found the classic fine as it came.The Freeloader classic works! It's worth paying that little bit extra for one rather than trying half a dozen cheaper devices that probably won't give you enough juice to send a text message.Expect to pay around £40 for a Freeloader classic available from good outdoor stores also available from Amazon.
Freeloader classic with all it's adaptors

Tackle Review: The Mitchell Pro-cast 8000 Reel
£79.99 that's the price of the new Mitchell Pro-cast 8000 big pit reel and there's no way that the price can be argued with.When i new i would be testing the new reel from the French reel manufacturers i always new that the reel would probably be quality but this was even beyond what i imagined.The Pro-cast is amazing in every way the Pro-cast ticks all the boxes when it comes to big pit reels.With extreme distance casting being it's primary design factor the Mitchell PC 8000 is packed with loads of other features that you would expect to find on a reel 4 times it's price.Starting with the line lay which is super flat thanks to the super slow oscillation speed.It has a quick drag feature going from fully locked to freespool in a single rotation,Mitchell have given the reel a manual bail arm lock system which prevents the head from turning prior to casting.The line clip is very gentle on the line as to be expected and the reel comes up a winner on it's looks alone,finished in a gunmetal grey. The Pro-cast 8000 comes with a spare spool and with the large power cranking handle it really does make for a big pit reel that is equal to some others far more expensive.The RRP on the Mitchell Pro-cast 8000 is £79.99 and is available from most good tackle shops and by the way this reel is new for 2012 and will go like hot cakes no doubt.CAUK.
The Mitchell Pro-cast 8000

Tackle Review: Tungsten Rig Putty
Tungsten rig putty will be the object of our focus in this review,the 3 brands under scrutiny are Nash Cling on,Korda Dark matter and TF Gear pin down.

Nash Cling on
Our first look is at the Nash Cling on it comes in 3 different colors and according to Nash it sticks like s;*t to a blanket.Cling on is dense yet very malleable allowing for the tiniest amount to critically balance a pop up,this brand of tungsten putty was easy to mold around the rig even in the very cold conditions that we tested it under,a great product essential to any carp anglers arsenal.Nash Cling on Tungsten rig putty has an RRP of £5.99 and is available from most good fishing tackle shops.
Korda Dark Matter rig putty

Next is Korda's Dark Matter tungsten rig putty.It is available in two colors and Korda say it is the heaviest tungsten rig putty on the market.It's certainly nice to build your rigs with easy to mold round your rig for that stealthy concealment also fared well in very cold conditions,not sure about the tin it is packaged in though the packaging is probably the reason why it is the most expensive of the three.Korda could probably get the price down if it were to be repackaged in a plastic container.Korda Dark matter tungsten rig putty retails for £6.99 and is available from most well stocked tackle shops.
TF Gear Pin down rig putty
Finally we have TF Gears Pin Down rig putty.The Pin down only comes in one color and although there is nothing wrong with the functionality of this product it does seem to lack the quality and attention that the other two putties have.The Pin down putty doesn't have the same concealment qualities that the other putties have and it took a little more work with the fingers to get it soft enough to mold onto the rig in the cold conditions we were testing it in,another issue that stood out to me was that it was "tungsten impregnated" which would suggest that it may not be a pure tungsten product like it's competitors.TF Gear Pin Down has an RRP of  £3.99 available from well stocked fishing tackle shops.

Tackle Review:   The Diawa Tournament 45 Basia QDX
This review will be focusing on the Diawa Tournament Basia 45 QDX.One of three in the Basia range it is not the cheapest nor is it the most expensive which i guess puts it in the middle as far as the models and price go.As far as big pit reels go and judging from a lot of conversations i have had with other carp anglers the Basia is the reel that they all aspire to have on their rods.Originally the Basia was designed to aid the Japanese with their surf casting now re-designed as a big pit reel with the pursuit of specimen carp in mind.
The Diawa QDX has a 45mm tapered spool so hitting the required distances on the cast is possible.The super compact construction and magnesium alloy body make the reel very lightweight,the  Airbail and oscillation enable perfect line lay and the QDX spools have two high impact line clips,it has quick drag engagement meaning with a quater of a turn of the drag you can go from full free spool to total control.This reel is jam packed with features from the wooden handle to the starlight skirted spools which you get two of with the QDX.Finished in matt black and a gun metal finish the Diawa QDX really is one of the cream of the crop and returning the reels used for this review is going to be a sad occasion as I've totally gotten addicted to using them in such a short length of time they just ooze quality and as well they should at £455 each.Is the QDX worth it's price tag and saving up for?It depends on how serious you take you angling,so that's a yes from me then!Available from most major tackle dealers or from http://www.daiwasports.co.uk/
(Many thanks to Tom for letting us have the use of his reels for this review,i am definitely saving up.)    

Tackle Review:    Catapults
Our review for this post will be the good old poggy.With so many available it would be a large task to try them all out (and we can't afford it!) so we've picked the best of what we thought was out there and relevant to our style of fishing.The reviews are based on function,reliability and price.The five catapults we opted to test are: Gardner's Slinga,The Fox Power guard multi-bait,The Drennan Boiliepult,The Fox Distance Boilie and the ESP Megapult.
First of the bunch is the Gardner Slinga.A large catapult with good strong quality elastic,the pouch is a good size and is nice and supple,it's easy to hold but improvements could be made to the ergonomics of the handle as this interfered with the accuracy a little.Worth the RRP of  £9.99 the Gardner Slinga is available from most well stocked tackle shops or online from http://www.gardnertackle.co.uk/ .
Next is the Fox Powerguard multi-bait.Fox have a range of catapults be we opted to test the Powerguard multi-bait and the Distance boilie which we will get to in a moment.The Fox PG multi-bait is the most expensive of the fish food projectiles we tested,the multi-baits pouch is a bit rigid and the elastic feels spongy and weak,struggled to pull the elastic to full stretch and the accuracy wasn't accurate at any attempted range but was alright firing particles out at medium distances.The handle was good probably the best part of it.The Fox PG multi-bait has a RRP of £15.49 and is available at well stocked tackle shops,also available online from http://www.foxint.co.uk/ .
Another catapult from Fox this time the Distance boilie.The pouch on this poggy is small obviously for putting out single boilies,a powerful catapult,this is evident in the amount of pain you feel when you get it across the knuckles ouch!>A shame really because it's got good components such as good quality elastic easy to wind up,it feels well balanced and has a comfy handle.Going back to the pouch on the distance boilie we found that using the little handle on the back of the pouch resulted in the boilie falling out either before or during the release.The Fox Distance boilie has a RRP of £9.51 and is available from most well stocked tacle shops alternatively you can go online and get one from http://www.foxint.co.uk/ .
The Drennan Boiliepult next and this truly is a great catapult.First off it's nice and colorful making it easy to locate amongst your things on the bank,it's very powerful the elastic is really good quality and strong.The pouch is nice and soft but doesn't hinder the bait when released.Accuracy took some time but once this was mastered the catapult became a joy to use,well balanced and comfy in hand the Drennan Boiliepult is a super catty to own.RRP for this catapult is only £7.95 available from good tackle shops or from Drennan http://www.drennantackle.com/ is the place online you can get on of these.
Finally we come to the ESP Megapult,with a good sized pouch which is handy for particles or a few boilies at a time but not the most powerful of the bunch.Still a good catty it's red handle makes locating it amongst your things easy,the handle is also comfy.The Megapult is well balanced and the elastic is strong enough to put a spread of boilies out to 30 yds.ESP's Megapult has a RRP of £9.99 and can be bought from most good tackle shops,available online from http://www.esp-carpgear.com/ .

Hope this review can be of some use to someone CAUK.

Fox TV on You tube
Just a few words to say if you haven’t already had a look at fox’s you tube channel then you are definitely missing out,there's plenty of stuff on there to keep you watching for hours,no doubt there will be a lot of selling going on but at the same time you will find it quite entertaining,any passionate carp fisherman will be drawn into Fox’s channel like a child looks at the toys in their mums catalog.

 Carp kinetics Synapse carp rods

 One of the lads who i tutor has recently bought himself a set of Carp Kinetics Synapse rods so before he could use them properly he kindly handed them over so we could christen our review section. The first thing that came into my head was the price Dragon carp direct are selling these for £30 each which had me dubious from the off but on closer inspection and with an open mind my opinion changed. There are three rods in the range with test curves of 2.5 Lb,2.75 Lb and 3.5 Lb,all of which are 12 ft.The blank itself is carbon and has a slim profile.The handle is full length with a screw reel seat and a keeper ring just above that.Moving up the butt section of the two piece rod i can see that a 50 mm butt ring has been whipped on which will help to get your rigs out further without doubt,the rest of the eyes are double and single legged Matsuku guides all in an attractive matt finish.Incidentally the rods i am testing are the 3.5 Lb TC ones.When i got to the waters edge to give it a few casts i was again surprised at  the way the rod wound up,i must say i was expecting to be casting something resembling a line prop but again was pleasantly surprised,i was easily achieving 110 yard with a 3 oz lead and it was accurate as well.If you are just coming into the sport and as always expense is a factor,then these CK Synapse rods are ideal,for the price there's very little to be critical about.The Carp Kinetics Synapse rods are available to buy on-line at http://www.dragoncarpdirect.com/

      Rigmarole's Bore ring
A great alternative to bait floss
If you use the chod rig and find attaching your bait to be fiddly and time consuming then the Bore ring by Rigmarole may be the answer you've been looking for.You could be mistaken for thinking the Bore ring is one of those little metal screw threaded hoops you would use to hang a picture up with in fact there's very little difference apart from the size,replacing the rig ring on the "D" section of your chod rig your bait can be simply screwed onto the Bore ring,i personally think it's a great idea,the simple one's usually are,and the time saved by not having to fiddle around with bait floss means more time with your rods in the water,my only concern with the Bore ring is that of the thought of the bait losing it's buoyancy with the weight if the little metal ring but i should imagine Rigmarole have already thought about that,in any case your bait losing it's buoyancy in a little shorter time than if you would have used bait floss is a small sacrifice for the Bore rings convenience,having a packet in your tackle box can't do any harm if their not your cuppa tea there's still the good old bait floss.The Rigmarole Bore rings retails for about £3.50 in packs of 10. CAUK
Picture hangers?
Bore rings are available from all good tackle shops or online from

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