In need of a coated hook link, I visited my local tackle shop, Pickering’s of Burslem. As usual, like a kid in a sweet shop, I spent ages reading the packaging to see what would suit my style of fishing (normally just sit there and catch nothing....that kind of style). Like most anglers, I am very aware of price; at the moment, many of the people I speak to on the bank say that cost is now one of the main priorities when it comes to choosing new items for their fishing. Looking around the store, I drifted across to the A.C.E. (Advanced Carp Equipment) stand. I’m into their stuff, it all seems reasonably priced, nicely packaged and comes in good amounts. Some of the new range of terminal tackle even includes the tools to splice, pin or fit together rigs as a kit, which, in the present credit crunch provides excellent value for money. I picked up ‘Camo Core’. At £10.99 for a 20 metre spool, it’s not the cheapest coated link, but it’s not the priciest either.
Available in WEED, GRAVEL or SILT, there is something to suit most situations. Because I fish silty Cheshire meres, I chose SILT. (Not daft am I?). It can be purchased in either 15lb, 20lb or 25lb breaking strains, so as most of my angling is done at close range with room to play fish, I grabbed it in 15lb
Because it’s a coated hook link, the options for presentation are many and varied; stiff link, hinge link, running rigs, pop-ups or whatever you want to experiment with. The camouflaged coating is easily peeled away with fingernails (for a change) to reveal a graduated camouflage braid inner. This helps to break up the outline of the link on the lake bed rendering it almost invisible. I normally use it as a shortish hinged rig combined with a small hook, usually a size 10 or size 8 at the biggest. The narrow diameter of the ‘camo core’ means it will easily pass through the eye of smaller hooks which can be one of the main disadvantages to using coated braids. With the coating stripped back, the underlying braid is supremely supple; even in its complete state, the hook link is still soft enough to tie, resulting in tidy knots and hairs which sit rigidly off the shank of the hook. When cut with scissors or braid blades, there is no fraying often associated with this type of link. In turn, this means less wastage.
The first time I used it, I took several carp to 13lbs; not big by any standards, but 4 other anglers took only 7 fish between them. Was it because I used ‘Camo Core’? I would like to think it played a major part in trapping carp on miserable rainy day when other people struggled....but why not try it yourself? You may be very pleasantly surprised.
Clint Walker - June, 2009