I've never made any secret of the fact that I'm just as happy to use ready-tied rigs as I am tying my own. That said, they have to be good quality rigs, not just any old mumbo-jumbo. And, trust me, there are plenty of bad rigs out there!
Those opposed to using ready-tied rigs usually come up with the argument, “I like to KNOW that my rigs are tied properly and don't trust anyone else.” Nothing wrong with that, but what if you found someone else could make rigs that were stronger than yours, but there was no way you could copy them? Well, not unless you spent a few thousand pounds on specialist equipment!
That's why I think this LYNX Compression Technology is, at least, worth a look.
LYNX are keen to point out that it's not crimping and, in the video below, show how it works differently. I'm going to rub them up the wrong way a bit here, possibly, by saying that, in layman's terms, it is crimping. If I asked 1000 anglers how these rigs were put together, 999 of them would say with crimps. It's just that this is a scientific, precise, super-crimping that human hands couldn't achieve. Click play before you read on and maybe you'll see what I mean...
Okay, so now you've seen how the compression side of things work (and LYNX Fishing have sent their best hitman down to 'visit' me because I used the word 'crimping'), we can move onto what the end products are; ready-tied rigs and traces.
The freshwater side of things caters for the predator angler, and this is a market that I can imagine is particularly suited to the LYNX concept. Finding a good wire, twisting, crimping and fiddling with it until a decent trace evolves is something many pike anglers struggle with, especially novices. Having a high-quality ready-made rig to tie on is so much simpler.
The wires used for the rigs and traces seem to be very good quality. The rigs I've seen have been made of either a 19-strand wire, or a 7-strand Titanium wire for their special lure traces. The standard wire is good, but I'm in love with the Titanium stuff! Gun metal grey, thin and supple – it's a great trace material.
The LYNX range is evolving, so this may have changed if you're reading this some time after it was published, but at the time of writing there was a selection of wire and Titanium lure traces, up traces and jerk bait traces available for the lure angler.
Bait anglers will, obviously, be interested in the up traces, too, but also have available to them a variety of treble and single hook traces, in both barbed and semi-barbed varieties. It's fair to say that LYNX appear to have all the bases covered , pretty much, if you're fishing for freshwater fish of the toothy kind!
Oh, and if you want a bit of attraction, these bait traces come with red 'lynx-shaped' bait flags. A nice touch.
On the sea fishing side, LYNX have split their rigs into boat and shore branches, although there is a bit of crossover, obviously. The main difference with these rigs is the inclusion of mono. There are rigs that have wire hook snoods with mono bodies, which act as shock/rubbing leaders for toothy fish, such as conger, tope and skate. In fact, it was the capture of a big skate that first brought the LYNX rigs to my attention, having seen it on a friend's Facebook page.
Your standard multi-hook rigs, such as pennel rigs, flapper rigs, wishbone rigs, etc. are tied with mono.
It has to be said that all of the rigs I've seen were well made, using quality components and sharp hooks. The Compression Technology gives a very neat finish. The rigs were also well packaged, with individual instructions on the back. In fact, if you were new to sea fishing and browsing these in a shop, unsure which rigs you actually needed, you could easily read the explanations on the back of the packets and make an informed decision.
The range covers just about any eventuality for UK fishing - it's pretty comprehensive - and I would not hesitate to use any of them.
When the LYNX system was announced, I did hear a bit of resistance from friends and on forums. My own opinion is that, if you were given a few of these rigs to use, I doubt you'd find any reason to dislike them. They are high-quality, pretty much devoid of any shiny glare and, if LYNX are to believed (and we have no reason to doubt them), as tough as old boots! In fact, with the way the internet works, I think we'd know by now if LYNX traces didn't live up to the hype!
I suppose the only downside is that they are probably more expensive than similar rigs made with conventional methods AND they are, pretty much, a 'one use' product when it comes to the mono rigs. Predator anglers are used to keeping rigs and using them again, storing them safely and adding a bit of oil to stop them rusting, but sea anglers are probably more used to cutting off their hooks at the end of a session and tying on new hook snoods at the beginning of the next, as long as the body of the trace hasn't been damaged. This, you can't do with these traces.
When all's said and done, it comes down to choice and budget; if you want a really strong rig that won't let you down and don't mind paying a few quid for it, then these will definitely appeal. Nobody wants to fish with a weak rig; you just know that the day you do, that fish of a lifetime will come...and go, so these rigs may well be a very worthwhile investment. Give them a try!
At the time of writing, I spotted that the sea rigs were about £3.30 a piece, which isn't a great deal, when you think what a day's fishing costs. The wire pike rigs were about £3.70. The Titanium lure traces were more expensive, but so worth it if you can afford them!