Tom Scholey extols the virtues of two ‘Hollo’ elastics that have become increasingly important weapons in his armoury!
Winter moving into early spring is perhaps the most difficult time of year when it comes to elastic choice on commercials. The water is clear and cold, so you have to scale down as much as you possibly can in terms of line diameter and hook size and gauge, but because winning weights are modest or low, landing every big fish that you hook is more important than ever!
I know a lot of anglers often move on to light solid elastics, like a solid Preston or Matrix No6 at this time of year, but I still like to use hollow elastics because I find them
so much more forgiving when bigger fish are the target. Even when a real monster is hooked and you think the elastic has no more to give, it tends to give a little bit more!
The two elastics that I love the most are definitely Preston’s No8 and No10 Dura, not just because both are so incredibly forgiving but they are also exceptionally strong! It was proven to me just how strong they were last year at Heronbrook. I drew Peg 13 on Canal Pool, which has a jungle of reeds sticking up out of the water opposite it. The plan was to fish shallow on the long pole towards these snags, but Jamie Hughes had previously warned me about the importance of fishing a very light elastic, which generally meant that the fish simply swam away from the snag once hooked, rather than into it. Once it came to the netting stage, I then had to pile a lot of pressure on the fish using my puller kit to get it in the net quickly enough to catch a big weight, though. So I felt sure that the day would test the ‘Dura’ part of the elastic’s name very well!
It passed with flying colours! I won the lake
with 169lb of carp and F1s, almost all of which I caught on a single top kit threaded up with No8 Dura. Very durable indeed!
The No10 has also proved similarly strong and durable in similar situations since. Both last considerably longer than a lot of other hollow elastics.
So what have I used these elastics for and why do I like them? The No8 Dura is great for positive roach and skimmer fishing in deep water, ide fishing, F1 fishing in shallow water, and obviously extreme situations as explained above.
The No10 is my choice for cool-water carp and F1s from 2lb to 5lb, big skimmers in deep water, and shallow fishing for F1s and carp to 5lb.
One key little tip that Adam Wakelin has pioneered is to double up the elastic in key areas (your Dacron connector and puller kit). The best way to do this is to simply thread a length of elastic onto a baiting needle, then pull it over the top of the area that you want to reinforce. This way you are left with ‘double Dura’ – a combination that is yet to let me down!