Inside Steve Ringer’s Rig Box
Steve Ringer explains when and why he opts for certain elastics…
Doubled-Up No4 -
Doubling up elastics was a revolution when the idea came about a few years ago. Using a double strand of single solid elastic gives you the soft nature of a single strand but one that powers up quickly, allowing you to be in charge of any fish you hook.
During the winter a Preston Innovations No4 original Slip elastic doubled up is perfect for a lot of my F1 fishing. At that time of the year fish don’t tend to fight quite as hard and a doubled-up No4 ensures that every hooked fish counts.
In the summer months I still find a place for doubled-up elastic, finding it perfect for catching skimmers and when I am confident I will be catching skimmers this is my go-to choice.
Hooklengths of anything from 0.09mm to 0.13mm would be commonplace when using a doubled-up No4 elastic.
Yellow Hydrolastic -
Relatively new in the range of Hydrolastics from Daiwa, yellow 3 to 5 Hydro slots in as the lowest grade in the range. I find this elastic perfect for catching silvers on both commercial and natural venues when using baits such as maggots, casters and worms.
It is particularly soft, meaning I run no risk of bumping even the smallest of fish; however, when fitted with a puller kit it gives me every opportunity to land a bonus skimmer or carp.
Many of the venues I visit have a good mix of skimmers and carp, and pink 4 to 6 Hydro gives me a good balance when targeting skimmers up to 1lb, but because there is the chance of hooking a bonus carp I feel the extra stretch in light hollow elastics gives me more chance to land it. Doubled-up elastics in comparison don’t have the same levels of stretch.
Guru N-Gauge 0.11mm diameter hooklengths make a good, balanced setup and give me every opportunity to land big carp should I hook one.
Orange Hydrolastic -
The new boy on the block from the Diawa Hydrolastic range, orange or F1 Hydro is rated from 4 to 8, slotting between the already popular pink and blue in the range. Orange Hydro is my go-to summer F1 or ‘stockie’ carp elastic at venues such as Tunnel Barn Farm; it behaves slightly differently from some of the other elastics in the range in that it allows the fish to leave the swim with very little disturbance but powers up quickly, meaning I am able to land the fish in double quick time.
Perfect for real F1 bagging sessions!
Blue Hydrolastic -
Blue Hydro has proved to be a valuable part of my elastic armoury over the last few years. I find it is perfect for bigger skimmers, F1s and even bonus carp.
It really found a place in my heart during the 2014 WalterLand Masters in Hungary. The order of the festival was carassio and skimmers, with the chance of a bonus carp, and blue Hydro fitted the bill superbly. The elastic’s soft action ensured I didn’t pull out of the important weight-building carassio and skimmers, making sure that every fish ended up in my net.
White Hydrolastic -
Arguably the most versatile pole elastic ever created. Perfect for a range of different species and tactics. Capable of landing fish into double figures when used in conjunction with a puller kit but also equally at home catching smaller fish such as skimmers and small carp.
I use white Hydro when I am fishing venues where I’m not too sure what I am likely to catch next.
Another positive is the range of hooklengths you can use with white hydro; I could choose to fish as light as 0.11mm but equally fish anything up to 0.17mm if I know I’m likely to catch some much bigger fish.
Black Hydrolastic -
Black Hydro is extremely versatile and can be used in a variety of scenarios, including the short pole when using meat or corn, fishing in the margins or even when fishing shallow. I like to use it when targeting carp in the region of 4lb to 8lb and feel it keeps me in control when targeting fish of this size.
Don’t get me wrong, black Hydro will handle bigger carp as well with no trouble, in fact I have had carp into high doubles using it.
Hooklengths of choice would tend to range between 0.15mm and 0.17mm Guru N-Gauge.
Red Hydrolastic -
This is my number-one big fish and margin elastic. Red Hydrolastic is capable of landing anything and I choose to use it when the carp I am catching are upwards of 6 to 8lb, with double-figure carp likely.
It isn’t as harsh as people think, either; Red hydro is actually quite forgiving on the strike, which allows the fish to leave the swim without too much disturbance but once it powers up it can tame the biggest of fish with ease!
Being an elastic used for big fish I always reflect this in the hooklengths I team it up with. Those of you who have followed my articles over the last few months will know how much I stress the importance of balance, and 0.19mm diameter Guru N-Gauge will complement this elastic perfectly.