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22 Jul


My tench box is looking a little worse for wear after quite an eventful spring. Whilst sorting it out the other day and replenishing some of the items that were running low I thought I would take the opportunity to get a few pictures for this feature and run through what I use.

I think the first thing you might notice is that it is a lot less ‘carpy’ than my bream box that was featured a while back. OK, I carry a few lead clips and other bits ‘n’ bobs, but most of the items are orientated towards maggot and caster fishing. Hooks are smaller in general, my main hooklength material is 10lb Berkley fluorocarbon and I carry micro swivels and rig stops for making up helicopter rigs. If you zoom in on the rig tube at the top of the shot then you will see the rigs that I use for 90% of my tenching. Simple 3-4 inch stiff mono rigs fished with maggot hookbaits.

Short helicopter rigs. I have since stopped using the swivel covers as they are superfluous.

...the rigs that I use for 90% of my tenching. Simple 3-4 inch stiff mono rigs fished with maggot hookbaits.

Maggot helicopter rigs are fished in conjunction with Drennan Oval feeders in 2oz an 2.5oz sizes. Nothing very out of the ordinary there, but it all works well. One of the most important items in the shot is probably the most nondescript. It is the odd-shaped lump of red foam on the far left. I set great stall by using popped-up maggots and rarely do I cast out bottom baits. Using foam fished directly on the hook allows me to create the necessary buoyancy.

The only time when maggot fishing that I do not use a helicopter set-up is when fishing a deep margin swim. Even if you slacken the main line right off this just doesn’t sit right and catches far-fewer fish than an inline-feeder in this situation. All I do though is swap to using the same pop-up rigs in front of the feeder, rather than behind by incorporating a ring swivel.

I also carry some larger hooks (size 10) and some Korum QuickStops for tying up worm rigs if needed, although I don’t find myself using these very much. More importantly are some of the more carpy bits. The Nash Combilink and Sink Braid are used to tie up short hooklengths and fished in PVA bags with 2oz Nash Flat Pear Inline Leads. I like the Avid Bag Stems with this rig as they allow me to change the rig instantly and make up several PVA bags and store them ready-to-go without having to use leaders. To be honest, on the lakes I fish, I catch very few fish on these bag rigs, but they get me out of a sticky situation. That is, the presence of large numbers of eels, which demolish my maggot rigs at night. Simply to get a good nights sleep (and because the tench are very rarely caught at night) I switch to either plastic corn or a 10mm boilie at night with a small bag of crushed boilie.

I carry three sets of bobbins, differing only in their weight. This probably makes no difference to my catches, but I do like to have the main line fished semi-slack when the undertow allows. A semi-slack line helps the rig end settle better and cuts down on liners to some extent.

So there you have it, lots of the items that I need, and just enough of the ones that I use every now and then.

Simple, strong rigs and plenty of maggots will see you right.

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