Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Sunday 19 July 2015

Lead-core leaders & a live beaver!

I don't do chemistry - couldn't give a monkey's about the metals involved in the sinking core of any of the commercially available leader materials. I've been using the Taska 800 mm  lead-core leader, because, at the time, that is what I could readily purchase. Absolutely no doubts as to the effectiveness of the product, in conjunction with my terminal rig. After all it is the presentation of my hook bait that is of paramount concern, and this material does nothing but assist my efforts.
I know that Simon stongly disagrees with my methods, but I have to go with my heart and will continue to pursue my dreams, using methods in which I have 100% confidence. I have absolutely no problems with the lead-core concept, although fully understand that in some circumstances it can potentially become a "death rig". This, however, is not the fault of the material but, as is usual, individual anglers using it incorrectly.

I should get commission for these product endorsements?
For the money, I couldn't fault it and it does everything I require
I called into Ramsgate Dragon Carp, during the week, and came out £9.99 lighter but with a 25m spool of lead-free sinking core leader material. It came with a "free" splicing tool, but this gift is next to bloody useless, so don't expect miracles! Pay proper money for a decent splicing needle and away you go! With so many fisheries now banning the use of lead-core, Dragon Carp are to be commended in their marketing/development of a "lead free" alternative.  All very well until you realise that it is not the lead, in the lead-core, that is the issue here. It is the incorrect use/application of this sinking leader technology and the banning of lead-core is extended to encompass any other form, or derivative, of this material. But that's another issue; this leader material is pretty good and I'm now using it in preference to the Taska leaders. The fact that I'm able to custom produce a leader, in excess of 1m is why I'm so complimentary - I'd have been just the same if I'd encountered a similar product, with a different brand label, elsewhere. This has now given me the ability to create leaders that are specific to my angling situation, providing me with the option to cease with back-leading; at these short ranges I am currently exploring; especially if I can also incorporate the additional benefits of a sinking Flouro-carbon/ Korda Sub-line on my spools.

An eccentric tackle tart's definition of "cool"? There isn't a bait-runner system that
offers less resistance than a centre-pin. When viewed by the carp angling ultra-cult? -
everything points towards "Noddy" - result!
My deliberate flaunting of "Dragon Carp" products has the desired effect - the "fashionistas" give me a wide berth and everything, in my world, is good. Apart from the rods, swing-arm indicators (home made) and the Spider Wire braid - everything you can see has been purchased from the carp angler version of "Hell" Stainless steel rod rests (£1.49 each), buzzer bars, by Diem, £29.98/pair, Redmire bite alarms 3/£5 - so unbelievably good that I've got four!, Taska "snag ears" and the two, of my three, Matt Hayes "Limited Edition" centre-pins  (three cost me £165!) It is not my mission to expose the crazy deceit that exists within the angling market place, just to make other, working guys, aware of the alternatives. Dragon Carp is way off the perfect antidote, some of their products are absolutely useless - but it does offer a very realistic alternative to ordinary anglers, those of us to whom brand labels are simply that and not a badge of honour, a statement of angling ability or spending power.
My terminal tackle is as good as I know how to make it, some of the components unavailable in Dragon Carp (especially hooks!) - the two Duncan Kay's would cost somewhere in the region of £500/700 in todays market - if there is anyone out there to build them? Based on a Bruce & Walker "high modular carbon" blank with twin-legged Seymo rings and a Fuji reel fitting - they remain an enduring link back to my crazy past. Benno constantly takes the piss, even Bev pours scorn on these angling relics -  but they keep bending and I enjoy myself whenever I use them.

Look how far I've come in a very short while.
Mis-matched centre-pins and "hangers" and decidedly shabby Gardner buzzer bars.
I've smartened myself up and now present a far more professional approach to my angling!
Funny thing is that the terminal tackle hasn't changed - it has to be, and always will, the best I can acquire.
I had a four hour, evening, session during the week and I got "done over" twice. I can't be sure as to the species involved, but I did get indication of aborted takes! I obviously need to look at the rig effectiveness but I am also thinking that the particle mix might have some part to play? Both my munger and my hook baits had been thawed and refrozen, three times. I am in no doubt that it was still capable of attracting feeding fish, but think it might have been too soft, thus unable to withstand the attentions of the smaller species? I'm getting some more prepared, in readiness for another session, tonight. I really don't know what I'm fishing for - these East Kent drains are a wonderful conundrum. What I am fairly sure of is the fact that I haven't had the best of it yet - there is a whacker, somewhere out there, awaiting my acquaintance! My diary is a great source of information - I will write something down as an idea, or situation, arises and only remember my thinking when looking back at a later date. This particular project is a fantastic experience and, I'm sure, will be up there with my 2011/12 pike fishing exploits when I look back on it at the end of the season.
I'm due a date with a barbel, very shortly, so my efforts tonight might be the last, for while, out there in the wilderness. The Stour barbel remain as enigmatic as ever - it will, however, only take one bite to see me back out on the drains, mission accomplished - a barbel photo in 2015; my main objective remains the capture a tench from these waters.

Back again for another try - matching hangers, instead of swingers, for visual bite indication
I'm just back home after another session, I did manage to winkle out a small common, around 8lbs, but this trip will remain forever in my mind for the crazy encounter with a European Beaver. It swam straight through my swim, I had to do a double take in the half light of dusk. I was thinking Coypu, but knew something was amiss! Only when I stood up did the creature dive and, in the process, smash the surface with that wonderful flattened tail. I know that there are/were captive European Beavers at Ham Fen KWT Reserve and that Mark Chidwick had photographed one on the River Stour at Westbere a couple of years ago - so they are not quite as securely enclosed as the Kent Wildlife Trust would have us believe. I don't care as to where this animal originates; it was a "lifer" for me and I enjoyed every second of the experience.

A rather strange looking little Common that fell to the, old faithful, chick peas.


  1. They is one still knocking about the valley area as martyn has seen it twice this year

    1. Mark,
      I don't suppose that they are doing any damage, wherever they are? It was a fantastic surprise to see such a creature so close. It came within twenty feet of where I was sitting - I didn't realise quite how big they are; magnificent animals and now roaming free in the Kent countryside. Well done KWT.

    2. Best to keep them quiet otherwise they'll be getting blamed for flooding like the beavers in Scotland are now being blamed by the Scottish Association for Country Sports:


  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Have you seen this post from a Countryside Alliance parody account on Twitter: