Category: Bait & Tackle

How to tie the “Slip-D Rig”

The slip-D rig is refered to as one of the best. Offering a simple rig that is easy to construct yet offers fantastic hook holds for all size carp and ideal to use all year round!

Evan Cartabiano, goes over the basics of the tools, components and bait that can be used when tying this rig and demonstrates its effectiveness.

Check out the video below.

To buy and try the tools, components and bait seen in this video you can follow the links below over to Big Carp Tackle.

Rig Tools

Rig Components 


Trakker Nitelife Bivvy Light Remote 200

The Nitelife Bivvy Light Remote 200 is a feature-packed, compact unit that boasts six lighting options with up to 80hours of illumination, emergency power bank and remote control function. One press operation allows you to cycle through three brightnesses of white light, red light and Bug-Less amber light with 610 nanometers wavelength that is less attractive to mosquitoes and moths. A single long press will activate the torch light and four internal LEDs provide battery level indication and charge status. The Nitelife Bivvy Light Remote 200 can be easily positioned on the roof of your bivvy to illuminate your shelter at night thanks to the two powerful magnets in the back of the light, which is held in place with the supplied steel backing plate with Trakker embossed logo.

To buy and try the Trakker Nitelife Bivvy Light Remote 150 & 200, head over to Big Carp Tackle at the links below.

Trakker Sanctuary Insta-Mat

Based on the ever-popular, quick-erect walled unhooking mat design maintaining super-fast set up and pack down properties, the Sanctuary Insta-Mat offers total protection in a compact, lightweight and user-friendly package. The mat fully unzips to reveal the lightweight outer frame that once unfolded will simply assemble itself with the open base then positioned inside with the soft PVC material facing upwards and the mat is assembled and ready for use with pack down being just as simple. A twist of the outer frame so that it folds down into two neat circles, this is then placed inside the padded mat, folded in half and zipped up ready for transport. The 50mm thick soft padded base covered in fish-friendly PVC offers the utmost protection to fish with 30cm raised ends and reinforced raised side walls maintaining structure and eliminating the chance of fish sliding off the mat. There is also a full Velcro fastened top cover to keep lively fish calm and safe. Webbing straps at either end for pegging the mat down in windy conditions and hanging up to dry out at the end of a successful session.

The mat doubles up as a very handy stalking seat for the mobile roving angler and is perfectly at home for a week-long session on a big pit or just an evening on the river.

To buy and try the Trakker Sanctuary Insta-Mat follow this link to Big Carp

Trakker – Armolife Multi-Fuel Stove

The Armolife Multi-fuel Stove is most versatile of stoves, that can deliver peak performance even in the coldest of conditions. The solid construction offers a sturdy base for a wide range of cooking situations. The stove can burn a wide range of liquid fuels including regular gas, with instant flame control from simmer to max, the unit has an economical performance and is easily serviceable. Supplied with the stove comes a fuel pump, 500ml fuel bottle, gas canister regulator, gas valves, cleaning needle, spare o-rings, mesh gauze, tools and stuff sack.

To buy and try one for yourself, head over to big carp tackle at the link below.

Deeper Pro +

First impressions with the Deeper Pro +

There are always folk who will say that the use of various electronic aids detract from the nature and experience of fishing. The same could be said for the many developments and ingenious items of tackle that have contributed to modern carp fishing over the past 20-30 years. Just imagine where we would be without them!

All these tackle items are of little use unless we know where the fish are to be found and the best spot to place our baits. It can take a delicate feel and experience for ‘leading’ around to determine the nature of the lake or river bed while the use of a marker float to map out a swim or lake can take considerable time & effort especially on larger bodies of water. So a device that can do both should make things easier – right?

The clever folk at Deeper have managed to miniaturize the electronics for depth measurement and GPS positioning into a neat & easy to cast package weighing only 3.2 oz. This when combined with real time satellite mapping allows the angler the opportunity to map out swims quickly and easily.

Getting started…

After opening the package I found the instructions easy to follow and after downloading the Deeper App soon had my Deeper Pro + connected to my IPhone 5SE. As with any Wi-Fi set up the range that can be achieved will depend on any number of variables. Elevating your phone as high as possible will help maximize the range and switching to Aircraft mode and then switching on the Wi-Fi will also improve signal strength.

The App allows you to select a choice of Sonar Modes but for mapping select the Onshore GPS Mode. The screen then splits to show a Google map on one side and a sonar map on the other. It is then a matter of casting the Deeper unit out and slowly retrieving to build up a detailed map of your swim. The data can then be uploaded and retrieved on-line for more detailed analysis or simply scrolled through on your phone.

Once the map has been uploaded you can access your Deeper map account on-line to review it in either map or satellite view mode.

The sonar screen helps distinguish between hard and soft bottom structure as well as weed growth. There is also a ‘fish’ marker option that can help with location.

So how does it work in practice?

First of all I set off to map a small local pond of about 1/2 acre in size. Casting the 3.5 oz Deeper Pro + device was easily achieved on a 2.75 test curve 12′ carp rod and it took less than half and hour to map the whole pond.

I then set out for another water that I planned to fish. Once again it was a simple matter to pick up the wifi signal being broadcast by my Deeper Pro + and then set the App to record data in GPS mode.  After casting and retrieving the Deeper unit around the swim and looking at the sonar image it didn’t take long to see a few areas of interest. Once the data is recorded it can be accessed bank side or better still uploaded to the secure Deeper Map ‘Library’ site and accessed (using your individual & secure account)  in combination with online maps or satellite overlay.  The latter provides a bathymetric type map that is easy to read. I did notice that my recorded data seemed noticeably ‘smaller’ in area than the displayed map but overall it provided good correlation.

As with any sounder interpreting the data presented on the screen is critical. Key aspects such as the nature of the bottom (silt, gravel, leaves etc), weed density, contours etc requires some interpretation but with a little practice you’ll soon build up a detailed picture of your swim. I already had a general idea of where I wanted to position my baits and the Deeper Pro + helped me find a clear area next to some dense weed. As you will see the narrowing down of this precise location would prove to have a very happy outcome!

The online map feature allows you to scroll through the sonar data to see key features like bottom structure, weed etc.

So how did the fishing work out? I learned from the sonar maps that there were a couple of areas in the swim that might be ideal places to position a bait. The bottom in some shallower areas had a thick covering of blanket weed and nearby depths to 6′ were some taller weeds that grew to withing a foot or so of the surface.  As the depth of the silt increased (shown by the thicker bright orange layer) the tall weed growth decreased and allowed a pop-up to be positioned perfectly. After a few days baiting up with Spotted Fin Catalyst baits it was soon time to see if it would all come together as planned.

After setting up in the swim just after 2:30pm I made my first casts at 3:00pm, hooked up the bobbins and sat back to enjoy the warm afternoon sun. I did not expect any action until nearer 5 or even 6pm but at a little before 3:30pm the right hand rod rattled off. There was no screaming run but this fish set off steadily for about 50 yds before I could slow its progress. It began picking up strands of weed along the way and as I slowly gained line was forced to try and remove it as it threatened to jam the tip ring. After a solid battle & some nervous moments a large fish finally slid into the net. As I looked more closely it was clear that this was indeed a very large fish and after checking the scales a couple of times settled on a weight of 39.04. I was stunned and elated. After some photos and watching this exceptional fish swim off I recast and settled back behind the rods.

39.04 – I was stunned and elated!

The remainder of the session proved to be nothing less than sensational. A 27.08, 21 & low teen followed finally capped of by another beast that capped off an incredible 5 hours of fishing at 35.04.


My observations using an iPhone 5SE  suggest that the typical working range is about 50 – 60 yds. This range also depends on how high the phone or other device can be held relative to the Deeper unit (so standing on top a bank instead of at water level will increase the range significantly). I had my iPhone attached to the rod above the reel which proved a little awkward but workable. I plan on using a tripod or tall bank stick to raise the device to eye level which might help the range and ease of use. An iPad or similar device with better wifi reception than a phone may well provide longer range up to the claimed 100 yd range. Overall I’m very impressed with the ease of use of the Deeper Pro + and it is now a key part of my gear for mapping swims and narrowing down those carpy looking hot spots!


Easy PVA Solid Bags (Video)

This is a basic run through  on how to make simple Rectangular PVA Solid Bags that do not require a stringing needle. I have to emphasize the usage of rectangular bags for this application square bags will not not work quite the same. For detailed images of this technique please see the attached photos!

Here the hook is inserted into the side of the PVA  Solid to avoid piercing any larger pellets, or oats.

A simple loop is made in the hooklink, and fastened around the knot on the top of the bag. There should never be knot formed in the hooklink for this presentation.  In this instance the hooklink is PB Products Jelly Wire.

Finally here is the finished rig! As I mentioned in the video it is VERY simple to make up 25+ bags using this method in less than an hour. As opposed to tying PVA funnel web your time will be drastically cut due to only having to form one knot.

Delkim – 25 Year Anniversary

Delkim Cover 25 years

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to try many of the alarms that have come on the market. One or two have proven themselves to be solid & reliable workhorses while many others, often with too much marketing hype, have promised plenty but never lived up to the expectations on the bank.

One company however truly stands out and that is Delkim. This year the company is celebrating its 25th anniversary and continues to win awards from leading magazine reader votes for the Best Alarm and still remains the choice of top anglers around the world.

So how does technology-vibrationDelkim continue to lead the field?

Unlike ANY OTHER bite alarm Delkim uses its patented vibro technology to detect not only line movement but also vibration – and is found on ALL its alarms (Txi, Standard and EV models). This unique system avoids the need for a rotating ‘wheel’ and instead uses a ‘Y’ shaped friction paddle that the line drags over. Any movement in or vibration along the line is converted into a signal that is output as a series of ‘beeps’ (the familiar Delkim ‘warble’ sound) and flashing LED lights. The rate of line movement is signified by the rapidity of the beeps (cheaper alarms often give just a single monotone output) although a fast run might sound as a single tone it is in fact a very rapid series of notes that you are hearing and can be revealed by reducing the alarm sensitivity.

The ability to adjust  sensitivity over a wide range is an important and often under rated feature of Delkim’s technology. When wind, wave action or line drag result in frequent false ‘beeps’ the sensitivity can be reduced until they are eliminated while still ensuring that a run is never missed. If you’ve dragged yourself out in the middle of a stormy night because your ‘roller’ alarm is beeping incessantly then you’ll appreciate why this is so relevant!  At the other extreme the sensitivity on a Delkim can be increased to a point where the line does not even have to move but the slightest touch or bump will be indicated. This might seem extreme but being able to detect line bites can be vital in discovering the presence of fish moving about in a swim especially when they are not feeding. This is often the case in cold water conditions late or early in the season. If you are looking to find spots where carp are holding up in the winter then detecting ‘line bites’ can be a very effective means to locating them.

This video shows that extra sensitivity in action.

A Session Saved!

My last fish before ice capped off a local water in December a few years back was a case in point. The air temperatures had fallen to 25F as darkness fell and the water was around 35-36F. I was just beginning to pack up, in the expectation of a blank, when I got a single ‘beep’ on the remaining rod still out. Another three or four minutes passed as I waited anxiously in anticipation. The NiteLite remained motionless but another couple of beeps suggested ‘something’ was happening at the sharp end… I hovered close to the rod and after another minute or so there were a few more beeps as the NiteLite bobbin inched very, very slowly upwards. I struck before the NiteLite had moved more than about 4 inches and was rewarded with a solid thump on the rod tip. After a brief battle I landed a lovely winter common that tipped the scales at 27lb 12 oz. Now the answer, of course, is would I have still caught that fish with a different manufacturers alarm? My answer is most definitely not… If only because I would not have had that early detection of a fish in and around my bait. I would, without those few beeps, most likely have wound in that last rod and headed home while ruminating on blank to end the season!


A December common thanks to Delkim

The vibration detection can also alert you to crayfish or other nuisance species messing with your bait… the extra sensitivity and unique ability to detect ‘knocks’ on the line (not just line movement) gives you a much clearer picture of what is happening in and around your bait. It’s much better to know what’s happening than reel in hours later to find your bait has been whittled away to nothing or discover too late that you’ve been ‘done’ or missed fish thanks to a tangled rig.


Warranty, Service and Much More…

While there are plenty of choices for alarms on the market only one company truly specializes in providing a complete range of alarms and accessories dedicated to giving you the very best in bite detection. In addition to a choice of alarms the range includes the NiteLite and SlimLite bobbin and hanger systems, D-Lock mounts, Snag Bar attachments plus other accessories that can be found at:

Delkim also stands out for its unrivalled warranty and service. In the unlikely event a fault develops within the first two years from buying your alarm Delkim will repair it free of charge. Outside the warranty period Delkim will continue to support and repair your alarm for years to come. Owning a set of Delkim alarms might cost a bit more initially but in the long run they will not only outlive & outperform other alarms but will also retain a higher value making them a truly ‘sound’ investment!








What’s in your box Zach? (Video)

I’ve had a few requests to see what I take on sessions so I made a short video. I said the wrong thing a few times such as the first black box being Ambush when it is NGT. The second was the Solar baiting needle does not include a gated needle. Guess I need to write myself a script! Links are provided in the description of the video to several of the items I personally use.

I have used the Nash Tackle hooks and hook lengths with great success (see my Idaho article). The Rig Station is great as it doubles as a bivvy table with adjustable legs. The JAG hook sharpening kit is vital for super sharp hooks which convert into more hookups.