How to construct a ‘drop-off inline’ leadcore leader

If you are margin fishing or stalking on a water where bites are hard to come by, there is one lead arrangement that stands out as the best 'hooker' of fish...

Fish feeding in the edge on some spicy pellet

With the summer months well and truly upon us, now is one of the best times to find carp patrolling the margins of the lake. Whether they are passing through on a patrol route, or on the end of a breeze and stirring the lakebed in search of food items, they leave themselves vulnerable to capture for the very fact you can observe their behaviour. How often when fishing at any sort of range do we do everything right, finding the fish, attach a decent rig and bait, only to crash a lead in near them and spook them away and be non the wiser? 

A 5oz drop-off inline is a formidable margin trap....

When the coast is clear and the all important moment comes to place a rig in the edge, many anglers opt for using their usual ‘out in the pond’ presentations such as a lead clip or helicopter system and a choice of rig. Whilst there is certainly nothing wrong with these presentations, the attributes that make them really good ‘all rounders’ for fishing over less known lake bottoms out in the lake can actually make them less efficient ‘hookers’ of fish. For example, the flexibility of presentation given by pushing up the top bead of a helicopter rig, allowing the lead to plunge deeper into the lake bed or weed, can actually give wary fish plenty of time to eject the hook before the lead comes into play. Fishing a highly stocked venue this may not be a huge concern to the angler, but for those who are fishing for very few bites or one fish in particular in a season, then there is few margin setups tailored better to nailing our quarry than the ‘Drop-off inline’. 

Marcus Plumb with a incredible fully scaled mirror, nailed on a heavy drop-off inline setup

A flat inline lead setup is about as minimalist as it gets with its low profile and is less susceptible to rolling down a sloping margin than most lead shapes. The main benefit of a ‘drop-off inline’ arrangement is how quickly and aggressively the lead comes into play, driving the hook home into the mouth. This is further magnified by using a heavy lead, with many specimen hunters using weights as high as 6oz, and this is where the ‘drop off’ element comes into play. Whilst an inline lead setup ‘free running’ on the mainline or leader would prove a very efficient rig arrangement, it does make using heavier leads less attractive, as the odds of losing a fish with a heavier lead still attached are increased. 

To construct a drop-off inline leadcore leader you will need:

- ESP Double Swivels
- An ESP Leadcore material in the colour best suited to the area.
- A Splicing Needle
- A Leadclip Tail Rubber

The bits required to construct a drop off inline leadcore leader

All that its required to construct the leader is to splice a loop in one end of your leadcore in order to attach the setup to your mainline. At the other end of the leader you will need to splice a loop around one of the larger rings on the Double Ring Swivels. Simply then thread down the tail rubber (it may need to be trimmed down to size) so it is sitting on the leader ready for you to mount the lead. The lead can then be attached by pushing the swivel end of the Double Ring Swivel into the bottom of the inline lead and then finally pushing down the tail rubber onto the top of the inline lead. Both the stem of the inline lead and the tail rubber will need to be trimmed to size depending on the preference of the angler. The leader is then ready to have a rig either tied to the ‘spare’ ring on the Double Ring Swivel, or a rig can be looped on. A couple of these leaders can be tied up in advance and stored for when the situation arises, by simply adding a lead and rig.

Happy stalking!

A low twenty common carp caught in two feet of water