Which elastic should I use?

Tuesday 18th August 2015 Feature

Choosing the right elastic is a massively important aspect in commercial fishing, getting this right is the difference between a silky smooth match and one of those days that can leave you mithering those lost fish that have ultimately cost you framing or winning the match.  But with such a glittering array of different elastics and sizes available it’s a choice that many struggle with. Here at MAP we produce our very own TKS Twin Core Hollow and I consider this to be the finest elastic available on the market today. For several reasons – The first being the stated sizes and ratings, which fit their descriptions perfectly, making the decision on what size to use a lot simpler. The second is the wear and tear aspect we all suffer on our elastics after a bagging session, these elastics are incredibly hard wearing and if you’re wearing them out that often then you’re winning enough money to replace them, trust me!

Let’s take a look at the first elastic in the TKS Twin Core Range, it’s the lightest of the elastics and is the 5-8 Yellow version. This has for long been a massive favourite of a lot of anglers who often find themselves fishing for F1’s and decent sized silver fish like Roach, Perch and Skimmers. Ideal for winter pellet fishing commercials where you want to ensure every fish makes it into the landing net, fishing with light lines and small hooks. I’ve also found this elastic to be very good for when you’re fishing chopped worm on natural venues or commercials for Perch, these bonus fish have a notoriously bony mouth and setting the hook can be hard on soft elastics and can often be lost I feel this gives a happy medium and is ideal for the job! If I was to put a size rating on this elastic I’d say anything from 6oz to 3lb.

Going on from the Yellow we have the 6-9 Pink elastic, this is a relatively new addition to the Twin Core range and sits perfectly between the sizes. Ideal again for F1s and small Carp, but is perfect for when you’re just coming out of winter time and you are looking for bigger weights on commercial fisheries and you want to land the fish that bit quicker to make the most of the fish in front of you. This also makes fantastic elastic for fishing shallow for F1s where you may run into the odd larger carp, combining this with a puller kit you can land decent sized fish with no fuss at all. In an ideal world I’d match this up with fish averaging 1lb up to 4lb.

Stepping up a notch now and on to the 6-10 White elastic. A firm favourite of mine and probably the elastic I use most it really is a go anywhere size which you just cannot afford not to have in a few kits! I find this elastic really suits those long pole on the deck situations where you’re catching a mixture of fish on tactics like pinging pellets, the soft nature of the elastic enables the fish to exit the swim without disturbing it and also on the other hand ensures you don’t bump the smaller F1s and Skimmers which can be vital to making a good match weight.  This is also great elastic for fishing shallow, again touching on the soft aspect of it enabling fish to swim out of the swim with minimal fuss.  Fish size wise I’d be happy to use this for anything from 1lb to 6lb.

Now we start getting into the bigger sizes with the 10-14 Green, this has for long been a regular feature in my top kits and is my first choice for open water situations for carp averaging 3lb and also for fishing shallow for proper carp where you need a free flowing elastic which will cushion the run of big fish when hooked on shallow tactics, often you’re using lighter hook lengths in this scenario and its possible to get broken on heavier elastics. You always feel in control when using this size of elastic and providing snags aren’t present any size of Carp can be landed using it! Ideally fish averaging 3lb up to 8lb suit this elastic perfectly.

A real workhorse of an elastic up next with the 12-16 Black. This is a go to elastic for those times where you’re targeting weights of over 100lbs and/or you’re catching big fish on that famous five metre line. This is also a margin friendly elastic and by this I mean it’s perfect for those situations where there is little in the way of snags which could call for some heavy handed tactics to get fish away, and also for when you draw one of those pegs where you need to fish a long way up the bank in my experience in these situations you need an elastic that comes out quite a way when fishing like this as you’ve got a lot of pole out and you need to be able to ship all the way in without pulling the hook, and also so you’re able to reach your roller without risking a pole breakage.  This is also the heaviest elastic I run through Match Kits, anything above this needs to be used with Power Kits. The 12-16 is perfect for fish averaging 5lb up to doubles.

14-18 Dark Blue. We’re now into the heart of the power elastics, these are for those venues where you are targeting a larger than average size of carp and/or margin fishing where you may need to apply that bit more pressure to get fish away from potential snags. While this elastic does command a big size rating on the packet, it is surprisingly soft in the beginning before the power kicks in, this makes it ideal for fishing on a short pole line where the fish are big where you may have a hectic last hour of the match and want a separate heavy rig set up to take advantage of this to land carp very quickly, I’ve had some excellent results using this tactic at venues like Bolingey at White Acres in Cornwall you can sometimes land two big double figure fish while the anglers who only set the one rig up are still playing the same fish! This is a big fish elastic and something around an 8lb average going into double figures is no trouble at all.

If going into the lion’s den or fishing for giants down the edge is to your liking then you’re going to simply love the 16-20 Purple! This elastic is for the biggest fish you’re likely to run into anywhere on a pole in the UK and also the snaggiest pegs. This isn’t one that is called upon very often in my fishing but you often find when travelling the country fishing matches many venues have that one ‘Snag Pit’ so because of this I always have at least one top kit with this beast of an elastic fitted, let’s face it there is nothing worse than losing more fish than you land and I feel this gives me the best possible chance of putting as many as is humanly possible into the net. There is no ideal size of fish for this elastic other than Whale, Munter or Hippo.

There we have it, the awesome MAP TKS Twin Core Hollow Elastic range and its ideal uses. I have used it for a long while now and couldn’t be happier with its performance and would highly recommend you giving it a try, you won’t be disappointed!

Tony Curd