The sport of trying to catch fish with a rod, line and hook.



Woven or fused fibres used to create a braided main line or hook link material, the properties of which (such as diameter, ability to sink, and abrasive resistance) will depend on the type of fibre used (such as Dyneema).



Used to describe areas of the lake bed where there is detritus such as old leaves, dead weed, or even thick black foul-smelling silt.

Combi Rig

This basically refers to any rig where the hook link is constructed using two different materials joined together. Often this will be some sort of stiff boom made from a heavy mono or fluorocarbon


This is a type of float designed for surface fishing, providing enough casting weight to reach the fish. Typically they are inline these days and are fished semi-fixed, and at longer range also act as a bite indicator (if you can’t see your hookbait you can see the float move), as well as aiding self-hooking. They tend to lay flat on the surface which helps avoid spooking fish, and are fished with a longer hook length of up to 6ft or more.



This describes what the angler is looking for when they feel a lead down to the bottom – by trapping the line as soon as the lead hits the surface during the cast, and allowing it to sink on a tight line. If it lands with a ‘donk’ (which you can feel transmitted through the rod tip) it means it has landed on a hard bottom such as gravel, if you don’t feel anything it is in thick silt, weed etc.

Drop the Lead

This refers to the practice of ensuring that the lead comes off when you get a bite, or should it become snagged on anything during the fight, via the use of some sort of lead clip or Heli-Safe System. This is important on weedy or snaggy venues as it greatly improves the chances of landing whatever you have hooked, but isn’t necessary in all situations.



Bait used for catching carp off of the surface. These floating baits tend to be pellets, dog biscuits (such as mixers), or cat biscuits, or a combination of these, and can also be soaked in oil or flavours – Raspberry Goo works very well!


Similar to a monofilament line in the way it is made and extruded from a single strand, but it has different properties, such as a refractive index which makes it almost invisible in water; fast sinking; low stretch; and with good abrasion resistance. It can be used either as a main line or hook link material.



Originating from South Africa, this secret mixture of additives was used to devastating effect by their national team in carp competitions. It is manufactured by Kiana and all different colours and flavours are available, as well as two different versions – a thinner one to soak hookbaits in; and a thicker one that can be used in PVA bags, groundbait, or even smeared onto the outside of baits before casting out.


Hair Rig

This refers to the piece of mono or braid which is used to connect a hookbait to the hook, and is either a continuation of your hook link material, or tied to the hook separately using a different material. It can vary in length from a few millimetres to several inches – the original version back around 1980 was tied using very light mono, attached to the bend of the hook, and was usually at least a couple of inches long.

Helicopter Rig

The rig originates from sea fishing but was adapted for carp fishing back in the 1980s and has been very popular ever since. It basically consists of lead tied on the end of your line, with your hook link swivel running on the line and sandwiched between two beads – the idea being that your hook link can rotate during flight. This helps prevent tangles, and also allows presentations such as chod rigs to work.



This describes a piece of angled rubber tubing (available from Korda in various colours and sizes) or shrink tubing steamed into this shape, which helps cause the hook to flip over in the mouth of the carp, thus increasing the chances of it finding a hook hold. It can be incorporated into all sorts of different rigs.


Lead Clip

A plastic clip onto which your lead is attached. Should your lead become stuck in weed or a snag during the fight, it allows you to drop the lead. In weedy or snaggy venues, playing a fish without a lead on the line increases your chances of landing what you hook. Can be fished either semi-fixed or running.


A type of leader material which is very dense and sinks extremely well, pinning everything to the bottom close to your rig. It is made from a braided outer, which is often highly abrasion resistant, and with a lead wire running through the centre of it. It can usually be spliced to form a loop, to attach it to your main line.

Leading Around

This refers to the practice of casting out a bare lead and pulling it back across the bottom to get a rough idea of what is there – it isn’t as accurate as using a marker float but causes less disturbance and gives you an idea of whether or not an area is fishable.


Match the Hatch

Refers to the practice of using a hookbait which matches whatever bait you are loosefeeding – for instance a tiger nut over a bed of the same; or a boilie which looks exactly the same as your freebies.

Monofilament (Mono)

Any fishing line made from nylon. And as the name suggests, is a single strand


A term used by anglers - especially in Essex and east London, and by the likes of Danny Fairbrass – to describe a spod mix made from lots of different food items and liquids when mixed together.



This tends to refer to seeds, pulses and nuts which can be used to catch carp, and includes popular baits such as sweetcorn, hemp and tiger nuts. Quantities used can be anything from a small handful around your hookbait, right the way up to putting out bucketfuls.


This involves using a marker float to get an accurate idea of what is on the bottom in front of your swim and how the depth varies – it allows you to pinpoint gravel bars, harder area, silt, weedbeds, and anything else on the lake bed. You can build up a rough contour map by popping the marker up to the surface to check the depth. Braid is used for plumbing as it gives you more feel and better transmission back to the rod tip.

Pop up

A floating boilie that is fished ‘popped up’ above the lake bed, and a piece of rig putty is used to counter-balance the buoyancy and set the distance off of the bottom that it sits at. This is typically between a couple of centimetres and a few inches, depending on the type of rig and the make-up of the bottom you are fishing over. These can either be very brightly coloured and visual, or match the boilies that you are loose-feeding.


Polyvinyl alcohol – this is a substance which is soluble in water. It can be made into bags, string/tape, and mesh, thus making it perfect for putting a small amount of free offerings around your hookbait. This can be done via the use of a solid or mesh PVA bag, or for things such as boilies, a few can be threaded onto PVA string or tape and attached to your hook before you cast out. You can even use non-water based liquids, such as oils and Goo in conjunction with it.


Rig Putty

A fast-sinking malleable putty, usually incorporating tungsten, which easily adheres, and is used to counter-balance pop-ups or help pin down your hook link. Pieces of it can easily be moulded around swivels, knots, or even directly onto the hook link material.


Your chosen lead set up can run freely on the main line, with the lead mounted either directly on the line via its swivel; on some sort of run ring; or even a lead clip which has been set so the line can freely run through it.


Semi Fixed

Your lead is fixed in position to provide a bolt effect – such as a lead clip, helicopter rig or inline lead set-up. But should your main snap, a safe set-up ensures that the fish is still able to get rid of the lead and isn’t left trailing it.

Spinner Rig/Ronnie Rig

One of the most popular rigs at the moment, it features a stiff boom ending in a special Spinner Swivel which allows a new hook to be clipped on in seconds, and gives complete freedom of movement, allowing the hook to spin round and gain a hold (hence the name)

Spod Mix

A mixture of different food items that are introduced to the lake via a spod/Spomb/rocket – this can include pretty much any bait, such as boilies, pellets, crumb, groundbait, particles and liquid or powdered flavours and attractants.


A device which is filled up with bait – boilies, pellets, particles or even groundbait – and repeatedly cast out to the area where you are fishing. It empties when it lands in the water. They can weigh 5oz or more when full, so special rods and reels are used for this.


This describes the action of baiting up your swim by using a spod/Spomb/rocket. Braid is usually used as it is much thinner than mono, for its breaking strain, and allows you to cast further, more easily.


Throwing Stick

A device used to loosefeed boilies around your hookbait, especially if you want them to be more spread out than you can achieve with spodding. It can be used to put larger, hard baits a long distance, or you can feed multiple boilies at the same time at shorter ranges.


Sometimes a fish will be lost when the main line breaks and it takes it a while to get rid of the rig. If any significant length of line is still attached to it, as it swims round the lake that can become caught up on your lines and give you a false bite, which results in not connecting with anything, or you’re able to bring the fish in and get the other rig out of it, if it becomes properly tangled up with your lines. This is particularly common on busy day ticket waters.



A boilie hookbait which has buoyancy but still sinks without the need without the need for any counter-balance weights. It is designed so that it can easily be sucked in by a carp (more so than the fish anticipates so it goes further back into the mouth) and masks the weight of the hook. They sink more slowly than a bottom bait, so your rig comes to rest more gently on the lakebed and any debris that might be present. They can either be brightly coloured or match the boilies you are loosefeeding.


Zig Rig

This is a rig specifically designed to catch carp when they are swimming anywhere from just off of the bottom all the way up to the surface layers. It incorporates a long hook link and a buoyant bait (either a piece of rig foam or a pop-up) to set it at a certain depth above the lake bed – although an adjustable version is also available which allows you to change the depth after it has been cast out. It can be deadly at certain times of the year, or on certain venues (very deep lakes in particular) at times when the cap aren’t feeding on the bottom.