Line diameters on pole rigs when winter carp fishing
As the days get colder going into winter should you use lighter lines when fishing on carp venues? I think the answer is NO!! Silvers or F1 fishing is a different kettle of fish so to speak but I generally believe using lighter lines on pole rigs when you are fishing for carp doesn't make a blind bit of difference and I sometimes actually change up to larger diameter line during my matches when other anglers are changing down to lighter rigs.
Many anglers sitting on the bank biteless during a match in the winter often decide to change to a lighter line diameter rig and also change to a small hook trying to induce a bite. I've done this to and also not done this during many matches that I have fished. I have talked to many anglers that do change to lighter rigs because they believe this is correct. This may be because when they have historically fished on rivers and canals for silvers in the past they have caught on lighter tackle and most magazines and internet sites encourage you to do this.
I gauge my opinions around my previous matches and what I have experienced, when I've either been too lazy to change to a lighter rig or I've not prepared for the match and a only have heavy carp rigs in my seatbox. I've used these on countless times in the past and found absolutely no difference.
I'm a human being and can hardly see the difference between 0.18mm main line and say 0.14mm mainline. So how a fish can tell the difference in cloudy water is nonsense to me. What the difference is the speed on which the rig sinks through the water and whether it looks natural to the fish, if you are using a small bait, which is the case when fishing for silvers or F1's. So my winter Carp rigs are set up on 0.14mm mainline to 0.12mm and 0.10mm hook lenghts only because I also want to catch a few silvers as well as Carp to help me build a framing weight. The Carp do not fight as hard in the winter so using 0.14mm mainline is fine, but.............
If I think I am well behind other anglers in the match on weight. I will actually go up to 0.18mm mainline and a 0.16mm hook lenght and a bigger hook bait because I want to hook and land bigger carp to enable me to catch up the other anglers!! The line diameter makes no difference so fish heavy rigs to catch and land bigger carp. I have lost count on the number of times this tactic enables me to catch up. But you should note it's a calculated risk because you will catch less fish and I only do this if I am behind in the match.
When I'm fishing for carp on the bottom I generally use a large bait, it sinks quickly and will never look natural on the drop. I believe a Carp will take the hook bait if it's hungry and feeding. On the days when you can't get a bite, it's not because of the diameter of the line it's simply because the Carp aren't feeding or there are no carp in the place you are fishing. I have lost count on the numbers of times when I can't get a bite and then moved to another place to fish in the swim with the same rig and caught a Carp straight away.
This is why I am convinced line diameter doesn't matter when fishing for carp. The important factor is to get your feeding right and to get the Carp feeding confidently at some point during the match. In winter these Carp may only come on the feed for 30 minutes in a five hour match and a low weight may only be required to frame. So if you hook a Carp in the winter you want to land it. I have lost many Carp and therefore many matches because I have used a light hook length in the winter, but not these days!