Solid and Hollow elastic's explained
Elasticating a pole and the choice of different pole elastics are confusing areas of our sport.
Visit any tackle shop and you will see a vast range elastic types. Plus loads of bungs, puller kits, winder bungs. With elastics you have two choices, Solid or the now increasing popular hollow types that stretch further.
The original and still very useful elastic, this is made so that it comes out with the same uniformed external diameter, in a wide range of sizes from a No1 right up to 25+. A firm favorite among anglers who fish natural waters or those who target silvers all year round. Light and heavy solid elastics are cheap to get hold of but may not last as long as the more-expensive hollow elastics.
Solid Elastic - Light
Rated between No3 and No8, light solid elastics are perfect for natural waters for smaller fish like roach and skimmers. Back in the day, No8 elastic was the heaviest you could buy, but now you can get your hands on ratings more than double this.
Solid Elastic - Heavy
Heavy solid elastic is rated between a No8 and No20 strength and will 'power up' quickly to tame bigger fish like carp and chub. It's a good elastic to use when fishing against snags, for example when you're targeting canal chub or big carp.
Natural Latex Elastics
These usually come in the same diameters as solid elastic but it does have a slightly different action to normal solids, as there is no colour pigmentation natural latex tends to have more forgiveness on the strike which prevents bumping fish, a great choice for winter commercials and natural waters. Natural latex does have a downside, because it's the same colour for each grade you need to use a marking system to label up your kits so you know which grade is which.
Hollow elastic has more stretch than solid elastic and is a lot softer for the same strength. It also comes in a wider range of ratings, meaning one elastic can cover you for a multitude of situations. Hollow elastic is a better quality than solid and will therefore last longer. Daiwa introduced Hydrolastic which was the first new type of elastic and probably is the most used throughout the UK. It changed pole fishing dramatically and definitely for the better. The action is completely different from a solid elastic so most tackle companies who now sell there own range each refining them to suit what is best for today's angling, so we generally only see several sizes of hollow elastics as rather than a single rating these offer a range of ratings; meaning for example a 6-8 the elastic is soft enough on the strike like a no 6 but when it powers up offers a higher power rating of an equivalent to a number 8.
Most hollows stretch between 7 & 8 times its unstretched length when creating tension on fish. Hollow elastic offers that much more versatility than solid this is not to say it will cover all situations as a solid still out-performs a hollow when targeting silvers on natural waters and solids are far superior in cold temperatures over hollows, but on the flip side its much more durable than a solid so this adds appeal to us all. A downside to hollows is the price, they are much more expensive than a solid and it can cost several hundreds of pounds each season especially if you have plenty of top kits.
Daiwa Hydrolastic is slightly different from all other hollows in that they liquid fill there central hole with a gel, this changes the how the elastic works again, it basically creates a solid elastic that has all the properties of a hollow elastic as that is exactly what its is. The liquid stops the elastic from flattening out when it is being pulled out and against the PTFE bush, there isn't enough pressure to compress the gel so it keeps the shape of the elastic, this aids its lifespan as less surface area is exposed to the heat caused by friction; this is one of the reasons to play fish with your tip close to the water or just slightly under the surface as it cools the heat created again improving the elastics life.
Hollow Elastic - Light
Rated 1-5. Ideal for mixed fish, it's so stretchy you can land small fish but if you do hook into a large fish all is not lost.
Hollow Elastic - Medium
Rated 6-12. Perfect for general commercial use when fishing for F1s and carp.
Hollow Elastic - Large
Rated 12 plus. Designed for taming big fish, it's ideal for fishing down the edge on commercials and for rivers when targeting chub and barbel. A really stretchy elastic that will soon sap the power of a large fish.
Preston Innovations star Des Shipp shows you everything you need to know about commercial pole elastics!
He runs through his FIVE favorite elastics for commercial fishing, and shows you how to elasticate a Roller Pulla Kit. And, 'How To' fit a Double Sleeve which protects your hollow elastic.
If you're confused about pole elastics and don't really understand how to set them up, or what elastics to use then you'll find this video very useful.
There are different connectors on the market that allow you to attach your pole rig line to the elastic
Lasso your rig to a Dacron connector and the Dacron helps to keep your line away from your pole tip, meaning you'll avoid tangles. The dacron offers neatness, it is lighter but most importantly it give you that stiff standoff to keep you line away from your tip to prevent tangles
You simply tie a loop in the elastic here, meaning it's very simple to set up. It's very direct - to attach you simply lasso with your rig.
3. PTFE Connectors
Standard PTFE connectors still have a place, especially the small and micro sizes, these provide a neat, light way to connect to light elastics, suited to anglers that fish canals on very light setups. The elastic seems to grip better to a connector rather than a dacron and adds it little more security to the set up.