It’s a common worry for carp anglers.
Is my rig sitting pretty on a clean area of silt or gravel, or is it buried in weed and all manner of other lakebed rubbish? The only way of being sure it falls into the former category is to clean off the area before you cast out.
If it’s a close-in spot, you could hurl out the type of traditional weed rake favoured by tench anglers, although this could send every carp in the vicinity speeding for cover.
But what if the spot is too far for such a ‘scorched earth’ approach? The answer is to use a small casting rake to scour the area lightly and improve not only your presentation, but your state of mind too.
Here’s a cheap way of doing just that.
Breakaway leads are a staple among sea anglers, who use them to anchor their rigs in place against the tide. In essence, they are distance leads with thin metal prongs attached which dig into the seabed to hold station. However, apply pressure, and the prongs release to enable safe retrieval.
These leads, which cost about £1 to buy, can be easily adapted to make superb castable weed rakes for carp fishing. All you have to do is trim the prongs down to a couple of inches using wire cutters, and semi-fix them in place using tape, a cable tie or even an elastic band.
This useful little gizmo will completely clear the area of weed, dead leaves and twigs, and is also very discreet to use, meaning you won’t compromise your chances of catching. Isn’t it time you visited the sea angling section of your local tackle shop?
And if surface weed is causing you grief, either by drifting through your swims or hampering your line lay, here's the simplest way to get rid of it.
A traditional spod (not Spomb) with holes in it can be adapted for nothing. Just push some suitably sized twigs through the holes as shown in the photo below and cast out your new floating weed rake. It might look decidedly homemade, but it works.