Back again with his monthly ramblings, Ian Chillcott discusses the importance of line, what he uses and how he uses it. He feels it is a subject not discussed as much as it should be as using the correct line will have a far higher impact on your catch results than what bivvy or bed chair you have.

Conversations, on and off the bank, often revolve around things we feel are most important in carp fishing. And as interesting as that can be at times, I’m often mortified by what some feel is an important piece of equipment, completely ignoring the gear which ensures landing the carp they hooked in the first place. I have never understood how a good bivvy, a comfortable bed chair or even a classic bite alarm can be that high on a list of things which directly catch a carp. Yes, they play a huge part in our angling adventures, but do they actually catch the object of our desires? I know it is often said or written “you need to be comfortable on the bank”, but why be there at all if you’re unable to hook and land a carp in the first place? My bankside activities usually leave me in a very uncomfortable situation, but it is all forgotten once I have a fish in my net. Does it matter how comfortable I am, or how trendy I look, when I am smiling broadly at the camera across the back of a carp? Yes, it’s nice to have great gear but with money at stake it makes sense, to me at least, to prioritise what you spend it on.Line in action

It all starts with the hook, of course, the most important bit of angling gear we will ever own. However, hooks only slightly lead the field of importance from the line we use to reel them in, once the hook has had its say, of course. Now, as with hooks, there is a plethora of different lines out there for us to choose from. Lines which can cater for a whole host of environments and situations which we are faced with from water to water. I remember having the opportunity to go to Rainbow Lake in France a few year ago, and along with the excitement at the thought, there were tackle issues to deliberate over. There was absolutely no way I could have been using my normal (at the time) Fox 15lb Soft Steel line in that horrendously snaggy environment, and needing immediate indication, I tooled my reels up with Fox’s 50lb Submerge Braid. And the job, as they say, was a good ‘un! It can seem a little expensive, I know, but that line ensures you can lead the hooked fish to the net, and to ensure it is working to its full potential, I change my lines once a year at least. I really cannot place more importance in it than that!Rainbow lake 2006, main line selection was vital.