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UKCARP MAGAZINE 30 SEPTEMBER 6TH 2011ECONOMY FISHINGWho says you need a marker float, a spod rod and three carp rods to catch carp? Join James Armstrong as he reveals the one-rod trick.If you are on a budget and can't afford to go spending hundreds of pounds on three matching rods, a marker rod and a spod rod, you needn't worry. Believe it or not, just one rod and reel can do it all. Yes, that's right. Your standard 2.5lb test curve carp rod will do the lot - mark, spod and fish!Of course, if you're planning to cast 120yds-plus you will need more powerful kit, but a standard carp rod is more than capable of doing it all for up to 100yds if coupled with a Mini Skyliner - more of which later.To perform the one-rod trick, you will need a carp rod in 2.5lb test curve or above. Couple this with a freespool or big pit reel spooled up with 12lb mono or higher. Tie a figure-of-eight knot in the end of your mainline. This allows you to change things quickly - from spod to leader and vice-versa.On arrival you must locate a suitable area to fish over, whether that be gravel, silt or clay, and to do this you must master feeling the lead down - a technique used religiously by all top carp anglers. Anglers such as Danny Fairbrass, Darrell Peck and Tom Dove won't leave a rig out there unless they have felt the lead down. It's that precise a technique when mastered.You then need to lasso your rig and leader on to the mainline (see sequence). Simply attach a light ONE ROD DOES IT ALL!"Tie a figure-of-eight knot in the end of your mainline. You can now change from spod to leader and vice-versa"

UKCARP MAGAZINE 31 SEPTEMBER 6TH 2011lead to your rig and explore the area by casting to likely-looking spots. I tend to cast from 10 o'clock all the way around to the two o'clock position until I've pinpointed something that I like the look of.As the lead hits the water, feather the spool and hold the rod high on a tight line. You will feel the lead falling through the water and eventually it will touch down. You're looking for a firm 'thud' on the rod-tip, indicating a presentable bottom. In my opinion, the harder the drop, the better. The more experienced you get, the more advanced you will become and soon enough you will be able to distinguish the different types of bottom without the need for a marker float. To begin with, though, just feel for the 'donk'. If you don't feel any resistance at all, recast, because you're no doubt in weed. You can also pull the lead back while watching the tip. If it glides back smoothly, you're on a clean lakebed. If it locks up, you will have hit weed.With a feature pinpointed, you now need to place the line under the clip on the reel. This marks the spot. Next, place some electrical tape or pole elastic on the line. This will be the marker for the duration of your session. Take a look at a far-bank marker - a tree or building, something that will be silhouetted against the skyline during darkness. With something to aim for you can keep your hookbait on the zone each and every time. Make sure that you stand in the same position every cast. This ensures consistency.With your spot marked, it's time to introduce some spod mix. You must use a Mini Skyliner for this because it's small and light, allowing you to use it on a normal carp rod. Anything bigger and you risk crack-offs or, at worst, a break in your beloved carp rod. A Mini Skyliner is simply a small, compact spod. Although it doesn't hold quite as much bait as a normal spod, it has huge benefits. It's very light, so it will cause less disturbance as it quietly patters down on the surface. It also holds less bait so you'll rarely overdo it. Believe it or not, this little device TIE THE QUICK CHANGE FIGURE OF EIGHT LOOP1Double the line over and then form a small loop.2Twist small loop into a Fig of 8, while holding tight.3Slide end of larger loop through small top loop.4Moisten line and tighten to finish the loop. I love to add a small amount of hemp to my spod mix.Loaded and ready to go - the Mini Skyliner spod will cast a surprisingly long distance.After clipping up, the spod loops easily on to your mainline.