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What role does lead play in a self-hooking system?

A carp fishing self-hooking system is designed to automatically set the hook, when a carp takes the bait, reducing the need for an angler to strike manually. The used lead (form and weight) plays a crucial role in all of this. Let’s take a closer look.


When a carp picks up the bait and begins to move off with it, the rig stretches. The (semi) fixed lead weight provides the necessary force to drive the hook point into the carp’s mouth when it encounters resistance while moving away with the bait. The moment the rig is fully stretched, the hook will set due to the lead resistance. 

You make the difference!
That first contact when the hook point penetrates the fish’s mouth tissue is worth its weight in gold. This is the moment YOU can make the difference! This is the one second that determines whether the carp hooks itself successfully or not!

What we all want is for the hook point to penetrate as deep as possible. A #SharpAsFck
hook is a must
, but also the weight and shape of the lead plays an important role here. You can imagine that with a lightweight lead the effect is far less in comparison with a heavier weight.

 After all, a heavier lead means more weight on the hook point and therefore a much better penetration! So, taking into account the circumstances, the choice of a (slightly)
heavier lead weight could therefore be more effective.

Full weight matters!
It is also important to immediately use as much weight of the lead as possible, especially if you need or want to use a lighter lead. By this we mean that you immediately try to use the full weight of the lead during that first hook penetration. 

The shape of the lead therefore also plays a role. For example, with a long shaped distance lead it takes longer for the carp to feel the full weight of the lead on the hook point than with, for example, a compact pear lead or inline lead. 

A cautious or suspicious feeding carp could notice the increasing pressure of the hook point early on and spit it all out before the full weight of the lead is even applied. The faster you can use the full lead weight the better the hook will penetrate and make spitting out more difficult!

The System
Of course it also matters whether you use a lead clip, helicopter or inline system. With an inline system the use of the lead weight is much more direct. When using a clip or helicopter system you have to deal with more links and swivels that hinge before you can utilize the full weight of the lead. 

Which system you choose once again depends on the circumstances, but it does have a direct influence on the hook-up. When possible a inline lead system gives you more effectiveness. 

Lead alternatives
Nowadays there are also many lead alternatives. Environmental friendliness is important and lead alternatives are increasingly available. To match the same lead weight, these are often much larger in volume.

However, this does not have to be a disadvantage at all! It speaks for itself that you want them to be well camouflaged and to blend in with the lakebed. This is a must. However, the larger volume brings an advantage.

The water displacement is greater and therefore more force is needed to move them. You could therefore achieve the same effect with a slightly lighter alternative to lead that is slightly larger in volume. 

What happens after a carp is hooked?
Carp are known for their ability to expel hooks and eject bait when they feel resistance. The lead weight adds the necessary weight and resistance to prevent the carp from easily getting rid of the hook and bait. But the carp can also use the weight of the lead in their advantage to get rid of the hook!

The many underwater images often show that after a carp realizes it’s hooked and something is not right, it will typically start to resist. It starts moving its mouth to try to eject the hook. When this doesn’t work the carp starts to shake its head. 

With a fixed lead system, or not properly working semi-fixed system the carp can now use the lead to knock the hook out of its mouth. Often we don’t notice a thing on the bank, in some cases a few beeps from your alarm and that was it, carp gone! Missed opportunity.

To prevent this you now want the lead to slip away (semi fixed) from the hook right when the head shaking starts and the so-called shocker effect to occur. This requires a well-functioning and effective shocker system. The carp can no longer use the weight of the lead to remove the hook from its mouth. This is when the carp flees and the run takes place.


It’s important to note that different self-hooking systems are used in specific carp fishing situations The system, lead weight and shape play a big role in this!

Properly setting up and using these systems requires a good understanding of carp behavior and rig mechanics to ensure a successful hookset when the fish takes the bait. 

It’s also essential to adhere to local fishing regulations (pay lakes) and guidelines regarding the use of self-hooking systems, as they may be restricted or prohibited in some areas.


Good luck hooking up! 
Team Pole Position

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What role does lead play in a self-hooking system?
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