BRAIDED lines find a place on Angler's Mail carp fishing columnist Colin Davidson's reels...but usually only in colder weather.

Braided lines offer unrivalled sensitivity as main lines – if your hook bait is picked up you know about it.

Braids are also long lasting thanks to their lack of stretch, can be a huge asset, detecting line bites that give you vital clues as to where carp are in numbers when they are inactive and catches are few and far between.

Here Colin gives you some vital pointers to using braided lines…

1 – Sinking braids get my vote and, although many of the earlier, high density braids were a bit hard to cast, with high diameters and loose weaves they have improved enormously.

2 – Braids need to be loaded under more tension than mono, and should always be immersed in water for a few hours before spooling. Problems of wind knots and wrap arounds when casting with braid come from overloading spools so load to a couple of millimetres below the lip.

3 – It’s essential to wet braid before casting, to add some weight and lubrication to the line to slow it down slightly when leaving the spool. With braid costing £10-15 per 100 yards, casting snarl ups are hugely expensive as well as irritating. Wetting the braid before launch time prevents wild knots.

4 – I use fluorocarbon leader when fishing with braid, to add a buffer when playing fish and to keep the line less conspicuous around the end-tackle than the green line that braid represents. I use 25ft of 12 lb illusion, so the knot is on the reel at netting time. They are joined with a double grinner.

5 – Indication can cause irritation for braid users, and many years back I suffered my fair share of it. With sinking braids the solution is to fish lines slack so that the line is limp from the rod tip, and use bobbins sitting on the ground – that way the wind won’t rattle your bobbins and give false bleeps ever again, and because of braids zero stretch, you’ll still get a serious pull or jump if a carp gets hold of the hook bait.

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