With the recent launch of the CQ rod range here is a bit of an insight from Ken South into rigs and how he has been using the rods for his canal fishing. Over to Ken…

I had had an interesting Spring and Summer testing the 11 foot prototype CQ, so I was looking forward for the new 9 foot 3 piece blank to arrive. The blank arrived and I could not believe the lightness of the rod and I soon had the rod assembled and my Gold Spooled SS attached to the reel seat. As I threaded my mainline through the rings I realised that the rod could not be broken down like a conventional carp rod. To be honest up until this moment I had not really given much thought to this which seems obvious now! So the rod would have to be dismantled at the end of each trip or session. This immediately created a situation that I had seldom encountered in my fishing which was setting up and breaking down my set up each time I went fishing.
My main venue or second home as I refer to it is the RMC or Royal Military Canal and depending on the area of the canal I am fishing means that I often fish with a snag leader such as leadcore which I have always attached with a needle knot. Now when you are fishing through the dark winters this takes time so I needed a solution that would enable me to set up the rod quickly.
Now being the way I am which is a little OCD I always measure my leadcore leaders from the bottom of the rod to the top of the handle. This may seem strange but the length of the leader always looks right to me. So I took my spool of Score Leadcore and measured it out with a little to spare. Onto one end I attached a size 8 swivel by splicing a loop. I then slide a Heavy ring and a tail rubber down the leader. At the other end I create a small spliced loop so that the leader could be attached to the main line either by a simple bringer knot or by forming a loop in the mainline and securing by the loop to loop method. I then push the end of the swivel into an inline lead and pull the leader over the lead and pull home the tail rubber. This method creates an inline drop off system! I simply attach my chosen baited rig to the Heavy Ring. This method means that if you do suffer a breakage that the heavy ring will slide of the leadcore and place the entire set up in an old pop up tub. Once down the canal I simply set up the rod thread the line through and attach my leadcore leader!
For those of you that do not wish to make your own leadcore leaders then there are ready made one available from a variety of carp companies which to my knowledge all come with ready spliced loops so making their attachment to the mainline simple. Some of these readymade leaders have a helicopter or lead clip set already assembled onto the leader which makes completing the set up a doodle!

But what about those waters where leadcore is banned?

Leadless leaders come in a variety of materials, colours and lengths. These readymade leaders again often come with lead clip systems or helicopter set ups already attached. Some are impregnated with tungsten or PTFE and offer the angler fishing on those waters where leadcore is banned with a easy to use and effective alternative.
All of the above mentioned methods work well with the CQ three piece rod and as mentioned baited rigs can be attached to whatever leader you have decided on and stored in pop tubs etc for quick attachment when in the swim. But there are those waters that impose leader bans be it leadcore mono etc.
Well again there are options that I have tried out during my time with the 9 foot CQ.
The first and simplest is to thread your line through the rings and then attach an inline lead with a long insert and tie your chosen swivel onto the end. Attach a short braided baited rig and then fill a pva bag with your rig lead and bag mix. Lick and secure the bag to the stem and your away. The Solid bag method provides a tangle proof solution which is quick, easy and very effective.

The second method I have played with is to thread a tungsten bead onto the line. I then attach a chod rig and a Boom Shocker. I simply tie on a dumpy pear lead. The large 16mm tip ring which is followed by 4 more 16mm rings allows the tungsten bead to pass through them and it can be kept on the line. This fact allows the naked chod to be set up quickly and easily. With many well-known anglers using this rig almost to exclusion this system I am sure will prove popular.

So as you can see there is sometimes much more to testing a rod than simply casting and playing fish.

Since receiving the 9 foot CQ I have changed the way I have always fished and to be honest it has been an interesting time.