Daiwa Hydrolastic, the complete users guide Part 2

Mon 09 September 13


Part one of the Daiwa Hydrolastic complete users guide gave you an insight into the all round usability and the type of terminal tackle suited of each of the Hydrolastic in the range. In this Part two of the series, UKMA team members Matt Grant and Steve Potter will be demonstrating how you can take your Pole Angling to another level. This pair of very consistent and experienced team anglers will explain the benefits of using lighter terminal tackle and Hydrolastics on mixed fisheries. The team will also demonstrate how to land the largest of fish when fishing down the edge, up in the water and on the deck in open water whilst using these very efficient and perfectly balanced Hydrolastic and terminal tackle combinations.

Intro image

Matt’s Hydolastic, Rigs and bait selection

Down The Edge
Hydrolastic – Purple rated16-18,
Top Kit system – Pulla Kits
Rig Line – 0.16,
Hook – size 12,
Float – 0.3,
Hook Bait – Paste & Pellet

Open Water on the Deck
Hydrolastic – White rated 8-10,
Top Kit system – Pulla Kits
Rig Line – 0.14,
Hook – size 14,
Float – 0.3,
Hook Bait – Meat & Pellet,

Rig Attachment

To attach my rig to the elastic I prefer to use a straight forward plastic Stonfo connector. I prefer this style of connection over other used today because I’m a fond believer in keeping things as simple as possible. I personally don’t see any reason to over complicate or change something that’s never let me down. If you shop around you can find large Stonfo connectors manufactured specifically for use will all makes of hollow elastics currently available which includes the Daiwa Hydrolastics.

Stonfo Connector

TOP TIP – Always select as dark a coloured Stonfo connector as possible, I prefer to use dark green and matt blue. I have personally found that these colours eliminate any possibility of you being distracted away from your float by other brightly coloured object that is in close proximity to your pole tip.

Pulla Kits and how they work

I now use the very popular Pulla conversions or the Pulla bungs on all my top kits when using Daiwa Hydrolastics on commercial fisheries. These make it possible for me to fish with lighter elastics and rigs than normally possible with fixed elastication systems. The Pulla systems allow me to target weight building smaller species like roach, rudd, skimmers, tench and smaller F1 carp but when a big fish puts in an appearance, I can simply pull the elastic back through the pole towards me and instantly shorten the length of elastic which greatly increases the tension. This simple but effective elastication tensioning system makes it possible to land match winning big fish on light gear in minutes, pretty much making the conventional winder pole bung elastic attachment a thing of the past. For me personally, the Pulla kit and Pulla bung systems are a must have on the mixed commercial match fisheries that I now base most of my match fishing on.

Pulla kit image

TOP TIP – I have found from personal experience, that by using lighter Hydrolastics say a purple or black, that this cushions the impact of the fishes first run and makes the fish swim out of the edge rather than bolting out and causing a disturbance to other feeding fish in your swim, keeping your margin swim active and more productive.

Steve’s Hydolastic, Rigs and bait selection

Down The Edge
Hydrolastic – Grey 10-12,
Top Kit system – Pulla Kits
Rig Line – 0.14,
Hook – size 14,
Float – 0.1,
Hook Bait – Meat & Pellet

Up in the Water
Hydrolastic – White rated 8-10,
Top Kit system – Pulla Kits
Rig Line – 0.12,
Hook – size 18,
Float – 0.3,
Hook Bait – Lassoed Pellet,

Rig Attachment

I’m a bastion of the Dacron Connector having now used it for over twenty years. In my opinion there are three key advantages when using a Dacron Connector, firstly they are lighter than a Stonfo connector, which may not be essential to most but every little helps when fishing the long pole up in the water. The next benefit of Dacron connectors is they look much tidier and allows me to attach and remove my rigs quickly with a simple double loop attachment. The third and final benefit is that the line is less likely to get caught over the pole tip which can in the worst cases prevent your elastic leaving the pole and cause lost fish and a broken top section.

Dacron connector

I’ve been using Hydrolastics for about 10 years now and I firmly believe that it out perform other hollow core elastics currently available. The advantage gained by having a lubricant inside Hydrolastic is easy to see. I’ve learned over the years that Hydrolasatic is softer on the strike than any other elastic I have personally used and feel more in control whilst playing fish of all sizes. As my main attack for this feature will be up in the water, my number one choice for this approach in all weather is the White Hydrolastic. I tension my Hydrolastic so that it will only just return back in the pole when any torque is released; this helps to eliminate bumping off small fish.

TOP TIP – By utilising the Pulla system to there full potential and learning to control the torque on the fish correctly, I have been able to land fish well into double figures down the edge on tackle that many anglers would never consider using in a marginal approach. On rock hard days this ability to scale things down when fishing the margins can put huge weights on the bank when others using conventional margin tactics are struggling.

On The Bank Head to Head

Head to head image

UKMA took the Bag’Em Matchbaits Dynamic Duo to Rookery Lakes, near Pidley in Cambridgeshire to enjoy the superb sport that Magpie lakes mixed stocks have to offer the day ticket and match angler. As Steve and Matt had already selected there methods, we select two pegs that offered ideal marginal and open water for both anglers to get the very best from their chosen approaches two pegs away from a 15 peg club match that was well underway. So with Steve on peg 3 and Matt on peg 5, they set out there stool for a three hour head to head to see just how well their tactical variations would perform on this fish packed venue.

Hour one

Matt started his swim off by feeding two margin swims with pellet and paste where expected to pick up his better fish and a open water swim at 9m with 4mm cubes of meat and pellets, with his attack based around the margins s they were rushed lined and he had found 4 foot of water a metre from the blank peg that separated the anglers. Steve got things up and running by feeding a margin line to his left with pellet and meat. He then fired a few 4mm pellets at around 12.5m to start drawing fish from the feature lily pads to his right and get fish competing for the pellet shallow.

Matt was first of the mark with a nice 3lbs stocky on his right hand margin and as he struck into the fish the swim rocked with bow waves from this already solid with fish swim. Steve was finding a little bit harder on the meat with lots of small knocks but no real positive indications but after another cup of meat and pellet Steve slid the net under a small mirror. With Matt catching steadily down the edge on paste and with Steve not being able to catch fish of any size consistently, Steve decided that after 55 minutes, a change to his up in the water line was needed.

Second Hour

Steve’s change of tactics was a very wise decision. After a couple of minutes of slapping his rig and steadily pinging pellets over his 12.5m spot he connected with a 4lbs ghost carp and his luck was definitely looking up. Steve was now putting fish in the net every couple of minutes but on peg 5 Matt had started finding the going very difficult and this time it was his turn to ring the changes and head out to his 9m line to fish meat on the deck over pellets and the response was instant, with 20lbs hitting his net in less than 15 minutes, it was once again, game on!!

Both anglers were now in there groove and taking fish at will. Matt’s 9m meat and pellet approach was producing fish of 2 – 4lbs every put in and although Steve was keeping up on the numbers he was taking much smaller fish and a definite weigh advantage was swaying in the direction of Matt on peg 5. At this point Steve finally fed off the rudd that had become a big problem for him and he finally connected with a much bigger fish. After a five minutes scrap and a perfect demonstration on how to adjust a Hydrolastic when using a Pulla kit, he netted a stunning 6lbs ghost carp.

Final hour

With the weight difference still slightly in Matt’s favour and with Steve now struggling for bite, Matt fed his left hand margin and with pellet and paste and was straight into a very reasonable fish on the purple Hydrolastic. In fact he had hit into a very big fish that was definitely leading him a merry dance but yet again by adjusting the torque and upping the pressure with the Pulla kit, Matt was soon in control and slid his net under a stunning ghost carp that was well into double figures and this one fish made a huge difference to the “who’s gonna buy the beers” weigh in. (Unlucky Steve!!)

Final Thoughts
The last time I used a pole the Pulla bung was just starting to break into match fishing and were frowned upon by the majority of angler and were mostly being used by anglers using solid latex elastics and these have never appealed to me personally. To be honest and even though they are all the rage I still had my doubts but both Steve and Matt proved a very important fact to me whilst we were out on the bank. When used in conjunction with the Hydrolastic, they become a fish playing device that work like a machine to restrict the aggression of big hooked fish.

Head to Head catch shot

When Steve landed a 6lbs ghost carp on 2lb line, a size 18 hook and on a white Hydrolastic that I personally would have never considered suitable for summer carp crunching, I had to be impressed. On a venue with fish up to 18lbs these impressive anglers amassed just under 100lbs of fish ranging from 6oz rudd to double figured carp on tackle that I would have said was well under-gunned for the fish they were targeting, until today. By balancing out your rig and taking advantage of the potentials of using a Pulla kit or bung. With practice you can reap the benefits that combining Hydrolastic and Pulla kits can bring to your pole angling


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