How to Catch Carp Using Slack Lines

Duncan de Gruchy's famous video on how to catch carp in France using slack lines and running rigs.

Our first release of this carp fishing video has now received over a quarter of a million views on Youtube. Showing anglers how to catch carp in France with slack lines and running rigs made Duncan de Gruchy a household name in the carp world. We filmed it at Oakview Lake while Duncan was enjoying one of his many fishing holidays in France.

Duncan de Gruchy takes a break during the filming of his Slack Lines video
Duncan de Gruchy takes a break during the filming of his Slack Lines video

Carp fishing with slack lines is becoming more and more popular and Duncan is quick to point out that getting the whole set-up right is crucial because the individual elements have to work together. Here you can watch the video and read more detail about the carp tackle Duncan uses.

Carp Reels and Line

Shimano 10000XTA Magnesium Reels and Flourocarbon Mainline
Shimano 10000XTA Magnesium Reels and Flourocarbon Mainline

The important thing is to have a heavy line. Flourocarbon mainline, which is is pure flouro and not coated is ideal because it's heavy and sinks to the bottom. The heavy line on the the bottom produces the bolt effect which helps to give screaming runs. The line has less stretch than mono, so it's more sensitive.

Light Leads and Running Rig

Running rig with a light lead and no leader
Running rig with a light lead and no leader

With this system, the heavy line sets the hook, rather than the lead. Use the minimum weight of lead that you can get away with for casting. If using a bait boat, a one ounce lead can be used as long as there's no drift. Sensitivity is increased by the running rig, so if the carp are playing with your bait you'll be aware of this and you can make the necessary changes. A leader changes the week point from the swivel to the top of the leader, so not having a leader is a good aspect for fish safety.

On average Duncan comes to France carp fishing 5 times a year and is an Oakview lake regular.

Rig boom helps avoid tangles

A rig boom is used to avoid tangles because it keeps the hook link and the lead apart.

Hook Set Up

The hook link is a combi-link with 12lb flourocarbon attached to a short piece of 22lb braid. This creates a flexible link to secure a good hook-hold. In the video Duncan uses a blowback rig with sweetcorn to demonstrate his rig. Start with a gap of 1.5cm between the bait and the hook shank and make this your first adjustment if the carp are playing with it.

Detail of Duncan's Hook Set Up
Detail of Duncan's Hook Set Up

Carp Fishing With Slack Lines

Duncan slackening his line
Duncan slackening his line

Contrary to popular belief, a slack line can actually increase line sensitivity as long as the whole thing is set up correctly. The additional benefits are not having to use any back leads. Also, even if a carp does touch the line it will feel just like a piece of weed or other natural substance floating freely in the water and this won't spook the carp away.

Setting the Line Tension

Setting the line tension
Setting the line tension

Leave time for the line to sink right to the bottom. When the line goes completely slack pay off a little more and have it set so it’s a little tight to take off the reel. Take care not to make it too tight as the carp runs can be fearsome with this set up. Using a line clip helps to increase the bolt effect.

Slack Line Rig Parts List

  • 16lb Tigerline flourocarbon main line.
  • 1 to 1.5oz Korda square pear swivel leads (swivels cut off).
  • Enterprise Tackle snag safe running lead clips.
  • ESP helicopter sleeve.
  • Korum quick link swivel.

Hook Link Parts List

  • ESP rig boom (long).
  • ESP Ghost 12lb fluorocarbon (better to go up to 15lb for novices).
  • 22lb Dynon braid (for the combi link).
  • Size 5 ESP curveshank hooks.
  • Korda ring (small).
  • ESP shank stop.
  • Kryston Samson hair braid.

Carp Fishing With Slack Lines Does Work

It's important to remember that carp fishing in France (or anywhere) using slack lines will only work successfully when the whole set up is correct. Duncan's video about how to catch carp in France using slack lines and running rigs is a working demonstration of just how effective this system is. Duncan had twenty runs and landed twenty carp during that week.

How Duncan de Gruchy's Famous Slack Lines Video Happened

Duncan de Gruchy's now famous 'Slack Lines' video happened by pure chance during a carp fishing holiday at Oakview Lake in France in August 2012. Lake owner Martin was chatting to him about his unusual approach to carp fishing and he asked him if he wouldn't mind revealing his secrets on camera. Happily Duncan agreed and all of the footage was filmed in 3 short one-hour sessions over 3 days. Nothing was planned in advance and the carp runs just happened. The rest as they say, is history!