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I like to carry a lot of dif­fer­ent cat­a­pults in my kit. They are not heavy, don’t take up much space, and are al­ways handy to have around for all the dif­fer­ent de­mands that each ses­sion can throw up.

It’s also good to have iden­ti­cal spares of your favourite mod­els, so that a busy ses­sion isn’t in­ter­rupted by hav­ing to change bro­ken elas­tic or re­place a pouch.

My cat­a­pult col­lec­tion in­cludes com­pact de­signs for pole and close-in work, lots of stan­dard frame, medium la­tex mod­els for stand­out bait when ac­tion slows on darker pel­lets.

Dumb­bells work well not only for carp, but also for other species, such as bream, tench, carp and barbel. Their en­larged ends stop them com­ing off bands eas­ily, even when at­tacked by small fish.

■ A hair-rigged, banded dumb­bell boilie is a great bait to turn to when the ac­tion slows on pel­lets. mid-range wag­gler fish­ing, along with some re­ally chunky bait fir­ers for ex­treme dis­tance work.

I don’t carry spares, be­cause chang­ing hol­low la­tex can be a time-con­sum­ing busi­ness, and as I’ve just men­tioned, I al­ways have ’pults in re­serve, though I do carry some elec­tri­cal ties for fast fixes.

Ties come in use­ful if the elas­tic starts slip­ping off a prong on a pouch, which can hap­pen after ex­tended use. Clamp­ing a small elec­tri­cal tie tightly over loose la­tex on a prong an­chors it se­curely again.

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