I have been balancing my pop-ups super-critically as this seems to be very popular advice, but since doing so, my results have dropped off. What am I doing wrong?
To my mind, balancing a A bait so that it barely sinks is totally counter productive for most carp fishing situations. One of the most important aspects of any rig is that it must be easy for the carp to pick up the attached bait. While making the bait virtually weightless might seem to make it even easier for the carp to pick up, this is not always the case. When carp are feeding, they displace a considerable volume of water, and when they are occupied with feeding in a small space (over a heavily or tightly baited spot), a finely balanced rig can waft about crazily, making it hard for a big, bulky fish to even get it into its mouth in the first place. So many times I have watched carp try to take a floater from the surface - a static bait that is directly above it, yet still they often simply miss.
This is because the carp has a blind spot right in front of the nose and even taking something that is not moving can be tricky.
If you were aiming to bait with just boilies, over a big area where the fish is moving from bait to bait and each boilie might be some distance apart, then balancing can work to catch the
fish off guard – and of course it is useful in ensuring that it comes to rest and settle over any low-lying weed or debris.
However, for more concentrated baited areas I really think a superbalanced bait can work against you.
My preference is to weight the hookbait so that it sinks just slightly more slowly than a normal bait. This is how I have done it for a very long time and it seems to work well!
in front Carp have a blind spot always of the nose and don’t time. get surface baits first
Carp can find it hard to take really finely balanced pop-ups.