There are a number of different bait clips (and similar devices) available to UK anglers. They work to streamline bait behind a weight to make the rig more aerodynamic as it flies through the air. This has the obvious advantages of both increasing casting distance and reducing the chances of rigs tangling, while some bait clip devices such as Breakaway’s Impact Shields also protect bait on impact with the water and allow for better bait presentation.
Simple Bait Clip – The humble bait clip does its job by simply clipping a bait in place behind the lead. The bait clip is attached to the line with some tubing (which usually comes supplied) and the bottom of the clip turned up (with a pair of pliers) to stop it from sliding out of the tube. This is a simple, effective and very cheap way of clipping down baits, and an excellent choice for rough ground fishing were anglers will lose tackle to snags and therefore want to construct rigs as cheaply as possible. The only issue is that with certain casting styles (mostly off the ground) the hook can fall out of the clip prior to the cast being performed, and the bait can sometimes become unclipped while it is flying through the air. However, with a little practice this is a rare event for most anglers. Buy simple bait clips by clicking here.
Rig Clips (Integrated Bait Clip and Link) – Rig Clips (also known by a range of other names depending on who they are manufactured by) is a combination of a bait clip and a link, meaning it can be used to both attach a weight to a rig and clip down a bait. This is both money saving as it means one piece of terminal tackle can be used to do two jobs, and also cuts own on the number of terminal tackle items used, making rigs more streamlined. One disadvantage of this type of bait clip is that it does not protect bait as it makes impact with the water in the way that impact shields do. Mustad and Breakaway manufacture their own integrated bait clips, but the Cronus Rig Clip is one of the best value on the market.
Impact Shields – Impact Shields have been around for a long time now, and yet they have remained popular as they are so effective. They are essentially an upgraded and more advanced version of a simple bait clip which offer both protection to a bait as well as the aerodynamic advantages. Impact Shields are slid onto the main rig body when making a rig and sit just behind the weight. The baited hook is clipped into the Impact Shield as the picture shows and when the Impact Shield hits the water it tilts to the side and the hook is automatically released. An extremely simple and yet clever design which many anglers swear by, especially those looking to reach big distances or those using delicate baits. The only real disadvantages of Impact Shields is the fact that anglers using an off the ground casting style may have issues with the baited hook falling out of the Impact Shield if the line/rig is not kept tight at all times. However, OTG (Off the Ground) Impact Shields are new to the market and feature a new design which prevents the hook falling out of the clip when the line is loose. Genuine Breakaway Impact shields can be bought from SeaAnglingShop.co.uk by clicking here.
Gemini Splash Down Solo – While the basic metal bait clip is a very simple piece of terminal tackle the Splash Down Solo is ingeniously designed. It is similar to the Impact Shield in the sense that a hook is clipped into it and relies on impact with the water to release it, but, as the picture shows the hook is kept completely enclosed within the device until it hits the water, meaning that it will never fall out at any point either prior to or during the cast. This means that whatever casting style is used the hook will not come out of the clip until it hits the water. The only real disadvantage is that the largest types of heavy gauge hook will not fit within the clip. However, Gemini have recently announced a new design which will accommodate larger hooks. They are referred to as the Splash Down Solos as they are individual clips which can be used in any rig, and are separate from the Splash Down weight system which integrates the same clip into a the body of a weight. Buy Gemini Splash Down Solos by clicking this link.