The Complete Guide to Buying Carp Fishing Leads on eBay

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The Complete Guide to Buying Carp Fishing Leads on eBay

Carp fishing is a hugely popular sport, and as a result eBay sells thousands of carp fishing leads of a variety of weights, sizes, shapes and colours. Leads are used in carp fishing for two reasons:

  • To help cast the required distance
  • To help with the actual hooking of the fish

Carp Fishing Lead Considerations

There are a number of critical issues to be considered when selecting the carp lead:

  • Inline or Swivel Lead
  • Weight of Lead
  • Shape of Lead
  • Colour of Lead
  • Use of Back Leads

In addition it is essential that the carp fishing lead selected matches the tackle and rig being used. For example a 6 oz. lead on an 8lb mainline will simply not work effectively. An inline lead will not function with a helicopter rig. The essential considerations involved in selecting the appropriate leads for the water, casting distance and behaviour of the fish are addressed below.

For a novice purchaser, the number and variety of carp leads can be both confusing and intimidating. This guide provides the key essential points to clarify the decision process for the purchaser. Carp leads can be considered in three categories, each of which serves a particular purpose.

The advantages and disadvantages of two of these categories, inline and swivel leads, are summarised in the table below.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Inline or Swivel Leads






Inline Lead

Holed through core through the lead through which line is fed

For use in waters with hard bottoms like clay, gravel or compact sand

Ideal for bolt rigs

Streamlined shape

Excellent hook hold due to weight of lead at hook link which sets hook well

Rig goes directly to the lead and sets the hook before the carp suspects

Stable in flight, less line tangles

Once the cast is made, more likely to sink into silt and bury the hook link

If they land wrongly, can crush the swivel to the hook link

Swivel Lead

Small metal loop for fixing lead to a snap swivel

For us in silt or soft-bottomed waters

For use in free running rigs

For use in helicopter rig

Less likely to sink into the silt

More sensitive bite indication

Allows weight to sink into silt, while the hook link rests on top. Prevents loops or tangles in the line

Angler needs experience to keep weight on the bottom

Choosing the Right Carp Lead Weights

Carp leads are sold in ounces, and the weight of the lead is critical. It is also one of the elements that determines the distance that can be cast. For example


Length of Cast

1 oz. to 2 oz. lead

For use in margins

3 oz. to 3.5 oz.

Up to 100 yards

Over 4 oz.

Over 100 yards

Choosing the Right Carp Lead Shapes

The shape of the carp lead impacts distance, accuracy and needs to be selected, in part, on the structure of the lake or river bed.


Main Purpose



Distance Leads– torpedo shape: swivel only

Distance Fishing

Streamlined shape casts further than most other leads

Good over silt and clay as easy to unplug

Hit the water at great speed, so inclined to bury themselves which may spook the fish prior to the hook being set

Feathering the lead down to avoid this requires expertise

Self-hooking ability reduced as lead has smaller surface area than, say, a gripper lead.

Pear leads come in many forms including: pear, flat pear, square pear

Good all-rounder. Most commonly used lead


Good casting, short to medium range

Copes with sloping beds and island margins

Good hooking due to slightly greater surface area

Likely to roll on uneven lake beds – flat pear leads are best in these situations

Ball leads – swivel only

Good all rounder

Short to medium distance

Excellent hooking

Unsuitable for long distance casting

Gripper leads

Fast flowing rivers

Grips the bottom well

Excellent hooking potential

Very poor aerodynamics so not easy to cast well

Method leads – flat torpedo shape with holes and nodules

Alternative to a Method feeder

Can put bait and pellets around the lead held in place by holes and nodules

Compact for better bolt effect

Short to medium casting distance


Tournament lead

Distance casting

Can cast long distances

Weight at the front helps it fly true


Choosing the Right Carp Lead Colours

The main principle is that the carp should not see the lead as this is likely to spook the fish, making them impossible to catch. Glossy and shiny leads are more likely to do so than non-reflective, matt or camouflage finishes. The most important aspect of the colour is that it should blend in with the bed of the lake or river. It is also possible to buy leads from eBay that imitate weeds.

The lead coatings can be made of a variety of materials, including plastic, stone, moss, leaf, silk, ballast, and gravel.

The main colours are:

  • Black and brown – for silt beds
  • Golden – for sandy bottoms
  • Green – clear and weedy waters
  • Gravel – for gravel bottoms
  • Speckled – for natural look
  • White – for chalky beds

Using Back Leads in Carp Fishing

Back leads are not always used when carp fishing, but can be very important on lakes that are heavily fished and where the fish are therefore easily spooked by noticing the fishing line. eBay has thousands of back leads available at any one time. Unlike other leads, these are applied after the cast has been made and the bait is in position, with the purpose of holding the line down on the lake bed. Benefits are:

  • Minimised risk of the carp seeing or bumping into the mainline
  • Carp therefore less likely to spook
  • Reduced number of line bites

The main disadvantage is that it hampers the angler’s ability to detect when the carp takes the hook. However, this disadvantage tends to be outweighed by the benefits.

There are three main types of back lead:

Back Lead

How Used

Captive Back Leads

Pin the line down on lake bed, remaining attached by cord to the bank. The cord comes free on striking, and can be reattached subsequently

Flying Back leads

Similar to a tiny version of an inline lead, the flying or zip back lead is permanently attached to the mainline. On casting, the zip lead flies back along the mainline before it hits the water. It then pins the line down at some point between the rig and rod tip

Free Running Back Leads

(ball or flat bottomed base)

After casting, and when the bait is in position, the slack line is gently wound in. The lead clip is then attached to the mainline and then gently slides down to the lake bed to the position of the angler’s choice

Carp Fishing Accessories

As well as a great selection of carp fishing leads, there are a number of other fishing accessories all available on eBay. The following are particularly important:

  • Line
  • Fishing reels
  • Hooks
  • Swivels
  • Rigs
  • Bait
  • Tackle Boxes
  • Polarised sunglasses (both for safety and fish viewing)
  • Landing net   
  • Keep net

Buying Carp Leads on eBay

Carp Fishing Leads Payment and Search Options

eBay offers a wide variety of brands, styles, prices and choices of carp fishing leads. The advantage of buying on eBay is the range of leads, and some excellent prices.

To search for carp fishing leads, visit the Carp Fishing portal. Alternatively you can use the search box provided to type in specific information to your carp leads. For example pear leads or green leads. Using the search box will enable you to accurately find the specific type of leads you are considering. Visit the Buying Basics page for more information.

When you are comfortable with the carp fishing leads product information you can consider how to pay for your leads and proceed to purchase. The choices are firstly to place a bid in order to buy at auction by the date that they have advised if you are the highest bidder, to ‘Buy It Now’ if you would like to buy it immediately or to put down your ‘Best Offer’. Buying through PayPal will ensure the transaction proceeds directly between the seller and buyer. eBay users are protected by the Buyer Protection Programme.

The eBay Shopping Experience

Delivery and shipping of the carp fishing leads to you is provided by the seller.

It is recommended that you only purchase from sellers who are authorised through eBay.

Bundles are sometimes offered where the listing on eBay may include the specific main core product such as the carp fishing leads with one or two accessories offered to be included and built-in to the purchase price.

Conclusion on Buying a Carp Fishing Leads on eBay

When choosing how to buy a carp fishing leads on eBay the buyer must consider their individual needs, including their tackle and rig. Any warranties and guarantees should be checked in addition to the methods of delivery and collection of the rod.

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