How To... Choose The Right Elastic

How To... Choose The Right Elastic

Using the right elastic size is a key part of an effective set up - get it right every time with our simple guide!
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With eight different grades of elastic available in the MAP TKS Solid Core Hybrid range, getting your topkits fitted with the right grade to match the fish you are fishing for, and also the venues you’re fishing is an important consideration.

Hybrid elastics are extremely popular, thanks to their incredible durability properties of traditional solid elastics but with even more stretch than hollow elastics, making them silky smooth to fish with.

Perfect for all types of fishing and venues, TKS Solid Core Hybrid elastic also offers incredible value for money. With each pack containing six metres of elastic, you can elasticate two full length top kits or three short f1 kits with one packet! When elasticating a number of kits, this is a saving you’ll notice…

To simplify the choices you need to make we asked MAP’s Tony Curd to break down the range and make it easy for you to choose the right elastic for your fishing.

Silver Fish

There are two main sizes that are aimed towards silver fish in the Solid Core elastic range, and in the colder months or even if I’m fishing the pole on a river my main choices are either the orange 4-6 which is a super soft elastic which you’ll get plenty out on the strike, ideal for skimmers and roach, which can be lost on harsher elastics.

The other elastic I use for silvers is the blue 6-8, this is excellent when targeting a slightly bigger stamp of fish or what I use it for regularly – fishing in deep water, when fishing in deep water it’s important to use an elastic with a bit more power not only to pick the line up faster, but also to set the hook. Using too soft elastic in deep water often leads to bumped fish.


If you regularly fish commercial venues, f1s are a fish you need to master! There are three grades of TKS Solid Core I use regularly for f1 fishing. First, we’ll revisit the 6-8, this is great if you’re fishing a venue where there are large numbers of newly stocked fish – anything from 8oz to just over 1lb.

Most of the time though, we’re fishing for f1s averaging from a pound to 2lb in this scenario, the green 8-10 elastic is my go to, perfect for all styles from fishing on the deck to shallow, this one is a joy to use!

The final elastic in this category is the pink 10-12, this is the one you want to be using most when you’re fishing for bigger f1s and if there’s plenty of bonus carp in the venues you fish. Ideal for margin fishing, mudline tactics and even shallow when the f1s are 2lb+.

Open Water Carp

When it comes to targeting carp, there are two main choices in the range that I use all the time. The first is a true ‘go anywhere’ elastic when fishing for carp of 4lb and bigger and that’s the red 12-14. Perfect for open water fishing where the fish run off once hooked, this has the ideal blend of stretch and control to get fish in quickly using a side puller.

The 12-14 is also an excellent elastic for fishing shallow for carp, being relatively soft the fish can exit the peg with minimal disturbance meaning you can get your next bite quicker.

The other elastic I like to use when fishing for proper carp is the yellow 14-16, this is the perfect elastic when bigger fish are on the cards with a 6lb average, but also when you’re looking to catch quicker in the later stages of a match on the short pole line.

Margin Fishing

Probably the most demanding on your tackle, margin fishing can be brutal and your elastic choice needs to reflect this! Not only because you’re likely to run into some very big fish but also because of the speed at which you can be catching at times too.

My first margin elastic choice is again the 14-16, this is ideal for those days when you’re catching steadily with fish from 5-10lb the target.

The second is the purple 16-18, this is an excellent margin elastic and has become the favourite of so many anglers! Perfect for carp from 6-15lb, it has a forgiving softness on the strike but powers up quickly to enable you to land carp quickly with minimal fuss. Tightened up, it can also be good for steering fish away from cover.

Finally, we have the beast! The white 18-20 elastic isn’t one you’re going to use every week but in the right situation where you’re up against some of the biggest commercial carp or fishing against snags this is an elastic, you’ll be glad you had in one of your top kits!

Don’t let the rating fool you though, when set soft it’s still forgiving on the strike but when tensioned up a little, it’s a completely different animal.