The answer to this is “it depends” as it really depends on what kind of venue you are fishing, and what size fish you are after.
With that being said, this article will give you a rough breakdown of what pole elastics to have in your selection depending on certain situations. I will also recommend some different choices based on your budget as well.
To make this easier to understand, I am going to focus on the Daiwa Hydro elastic. This is the elastic I use in my fishing and it’s one that I feel confident with. It’s a bit more expensive than some of the others, but if you are wondering what elastic you need then I am presuming you are new to fishing and may only have a limited number of top kits.
My 3 choices
If you don’t want to read the full guide below and just want to know what pole elastics to put in 3 top kits then this is what would be my choice 3 top kits across a range of venues – local canal, commercials, and the place with the odd big carp.
Pink Hydro (Rated 4 to 6)
This is a great elastic for use on canals. It’s not the smallest in the range, but it will be perfect for silvers, small stocky carp and F1’s in the winter. This is what I have been using on Partridge Lakes over the winter on their Covey snake lakes. It will help you land more fish as it won’t jolt them too much when you hook them.
It’s also a good choice for natural venues.
White Hydro (Rated 6 to 10)
This is a great all-around elastic and probably my favourite elastic to use in matches. It doesn’t bump too many fish, it works well in a short kit when fishing shallow and has landed me carp to 10lb.
Black Hydro (Rated 12 to 16)
Personally, this is the strongest elastic I opt for. It goes in my power kits and is mainly used down the edge later on in matches. I have landed carp to over 10lb on this. It has helped me get the fish out of reeds and lily pads on many occasions.
What a number 10 elastic is in 1 brand may differ in strength when compared to another brand, so please take that into consideration when choosing your pole elastics.
Different pole elastic ratings and what they could be used for
Size: Standard, Rating: 3-5, Colour: Yellow
A great elastic for silverfish, canals, and even commercials in the winter time. This one would work well in match kits that come with your pole.
Size: Standard, Rating: 4-6, Colour: Pink
A little bit stronger than the yellow and as mentioned above it’s what I have used on F1 venues in the winter and it’s also a good one for silvers and canal fishing.
Size: Micro, Rating: 4-8, Colour: F1 Orange
This is one I use through a short top kit to catch small carp and F1’s shallow in the summer. Despite it being rated 4-8 I have had some really nice carp out on it.
Size: Standard, Rating: 5-8, Colour: Blue
A nice elastic for spring when the fish are starting to wake up.
Size: Standard, Rating: 6-10, Colour: White
As mentioned above this is my favourite all-around elastic. I’ve had big carp out on this and also caught silvers on it. A great elastic for average size fish.
Size: Standard, Rating: 10-14, Colour: Grey
This isn’t one I use anymore as I go straight from the white to the black as I don’t feel the need for grey in my fishing at the moment. Its a nice elastic though and will handle carp from 5lb to 8lb.
Size: Standard, Rating: 12-16, Colour: Black
My favourite for margin fishing for carp up to 10lb. I always feel confident that I will land carp on this and not end up with a lot of lost fish. If I was fishing a venue with bigger carp then I would step it up to the red elastic.
Size: Standard, Rating: 14-18, Colour: Purple
A really strong elastic for big carp that would work well through a power kit.
Size: Standard, Rating: 16-20, Colour: Red
This is one of the heavier elastics available. This would work well for margin fishing with a margin pole. It would be good to use in the snaggiest pegs as it would help keep the fish out of them.
Size: Standard, Rating: 20+ Power, Colour: Brown
This is the heaviest elastic in the range. I haven’t seen this one being used by many on commercial fisheries but this one is for big fish.
Every angler you meet will talk about what elastic they think is best. There are so many choices on the market that my advice would be to stick with 1 brand of elastic that is in your budget, and more importantly, an elastic you can trust.