Whether you are relatively new to carp fishing or have been doing it for a long time, I still think it can be incredibly confusing today to know what rig you should be using. If you watch programmes on the TV such as Thinking Tackle, read some of the carp magazines or even go into the tackle shop there are now multiple rigs to tackle almost every situation you will come up against. There is so much information available now that it is easy to spend a lot of time and money deciding what rig will work best for you and you may still not be completely confident especially if it is a rig you have not used or had great success on before.
Back to Basics
Having thought about this, I decided it was important to go back the basics. In my opinion as long as you fish with an effective rig that can present a bait with a clean hook, the rig itself does not greatly improve your chances of catching. Actually, the most critical factor in catching, is locating the fish.
The Simpler the Rig the Less Chance of it Tangling
I am a great believer that the fewer components that a rig has, the less there is to go wrong – whether it be a tangle during casting or the hair not resetting after your hook bait has been sucked in and blown back out by a wary fish.
This brings me on to the knotless rig, which is fished correctly can be deadly effective.
How to Tie the Knotless Knot Rig
Take a length of a coated braid hooklink material such as Korda N-Trap Soft and cut approximately 25cm off. I always find it is best to cut off a bit more than you think you will need so that you can adjust the rig to desired length rather than tying the rig and realising it is going to be too short.
Peel back around 10cm of the plastic coating and tie an overhand knot to create the loop in the hair. The trick is to peel off enough of the coating so that once you have tied the hook on there is a couple of centimetres after the eye of the hook so give the hook bait some natural movement. If you are fishing with a pop up peel of slightly more of the coating so that peeled back section is popped up off the lake bed.
Thread your hook bait onto the hair and fix it in place with a hair stop. I prefer to tie the rig up with the bait on the hair as then I know the hair will be exactly the right length.
Take a size 6 hook, I use the Korda Wide Gape X which works well with an 18mm boilie, and thread the end of the braid through back of the hook eye to the front so that the hair is now running down the outside of the shank of the hook. Leave enough space between the curve of the hook and the bait to allow the hook to sit flush on the lake bed. Pinch the hair and the hook together with one hand and with the other hand start to wrap the free end of the coated braid from the eye up the shank of the hook, stopping when just below the point of the hook.
Take the free end of the braid and pull it back through the eye of the hook. You will notice the eye is turned in, this is purposefully done to create an angle between the hooklink material and the hook which helps increase the rigs hooking effectiveness. Always thread the braid from the back of the eye to the front.
To increase the rigs hooking properties I create a kick so that the hook has a more aggressive turn in the carp’s mouth. I’ve recently started using the kicker from Korda which replaces the need to use shrink tubing to give the rig the kick. Simply slide it up the line and push it over the eye of the hook. The kick gives the rig more aggressive turning properties and increases your hooking potential.
Set the length of the rig and to create a loop at the end of the coated braid. I do this by tying I simple overhand knot. Having a loop allows you to attach the rig to a quick change rig swivel so that you can easy change the rig after catching a fish or if the hook point is no longer sharp enough. If I’m fishing with a bottom bait on a gravel lake bed I will fish it between 4 to 5 inches in length. If the bottom is silt or if I’m fishing with a pop up ill fish it anywhere between 6 and 8 inches. When fishing over a softer bottom such as silt, it’s important to fish the rig slightly longer as the lead may sink an inch or two into the lake bed.
Add a few blobs of heavy metal putty to the rig to ensure it is pinned down to the lake bed. Before casting out check the hook is sharp enough by doing the is to do the finger nail test to check the hook point is needle sharp.