Rigs – with so many options and variations available these days, where do you start if you’re new to specimen angling, or eager to try something different? Each situation or venue is different, and so is every angler and the rigs they use! We asked our contributors (and our guest Colin Coskey) to shed some light on their favourite rig!
When I started specimen angling, the first so-called 'specialised' rig I learned to tie was a Combi Rig using an Albright Knot. It was difficult at first, but with a bit of practice I mastered it quickly. It is a rig that has caught me numerous fish in various situations, and it is the one I fall back to when I try other rigs without success. One advantage of this rig is that it can be fished with any bait arrangement, from bottoms, popups, to snowman presentations. The stiff boom section combined with a piece of rig foam over the hook guarantee peace of mind, knowing your hookbait is presented as planned.
I tie my 13cm boom section with 25lb Sunset Amnesia (mono), combined with 2,5cm supple braid from the knot to the hook's eye. A small piece of rig putty over the knot makes it look neat and pinned down. The combination of using a stiff boom section coupled with braid secures the anti-ejection quality I rely on when using this rig.
Colin Coskey (Guest Contributor)
My favourite rig (hands down) goes to an ultra-simple, lightweight Coated Braid Combi-link. This rig has landed me more over 25lb fish than any other. Why is it so good? I have no idea! I fish this rig in nine out of ten situations between thick weed beds, open gravel or light silt. It’s the first rig I place and the last one out. I have 100 percent confidence in this dead-simple rig, and that is why it's my favourite.
I assemble this rig using 13cm of Kryston Snake-Bite. I then strip back 1cm from the eye of a size 8 Nash Twister hook that I tied using a Knotless Knot. On the hook itself, I used a tiny, round rig ring and the final touch: a small piece of tungsten putty on the 'link' between the coated and stripped braid. I fish the Coated Braid Combi-link with a single piece of yellow fake corn, unflavoured.
It produces solid hook holds for me, and there is nothing better than knowing that what I have put out will snag the fish I am after.
If I had to rely on one rig, it would be the simplest rig in my view, the KD Rig. I used to buy many Korda DVDs and watch the professionals explain all these intricate rigs. I copied them but had no success. I stopped at All Out Angling in Centurion while preparing for my first session at a relatively large, challenging venue – Rietvlei. In the DVD corner of the shop, I noticed a DVD by the Carp Crazy brothers (Derrick and Marcel) about targeting wild waters. From that DVD, I discovered my favourite rig, the KD Rig, and I haven't looked back since.
My KD Rig consists of a size 2 ACE Razor Point hook and 45lb Kryston hooklink. If I fish this rig on all my lines, it's one less thing that would complicate matters for me. In future, when the conditions are right, I will experiment with other rig options, such as the Chod Rig. Who knows, it might be more productive. But for now, I will stick to what is simple and works for me.
If there's one aspect of my carp fishing I spend way too much time on, it's building and experimenting with a variety of rigs! It has been to my detriment at times, but it has allowed me to find the one that works best for my style of fishing: the Multi Rig.
It has been my most successful and, therefore, my all time favourite! Not only do I find the Multi Rig to be remarkably versatile, it is dead simple to tie as well. Plus, the most appealing part of this rig (for me) is the ability to change the hook and hookbaits (prepared in advance) in a snap. It saves me valuable time, especially during quick day-sessions. I also have the option to fish the rig as either a bottom or popup presentation with the addition of a split shot or some rig putty.
Rigs are all about confidence, and the Multi Rig is my warhorse!
My favourite rig is the Chod Rig. It is the most versatile rig, and it can be used in every condition and type of lake bottom. It's the cast-anywhere rig and can be changed within seconds with another in my current setup. It doesn't have a lot of moving components or knots like a stiff hinge, for example. It is tangle-proof compared to a Combi Rig or soft braid link. I believe the Chod Rig is overused in the UK but not here, and I foresee many fish tripping to this rig in the years to come in SA waters.
My favourite rig is a KD Rig fished as a simple snowman. The hookbait is critically balanced, wafting just above the hook, with the hook lying flat on the bottom. I always fish with a small PVA bag or piece of rig foam to improve my presentation. It's a simple, neat rig which has caught me loads of quality carp over the years. My go-to rig without a doubt.
To make the rig, I take a piece of 20lb Korda N-Trap hooklink material (30cm average) and strip back about 10cm of the coating to expose the inside of the braid. I then make a normal hair and attach a size 6 curve shank hook using a Knotless Knot (making sure about half a centimetre of the stripped hooklink material is visible just above the eye of the hook). For example, all the material from the hair to just above the eye of the hook is stripped back. This makes the 'business end' of the rig a bit lighter; giving it more movement and helps the hook to turn. I then put a small piece of shrink tubing over the eye of the hook; steam it down just to help keep everything neat and in place. I end it off with a Figure-Of-Eight-Loop Knot.
What is your favourite rig? Let us know in the comments section below.