There are few topics in fishing that can be as secretive as the type of carp rigs that are getting the best results on a particular venue. Most lakes in the UK that hold carp are pressured by anglers. Carp are notorious for being cautious and easily spooked. Carp fishermen can wait hours, days, weeks or even months for a bite or a run. At the same time, every carp fishing magazine always shows diagrams of the latest trendy rigs for carp.
How can this be? How can the topic be extremely secretive, and well publicized at the same time?
The secrecy level relating to carp rigs depends on the venue, and the type of fishermen.
It depends on the circumstances at your local venue. If it is a “hard water” and people are struggling for bites or runs, if someone hits upon a bait or rig that gets results, they are likely to ride their success and only tell a few friends. Invariably, when the secret gets out and everyone uses the same rig, it will start to lose its effectiveness.
So the magazine articles tend to show rigs that are either losing their effectiveness on a particular water, or the articles are being published by carp fishermen that have a certain level of celebrity status. For these big name anglers, helping others is just as important as continuing to catch more huge carp for themselves.
A few good questions to ask to help you with your rig choice:
If you see an article about the latest rig that is getting results, the bigger questions are:
- Will it work on your local water?
- Has it been tried already?
- Is it suitable for the conditions on your local fishing venue?
For example, the latest rig doing the business in another place might involve fluorocarbon hook links. If you are fishing a weedy or snaggy water then fluorocarbon will be too fragile. If the latest rig involves a heavy 4 ounce lead, a lead core leader and a thick coated hook link, might this be suitable for your local water with a silty bottom?
The best solution for you as an individual is to learn about all of the possible carp rigs that can be used.
Learn the rig mechanics and the reasons for each tackle component choice
This way you will understand the mechanics and the reasons why each rig component is selected. Then later on, instead of just following the latest top rig that you read about in the magazine, the one that everyone else is likely to be using, you can use your own judgement. You might be able to modify other top rigs to suit your local fishing conditions. You might even invent your own rig and get ahead of the other local anglers!
Because of the huge challenges that many waters bring, carp anglers are always looking for “edges” or techniques that might fool a wary carp. A little experimentation can fool carp and move the thinking angler up the results leader board for a lake.
Throughout the history of carp fishing, a new type of bait or rig has often created extraordinary results. The first people to use a hair rig or a bolt rig saw massive improvements in the numbers of bites, and fish on the bank.
We are now at the stage where it is difficult to think of a new way of presenting our bait. After all, there are only so many variations in hook size and shape. It is questionable as to whether a different colored swivel or rig tube would make much of a difference to our results.
The most important thing now is to be aware of all the different possibilities in types of carp rigs. We store all of the information in our minds, then the skill is in tweaking and making the correct decisions based on local factors.
Try old fashioned rigs or fishing techniques, many of them still work and are overlooked
There is also benefit in being a carp “historian” or a “contrarian”. Carp fishing became really popular in the 1980’s, this is 30 years ago. In fact, during the past 40 years there have been countless innovations, trends, and secret rigs. These developments became mainstream as more and more people got “let in” on the techniques.
Often by the time everybody is using the latest rig or bait, the people catching the most fish are doing something else entirely.
Anyone can catch fish on the days where the atmosphere is electric, the weather conditions are perfect, and the fish seem to be “crawling up the rods”. It is during the quiet periods where a change of rig, or bait can create an extra bite or 2. Over the course of a year these extra bites build up.
This is the difference between a top angler and an average one…
… It is all of the extra times when the thinking angler tweaks his rig, or goes stalking around the quiet side of the lake, or makes the extra effort in spending time at the lake on weekdays when he is not actually fishing.
So, for those of you who have joined the carp anglers ranks recently, or have forgotten some of the old techniques, come back to this site often. I think that we have all been in the position of putting the hours in without getting results, only to hit upon some new information that has turned our season around.
The next wonder rig that helps you get a red letter day might involve some brand new link material or mechanical wonder. It could be that going back to basics and using a “blast from the past” technique gets you the results you are looking for.
One thing is for sure, rigs are firmly in the top 3 priorities for a carp anglers focus. The top 3 questions are:
- Where should I put my bait?
- What should my bait be?
- What rig should I use to present my bait?
With modern wonder rigs, all the way to the old fashioned tried and tested carp rigs that still get results. these 3 questions stay the same.