Do you know the difference between a zig rig and an anchored floater rig? How about the difference between a bolt rig and a chod rig?
Have you heard the one about the inexperienced angler that heard about anglers free lining and went to the local tackle shop to get his free line?
Carp rigs and tackle tarts
When we walk around the banks of our local lakes, rivers, canals and ponds we can see what type of rods and reels our fellow anglers are using. In fact most of them will be more than happy to talk about their new equipment that “cost them a fortune” but “is the business”.
You might hear discussions of the carp gear being “ultra cult”, “awesome”, or even the “dogs bollocks”. Carp fishermen love their tackle and gear, there are even comical phrases associated with the hobby, for example, do you know any “tackle tarts?” I bet you do.
Carp fishermen are far more secretive about their bait and rigs
But when it comes to the topic of the type of bait and rigs being used, suddenly the atmosphere is likely to change. Some people who were just boasting about how they can cast 200 meters will suddenly clam up when you ask them what rig they are using. Amongst a small “clicky” group of regular session carp anglers, see them stare at their shoes, disperse, or share knowing smiles as they “smokescreen you” or change the topic.
Having the right bait and rig combination is of massive importance. It can be the difference between a great season, and a blank one. It has been known for carp fishermen to bait up at night, or to only reel their rigs in when no-one is around.
Some even go as far as to mislead casual observers. It might appear by the angle of the lines, that they are fishing at close range, but they have back leads on and are fishing at long-range.
They might tell you that they are using a bolt rig with a pop up tutti-frutti boilie, but really they are using a running ledger with sweetcorn on!
A tackle tart can turn into a conservative, “shy” rig technician
This is all part of the fun and games of carp fishing. Do not take offense, it is part of the game. I guess that there are different reasons for bait and rig secrecy:
- Some experienced carp anglers lie because they think that it is none of your business.
- Others might not want to tell you to mind your own business in case you give them a black eye.
- Then there are the carp fishermen that have spent countless hours on the fishing bank changing and testing their rigs and bait. Eventually when they hit on a winning formula, should they really give it to you on a silver platter?
Regardless of whether you agree with subterfuge and secrecy in carp fishing, there is positive action that you can take.
That action is to learn as much as possible about carp rigs and techniques, past and present.
YOU be the thinking angler that understands the local conditions and rig mechanics.
YOU be the innovator and trend setter… And in some fishing seasons, the top rod on the lake.
Then you can have the pleasure of telling some nosy stranger that you caught the huge carp on the latest “smelly sock flavor boilie”. You can look at the wonderment on their faces as you explain that you are currently using a traffic light rig, or the spinning clothes line rig. Tight lines.