About Using Zig Rigs
No type of rig is going to be suitable for all situations, and there will always be times when you’re going to want to make changes to the type of rig you’re using. A Zig rig can be popular choice, especially when air and water temperatures begin to rise. If you plan on fishing during daylight hours, then a Zig rig can be a very handy tool to have.
The most important thing to keep in mind when using a Zig rig, is depth. In large bodies of water like lakes, a thermocline can develop. A thermocline is a layer of water which separates the upper and lower depths of a lake. Typically the upper layer’s temperature can vary drastically, depending on many conditions like sunlight, while the lower layer’s temperature will remain relatively constant.
Since it can take quite a long time to discover what this optimal depth is, it usually isn’t possible to fish with a static Zig until you know the precise depth you should be fishing at. In Spring seasons, mid to upper layers will warm up much more quickly, meaning you’ll want the Zigs at half to three-quarters of the way up the water column.
As things start to cool down in the Fall, the mid to upper layers will down as well. Then, your ideal layer would be about one quarter to half the way up in the water column. You’ll of course want to experiment with different depths though, as this is far from an exact science and is in no way set in stone.
What type of bait to use
When you fish with zigs, you’ll be fishing up in the water, meaning you’ll want your bait to resemble larvae, bugs or other insects. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure you’re using very small baits. Something in the 8mm to 12mm range will work perfectly.
It can be a good idea to experiment with different colored foam baits too. The point is to make the bait stand out as much as possible, and you might even try contrasting colors. You could for example, use a yellow foam on a black hook, as the two will contrast each other nicely. You’ll also want to adjust your color choices depending on the brightness that day. On a very bright day, using dark colors for bait can work just fine, but when visibility is lower, you’ll definitely want to use something brighter that stands out more. You can even find bug imitations now for use on a Zig rig, which is the closest using a Zig rig has come to fly fishing so far.
Tying a Zig rig
Setting up a Zig rig doesn’t need to be complicated or overly difficult. The first thing you need to do is cut off the amount of line you’ll need for the depth you’ll be fishing at. Aim to cut off about 10 or 20cm more than you really need. It’s much easier to cut the line down afterwards than to realize you’ve cut it too short.
Then tie a loop at one of the ends of the line. Now thread a surface hook on the line and tie a knotless knot. The end result will be similar to a massive hair rig. Just keep in mind that the longer the rig is, the harder it will be actually land a fish.
Other tips and tricks
Keep in mind that the most important thing when it comes to fishing with a Zig rig, is depth. Once you find the correct depth for the day and time you’re fishing at, a Zig rig can be a great way to pull in more carp.
If you plan on spodding, you’ll want to spend some time on getting the mixture right. You can use all sorts of different things like hemp, maggots, condensed milk and corn. You can also used water-based molasses or oil-based salmon oil. The oil will rise through the water creating an oil slick and the molasses will stay low, crawling at the bottom. This will be useful for drawing fish into the area, whether they are on the bottom or top layer of the water.