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Best Carp Rigs for Any Situation

04 Jul 21

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Over the years, carp fishing has evolved massively and from this, a wide array of carp rigs have been created.

All of these carp rig innovations are excellent, offering carp anglers a plethora of options, but this can also be confusing to many anglers.

In the following article, we are going to explain some of the most popular carp rigs, when to use each and the complexity. Let's start by explaining some of the most popular and successful carp rigs.

Knotless Knot Rig

Best Fished Over: Any lakebed

Complexity: Simple, perfect for beginners carp anglers

best carp rig - knotless knot

We have to start with the carp rig that most carp anglers start with, the Knotless Knot.

The Knotless Knot is ideal for beginners as it is simple to tie and very effective in catching carp. The Knotless Knot rig is also very versatile and can be fished over almost any lakebed (with some simple adjustments of the length of hair, type of hooklink etc).

The Knotless Knot rig is usually fished with a boilie hook bait, but this carp rig can be fished using almost any hook bait. 

Solid PVA Bag Rig

Best Fished Over: Any lakebed with minimal disturbance

Complexity: Simple, perfect for beginners carp anglers

best carp rigs - solid PVA bag

The next carp rig we are covering is the Solid PVA Bag Rig, which is probably a natural next step after the Knotless Knot rig.

This carp rig usually has a short hooklink and an inline lead, providing excellent hooking capabilities due to this construction. A carp picks up your hook bait and is hit with immediate resistance.

The complete rig is placed inside a Solid PVA Bag (often filled with pellets or similar offerings) and once cast out to the lake, dissolves leaving a perfectly presented carp rig over a small mound of pellets.

As you would expect, the Solid PVA Bag Rig can be fished over almost any lakebed with minimal disturbance, perfect for casting to showing carp.

Snowman Rig

Best Fished Over: Any lakebed with minimal disturbance

Complexity: Simple, perfect for beginners carp anglers

best carp rigs - snowman rig

The Snowman Rig is another simple but highly capable carp rig. The hook bait consists of two boilies. One standard boilie is attached to the hair followed by a smaller pop-up (buoyant) boilie. The idea is to critically balance both baits so they sink very slowly in the water and sit on the lakebed looking like a snowman.

The key part to the Snowman Rig is the critically balanced bit, which will help when a carp takes your bait. 

The KD Rig

Best Fished Over: Any lakebed with minimal disturbance

Complexity: Simple, perfect for beginners carp anglers

best carp rigs - KD rig

Another very simple but highly effective carp rig. The main idea of the KD rig is to provide a very aggressive hook behaviour which is achieved by the location of the hair against the shank of the hook.

Check out our article explaining the KD rig in more detail and how to tie one.

If you prefer ready-tied carp rigs, check out this offering from Korda

Blowback Rig

Best Fished Over: Weed & Silt using a longer hooklink or Gravel using a shorter hooklink

Complexity: Intermediate

best carp rigs - Blowback rig

The Blowback Carp Rig is a favourite of Korda's Danny Fairbrass and for good reasons.

The Blowback rig is perfect for high pressured watered or carp that are used to evading capture which is achieved by the aggressive hook position and clever hair ring mounted on the shank of the hook. This combination makes it very difficult for a carp to eject the rig and if they did, the rig can reset itself ready for another take. This carp rig can be fished with boilies or pop-ups.

Not confident tying your own or you haven't got the time? Try the ready-tied Blowback rig 

Stiff bottom bait rig

Best Fished Over: Gravel or Sand (hard bottoms)

Complexity: Simple, perfect for beginners carp anglers

best carp rigs - stiff bottom bait rig

This simple carp rig, best used on a hard lake bottom, utilises stiff rig material (coated braid or fluorocarbon), which means the rig is always in contact with the lead, making this very difficult for a carp to eject.

The stiff bottom bait rig, as the name suggests, is best suited with boilies or other non-buoyant carp baits. 

Often referred to as a big carp rig, this stiff bottom bait rig is very simple to tie and could land you the carp of your dreams. The rig is perfect for beginner anglers looking for a new rig to try and maybe not having the confidence or know-how to tie a chod rig or similar. 

Chod Rig

Best Fished Over: Any lakebed but really comes into its own over weed or dirty (choddy) areas.

Complexity: Experienced carp anglers who are confident creating rigs. If you are a beginner, I recommend the ready-tied chod rigs.

best carp rigs - Chod rig

We have all heard of the chod rig, probably one of the most popular carp rigs today which has landed countless big carp and used by big-name anglers such as Terry Hearn and Jim Shelley. If you were asked the question 'Name a big carp rig?' I think the majority would go for the chod rig and for very good reasons.

The chod rig utilises a short and stiff hooklink, that is created with a gradual curve, complete with a pop-up boilie (often a corkball pop-up as these are super buoyant) attached to a leader using a swivel. 

This setup allows for the chod rig to have excellent movement and aggressive hook position, which makes it so good at hooking carp. The chod rig can be fished over any lakebed and is often used when casting to showing fish, which created a minimal disturbance and can provide quick bites. If you've never tried a chod rig, you really are missing out.

Not confident tying your own or you haven't got the time? Try the ready-tied Chod rigs

Claw or Bottom Bait Rig

Best Fished Over: Weed with a longer hooklink, Clay & Gravel with a shorter hooklink,

Complexity: Simple, perfect for beginner carp anglers

best carp rigs - claw rig

The claw or bottom bait rig utilises shrink tubing around the eye of the hook and also to set the position of the hair, which makes this rig very aggressive when hooking a carp. To add even more of an aggressive stance, attach a piece of tungsten putty to the hooklink which ensure the hook catches the carp mouth even sooner.

Anglers such as Adam Penning swear by this rig and I think for very good reasons, those being a simple rig to tie but highly effective.

360 Rig (Ronnie Rig or Spinner Rig)

Best Fished Over: Any lakebed (Silt or Chod (dirty) areas using supple material or stiffer material over gravel)

Complexity: Experienced carp anglers who are confident creating rigs. If you are a beginner, I recommend the ready-tied spinner rigs.

best carp rigs - spinner rig - ronnie rig

As the name suggests the pop-up 360 (Ronnie or Spinner) rig has lots of movement with its long shank hook and swivel attaching it to the leader. This movement makes life very difficult for a carp to deal with

The 360 (Ronnie or Spinner) rig is fished using a very buoyant bait such as a corkball pop-up.

Not confident tying your own or you just haven't got the time? Try the ready-tied version from Korda

Hinge Stiff Rig

Best Fished Over: Cleaner lakebeds due to the nature of the materials

Complexity: Experienced carp anglers who are confident creating rigs.

best carp rigs - hinge stiff rig

The Hinge stiff rig is a strong and reliable big carp rig and one of the best pop-up rigs you can use today. The stiff nature of this carp rig ensures perfect presentation giving you huge confidence in landing a carp.

The main rig mechanics consist of a stiff boom and D-rig section which position the hook in a very aggressive manner. Similar to a chod rig in its benefits and best used with corkball pop-ups, the hinge stiff rig is used by the likes of Danny Fairbrass and Co.

The hinged stiff rig is complex to tie, but don't worry as you can be them ready-tied if you are a beginner or short for time.

The Multi Rig

Best Fished Over: Any lakebed apart from very thick weed

Complexity: Experienced carp anglers who are confident creating rigs. 

best carp rigs - multi rig

The multi-rig is another pop-up rig that allows you to change your hook bait in seconds.

Known to many anglers as the 'Jon Mac' rig, the multi-rig offers excellent hook bait presentation whilst having the ability to fish over a variety of lakebeds. 

The multi-rig looks quite alien compared to many others but is actually much easier to tie than you might think. Consisting of a D on the shank where your pop-up is attached.

Zig Rig

Best Fished Over: Anywhere as you bait sits in the upper layers of the water

Complexity: Simple, perfect for all carp anglers

best carp rigs - zig rig

The zig rig is a deadly carp rig that is still overlooked by many anglers. This carp rig allows you to present a buoyant bait in the upper layers of the water, often where carp are patrolling in warmer weather.

The zig rig can be used with a standard lead clip or my favourite is the adjustable zig rig which can be set at different depths of water without re-casting, very deadly when you find the right depth.

Often fished using yellow, white or black foam to mimic the natural food that carp love, try adding some additional attraction by dipping your foam in bait glugs.

Try the ready-tied Zig Rigs to save you time 

Summary

We have covered several of the best carp rigs from the simple knotless knots rig to the more complex multi-rig. Whatever your level of experience there is a carp rig that will catch you carp.

Have we missed any carp rigs you love? Let us know in the comments section.

Images for this article taken from http://www.korda.co.uk/

 

 

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