Saturday, 5 May 2012

Safe Carp Rig


Recently I added a list of ‘most popular’ posts to this blog and one thing that became apparent to me was the popularity of the piece I wrote about Lead Core Leaders. For those of you who haven’t read it, lets just say I’m not a fan of lead core at all, I believe that anyone who thinks they can tie a safe rig incorporating lead core is, quite frankly, delusional!.

Having pretty much slated lead core I thought I’d take a look at the safest carp rig I know and the one I use for just about all of my bottom bait fishing, the simple inline lead carp bolt rig. The components needed for this safety bolt rig are all very simple, and I’ll quickly run through them before I look at just how I set this carp rig up.

Rig Tubing. The first rig component is rig tubing, as a general rule I make my rig tubing a couple of inches longer than my actual hook length. With the new generation of ‘heavyweight’ rig tubing like ESP’s Anchor Rig Tubing you can be confident your end tackle is pinned down without the need for any lead core. As my rigs are generally quite long, I use around 12-15 inches of rig tube.

ESP Anchor Rig Tube, A perfect reason not to use leadcore!

Tail Rubbers. The next component of this carp rig is the tail rubber, again many companies supply these, generally I like the ones from Korda or Nash tackle but there are many others. The rig tubing should be a nice tight fit into the tail rubber and the tail rubber should fit over the tube at the back of the inline lead in the same way.

Inline Lead. I don’t buy lead weights from the tackle shop anymore, last time I was in a tackle shop I got the shock of my life when I saw how much they were!, perhaps I should have carried on making my own leads as I used to but when I found other anglers selling them cheap online I decided not to waste my fishing time making my own anymore. Most of the time I get mine in bulk from Ebay, if you buy 20 or more leads in one go you can generally get them for 50-60p each, less perhaps if you buy more although 20 leads should last a long time!. I prefer my inline lead to have a recess in it to house the swivel, I think a carp rig set up with this type of inline lead is nice and neat and a very efficient hooker of carp.

Carp Swivel. The swivels I use for my safety bolt rigs are 50lb test, again many tackle manufacturers make these kind of swivels and it’s a personal choice for most anglers, if you’re not sure then Korda and Nash Tackle are both very good.

Hook Length. My hook length is generally 25lb Kryston Silkworm, I’ve been using this material since the early-mid 1990’s and I have total confidence in it, however, this article is about setting up a safe lead arrangement so I won’t dwell on the rest of the rig.

Setting up this safety bolt rig is easy, simply thread the rig tubing onto your main line, this is followed with a tail rubber, then the inline lead and lastly the swivel from your actual rig itself is tied on, the whole lot simply pulls together, the tubing fits into the tail rubber, the tail rubber fits onto the tubing at the back of the lead and the swivel is pulled into the housing within the lead, its very simple and very straight forward.

Safe carp rig ready to be pushed together.
This perfectly safe bolt rig looks neat and tidy when finished.
This isn’t the end of the rig though, you need to make sure the swivel will release from the lead housing with little resistance, as a general rule, I hold the rig up by the hook length and the weight of the lead itself should be enough to release the lead, if it doesn’t then I slightly crush one half of the swivel into an oval shape to make it release easier, this is simply done with a small pair of long nosed pliers.

Slightly crush the swivel if the lead won't fall easily when held up by the hooklength.
If the swivel will release from the rig just by the weight of the lead you can be sure you’ve done enough to make the rig as safe as possible. Should a carp pick up your bait, you have a proper bolt rig to hook it and when it runs the swivel pops out of the lead housing and you are effectively left playing the fish in with a running lead, a lead which will simply drop off the line in the event of your main line snapping.

Hold the rig up by the hooklink, the lead should fall away under its own weight.
I think we have a responsibility as anglers to leave our fish with the minimum of tackle to deal with should we be unfortunate enough to have our main line break and this rig is just the job for that, the lead and rig tube have only been threaded onto the main line and in the event of a break, both will be lost and you simply can’t get this level of safety if you use lead core!. I’ve been using this rig for the best part of 20 years now, its simple, very effective and as safe as a carp rig possibly can be.

Mark.

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