Sunday, 22 September 2019

Carp Rigs for Beginners

I swear tackle companies are trying to invent ever more complicated carp rigs to part us from our cash. It’s not uncommon for rigs to include multiple swivels, multiple float stops, tubing, shrink tubing, bait screws or rig rings these days. It’s very easy to get caught up in the carp rig hype and go along with these rigs. Tackle companies are very happy for you to do this as you’ll have to buy twice as many rig components but the truth of the matter is that all these rig bits just aren’t necessary. In this article I’m going to look at easy to tie carp rigs for beginners. This article includes a video that takes you through the knotless knot carp rig and the video itself is entitled ‘easy to tie carp rigs for beginners’ too, you can click the play button and watch it from this page, it’s well worth a look, specially the workings of the rig which comes later in the video.

Easy to tie carp rigs for beginners, click below to watch

The knotless knot carp rig starts with a loop, mine is a simple 3 times through the eye overhand knot that’s pulled tight with a Hook Pulla and it’s made of ESP Sink Link Braid. The loop should be smaller than the bait you’re putting on the hair so that the knot sits inside the bait, tying the loop this short means the knot will prevent the hook bait sliding on the hair, effectively the hook bait will be locked in place.

Loop smaller than the bait so the knot sits inside the bait

Once the loop is tied and the bait is hair-rigged it’s time to form the knotless knot. The hook is important and I use a Kamasan B175 trout hook in size 6, it’s a salmon hook but the long shank and down turned eye makes it superb for the knotless knot, it’s also cheap at around £4 for a box of 25 or £9 for a box of 100, how’s that compared to £6 for a packet of 10 you’ll pay for branded carp hooks!.

Kamasan B175 hook, 5-10mm from bait to hook bend is just right

Thread the sink link hook length through the back of the eye of the hook, the hair should come off the back of the eye and run down the back of the hook shank. You can adjust the length of the hair at this point and I find 5-10mm from the bottom of the bait to the bend of the hook is about right. With the hair held in place start whipping the braid up the hook shank from the eye, the whipping should start the opposite side from the slit in the hook eye and you should do 14-15 times up the shank. By now the hair should be exiting roughly level with the hook point. Once this is done simply take the end of the sink link hooklength and pass it back through the eye of the hook from the back of the hook to the front, so it comes out on the inside of the hook eye.

Whip 14-15 times so hair exits opposite the hook point then thread hooklink back through the eye

Once the knotless knot has been tied simply add a Swivel to the other end of the hooklength using a palomar knot, at this point this simple carp rig is complete. The kamasan b175 hook has a down turned eye so it acts as a line aligner but requires no extra tubing to make the hook flip, the down turned eyed does this aggressively on it’s own. The ESP Sink Link Braid is heavy enough to sink on it’s own so doesn’t require sinkers to keep it pinned down. This simple carp rig works with all lead arrangements, inline leads, lead clips or running leads and it’s a cracking budget carp rig too because it only has 3 rig components and they are all relatively cheap.

Tie a swivel to the other end of the sink link and the knotless knot carp rig is complete

As with any carp rig, this simple carp rig requires tuning and you do this by making a note of the hook holds of the fish you catch. A fish nailed in the bottom lip is perfect, if a hook pull occurs this is a sign the rig is too short and you should tie another an inch or so longer to give the carp a chance to get the bait properly. If the carp is hooked in the scissors or just outside the mouth this is a sign the rig is too long and you should re-tie the rig an inch or two shorter because the carp has too much room to move. By concentrating on the hook holds and tweaking the rig you can nail your carp correctly in the bottom lip most times. From experience I would suggest a starting rig length of 8-10” then work from there.

Carp rigs made with braid can suffer tangles, they tangle in 2 places, the hooklength and the hair itself. To prevent hooklength tangles add a two or three bait stringer or mesh bag to the rig, the extra weight of the bag/stringer will prevent the rig from tangling. The other potential tangle point is the hair, it should exit from the back of the shank but it can wrap around the shank on the cast so I use a one third piece of pva foam nugget and I fold it over the hair effectively trapping the hair in place and stopping it from tangling. If you add a stringer and a piece of foam to a braided carp rig it shouldn’t tangle.

Add a mesh bag and fold a pva nugget over the hair to prevent tangles

So that’s it for easy to tie carp rigs for beginners, the rig is superb, it’s caught me thousands of carp over the last 30 years and I still use the rig today, if you’re stuck wondering which carp rig to try I’d recommend this one, it’s a simple carp rig, it’s safe carp rig, it’s a great river carp rig, it’s a canal carp rig, in fact it’s just a superb all round and easy to tie carp rig for beginners.

Below is a video called 'Safe Carp Rig' and this is the inline lead arrangement I use with this rig, below that is a video on how to tie the palomar knot which is used for the swivel, check them out, give them a like on Youtube, subscribe to my Youtube Channel and feel free to have a say in the comments section of any of the videos in this article on Youtube.

Tight Lines


Safe carp rig, the inline lead system I use with this easy to tie carp rig

How to tie the palomar knot (click below to watch)

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Preparing Wheat for Carp Fishing

Once upon a time I used to fish the Burton Mere syndicate in South Wirral, I fished those lakes from 1989 to 1993 and the place was a big part of my carp fishing apprenticeship, you might say I ‘cut my teeth’ on those lakes. During my time on there the owner built some stock ponds and one day I noticed him walking round with a bucket and scoop, he was lashing feed into the lakes and at the time I was hungry for info so I asked him what the feed was?. ‘Wheat’ came the reply, he was feeding his fish wheat and as it turns out wheat was a very good carp bait too. I had to try some and what I found was indeed a very good and very cheap bait for carp fishing so let’s take a look at preparing wheat for carp fishing.

Wheat for fishing, you won't find a cheaper carp bait

Like all particles for carp fishing, wheat has to be soaked and boiled so I generally fill my bucket with an inch or two of dried wheat. On top of the dried wheat I pour around 4 times as much water as there is wheat because it’s going to expand as it soaks and it will expand even further once it’s cooked. With the water added I give it 24hrs to soak then I boil it for no more than 10 minutes, wheat is reasonably soft compared to some seeds so it doesn’t need to be boiled quite as hard as seeds like hemp and pigeon conditioner. With the wheat boiled it’s just a case of tipping the wheat back into the bucket and leaving it to cool down then it’s ready to go fishing with.

Preparing Wheat for Carp Fishing, click below to watch

Like all particles you can use wheat as a background feed as part of a spod mix, you can fish other particles or boilies over the top or you can fish with wheat itself. In recent years fishing for carp with wheat and any other particle for that matter, has been made easy by Fox Arma Mesh. Arma mesh works the same way as a pva mesh system accept the mesh doesn’t dissolve, it retains the seeds and protects them from nuisance fish. The ability to use hair rigged particles for carp fishing is a real string to the carp angler’s bow, especially on heavily pressured carp waters where the fish will turn away from boilies when the angling pressure bites. Small packets of seeds have been a big fishing edge of mine for quite a while now, in fact the Fox Arma Mesh is now a standard part of my fishing kit and I don’t go fishing without it.

A small package of wheat made with Fox Arma Mesh fooled this common carp

My articles for this blog usually come with a corresponding video which is published to my youtube channel. The video is embedded into this article so please click on it to watch how I prepare wheat for carp fishing. My youtube channel is worth subscribing to as well and you can do that on youtube or by clicking one of the subscribe buttons on this page, don’t forget to click on the bell icon to make sure you get notifications of when my videos are published, that way you won’t miss out. My video on preparing wheat for carp fishing has lots of information in it along with the captures I made using wheat as a hookbait during filming. You can see first hand that wheat is a very good bait for catching carp. It’s not just for carp though, wheat is a very good bait for roach, tench and bream too so this article is useful for other specimen anglers and not just carpers.

A nice common caught on a wheat hookbait made with fox arma mesh

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at wheat, I’ll finish with a very useful point about wheat as a carp bait, it’s cheap, very cheap!, 20k of hemp costs £40-£45 at the time of writing and the sack of re-cleaned wheat I used in the video cost just £7.50 so using wheat for carp fishing gives exceptional value for money.

Until next time, tight lines.


Particle fishing for carp, fox arma mesh review, click below to watch

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