Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Line Aligner Carp Rig

A few months ago I joined a north west carp syndicate, one of the rules of the syndicate was that no long shank hooks were allowed. No long shank hooks was a pretty vague statement so I read the rules closely and it was recommended that a hooks shank should be no longer than that of a drennan super specialist hook. I knew straight away that this meant my beloved Kamasan b175's were on the banned list of carp hooks I could use for the syndicate and it sort of left me with a bit of a problem. I’d been using the kamasan b175’s in conjunction with a knotless knot since 1995 and my confidence in this hooking arrangement is extremely high, its probably the most efficient carp rig I’ve ever used!.

Prior to my usual carp rig, I’d actually used drennan super specialist hooks and as they were on the approved list for the syndicate it seemed logical to go back to them and fish with the rig that Jim Gibbinson made famous in the early 90’s, the line aligner. The line aligner and the knotless knot/b175 setup are very similar and they both work the same way, in fact I only switched to using the knotless knot because it was so easy to tie, both rigs are extremely efficient hookers of carp so it was no great hardship to use the line aligner again.

Tying the line aligner is reasonably straight forward, I actually start by tying a knotless knot the same way I would if using the b175’s. With a b175 the rig would be finished at this point but unlike the b175, the drennan super specialist hooks don’t have the 45 degree down turn on the eye that gives the rig the ability to flip over. This ability to flip comes from adding a piece of 1mm soft rig tubing which both extends the shank and adds the flip effect.

Knotless knot ready for the 1mm soft rig tubing that forms the line aligner

With the knotless knot tied I take a needle and thread the other end of my silkworm hooklink through the eye. At this stage I thread the needle through the tubing and bring the needle out through the wall of the soft tubing as can be seen in the picture below, pull the needle out so that hooklength runs through the tubing and exits through the tubing wall.

Threading kryston silkworm through the tubing wall

At this point the tubing can be slid down over the hook shank and manipulated so that where the silkworm hooklink exit’s the tubing wall is on the ‘inside’ of the hook eye the same as the knotless knot.

The tubing positioned so the silkworm exits on the inside of the hooks eye

Once this is done the rig is completed by cutting a 45 degree angle in the end of the soft rig tubing, the angle of cut is vital and the best way to describe this cut is to refer you to the picture below. As you can see the line comes out of the tubing on the inside of the hooks eye and the 45 degree cut in the rig tubing is on the opposite side going away from the hook.

Cut the tubing at a 45 degree angle and the rig is complete

Once the line aligner rig has been tied you can try the finger test on it. Pull the silkworm hooklength over your finger and try to manipulate the hook point so that its always away from your finger and won't catch hold. The hook point will always stay away until you hit the 45 degree cut in the rig tubing, at this point the rig will always turn and dig into your finger and you’ll never actually manage to pull it over your finger without it flipping and catching hold.

Try the finger test, the rig will always turn and dig into your finger.

I believe the line aligner works on the basis of the carp not actually knowing it's picked up a hookbait, hooking occurs when the rig actually tightens to the lead. The knotless knot works the same way, the 45 degree down turned eye on a kamasan b175 hook has pretty much the same effect as the 45 degree cut in the rig tubing on the line aligner. Both rigs are extremely efficient hookers of carp and having switched back to the line aligner for syndicate use I’ve remembered just how happy I was with this rig for catching carp.

Tight Lines


  1. Hi Mark
    I have just tied some of these up (also having read 'Carp Sense' by Jim G himself which is a brilliant book).. Anyway I cannot quite see exactly how and why the 45 degree cut in the tubing works.. I noticed that the 'point' that gets created in the tubing makes the hook flip inwards aggressively when the line is tightened against a finger (or carp's lip).. I suppose that this feature (in what I like to call the 'proper' line aligner) is what differentiates this rig from the apparently endless variations you see about now that simply have tubing to create a safe 'bent hook rig' curve effect without the metal twisting and turning against the lips during the fight. Anyway I think curve shank hooks are no different nor better than bent hooks and I have binned all mine, I now use a plain shaped 'natural' hook a bit like a super specialist in the for of a Big T Raptor which I like the shape of.. Anyway I shall go forth and experiment with what I think is a little gem of a somewhat forgotten detail from Jim G.. But in the meantime please pick through what I said and it would be good to hear back from you. Cheers from Tom experienced and keen as ever Sussex Carper.

    1. Hi Thomas, I've got my own line of thinking on why the 45 degree cuts in the tubing works, if you drape the hooklink over your finger with the hook hanging down, try pulling the hooklink up and try to get the hook over your finger without it turning and digging in. By all means try and roll the hooklink in your fingers to keep the point away from your skin, no matter what you do, when it comes up against the 45 degree angle the hook will collapse and turn, its like the angle in the tubing starts it turning and once it is there is no way back. I'm not sure if that makes sense to you or not?


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