Choosing What Carp Rig To Use
Carp rigs really can be the difference between catching and blanking.
There are many methods to presenting your hook bait, either dead set on the lakebed, or at various levels throughout the water column.
In this section, you’ll find plenty of carp rigs that enable you to fish on allsorts of terrain such as silt, gravel and weed.
Either way, there are some golden rules to consider when deciding what rig you should use.
*5 Golden Rules of Carp Rigs*
1. Try to present your rig the best way possible to achieve the maximum hookhold (the center of the mouth) all in a safe manner.
2. Minimise pickups. This is where the carp picks up your hookbait but either shakes the hook or spits it out. There are rigs to counteract this such as the blowback rig.
3. Match your hookbait to the rig. There are specialist, or slightly altered rigs, for say fishing with a PVA bag or fishing at other levels of the water column (Zig Rigs) The wrong hookbait can kill a rig or aid poor presentation.
4. Rig Materials. Hooklengths such as coated braid or fluorocarbon, hook size/pattern, putty and tubing all form the mechanics of rigs and how they work – learn how each plays a part and what it is achieving!
5. SAFETY. This is very important. Your rig should be safe at all times, for example, if you’re fishing amongst dense weed – make sure to drop the lead to land the carp safely and prevent it from dragging a lead around the lake.
Carp Rigs: Getting Started
Below is a small checklist of a few of the essential items required to start rig making. There are other materials you may need further down the line – but we’ll help you with that when the time comes!
#1 - Simple Carp Rig
Time to Make: 3 minutes
Type: Bottom Rig
Knots Used: Knotless Knot/ Over Hand Loop
This simple carp rig is very easy to build!
It utilises a supple hair which allows maximum (and natural) hookbait movement. For example, using double sweetcorn or a snowman type setup is perfect for this rig.
You should test all your carp rigs in water, either at home or by the side of the lake.
Tip: Don’t forget to ‘trim’ off the tag end (that’s the left over braid once you’ve tied the hair rig section!)
Watch the video
This basic rig has, no doubt, caught hundreds of carp over the years.
It’s an extremely effective carp rig that beginners can easily learn, without too many problems.
It does sits nicely on the bottom, doing a simple job, ready to spring into action!
If you’re you looking to adapt this simple carp rig, keep reading to learn some advanced carp rigs tht you could use to blend into the underwater surroundings.
Carp Hook Guide
We’ve found a really good article that explains everything you need to know about carp hooks.
This is really important in any rig building when you’re figuring out how to match the hook with bait sizes.
#2 - Pop Up Rigs
Construction Time: Approximately 4 minutes
Type: Bottom Rig
Knots Used: Knotless Knot, Figure of 8 Loop
- Baiting Needle
- Bait Stops
- Gardner Sink Skin 20lb
- Stripper Tool
- 12mm Pop Up
- Size 8 Covert Continental Mugga
- Covert Supa Shrink
The steps below are taken from Carpology Magazine, in association with Gardner.
Take a stripper tool to remove approximately 3 inches of coating (this allows for plenty of movement)
Now tie a small loop in the end of the stripped braid, then attach your 12mm pop-up.
Now secure the 12mm pop-up to a size 8 Covert Continental Mugga.
You can do this by using a knotless knot.
Make sure that the pop-up is positioned at the start of the bend.
Now slide a fairly long length of Covert Supa Shrink on to the rig, and position as shown, to trap the bait tight to the shank of the hook.
Tie a figure of eight loop knot in the end of the rig (as shown) to make it easy to attach to a swivel.
Now warm up some putty, then attach a blob to balance the pop-up (This is where you should practice at home to make sure the balance is right!)
The finished Rig!
There are many variations of a pop up rig, but we’ve kept this as easy and as simple to make as possible.
The key with most pop up rigs is to match the popup size to your hook size, otherwise, the presentation can really let you down, with carp becoming wary of it very quickly.
Keep practicing this popup rig, and experiment with different sizes and shapes. Perhpas try some dumbell hookers?
A good tip for rig making at home is to dip it your rig into a bucket of water (or abandoned fish tank like I do!)
This way, you’ll know EXACTLY how it sits and reacts when it settles onto the lake bed.
You should watch the videos below that shows some alternative popup carp rigs.
Learn more pop up carp rigs
#3 - The Multi Rig
This is a universal carp rig that can be used in most fishing situations.
Its versatility makes this a great ‘go-to’ rig , which is a must for any decent rig case.
It really does sit perfectly on silt, gravel and weed!
- Usual Basic Materials – Baiting needle, Scissors etc.
- Out-turned Hook (designed for monos and stiff materials)
- Coated Braid (choose a colour to match the surroundings!)
- Tungsten Putty (easy to create a balanced rig than to keep replacing a traditional lead shot)
- A Hook Bead
- Bait screw or micro swivel
We’ll talk you through the steps to construct this rig.
We do suggest watching the videos at the end because the explanation may come across a little simpler!
Take around 12 inches of your chosen coated braid.
In one end, make a usual ‘figure of 8’ loop – moisten, and the tighten using a knot puller.
Repeat step 2 for the other end, only make this smaller!
Take the larger loop you’ve just created, and strip back around 3mm of the coated braid just above this loop.
Now take your hook (size 6 or 8) and slip a hook bead onto the shank (this will keep everything tidy once tied)
Thread the larger loop end through the eye of the hook ( a splicing needle will help with this)
Now also thread either a bait screw or micro swivel after the hook in step 6….
Now for the tricky part!
Because you’ve threaded the hook through the loop and the bait screw, or micro swivel, you should pull the loop over the hook end and pull down tight down to the hook bead.
Simply add you popup/chosen hookbait to the boilie screw or swivel.
Warm up, then add some putty to the top of the big loop knot you’ve just created.
You should take care here (remember to test out the balance at home) because you’ll want the pop up to stand nice and proud as shown below.
You can experiment with the weight of the hook, or amount of putty used, aganst various pop up combinations.
Some of the videos will really help you to digest what this rig is trying to achieve!
These are really effective carp rigs that can be used anywhere.
If you would like to mention any carp rigs that have produced for you – please do get in touch, or leave a comment at the bottom of this page.
#4 - The Chod Rig
You may or may not of heard the chod rig.
Either way, its of those fascinating carp rigs that should be part of your rig wallet.
The two main advantages are that the chod rig allows you to present a carp bait over a wide range of surfaces such as mud, weed and debris.
The other is the distinct mechanics, or shape, that allows you to attach your chosen hookbait.
Instead of a traditional carp rig,where you may attach a leader, hook length and then your hook (in that order), the chod rig actually sits between your lead and leader.
Using a very short, rigid hook length (about an inch or so), you place this between two beads like the image below, sliding into the position you require.
The angle at which this ‘stiff boom’ sits makes the chod rig really aggressive, whilst maintaining a 360 degree axis (sometimes known as a helicopter setup or rig) which minimises tangles!
Finally, we have a carp rig that delivers!
Gone are the problems of yesteryear that anglers like me and you faced (and shied away from) when attempting to fish between weed or debris laden areas.
If a chod rig is setup correctly (which may take some practice) these key features we’ve mentioned make it very difficult for carp to shake the hook free, with a hookhold that is strong and secure.
Following along to a video on how to make your own chod rig at home is far easier than a step-by-basis due to the trickiness in the creation!
You can find these chod rig videos below.
Chod Fishing Tips
#5 - Hinged Stiff Rig
The hinged stiff rig is great at presenting pop-up rigs just off the bottom!
The hook sits an aggressive angle primed for striking straight into the centre lip of the carp, making the stiff hinge rig hard for carp to eject.
If, on the unfortunate occasion the carp does shake the hook, the rig ‘resets’ itself , so you can be sure it still presents a good opportunity for a follow-up take!
Additionally, the stiff hinge rig can be presented on a whole host of lake beds – including light weed or choddy areas.
All these features make the hinge stiff rig a ‘go-to’ rig for many of the top anglers, including Mark Pitchers.
As with all your rigs, make sure your hook is as sharp as can be using the nail test, and flick in into the margin so you can see how it presents itself close up….
Let’s talk you through the steps on constructing this devastating carp rig!
Take around 8 inches of your extra stiff hooklink material.
Double this up by folding it in half – and then thread the close end through the eye of your hook (backend, towards the point)
Leave a small loop and thread on a micro swivel or mini hook link swivel
Now once you’ve slipped on the micro swivel as in the previous step, take the loop and pass it over the hook point as shown above.
Now you can lock in this swivel by closing up the loop. To do this, simply pull the other end of your hooklink.
Now take your Size 11 Flexi Ring Swivel and pass this down the doubled up loose end of your hooklink to approximately 1 inch away from the hook eye.
At this point, you need to ‘twist’ your hooklink around itself twice, with the intention of creating a blood knot…..
Now pass the tag end through the loop creating (closest to the flexi ring swivel)
Take a multi-tool or hook puller to tighten up this knot – locking the flexi ring swivel in place….
Now trim off the remaining tag end (and blob down with a lighter) leaving a nice neat stiff hinge element!
Now go back to the hook end where you slipped on the micro swivel and open this up slightly to create a ‘D’.
For the boom section, take the coated braid and loop each end (one small for the stiff hinge – make sure you put this on first!) with the other loop for connecting to your lead arrangement.
Finally – attach your hook bait of choice onto the micro swivel, then add some putty to counter-balance your rig (test this in water) – and you’ve created your first stiff hinge rig!
Learn More 'Hinged Stiff' Rigs
It’s important to return a fish to the water in a good condition.
Take the time to check for any physical damage, or noticeable diseases.
There not very expensive, and it takes a few seconds to apply.
Well fellow anglers, there you have an extensive list of carp rigs that you can make at home!
We hope you enjoyed the variety of rigs on offer, mixed in with some valuable tips & tricks to make your fishing better.
These rigs can be adapted to how you like, such as varying the hooklength or changing the hook size – these subtle changes can and do make the difference on the bank.
If nothing is working, stay positive and think about why that may be.
The fish might of moved away from the area, or just aren’t feeding because of the time of day.
When you do catch on a homemade carp rig, it really is a great sense of achievement. Especially if you’ve put a lot of time and effort (and money) into making sure you’re well prepared on your fishing trip!
Until next time – be lucky!
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