What are the best carp rigs to use today, and is there such a thing as a ‘best’ rig?
Your fishing buddies, sponsored anglers and myths about rigs will all tell you that there are many methods to presenting a hookbait perfectly.
In my opinion, it depends on what kind of terrain you’re fishing over, and the location or situation in front of you. This why carp rigs are evolving all the time.
I’ve put together a comprehensive rig guide below to help you.
This includes some basic rig materials to get you started, a collection of some of the most popular carp rigs, together with rig videos, diagrams and some helpful shortcuts to save you money.
WHAT RIG MATERIALS DO I NEED?
Below is a handy, but essential, list of rig materials.
This is designed to help newcomers build up a basic collection of end tackle.
Although this is just a few bits and pieces, there are things you can add to this further down the line when you become more confident.
Rig tools, such as a pair of sharp scissors, a knot puller and braiding needles of sorts can help you perfect your rig making further.
1. Rig Scissors
2. A Selection of Hooks
4. Baiting Tools
5. Knot Puller
6. Swivels, Clips and Rings
7. Additional Rig Bits
A decent rig wallet or case is beneficial to storing your hand-tied rigs ready for your next fishing trip.
For chod rigs, a chod bin can help you to keep these type of rigs ready to fish, as can special zig spools for wrapping and keeping zig rigs tidy and organised.
There will be other bits and pieces you will need, but I’ll mention these in our rig making steps, if required.
SOME RIG GUIDELINES
When you’re making your own carp rigs, there are some guidelines to follow to help you achieve rig perfection!
During my rig making, it helps me to have a thought process like this, so I know how each rig is suppose to act and WHY!
1. Try to present your rig the best way possible
This is 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.
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.
You should learn how each element plays a part and what it is achieving!
5. Rig Safety
This is very important.
This prevents it from dragging a lead around the lake.
1. A SIMPLE CARP RIG
The ‘hair’ allows your hookbait to move freely in any direction.
It does not get more ‘simple’ than that!
How To Make A Simple Carp Rig
A simple supple hair allows natural movement of your single hookbait, as a snowman or double sweetcorn setup.
Extremely effective, carp anglers of any level will have no problem making or catching plenty of carp with this.
We’ve chosen to show you a video of how to make this incredibly simple carp rig, as opposed to a step-by-step guide.
Experiment with different hookbaits, combinations and shapes to make your rig blend into the lakebed surroundings as much as you can.
Simple Carp Rig Video
A GUIDE TO CARP HOOKS
There are four main patterns of hook used in carp fishing.
These are Wide Gape, Curved Shank, Stiff Rigger and Long Shank.
Bottom baits are well suited to this design, especially tigers or corn.
Occasionally, the longer shank can push your bait out a little too much.
A small section of tubing to trap the hair can solve this issue.
What Other Type Of Hooks Are There?
There are also many styles of eye, hook point, gape and colour.
Out-turned eyes work great with mono and stiffer line.
In-turned eyes are traditionally best used with braided hairs.
Straight hook points are ideal for fishing in weed because they tend not to catch it too easily!
Beaked hook points are perfect for gravel bottoms as they won’t blunt too easily.
The finish of a hook can also be very helpful, whether thats silver or a low-glare finish that won’t spook carp.
HOW TO SHARPEN YOUR CARP HOOKS
2. CLASSIC POP UP RIG
This classic pop-up rig takes around 4 minutes to make.
This is a useful rig to have in your collection, especially when there is a bit of debris on the lakebed and you need something tostand out above it!
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.
POP UP RIG VIDEOS
The video below teaches you some handy tips when in comes to using pop ups in your carp fsihing.
3. The Multi Rig
A multi-purpose carp rig that can be used on most terrain, such as gravel, silt and weed.
A reliable classic, the ‘multi-rig’ is known for its versatility.
With the ability to quickly change either the hook, or hookbait, and the fact it’s very easy to tie, makes this rig a must in any carp anglers rig wallet.
Multi Rig – Materials List
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
How To Make The Multi Rig
If you get stuck with the steps below, there is a very helpful video at the end.
Take around 12 inches of your chosen coated braid.
In one end, make the usual ‘figure of 8’ loop – moisten, and then 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, against 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.
4. The Chod Rig
You may or may not of heard the chod rig.
Either way, its of those fascinating carp rigs (especially the mechanics)
The two main advantages of the chod rig, are that it 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.
Could the chod rig be one of the ‘carp rigs of the century’?
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 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….
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!
HINGED STIFF RIG VIDEOS
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.
6. Carp Rigs for Corn
Carp anglers have been using sweetcorn since the dawn of time.
Because it’s so effective due to the colour, shape and taste that carp find it irresistible.
This would not be a carp rig guide without mentioning sweetcorn, or pop up corn.
A carp rig ‘tipped with corn’ can be the difference between a blank and a life changing session.
You should always put 100% into getting rig presentation just right, whether you use boilies, pop ups, corn or tiger nuts.
What Type of Corn Should I Use?
Actually, this is a legitimate question!
These days, you can buy tinned supermarket corn, frozen corn and even tackle shop corn that may include an additional flavour or sweetener.
These golden grains can also be purchased in various sizes so you can create the perfect presentation.
Below is a devastating carp rig for corn.
Simple Double Pop Up Corn Rig
This corn rig is rather simple – but highly effective!
Basically, this uses two grains of popup corn, fished on a hair.
Best used with a size 8 or 10 wide gape hook, the hair needs to be really supple.
You can do this by using coated braid and ‘stripping back’ a couple of centimetres.
This is then tied to your chosen hook using a knotless knot and then mounted blowback style on a small rig ring.
This will help the double corn sit-up prone like a claw.
Additionally, a small section of silicone tubing can be used over the eye which helps to flip out the bait and catch a good hold in the mouth of the carp.
To complete the rig, squeeze a small shot onto the supple hair (about 1 cm above the silicone tubing on the eye) which will help the rig sink.
You may need to add a small amount of rig putty to achieve the perfect balance!
As always, test the rig out at home or in the margins before casting in.
Alternative Corn Rigs
7. Naked Chod Rig
Designed to be fished using an ultra-buoyant hookbait, its perfect for fishing over weed or soft silt.
The ‘naked chod’ is based on a helicopter rig, where the chod section is connected directly onto your mainline.
Naturally, your lead will strike the lakebed first, with your hooklink trailing behind….
Due to the high bouyancy of your hookbait, this will float down slowly, resting nicely onto weed or debris as intended.
The beauitiful thing about the naked chod is that you can adjust the beads either side to set the length accordingly.
How To Make The Naked Chod Rig
Take some Fox Rigidity, and cut around 4 inches.
Using a knotless knot, attach your hook, but leave a short hair(around 4cm).
Get the hair end, and slide on a mini hook swivel.
Now place this back through the hook eye to create a ‘D’.
Now carefully blob the tag end which will stop it passing back through the hook eye.
How to the other end of the Rigidity.
You’ll want a Size 111 Flexi Ring Swivel which you’ll be tying using a 2-turn blood knot.
8. The Ronnie Rig
It offers precise positioning for your pop up on the bottom of the lake, resulting in good, strong hook holds.
There are many types of Ronnie Rig out there, incorporating small changes such as using a uni-link swivel, as opposed to a quick change swivel.
Furthermore, anglers can either use a slipped ‘D’ to mount the hookbait, or a hook bead to determine where the hookbait exits.
Whatever method you choose, the goal is to ensure your hookbait can rotate freely through 360 degrees.
The whole ronnie rig setup looks delicately posed – a bit like a claw!
Hopefully, when a carp sucks it in, it will give you a very strong hook hold around an inch into the bottom lip.
From the swivel, up to the hook eye, you should place some shrink tubing (make sure to match the colour with the lakebed!) to give you a presentation that is stiff and sits at the absolute best angle possible.
You can take a look at the rig diagrams, or watch the instructional video at the end, to see how to should sit nice and proud.
All the mechanics that we’ve discussed so far are fundamental for one thing…
….making sure that the Ronnie Rig RESETS itself each and every time!
This makes it a very efficient rig that you can be confident in, even if a carp has ejected it!
Where Can I Use The Ronnie Rig?
Tying The Ronnie Rig
We’ve selected the ORIGINAL Ronnie Rig, but as we mentioned, other components will work just as good, as long as the presentation is the same!
Courtesy of Carpfeed, here are the instructions to tying the Ronnie….
Firstly, we’re going to create the swivel-hook-hair element.
Take a good 7 inches of the Korda Dark Matter braid.
Double it up, and slip on a mini rig-ring, then loop it up and over the hook.
Next, you should take the tag ends (doubled up) and pass both of them through the BACK of the hook eye.
Take ONE part of the tag end braid, and perform a knotless knot up the shank of the hook.
Finish off the knotless knot by taking the whipped end around the back and back through the eye.
You should now trim off this small tag end and blob it down using a lighter.
Now take your shrink tubing, and slide a section onto the hook as shown below.
Now for the slightly tricky part!
Take the other tag end (the one you didn’t blob) and tie this onto a uni-link swivel.
Do this by using THREE granny knots.
You’ll want to keep the hook eye and swivel as close together as you can.
Now trim off this tag end.
So, you should now pull the shrink tube over the swivel barrel, and then steam it to shrink it down.
All that’s left to do is to attach your coated braid hook length and hookbait.
Use the tungsten putty to mould over the shrink tube to balance your chosen popup!
Ronnie Rig Videos
We’ve selected a couple of Ronnie Rig videos (that may use different components) if your prefer watching and following along!
9. The KD Rig
Known for its fantastic hooking ability, the KD rig (short for Kevin Dorsett!) is very easy to tie, and suits a variety of hookbait presentations.
In its most basic form, the KD rig is whipped to such an aggressive angle that it becomes nigh impossible for carp to eject.
This angle, where the hair exits the shank close to the eye, makes the hook point heavier, increasing the likelihood of hooking centrally in the bottom lip.
Now hugely popular, a key factor to make the KD rig effective, is to use it with a critically balanced bait which allows it to sink under the hooks weight.
In turn, the eye is lighter, and your hookbait of choice will act similar to any free offerings in the surrounding area!
Common presentations used in the KD rig are a Snowman, a Pop Up with a split-shot on the hair, or a bottom balanced bait with a cork insert.
Now for steps on how to tie the KD Rig…
- Begin with around 12 inches of soft-coated braid.
- Strip off about 4 inches using a line stripper.
- Now tie a small overhand loop in the exposed braid.
- Thread on your chosen hookbait.
- Take your hook (a short curved shank hook is vital here) such as the Korda Kurv Shank.
- Thread your hooklink through the eye, leaving just a 1cm between hookbait and hook.
- Now tie a knot less knot to secure the hook in place, but use just 3 turns around the hair and shank, lift up the hair and make a further 5 turns solely around the shank.
- Now bring the hooklink back through the back of the eye to finish the knot off.
- The result should be that the hook sits at a really aggressive angle.
KD Rig - Video Instructions
Courtesy of Carpology TV.
Carp Rig Diagrams
A great diagram below showing you the various carp rigs.
This will give you an indication to what your rigs should look like!
The Albright Knot is ideal when tying a shockleader to your mainline.
It passes through the rod eyes very easily, and is incredibly strong!
READY-TIED CARP RIGS
If you struggle to make the most advanced rigs because they are too fiddly, you can buy ready-tied rigs from most tackle brands.
These are slightly expensive, often costing around £2 per rig, but they do save you the hassle of tying your own.
If you can tie your own rigs, then you should, because this will save you money in the long run.
Ready rigs are tied to a high specification, but you won’t be able to adjust the hair!
Below is a collection of some handy ready-tied rigs available to buy.
Korda KD Carp Rig
Available in barbed or barbless hooks in sizes 6, 8 and 10.
Ultra effective, the KD rig creates a brilliant hookhold every single time.
It’s hard to eject due to the protruding hair out of the back of the hook eye, making the hook point heavier.
Works best when used with a slow sinking hookbait.
Gardner Ronnie Rigs
The Ronnie Rig can be hard to nail down! So thanks to Gardner Tackle, you can buy these handy packs which contain three rigs.
Using sharp Covert Dark Mugga Size 4 and 6 hooks, you can be sure these will be effective!
Tried, tested and resulted in many carp on the bank, they are best used with an ultra-buoyant pop up to hold the rig section up.
Fox PVA Bag Rigs
CARP RIGS FOR WEED
Probably the trickiest to fish in, weed can often yield the best results.
This is because many anglers neglect these vital areas of the lake.
It is also an area that many carp feel very safe in, and feed from, because of the natural food weed produces.
Lets discuss some methods and tactics for fishing in weed, including rig selection and bait choice.
Types of Weed
There is good weed, and bad weed.
Good weed looks fresh, and is at its fully blown best in Spring when it has grown.
Bad weed, however, should be avoided. This is weed that looks decayed, or dead.
It is also incredibly difficult to cast a rig into because nine times out of ten, it will just clog up around your lead and hookbait.
Tactics For Fishing In Weed
When approaching a weedy lake, or an area that contains weed, you should first observe everything.
Is it good weed?
Can you see any clear spots, or channels?
What type of weed, and how long or thick is it?
Can you see any activity?
You could climb a tree which can give you a great view of weedy areas, especially good for spotting channels or clear spots.
If allowed, it can pay to rake out your own channel!
Here are some useful tips to fishing effectiely in weed.
✅ PVA Bags are excellent for fishing over weed as the bait breaks down amongst it and you know your rig will sit just right.
✅Use a short hooklink with a PVA bag setup.
✅ Particle is a great bait to use in weed. Carp love to grub around and it is a good tactic to keep them coming back!
✅Crushed boile and pellet can be just as devastating.
✅For thick weed, a critally balanced bait the will sink slowly can make a huge difference. This will sit on top of the weed if set up correctly.
✅If you have to, you could try a float if you line is having prolems sinking properly.
HOW TO FISH IN WEED
CARP RIGS FOR SILT
When choosing a rig to fish over silt, there are a few observations to make first.
The type of silt – glassy looking is good, whilst sticky silt is bad.
Leads can often become buried (in thick silt), so stick with a lighter setup if you can.
We will break down some tips and tactics to help you gain an advantage!
❌ If the silt is sticky – this is a big no no. This means it is full of ‘dead matter’ and debris, and carp are highly unlikely to want to feed in these areas.
❌ Live Maggots. Stick your maggots in the freezer to kill them off because live maggots can quickly disperse off your chosen spot!
❌ Heavy leads can really bury themsleves into silt, perhaps burying your rig hookbait along with it.
❌ Stiff mono line can stick out like a sore thumb, especially if its not straight.
❌ Inline Leads. These can end up been buried too, and bite indication could suffer.
If the silt is ‘glassy’ this is the better stuff!
Silt can produce a lot of natural foods -such as bloodworm that carp will certainly feed off.
Your hook presentation does need to be perfect, it it’s not sitting right, or you’re not hiding your hook, these things can spook carp from your target area.
Squashed boilies can really give you an edge as this hookbait can act naturally as if its been there for a while!
Try and scatter a few pellets in the area, and observe. You may not have to wait to long until you see a milkshake forming in front of you (especially in the margins)
Pop Ups and Bottom Baits, especially slows sinkiers will sit nicely over silt.
Light Leads – these won’t bury into the silt, especially if it’s quite thick down there.
Helicopter setup. Again, this is a good tangle free rig and as the lead will hit the bottom first, the heli section will follow and sit over on top of silt.
HOW TO FISH IN SILT
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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!