JONS SLIP-D RONNIE CLAW
RONNIE RONNIE RONNIE RONNIE…. Blah blah blah right?
I know what you are thinking. The Ronnie rig has overwhelmed the scene and every manufacturer has ready made Ronnie this and ready made Ronnie that along with special Ronnie this and dedicated Ronnie that. There are blogs galore, videos aplenty and if you see a picture of a pop up on social media it is probably attached to a Ronnie rig.
YES the Ronnie rig is a fantastic pop up rig; It is easy to assemble, pretty much tangle free, fishes over everything and is a pain in the back end for anything that dares suck up a pop up attached to one. Put simply, they work really well!
So why change it or make it different?
When it comes to Carp rigs I have 3 main rigs I use. My Multi Hinge for fishing in the weed or for just casting at showing fish, my long Slip-D rig (that I stole off Jack) for bottom baits, and my Slip-D Ronnie Claw for the rest. The Slip-D Ronnie Claw probably accounts for 70% of the fishing I do. for that reason I want it to be as good as it possibly can be. You have heard me talk about the 1%s before. If I can make a rig 1% better I will, and that’s because (without sounding to cliche) all of those 1%s add up and make a huge difference. Especially when you are fishing ‘against’ other anglers using the Ronnie rig.
Put it this way; Lets say you go to St. Johns on the Linear Complex and actually manage to find a peg that’s free. There are 39 pegs on St. Johns and at a guess if the other anglers are using pop ups they will probably be on Ronnie Rigs. 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year those fish see Ronnie rigs. Now I am not saying Carp are hyper intelligent but all species learn to adapt when faced with danger. Carp have always been able to learn how to get rig of rigs, and if they see that rig so much eventually they are going to be able to get rid of it.
That is partially why rigs change so much, they adapt and change to make them better and harder for the Carp to eject and figure out. I remember stories from years gone by of people taking lead wire moldings of the shape of a specific carps bottom jaw so they could make their Choddy or Withy pool rig work perfectly for that specific carp. Carp learn form their mistakes.
1%s make a huge difference….
I have used the Ronnie rig since early 2016 and over the last 5 and a bit years have chopped and changed with my 1%s to where I am now. I don’t see me changing this for the foreseeable future as I think it is as good as it can be, for me anyway! By all means take this into your own fishing and add your 1%s to it, develop it for your angling and see what it does for you!
So this is my ‘1%’ to the Ronnie rig.
Firstly you need to make the Slip-D section. I have tried lots of different products and the one I have settled on is 20lb Nash Armourlink. It is not as supple as other materials such as dedicated hair braid or something like Fox Reflex and I have tried them both. I found that other materials as well as these tangled round the shank of the hook to often, they were to supple. The 20lb Armourlinks stiffness actually aids the rig. You know when its gone out it isn’t tangled, and it will reset easier without any problems if it is picked up and ejected.
Secondly you need a hook. the Ronnie started off with a curved shank hook, since then manufactures have shown it with other hooks they sell. Since the Release of the Nash Claw hooks they have more than proved their worth and take up a massive part of my fishing. From the hook I use for my Multi-hinge rig as well as the hook I use for my floater fishing and my zig rigs! The wide gape, beaked point and aggressive nature of the hook make it an absolute animal! The wider gape compared to a curve shank hook opens up the rig more enabling it to catch hold a lot easier. I love a big hook, so it is a size 4 for me.
Thirdly you need a way to mount your bait. I use a standard 8mm bait screw with the ring on. Its quick and easy and I am convinced carp can ‘smell’ the burnt ends of bait floss! It may just be paranoia but I am convinced!
Fold over 4 inches of the braid and pass it through the eye of the hook from front to back, poke it through the bait screw then pass the hook through the loop making the slip-d like so…. Pull the braid back tight until the screw is level with the curve of the hook like so…
You ideally want the tag ends to be uneven to give you more braid to play with when tying the knot. It just makes it a little easier.
Wrap the braid back up the shank 4 times and then pass it back through the eye of the hook from back to front.
Pull the tag ends tight, This isn’t holing your rig together don’t forget it its only serving as a ‘hair’.
Trim the tag ends down close to the eye to tidy them up. You can always burn them with a lighter as well if needed, just make sure you don’t heat up the actual slip-d section as it will impede its movement properties and possibly weaken it.
Then you need a swivel, use a Ronnie swivel, they are just easier and neater. Most manufacturers make their own version of them. I use the one with the ring on, simply because if I want to fish it without the ring I can cut it off.
If you look at the slip-D section being 1%, and then the Claw hook being another 1% then this next item is certainly another 1%! The Ronnie is normally ‘held together’ by shrink tube or kickers. Shrink tube hold the form better than kickers but kickers make changing that hook over a lot easier. The problem with both of these products to me is that they are just not stiff enough and can bend and twist still quite easily. Just look at a normal Ronnie after you have had it pegged out in your rig box. The shape goes completely!
The Ronnie rig is an aggressive rig by nature. I want capitalize on that. Keep it aggressive but make it more aggressive! I should probably say at this point in the blog that if you use the Ronnie because you like how quickly you can change the hook if needed then this version is not the one for you! sorry! If I need to change the hook, I will just put a new Ronnie on then salvage the swivel and bait screw from the blunt rig. This version is a pain to take apart!
The most under used Shrink Tube of them all…. Korda Super Stiff Shrink Tube. I don’t know why this isn’t used more as it is a massive edge!!!! When it is heated up it goes insanely stiff. What ever form you have made it into it will stay in forever. Most of the time when I catch a fish on this rig the shrink tube is snapped and I have to put a new rig on. It keeps the Ronnie at an aggressive angle no matter how hard you cast it or if you have a PVA mesh bag attached to it. It doesn’t budge at all. At this point I have to say a big thank you to main man Chris for pointing this stuff out to me. It is the only shrink tube I use now!
Below is the perfect example of a rig after a fish has been landed on it. The shrink tube is snapped, but the rig did its job!
Take a stick of the Large stiff shrink tube and open it up with a baiting needle (its comes flat in the packet unlike other shrink tubes). Thread it onto the hook section like so as far as it will go..
This lets you know what length you need, cut it off so you can just see the back of the eye.
Attach the Ronnie swivel to the eye of the hook. I always used to attach it so the gap was at the back. That was because the modern Ronnie was made with QC swivels so the upturned part of the hook was better facing away from the fish in case it snagged on the net etc. The newer Ronnie swivels do not have that upturned tail like the QC swivel so it doesn’t matter so much anymore.
Pull the shrink tube down over the barrel of the swivel until it is level with the base of the barrel. This will then just cover the Slip-D knot at the other end ensuring it gets as much movement as possible.
Ronnies without the slip-d can have the shrink tube shrunk with just a lighter if you are careful as there is nothing to burn and weaken. As there is the braid on the hook for the slip-d I advise using steam from a kettle or even better the Nash Shrinker tool. This product got a lot of flack when it was released, but the fact is you don’t need to take your kettle with you and boil it just to steam some rigs. The Shrinker tool is quicker in every way. Great bit of kit! I did a One Minute Monday on it which you can view here.
You get a few seconds after you have steamed it to shape it how you want. Hold the aggressive angle and give it a blow to set it properly.
There you have one finished Slip-D Ronnie hook section. I tend to do all 10 from a packet at one time and put them back in the packet so they are ready to go.
There is something to note with this rig…
The bait screw.. You can if you wish cut the ring off the bait screw to keep the pop-up tighter to the hook. I always used to fish it like that, then I got lazy one day and didn’t change back. I haven’t noticed a difference to be honest. The ring may actually help, giving the mechanics of a slightly longer ‘hair’ helping to set the hook.
Now you have the hook section ready it just comes down to the actual hooklink material. I have left this out of this blog because the length, stiffness etc all comes down to the specific situation you are fishing in. If it helps, I use Nash Skinlink 25lb Semi Stiff for most situations, changing over to a fluoro boom if needed.
For the counter balance weight you have lots of options. I change between the Nash Tungsten Swivel Beads and the ESP Tungsten Balance Beads. you can trim both of these down a little if needed. Other options are good old putty or the new-ish ESP Tungsten Ronnie Clips.
And there you have it, a full in-depth dive into the Ronnie rig. Don’t forget if you have any questions, pop them down below or have a chat with me next time you are in store!
A recent Common caught using the Slip-D Ronnie claw rig.