T’is the season to chuck hi-vis singles about!
Spring is possibly my favourite time of year for carp angling; The lakes start to wake up, new buds appear on the trees and the fish start to become a lot more active. Not to mention the misty morning sun rises and epic sun sets!
As the fish become more active with discrete shows here and there, leaping out of the water to possibly shed some of the leeches or to just have a good time, pin prick bubbles appearing or full on Jacuzzi fizz-ups they become a little easier to fish for because they are easier to find!
Once you have found them it is all about getting a bait on them.
Now if you have a Carp fizzing up in front of you the last thing you want to do is crack a marker set up on its head or a bare lead over and over again to figure out what the lake bottom is like. Likewise if you know the area that the Carp come into in the spring; Maybe shallower water to get the first rays of light and warmth, and you want to get some single hook baits out there in the zone, you need a rig that is going to cope with all manner of lake beds and present itself no matter what you are fishing over.
YES you can use a chod. Chod rigs have worked for years and years and are a great ‘cast it anywhere’ rig. But what if you are fishing up against snags and a slack line just isn’t an option? There are situations where a chod rig just isn’t the one.
Personally I don’t really like chod rigs, to me its just lack of confidence, I have dropped way more fish on a chod rig than I have landed! All of my confidence is in another setup that I have used for going on a decade now. I first wrote about this rig about 7 years ago which was the first time I actually did any work with Chris and HF Angling, and have done countless videos and blogs on it since via the HF Facebook page or on my personal YouTube channel. It is a rig, and set up that I have 100% confidence in. I have landed fish with it out of the snaggiest of situations where I have had to coax the fish through branches and roots and also out of weed clogged swims where the likelihood of the fish burying itself in weed was highly likely.
It is also extremely versatile, you can change the size of the rig depending on the situation you are in and you can also change the hook on the fly if the point gets burred over or you need a different size.
At the end of the day, a lot of it boils down to confidence, if you already have a rig for this situation that you are confident in then great! But if you are struggling for a rig, or the rig you use just isn’t cutting it for you then give this one a try, you will not be disappointed!
Firstly I use a spliced lead-free leader. If you don’t know how to do this here is a handy video showing you how I make one.
I always use a helicopter system for this, as it is the best way to present a rig on a lake bed that you do not know the make-up of. Leads up to 3oz I use the Thinking Anglers C-Clip system with a heavy ring paired up with the Nash Tungsten Helicopter Sleeve. This only drops the lead if it gets caught up on something. If I want to drop the lead then I use the Korda Heli-Safe system. I then use the Thinking Anglers 5mm Leadcore Safety top Bead. This is all on about 4ft of Nash 40lb Cling On Leadless Leader.
Your lead choice is next. Fishing the rig in this situation I use a light as possible lead. Primarily to cause as little disturbance as possible but you also don’t know what you are fishing over, so if you use a heavy lead it will sink into the weed or silt further, possibly taking your rig with it. I like these dumpy pear leads from Korda as you still get some feeling of the lake bed when you feel it down.
To make the rig I start with these materials; ChodLink in 30lb, Size 5 Chod Claw, Plastic Bait Screw. I Prefer the Plastic bait screw for this rig as it is lighter than the metal on so you can really critically balance the rig.
For the counterbalance weight you have a couple of options. I use the Nash Tungsten Swivel/Knot Bead. You can also use the ESP Balance Beads or good old putty! I just like the way the Nash bead sits on the rig. I also know that it counterbalances the pop ups I use perfectly.
Next you need to make your boom section. As you don’t know what you are fishing over you don’t want anything to stiff or soft. You want something that will flow with the contours nicely and push the hookbait out when it settles. I opt for Nash Skinlink Semi-Stiff in 20lb. You want about 16 inches of this to work with. Then you need to strip the coating off about 3 inches at one end.
To attach this to your hinge you use the Albright knot, a really strong knot that is used for joining two materials together. Take time tightening the knot, using your fingers to slide it down the ChodLink and pull it tight with saliva.
I prefer this to a full anti tangle sleeve because it gives you more movement for the rig on the leader. If it lands in weed or debris you wont have an anti tangle sleeve sticking strait up with your braid at a funny angle either which could spook fish away.
And there you have the finished rig. A great presentation over any bottom with the long boom section of around 12-13 inches. The hinge section is very aggressive and will turn quickly enabling the pin sharp hook to find a hold. and as it is critically balanced it will fly up into the mouth very quickly.