I have never been a particularly ‘riggy’ angler and have always concentrated the vast majority of my efforts around getting the location right, but admittedly I too had found myself getting a little brainwashed by the carp angling media.
Every month I see a ‘new’ ultimate rig and after a while it’s fairly easy to get swept away with it all.
You know the sort of thing, you’re bored on the bank and tie a couple of them up and almost start using them out of curiosity more than anything else. One such rig for me was a version of the ‘multi rig’. It is one of the better ‘modern’ rigs to be fair, but it does have its flaws. I decided to use it for an ‘underwater’ feature I did recently for one of the magazines to see how it looked and I was really quite disappointed, largely due to the choice of hooklink material, but nevertheless it did serve me an important reminder around rigs; if it isn’t broke don’t fix it!
I already had a series of rigs which I have complete confidence in so why change? Some things just can’t be improved. Of course most of the ‘new’ rigs you see in the magazines aren’t new at all, they are just endless variations of the classics (as well as some of the down right awful ‘rigs’ which are devised just to sell the angler as many unique rig components as possible in one hit).
One of the ‘classics’ which needs no real introduction is the hinged stiff rig. There is no denying the effectiveness of this rig is quite simply outstanding, and has an incredible track record of catching big fish.
There are a number of theories as to why it is such an effective big fish rig and I won’t bore you to death by going into the details, but it is important to recognise that for targeting big carp this rig takes some beating. There are a lot of variations of this rig, but this is the version which I like to use and is the very similar to the original classic.
For the boom section I like to use 25lb Amnesia, which really is the most incredible material I’ve come across. Many of you may have seen in the magazines the Amnesia bottom bait rig which I used extensively for many years and caught me probably the majority of my big fish, the stuff really is superb, on occasion I have deviated to using fluorocarbon for the improved ‘invisibility’ properties but having used both materials fairly extensively now I think I’ll be sticking with the Amnesia as overall it has more favourable characteristics.
I flick between clear and black depending what I’m fishing over, favouring the black for fishing over silty areas, and clear over firmer sandier bottoms.
The boom is looped at each end with a figure of eight loop knot, with a size 11 swivel at the hook end and size 8 ring swivel at the leader end.
Originally the hinged stiff rig was tied with a large round standard swivel at the leader end of the boom, however I can only presume this was before the times of the ring swivel, as in my view the ring swivel adds even more movement and allows the leader to lie flat on the lake bed more easily and with the stiff boom section tangles are not an issue.
For the hook section I favour Gardner’s Trip Wire in 20lb, it has just the right rigidity and is super strong. Hook wise I like to use a straight point chod hook, and Gardner’s Chod hook is a great choice.
A couple of finer details which I feel is worth mentioning is firstly the helicopter bead for the leader; I must have used every bead on the market and the best bar none is the 5mm Thinking Anglers leadcore bead. It is streamline and just the right size to stop a size 8 ring swivel, and grips the leadcore perfectly, if you haven’t used them then give it ago; I used to be driven mad by beads slipping on the cast or being so bulky they stand out terribly on the lake bed, but no more! These little beauties are perfect.
Another natty little product from the same company is the tiny hook ring swivel. These too are great and I think make a big difference to the effectiveness of the finished rig adding an extra degree of movement over the conventional O-ring. Fish Protein Concentrate
A final point is that to use this rig effectively and this may sound strange but bear with me! I’m a firm believer you have to love this rig! It requires constant attention, it’s not a rig you can just tie up and cast neglectfully over and over again; pay real attention to the straightness of the boom, and neatness of the loops, it does make a difference. I’m forever re-steaming the boom and setting the loops but when you tie it right and drop it in the edge you will see why it’s worth it!
This rig has earned its ‘ultimate’ title.
I hope this helps you put more fish on the bank,