When fishing for carp over very silty lakes, it is essential to choose a set-up that ensures your rig will not get buried in the soft silt and ruin an otherwise good presentation. And the best rig for this is the Chod rig.
It was specifically designed for just this sort of fishing. The chod has proved to be very successful and has accounted for a lot of big fish recently. It should be used with very buoyant baits and will work superbly in silty areas.
It works upon the principle that the rig can be adjusted to position the bait anywhere along the leadcore leader, so no matter how far the lead sinks into the silt, the bait will be in a prime position to sit above the bottom debris.
This rig incorporates a spliced leadcore leader and fairly tight-fitting beads that allow the hooklink to be semi-fixed anywhere along the length of the leader. Shop-bought Chod rigs are available, for those who don't want to tie their own.
The rig has safety in mind, and the soft beads will easily pass over the spliced joining loop, allowing the hooklink to pull free of the leadcore should a breakage occur.
Here's how to tie your own Chod rig...
A Use a lightweight swivel lead - 1oz is perfect. Keep the lead as light as possible because when you are playing a fish the hooklink will slide down to the lead, so the lighter the lead, the less chance of the fish being bumped off. A short strip of silicone tubing helps neaten the lead swivel.
B This is a leadcore leader. It offers enough weight to sink to the bottom. A 3-4ft length is about right.
C If you want to fix your Chod rig you can place a bead here, between the lead and the hooklink swivel. They need to be semi-fixed - a rubber bead sitting on a short piece of silicone is perfect. It is a personal preference whether you use a stop between your ring swivel and the lead.
D Flexi ring swivel of either a size 11 or 12. It should offer just enough weight to anchor the pop-up. This type of swivel provides a full 360 degree movement, so if a carp sucks at the bait from any angle, the swivel will ensure that the bait can easily move and be sucked up.
E The top stop bead. When fishing in deep silt or weed this bead should be at least 2ft up the leader, but for cleaner bottoms it can be much closer to the lead.
F 2-4ins of very stiff mono hooklink line. ESP and Fox produce some of the best stiff links for the job. 15-20lb breaking strain is about right.
G The hook must have an out-turned eye with a D-Rig knotless knot whipping on the shank. This rig works well with a big hook, even if you are using a 14 or 16mm pop-up boilie. And the perfect bait for a Chod rig is a 14-16mm pop-up boilie that will not sink, regardless of how long the rig is submerged.