Tips for using bait bands, hair rigs and spikes

Steve Ringer explains some great methods to attach your bait for commercial carp

Tips for using bait bands, hair rigs and spikes

by Angling Times |

Hair-rigging is the one thing that match anglers have taken from the specimen hunting world and used to great effect.

It’s hard to remember the days of hooking baits on normally for carp on commercial fisheries. Now, it never happens – we always reach for the hair rig - even on the pole!

Ready to go pre-tied rigs with bands, bait spikes and stops are available from tackle shops to make the job even easier, but I always like to tie my own. That way, I know the bait band is the right one and that the length of the hair is correct.

These tiny things do make a big difference to how the bait is presented. As an example, I tie my bait bands into a small loop on the end of the hair, which means they can act and move more naturally in the water.

“Opt for a band and catch more”
“Opt for a band and catch more”

Band size matters

The softness of a band isn’t an issue, but size is. The Guru Micro bait band works for hard pellets in almost any size – even 11mm! The more a band stretches, the less visible it is to fish, so smaller is better. I’ll only change to a bigger band if I’m fishing casters so I don’t crush them.

Band size matters
Band size matters

Try a banding tool

Putting a hard pellet into a bait band by hand is fiddly, time-consuming, and often impossible when you’ve got wet or cold fingers. Instead, use a banding tool or set of pliers which get the job done in a few seconds - you’ll wonder why you never used one sooner.

Try a banding tool
Try a banding tool

Stops and spikes

Bait bands don’t work for all baits, especially softer ones like corn, meat and expanders. This is where Speed Stops come into play – they act like old-fashioned bait stops. Bait spikes are used for boilies and wafters when you only need to anchor the bait in place.

Stops and spikes
Stops and spikes

Use the right hooks

My favourite hooks for hair-rigging are either the Guru Super LWG eyed for pole or waggler or the QM1 for the feeder. The QM1 is a hybrid of a standard hook and a circle hook, which means that when a fish sucks the bait in, it finds it hard to spit it back out.

Use the right hooks
Use the right hooks
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