The more experienced you get as a carp angler the more proven rigs you will have in your armoury.
That's all well and good, but to reach that point requires not only having plenty of experience on a range of different venues over many years, and catching lots of carp from these different waters, but also having the time, finances and sufficient rig boxes to have a variety tied and ready to go.
While some of you may meet all the above criteria, for many carp anglers it's best to have a rig that can be used as a starting point in most situations, one that with minimal tweaking can be used in virtually all situations.
If that sounds like something that would suit your needs then consider what I call my ‘Supple Multi Rig', which I'll detail here, along with the tweaks that allow you to use it almost anywhere. I’ve broken the rig down into two main parts – the end tackle, which comprises the mainline to the lead, and the presentation, which includes the bits from the hooklength swivel to the hookbait…
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There are two main types of end tackle used in carp fishing - a helicopter rig and a lead clip arrangement.
While a helicopter rig is useful in silt, or to present a chod rig in weed, its use is somewhat limited in other situations. I'd always advocate a lead clip for its improved rig mechanics and ability to be used with solid bags too. Let's run through the components first.
Unless I am consistently fishing at 100 yards-plus, 15lb mainline is perfect. With a 2.5oz lead I can hit 100 yards, and the abrasion resistance means I can use it in weed, pads or close to snags and won't crack off on a hard cast.
Providing they are allowed, I love to use a lead-free Nash Cling On Leader. In a one-metre length with a loop at one end and the lead clip already on, you don't have to faff about splicing it either. The 65lb version sinks like a stone, blends in beautifully as it sucks in silt, and is kind to the carp's flanks when you are playing it. If leaders are banned I'd use a one-metre length of anti-tangle tubing instead.
Lead clip and tail rubber
These already come mounted on the Cling On ready-made set-up, but do ensure that the tail rubber can be pushed off the clip if you need to release the lead in heavy weed. Wetting the clip before you slide on the tail rubber helps immensely.
Generally, my starting point is a 2oz lead, only upping it to 2.5oz when faced with a headwind or when casting more than 70 yards. I prefer a flat pear lead in a colour that resembles that of the lakebed I'm going to be casting on to. At closer range you can go to 3oz, but remember, the sharpness of the hook should be hooking the carp, not the weight of the lead.
There are lots of different rigs out there. But if I was restricted to one it’d be a Multi Rig, which can be used for
pop-ups, wafters and bottom baits equally effectively.
There are countless films on YouTube, and articles galore on how to tie the Multi Rig loop, so do your research. Let’s now look at the components that will allow you to chuck it anywhere.
Although my preferred hooklength is Nash Skinlink coated braid, if I wanted a hooklength I could chuck anywhere then the uncoated, more supple Nash Amourlink in 35lb is my go-to.
Soft enough to lay flat over weed and chod but not so supple that it tangles on the cast, you can even get it through the eye of the hook twice if you want to use a size 6 hook. My choice of colour is gravel brown, flecked with a black pen to break up that one continuous line and to help it blend in over weed and silt. Unless I’m fishing a solid bag, my starting point is a 9ins hooklength.
Bait screws are my favoured method for attaching the hookbait. An 8mm version will secure a standard bait, but for larger baits or double hookbaits a 21mm one is required. I’ve never had a hookbait come off, and it’s super effective. Remember to screw the hookbait on and not push it on - it’s a bait screw not a bait nail! I also add a shrink tube kicker to improve the rig’s hooking efficiency. This means that even on the hardest of casts with a PVA mesh bag attached the loop will remain correctly positioned.
For pop-ups there’s 5mm of shrink tube behind the eye while with bottom baits I increase it to 15mm to improve the ‘flip’ effect.
A size 5 Nash Pinpoint Fang Twister. In heavy weed I up that to a 4, for smaller hookbaits it’s a size 6. They are super sharp, but if fishing pop-ups where the hookpoint is off the deck I use a hand-sharpened hook to nail extra-tricky carp.
The beauty of this ‘chuck anywhere’ Supple Multi Rig is that you can use it with virtually all types of hookbaits. Just screw them on and cast it out. With pop-ups I fish them as close to the bottom as possible and put my counterweight shot or putty 5mm under the shrink tube. You can use tiger nuts, imitation sweetcorn or pellets, boilies - the lot. Heck, if you screw one of the new Nash Maggot Screws on to the boilie you can even top your boilie with maggots or worms!
By adding a soluble PVA nugget or two, not only will your hooklength be unable to tangle, but your hookbait will settle perfectly over the lakebed once the nuggets pop off. Providing I can feel the lead donk down, that’s how I like to fish it.
If you want to amplify the attraction around the hookbait, a small mesh PVA bag nicked on is perfect and adds to the anti-tangle properties. I find a tablespoon of crushed boilie and pellet is just about perfect.
When the weed is bad and you want to ensure your hookbait is presented perfectly and in a nice pile of feed, a solid PVA bag is the way to go. I reduce the hooklength to 4ins, add the hookbait, pop it into a bag, add the feed, seal it and cast it into position. No tangles, and oh so inviting to the carp!
So there you have it - a carp rig that can be cast anywhere, that with minor tweaks can be utilised for any hookbait at any distance, and one that won’t let you down!