Dave Finn On Big Carp Rigs

When it comes to rigs, confidence is everything. There are a few essentials that need to be ticked when it comes to rigs and these are; sharp hook, strong and safe tackle, hooking effectiveness and the ability to present.

To be able to adapt to any situation is paramount and it’s therefore essential you have a few rigs in your armoury. Three rigs will pretty much cover most situations you’ll find yourself in, a zig, a pop up rig and a bottom bait rig.

When targeting big fish, I like to fish with boilies when possible with a snowman hookbait over the top. With so much tackle on offer in today’s market, it can be easy to lose your head and begin complicating things. I like to keep my rigs super simple and in recent years, I’ve been using a really straightforward bottom bait presentation that does everything I need it to.

In today’s scene, everyone seems to be using the spinner rig, and there’s no doubt, pretty much every carp in the country will have come across one. I’ve never been into following the latest trends, but there’s no denying the effectiveness of the spinner. Used with a size 4 Krank is my preferred way to fish it, but if I can, I’ll always fish a bottom bait with a simple knotless knot.

To make my bottom rig rig, I take 12 inches of 20lb Semi Stiff and strip a few inches back at one end to add movement to the bait. I tie on a small loop to attach my hookbait, typically an 18mm Cell hardened bottom bait, topped with a 15mm Milky Toffee pop up. I then thread a small section of shrink tube or silicone, which traps the hair in place opposite the barb of the hook. Not only does this help prevent tangles, it helps flip the hook, making is super aggressive. A simple knotless knot locks the hook in place, and at the far end, I’ll use an anti-tangle sleeve to kick the rig out in flight. I favour fishing this on a Hybrid Lead Clip with a 4oz lead, the heavy lead I feel helps bringing that hook home. You can however, fish this rig with a Heli Safe, and this spring, I’ve been predominantly using this set up with Heli Safes, with the rig tied directly to a double PTFE ring swivel, allowing plenty of movement to the rig but I never receive tangles.

A nugget of PVA foam is always added to protect the hookpoint and prevent the hair from tangling in flight, and I’ll look to fish this rig over a big scattering of Cell and Hybrid boilies, usually spread in a wide zone with the throwing stick, with three rods staggered in the zone.

This is a great approach for getting the bigger fish and when they are moving around the swim, looking for bait, I really believe they are easie to catch.

A strong, reliable and basic rig that goes in and stays in is all you need, stick to what works for you, if you’re not worrying about your rigs, you’re more focused on finding them, which in my opinion is the most important element to catching them. Keep it simple, and be lucky.