Longing For A Change - Jon Mann

The Longshank hook and other similar patterns are probably the most overlooked in the carp angling world. Why is this?

Take the Longshank, it has a short, straight, sharp point and with its long shank and in-turned eye, offers fantastic turning potential. With all these attributes, why is it that so few seem to use them, or is it simply just not ‘cool’?

It can be incorporated into the simplest of bottom bait rigs but rarely ever gets considered as a potential pop-up pattern. This is what got me thinking, I really wanted to utilise a hook that I have great confidence and faith in, whilst maximising its hookability when fished in a popped up fashion.

A night spent at the kitchen table ensued, and whilst playing about with various components I remembered a rig I used about 16 years ago. I used a hook primarily designed as a fly pattern known as the Kamasan B175, which is similar in design to a Longshank. The hook link was a waxy, white braid, known as Cortland Micron, which behaved the way a coated braid does today, offering a little rigidity to the rig. The rig back then was a crude form of a D-rig, with very little finesse or subtlety but I am pretty sure it worked back then. Why I stopped using it I have no clue, distraction, boredom or simply curiosity in other rig formations?
I thought if I could emulate this rig again using what was available today I might just find a viable way to use a Longshank on a pop-up rig.

Creating the ‘D’ was the first issue and was simply over come by using a small whipping knot at the top of the hook, the tail of this being used to form the ‘D’ and the main part of the hook link was secured with a simple knotless knot.

The hook link material of choice was the 15lb N-Trap as the knots produced with it are not too bulky and the diameter was such that it could go through the eye of a size 8 Longshank multiple times.
Although I would say that a size 6 is the optimum hook for the rig, it does depend on bait size.

As you can see in the step by step sequence, a small shot, a No.1 in this case, is pinched onto the tail of the rig, which can be used as a great anchor point if you need to add any additional putty to weigh your pop-up down. I like to use the Dark Matter Putty as it’s extremely malleable and comes in two colours, to assist with rig camouflage. The shrink tube also accentuates the angle of the hooks eye giving the whole rig a ready for action look and performance. The hook sits aggressively and once taken into the carps mouth, is sure to grab a hold quickly, this is ideal.

I like to balance the rig out so that it falls steadily downwards and to the lakebed. I feel a pop-up rig can be too lightly balanced at times, if there isn’t enough weight there and the rig falls very slowly then there’s the chance of it wafting around, this isn’t good.

Since its inception I have used this rig to great effect, in conjunction with a light Helicopter arrangement and during one particular “red letter” session I managed to capture not only the biggest common and the biggest mirror in the lake but I also had the only leather carp in the lake and several others too. In the right situation it really can be deadly.

Although it looks quite technical and complicated, the rig is essentially easy to tie, so, when they have had enough of chods and stiff hinge rigs this could be a refreshing and carp catching change – it certainly has been for me!

Jon Mann