One Year, One Rig - Twenty 30s, One 40 & One 50. Elliott Gray Discusses His Go To Rig ...

Attention to detail is something I pay extremely close attention to in my angling, especially with my rigs. When I catch a carp, I want a rig to be recast with the exact same dimensions as its previous successor, not a rig half an inch longer or with a hair a little too short – It needs to be exact and it needs to be correct. Consistency is everything in my angling and that’s what leads to success.

Around five years ago, I was sat at home and began experimenting with my rigs. I was looking for something that would be extremely versatile and would suit most of my fishing situations, be that using a bottom bait or pop up. I also wanted a rig that would not tangle in flight, could re-set itself and, would give me a very high bite to land ratio. After several hours sat on the sofa, experimenting with various rigs, I eventually came up with what I wanted. Through the years, I have tweaked it ever so slightly to allow me to change the hook, without the need to tie a fresh rig each time. Finally, I came up with a rig that for me, ticks every box. It’s nice and short, can be fished on all firm lakebeds, doesn’t tangle in flight, can be fished with a variety of baits and, allows me to hook the vast majority of what I hook!

Over the years, I’ve caught literally hundreds of carp on this rig, from a variety of venues across the UK and into Europe and it always comes up with the goods, leaving me with a lot of confidence in its effectiveness.

Although quite a simple rig, it can take a while to tie the rig and that’s simply because I pay that much attention to every detail – it has to be perfect and as mentioned, I measure each part of this rig to ensure they are all the same.

I always ensure I have a rig box full of pre-tied rigs at the ready, not wanting to waste any time on the bank. I know I can rock up and get the rods out quickly and effectively. The last thing you want is to find fish and then spend the next 15 minutes, tying rigs with shaking hands. Be prepared and you’re angling will improve.

To tie the rig, I begin by stripping 4-inches of coating of 15lb N-Trap Semi Stiff, in which I favour the Silt colour, which I feel just blends into the bottom slightly better. This is without doubt my favourite coated braid on the market and I have been using it for years, since helping with its development during my time at Korda.

Once I’ve stripped 4-inches of coating from the N-Trap, I double this section back, creating a loop of around 32mm in length, to which I tie off using a figure of 8 loop knot. The finished knot should be no more than half an inch.

At the other end of the N-Trap (uncoated) I then tie another small figure of 8 loop knot, ensuring the finished length is 7inches in length.

Next, I take a piece of Medium Shrink Tube and cut an inch of it, keeping both pieces. First, take the large section of shrink tube, which will be used over the figure of 8 loop knot at the uncoated end, this will act similar to an anti-tangle sleeve, but is just more inconspicuous.

I then add a small section of Dark Matter Putty half way along the N-Trap, which will help keep it pinned to the lakebed. Finally, I steam this section of the rig, keeping it nice and straight, helping to prevent tangles. I’ll also ensure the shrink tube is steamed into place, nice and straight, around the knot. This is the ‘Boom’ section of the rig complete, in which I’ll always have plenty pre-tied and stored in my rig safe.

Now for the business end. Take a size 4 Kamakura Wide Gape hook - I’ve used 6’s in the past with the same results but overall, favour the large pattern so generally opt for a size 4. Then, using a length of Arma Kord braid, tie on a hair using a simple knotless knot and cut the tag end of, nice and close to the hook’s eye. I always ensure I have at least 20 of these hooks pre-tied with their hairs in place, making it nice and easy down the line when I want to quickly change hook.

Next, I take the 1-inch piece of Shrink Tube and thread my baiting needle through and pierce the tubing with the needle, 4mm from the end (line-aligner style, see picture) I then thread the shrink tube onto the boom section of the rig, with the pierced end, facing toward the putty.

I then take the uncoated loop on the boom, and pass it through the hook’s eye, around the point and then pull it up tight, essentially lassoing the hook in place. Next, slide the shrink tube over the hooks eye, ensuring the line-aligner (slit in shrink tube) is facing down towards the hook eye and that the line is running neatly out of it.

If your measurements are correct, you should have a small uncoated section of braid before the shrink tube, in which I will bite on a No.4 shot, in which I do regardless of fishing a bottom bait or a pop up.

I then drop this section of the rig into a kettle of boiling water, and then by hand, I curve the shrink tube into place. Generally, I like to tie my baits on using floss, allowing me to use a variety of baits each time. I simply thread the floss through my hair, thread the bait onto the floss and blob the tag ends. That way, I can quickly chop and change hookbait sizes without having to re-tie the rig – Big Edge!

And that’s it – I always like to add a PVA bags of foam nugget before casting out, which just helps protect the hook and eliminates tangles further. Big leads on Heli Safes are my go-to, with long lengths of leadcore and braid straight though my favoured approach.

If I need to change the hook, I simply slide the shrink tubing off, reattach the hook and loop on a new one and I’m good to go. Although when you first read about it, it may sound a little complex, but I promise you it really isn’t and once you’ve mastered it, it will make your life so much easier. If your sat at home board, get your tackle box out and give this rig a go, I promise, you won’t be disappointed!