The Hybrid - Dave Levy

For years I have been using a combi-rig as my main bottom bait presentation, but recently this has changed. There are plenty of great things about the combi, which I had grown extremely fond of, but there were also a few things that had always bugged me. I now have a fault-proof and almost identical presentation to use instead.

The joining of two knots will inevitably create a weak point in the hook link and although this has pretty much never let me down, it was always something I would like to have eradicated. You can never be too safe in carp fishing and if there’s something you can do in order to strengthen your chances of landing the carp of your dreams, then it’ll certainly pay to do so. The rig I having been using acts in almost the exact same way as the combi, except it is tied solely out of a stiff-coated braid. This enables me to create the hinge, minus the weak point.

In order to create a hinge with a supple section by the hook and a stiff boom section, I chose the joining of IQ2 Fluorocarbon and Supernatural, completely contrasting materials. The braid I now use, Hybrid Stiff, offers both extremes but from the same spool. This not only makes the rig simpler to tie, but it’s also going to be more reliable under extreme pressure. This hinge serves an important purpose and without it, the rig would not perform half as well, in my opinion. Having a supple section enables the hook to drop down towards the bottom lip and increases the chances of that hook taking hold. The hook is able to move freely, unhindered by the rest of the hook link and I feel this is very important, especially when you want to hook carp in the bottom lip, as I do.

Equally as important as the hinge and supple section, is the stiff boom section of the hook link. The last thing I want is a tangled rig, there are few things more disappointing and I do everything I can to prevent it from happening. Watching the rig during flight and stopping the line before the lead hits the water is a must but on occasion, in particular at night, this isn’t possible. On these occasions, I want to know that my rig is highly unlikely to become tangled and rendered useless. Having an extremely stiff boom section almost completely eliminates the chances of the rig tangling. Once the rig is tied I will run it through the steam of the kettle, which straightens the rig perfectly, and ensures that it stays that way too. When using stiff materials it is vital that you use the steam of a kettle to ensure that they perform how you want them to, and hold their shape. I used to do this with the IQ combi and this Hyrbid Stiff presentation is no different.

Using a balanced bait is important and when combined with the stiff hook link, you are massively aiding your presentation. The bait will kick out and away from the lead every time, sitting perfectly in position. The use of a heavy hook bait will still work and in all fairness, more so than with a supple hook link where the bait and rig will often fall into a pile, however, the heavier the bait, the more likely it is to bend the hook link and sit funny, so bear that in mind. There are plenty of hook bait options and as long as they have some degree of buoyancy to them they will work perfectly with this rig.

Rig length is key and I have found the optimum length to be nine inches. Just recently I decided to try a shorter hook link, on a venue that I had been catching regularly on, but to my surprise I got completely cleaned out over night. This was one of the only times I blanked at the venue and as soon as I changed back to the longer hook link, I started catching again. I’ve never been a fan of shorter hook links and although there can be no denying that they do work, this only strengthened my theory that a longer link is best.

As for actually presenting the rig, I am happy to use it over almost any lakebed, but I do prefer to use it on harder ground such as gravel or clay. If I use the rig amongst silt, I will switch over to a helicopter system, which prevents the rig from being dragged into the silt, which will render this rig totally useless. For the harder ground, I have found this rig to be the most effective presentation I have used. It presents perfectly every time and the carp find it extremely hard to deal with. I have been using the COG lately and have enjoyed some great results, I’m convinced that it’s a more instant and aggressive hooker than a standard lead clip, almost acting like an inline lead but the with more impact from the weight of the lead. On the subject of the leads, I like to use as a big a lead as possible, which helps to really crank that hook home. When you lay the lead in your palm and then try to lift it from the hook, you realize just how much more pressure is applied by the lead – it’s much harder to lift. When you imagine how this acts in a fishing situation, it’s not hard to see why the COG is so effective.

I’ve have caught plenty of fish on this presentation lately, and hundreds on the combi rig over the years, which works in the exact same fashion, so give it a go and I can assure you that you wont be disappointed.

Dave Levy.