The only rigs you’ll ever need!

11 min read

Master these six tried-and-tested big carp set-ups and your presentation will be spot-on this spring, whatever the situation...

STARTING in February, big carp begin to slowly rouse from their winter slumber, and as they do so, their appetites increase in line with the gradual rise in temperatures and longer daylight hours. It’s not yet time to start lashing in the loosefeed, but bites are certainly there to be had, provided you choose the right rig and bait combination.

To get you off on the right foot, this month we’re showing you how to tie six of the very best set-ups to cast out in spring. Between them they cover every eventuality, and offer deadly and well-proven presentations for everything from wafters and bottom baits, to pop-ups and zig rigs.

So keep this magazine to hand and you won’t be found wanting in the rig department this spring!


Wafters, plastic baits or small pop-ups all work well inside a solid PVA bag

Inline leads are a must, either set up in standard fashion or ‘drop-off’ style

This should be tied from a supple braid and kept short at around 4ins-5ins

Fill the bag with small items such as pellets, maggots and groundbait/powders

IN cold weather, putting out big spreads of bait can be the kiss of death on all but the most heavily-stocked venues.

A single hookbait approach can work well, but why not take it to the next level by popping a bright, fruity pop-up inside a solid PVA bag to get little concentrated piles of grub into areas where the fish are holed up?

What you put into the bag is down to you, but stick to easily digestible and highly attractive items such as low-oil pellets, groundbait, powders and maggots.

For hookbaits use small pop-ups, wafters or fake baits (corn and/or maggots) on short braided hooklinks, but don’t go too small with the hook. Stick to sizes 6 to 10, tailoring your choice to match the size of hookbait.

To enhance the bag’s attraction, inject it with liquid prior to casting out. Hemp oil, which won’t congeal in cold water, is a great choice.

The beauty of this set-up is that it is presentable over pretty much any bottom, particularly when there isn’t much thick weed about. Even over a layer of silkweed, the hookbait is protected inside the bag and you can be confident that it is ‘fishing’.

BEST FOR: Presenting a small pile of highly-attractive bait, plus the hookbait, over all lakebed types apart from really deep silt or thick weed.

How to tie a solid PVA bag

1 Add a few pellets to the bag, then pop the rig and hookbait in to sit on top

2 Half-fill with more pellets (or other small items) then add the lead to the bag

3 Fill the bag to three-quarters full with more items (but don’t overfill it!)

4 Compact the contents t