There are so many ways to tie rigs, and every technique has its own benefits. Here are just four of the most noteworthy methods, along with a how-to guide and all the products you need to take your fishing to the next level. If you prefer a video guide, click on any of the rig names in bold.
Terry Hearn used this rig to catch The Parrot, which was Britain’s biggest freshwater fish until its death in August 2017. Terry caught it at 63 lb with a bottom bait rig. What makes Terry’s version special is that it doesn’t drop catches as much as most bottom baits.
The hooklink material is loaded and semi-stiff, making it durable and easy to strip. With 5-6 inches stripped off, tie a small hair loop and trim off the tag. Thread the coated end of the braid though the hook and slide it down so the hair exits the back of the eye. For hooks, Terry favours the Cryogen Grippers in size 5 or 6. Whip the hook on no-knot style until you have about 15mm of supple braid left over.
Trap the hair with a little bit of silicon tube, or shrink tube if you have time to shrink it. Dip the tube into a boiled kettle and don’t just hover it over the steam. By doing that, you can melt any waxy stiffness in the braid.
What you should end up with is a rig that, when pulled and tightened, straightens out even if the hook is initially turned at an angle. The Parrot Rig works well with boilies or nuts. Terry uses maize or tiger nuts. On a side note, he chews up tiger nuts because he finds that more effective than grinders. His dentist doesn’t approve.
This is a technique for carp fishing that makes bait presentable almost anywhere, even over soft mud, weed and debris. Some legendary carp such as Benson and Heather the Leather have been caught with a chod rig. More recently, Matt Eaton caught a 42lb mirror carp with a chod rig.
To make Nash’s version, first cut 15-20cm of chod filament and leave a hair of 5cm. Whip it up the shank of a Twister micro barbed hook for five turns. This will create a knotless knot in line with the point of the hook. Add a hook swivel and pass the tag end back through the eye, forming a D shape. Trim the tag end and blob it with a lighter. Use a flame guard to blob, so when the tag burns down to the metal, you can blow it out without burning your fingers.
Martin Clarke claims to have invented the slip D back in 1986. But this variation of the D rig has become fashionable in the last few years. The slip D involves stripping back the last few inches of the hooklink. The D shape becomes more flexible, so the bait can slide away from the eye of the hook. When a carp is taking in the bait, the slip makes it harder for them to reject the rig.
For Nash’s variation, start with 12 inches of combilink and use a braid stripper on the last 3 inches of coating. Double over the uncoated section, attach a hook swivel and slide it over the curve of a micro barbed hook. Pass both tag ends through the back of the hook’s eye, and this will create the D shape. Make sure you set the D in line with the bar, then tie a knotless knot with the longer tag end.
With the D shape in place and tied up, trim the shorter tag end. Then apply shrink tubing and steam it down. You can then make an anti-tangle sleeve by tying an overhand loop. Attach a wafter with some bait floss and add some tungsten putty for balance.
Danny Fairbrass came up with a modern way to fish a stiff hooklink. The IQ D-Rig has a fantastic separation of the hook and bait that also keeps the two close together when first taken. This rig gained notoriety when it was featured on Korda’s Underwater DVDs. It’s an aggressive rig, reacting quickly to the slightest tightening of the hooklink by springing against the mouth of the fish when taken.
Take 14 inches of the slightly stiff IQ 2 fluorocarbon and a Kurv Shank hook. This combination gives the hook catch a quick hold. Loop the hooklink and tuck the tag end in the back of the eye to keep it out of the way. Wrap the loop around the shank and the trapped tag end. Wrap the loop around the hook five or six times and pull the knot tight by pulling the tag end, which you can now trim.
Adding the micro rig swivel allows the hook to twist into the fish’s flesh without having to turn the hookbait. Thread the swivel on the line exiting the top of the knot and take the line through the eye from the back to the front. Tie a standard knotless knot to secure the hook and complete the D shape. Add a sinker about two inches above the hook and with the rig set at around nine inches, tie a link loop to the other end with a half-blood knot. Mould a little Dark Matter putty around the sinker.
Combine it with a slow sinking bait. This will negate the weight of the hook and restrictive nature of the hooklink. Pull a wafter onto a doubled piece of bait floss and tie the tags around a boilie stop to secure it.
Korda has also released a ready-tied version of the IQ D-Rig. Because they only come one in a pack, you might you’re paying for convenience. Plus, by the end of this article, you hopefully have an appetite for tying up rigs yourself.