Most carp anglers today use 20-30cm (8-12in) long hook links, with anti-ject hair rigs and semi-fixed or fixed leads. ‘his arrangement relies on the fish sucking a the hookbait and moving a few centime-res, whereupon the heavy weight pulls the took into the carp’s lip. In most everyday carp angling situations this is probably one of the most effective presentations around.
But what happens when carp suck at a hookbait from 8- 10cm (3-4in) away? Or when they pick up the hookbait in their lips and back off— rejecting it immediately they feel the weight of the lead? This is when the standard set-up can work against you.
Carp in heavily fished UK waters have become wary of sweet-smelling, bright balls of food lying on the lake bed or wafting around a few inches off it (as in pop-ups). Screaming runs are rare. Carp no longer belt off when they feel the weight of a heavy lead pulling a hook into their mouths.
Instead of fleeing in panic, they stay absolutely still, mouths working furiously as they suck and blow at the lightly lodged hook. Nine times out often they get rid of it.
Rigging the changes
But all is not lost. If you think the carp have become too clever on your lake, try extending confidence rigs, which allow a cautious carp to take a few inches of line before it feels the lead – and may fool it into taking the bait deeper into its mouth. Rig number one This was developed by Ken Townley to fool clever fish in a Cornish pond. The basic idea, passed on by Dave Chilton of Kryston Products, uses Kryston Super-Stiff, a dissolving anti-tangle gel.
First tie your preferred hook and hair rig arrangement to one end of a 60-75cm (24-30in) length of Dacron, Silkworm or Multi-Strand. Tie a swivel to the other end. Then fold the hook link back on itself to make a flattened S-shape. Tie the top bend of the S to the eye of the swivel with PVA string, then tie the other bend to the hook link, also with PVA. Finally, smear the whole hook link with Super-Stiff, allow it to dry, then apply another coat. When this has dried completely you have a stiff, 25-30cm (10-12in) hook link that extends to its full 75cm (30in) once it has been cast out and the Super-Stiff and the PVA has melted. It’s simple but devastating. Rig number two This was developed by
Lee Jackson in Kent. It works in a similar way to rig number one.
You need an in-line lead such as a Comet or Zipp drilled lead. Cut a 3-4cm (1-Vain) length of 2mm diameter tubing and Superglue it to the rear section of the lead . Then tie on youi preferred hooklength using a swivel, with a shock bead to protect the knot in casting.
Thread a baiting needle through the glued-on piece of tubing to pick up the hook link and draw it back through the tube. Then secure the loop of hook link that has been pulled through to the back of the lead or around the main line with PVA string.
In both cases, when the fish sucks at the bait from a distance, expecting it to pull tight before it reaches its lips, the exact opposite happens – and the hookbait goes right into the fish’s mouth!
Similarly, if the fish picks up the hook bait and backs off, the extending link fools it into thinking that the hook bait is one of the free offerings, giving it the confidence to take the bait into its mouth. Sneaky, isn’t it!