Carp fishing rigs are not much different than a lot of cat fishing rigs. The biggest differences in carp fishing rigs generally is that carp fishing rigs incorporate pop ups and zig rigs. Additionally, European carp fisherman take much more care in camouflaging their rigs than cat fisherman do.
The Hair Rig
A hair a a small bit of string that connects your bait to your hook. Using a hair rather than baiting your hook directly is first thing you should do if you are getting a lot of bites that get away. A hair allows the carp to suck the bait into its mouth and handle it with its sensitive lips. Because the hook is attached by a string, the carp doesn’t easily detect the hook and so the carp commits to eating the bait. Carp have very sensitive lips and if your carp have been around fisherman before they will be very wary of bait stuck directly on a hook.
A hair rig is also great because it it causes the hook point to point down at the perfect angle into the bottom lip of the carp when tied correctly. A well tied hair rig will put the hook point in the bottom lip of the carp more often, meaning fewer hooks getting pulled out and fewer carp swallowing the hook.
Fish Finder Rigs (In line lead rig)
The fish finder rig is a great classic carp fishing rig. It is basically a sliding lead, a swivel, a leader and a hook. This is classic rig for bottom baits. A fish finder rig can be used with pop ups if a small split shot or bit of rig putty is placed between the lead and the hook.
A combi rig is when you “combine” stiff hook leader with soft subtle hook leader. The stiff leader prefects the hook link from wrapping around the lead while casting and the soft leader doesn’t provide resistance when the carp tries to suck the bait off the bottom. A combi rig is a good rig for pop ups.
Helicopter rigs are superior for ultra long distance casting. A helicopter rig is when the lead is attached to the end of the mainline and the hook link juts off the mainline by a three way swivel or a big eyes swivel.
Chod is a British name for soft silty bottoms with a bit of slime or weed on the bottom. A chody rig is a helicopter rig designed for pop up baits fished over chod. Chody rigs can be made at home or you can buy high-tec camouflaged chody rig materials. The key to an effective chody rig is making sure the hook link is curved so that the point of the hook is pointing down towards the bottom lip of the carp.
Zig rigs are made from a fixed lead with a mono-filament hook link attached to a floating bait. This rig allows you to fish several feet above the bottom. Zig rigs are essential for catching carp that are not feeding on the bottom. One advantage of a zig rig over a bobber or float is that zig rigs wont drift away in the wind or current.
Sit up and Beg Rig
The sit up and beg rig is used with a pop-up bait that hovers just above the bottom. The leader between the rig lead and the hook is curved and stiff in order to guide the point into the bottom of the fish’s lip. The pop-up screw is short and anchored above the bend to conceal the hook beneath the pop-up and to keep the hook point at the correct angle.
The supple portion of the rig is attached to the stiff curved leader by a lose loop that allows the hook to swivel about when the fish sucks the bait in from any direction. This swiveling is essential to make sure the hook point is always pointed in the right direction when it enters the fish’s mouth.
Over all this is a great rig for fishing over short weeds. It is also great rig for targeting trophy carp. Larger carp see baits from a different angle than smaller carp and so large carp are less likely to be spooked by a pop up. The perfect positioning of the hook point means that when a big boy does bite you are more likely to get a hook up.
The snow man rig is used when you pair a sinking bottom boilie with a pop up boilie. This makes something that looks like a headless snow man. The advantage of this rig is that the pairing of a very buoyant bait and a larger sinking bait creates a bait that is very close to neutrally buoyant. So when the carp suck in the bait the hook flies up into its mouth with very little effort, thus increasing the chances of a hook up. Often carp anglers like to make the pop up and the bottom bait contrasting colors. Additionally, because the two baits without the hook are positively buoyant, many carp anglers like to have the bait close to the hook shank and on a loop rather than a hair.
Blow Back Rig
Blow back rigs are designed to fall back into the correct position after a fish disturbs the bait or sucks it in and blows it back. The rig ring on the shank keeps the hair pointing out past the bend of the hook rather than off to the side or front of the hook. This makes sure that the bait and the hook point are always in the correct relative position to each other even if a fish disturbed the rig.
Bobber and Float
When carp are fishing bellow the surface or when you want your bait to slowly drift across the lake then a bobber or float is the perfect thing.
A method feeder is a rig designed for chumming ground baits. A method feeder is when your lead is designed to have a squishy mold-able ball of bait formed around your lead. The bait slowly breaks down and comes off the method feeder, creating a pile of chum right by or bellow your bait.