Free Running and Dropper Carp Rigs

A large proportion of anglers carp fishing in France still prefer to use free running lead set-ups incorporating little or no bolt effect.  This combination of no bolt effect, slack lines and slack bait runners results in many anglers missing many takes, or when the anglers are winding down to the carp and striking to set the hooks, the carp either pull the hooks or cut themselves off.

The bolt effect in the rig I’m about to describe is achieved by the swivel being pushed firmly home into the Fox in-line sleeve.  This set-up lends itself to fishing to open water marks and is very good on lakes with silty bottoms and also with some weed cover.  When casting this rig to the anglers’ spots the multiple pva foamed hook length feathers the lead through the water bringing it to rest as shown in Photo 9 below.  The rig is also good on waters where there is heavy silt.

Using this rig, I have caught many wary carp on pressured venues.  When the bait enters the carp’s mouth, the weight of the lead pricks the carp and as soon as it tries to dislodge the hook by shaking it’s head or spinning on the spot, the swivel pulls from the lead and the rig immediately becomes a free running set-up.  The carp believes it has dislodged the lead set-up and rapidly leaves the area, resulting in a one-toner take.

The rig can be used with a pop-up or bottom bait or critically balanced bait set-up;  the mainline is fished slack and bait runners are engaged.  It is the only time I use bait runners.

The Free Running RigThis rig has been shown in past UK carp magazines and retains the lead.  It is a free running rig incorporating a bolt effect and is for slack lines and baitrunners.Component parts;

*  3oz – 5oz distance lead
*  Fox inline inner sleeve



by Chas Cook
Carp Fishing in France


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