How To: Effective Zig Rigs For Carp

The Zig-Rig a simple method for fishing bait mid water that has accounted for many large carp. Here is an article by Ian Gemson from Smart Carping on how to set up a Zig rig…

The Zig-Rig allows a buoyant bait to be fished from the lakebed at any set depth from a couple of inches above the lakebed right up to the water’s surface.

This allows the angler to be able to present the hook bait at the depth at which the carp are either cruising or more importantly feeding.

The Zig-Rig can be used in many situations where hook bait presentation at certain depths is critical, like on the surface during hot weather, or as another example, just above light weed where normal hook bait may become hidden within the weed.

Other uses may be sub-surface where carp maybe cruising, say a couple of feet below the surface, or even sub-surface where wildfowl may become a nuisance.

My preferred Zig-Rig setup is a 8lb Drennan double stretch mono hook length tied to a buffer bead setup in a running rig style,, which is fished on the lakebed (legered) and setup with a bite-alarm and indicator as you would normally.

The Zig-Rig is a tremendous rig which is very easy to setup however it is often overlooked in the carping fraternity.

Despite this the rig is not without its problems. Casting out a Zig-Rig with a short hook length of a couple of feet isn’t too much of a problem, however casting a hook length of 12ft or more can be a real problem.

There are various different ways in which to cast out such a long hook length I prefer to lay the hook length in a line behind me as I prepare to cast out, some people prefer to coil up the hook link in a bucket which is carefully place on the bank-side, behind me, before casting out. The hook length unravels during the cast leaving the bucket cleanly on the bank side.

What you need…

1. Korda size 10 or 12 Wide gape hooks or equivalents
2. Small Korda Pear swivel lead
3. Korda Size 8 swivel
4. Korda shok bead
5. Korda safe zone anti tangle sleeve
6. Gardner PVA foam nuggets
7. Drennan double strength hook length braking strain to suit the lake conditions
8. Size 4 pole elastice to act as a line marker

 2, 3, 4 & 5

The Method

Step 1: Cut enough hook length for the depth or rig you want to make and tie a small loop in the end for the bait. make sure the loop is smaller than the size of the pop up bait you intend to use.

Step 2: Form a normal knotless knot making sure the hair is a short as possible. The bait needs to be postioned as close as possible to the back of the hook.

Step 3: Using a fine baiting needle, thread your chosen pop up onto the hair. You can see how close the bait is the the shank of the hook.

Step 4: Thread the Korda Safe zone anti tangle sleeve onto the hooklength and then using a palomar knot tie the Korda size 8 swivel to the hooklength.

Step 5: Slide the Korda swivel pear lead onto your mainline.

Step 6: Now slide the Korda Shok bead on to the main line as well.

Step 7: Tie the main line to the Korda size 8 swivel and pull the swivel into the bead the lead/ hook length setup should now look like this. Note how the Korda Safe zone anti tangle sleeve holds the hook length away from the lead minimising tangles and protecting the hook length.

Step 8: Cut a nugget of Gardner PVA foam in half.

Step 9: With one halve of the PVA nugget cut it 3/4 of the way through.

Step 10: Now place the hook and the pop up into the slot cut in the Gardner PVA nugget. Wet the slot and close the nugget around the hook.
This ensures the rig casts well without tangling and the PVA give extra buoyancy to the pop up for a few moments after the cast.

Step 11: If you are casting to a specific spot, a hole in the weed or you are spodding a soupy cloudy mixture over you zig rigs it is important to ensure you are as accurate as possible. To take the guess work out of this a simple marker placed upon your line when the rig is cast into position will ensure you are always on the right spot. Using a small amount of size 4 pole elastic tie a 3 turn grinner knot (Marker knot) onto your mainline.

Step 12: Light actioned carp rods preferably with a through action (players rod) are the required to cushion the the hook hold plus the very light hook length.
Make sure your reel line is not to heavy a breaking strain and is in balance with the breaking strain of the hook length, as to high a breaking strain will cause you to loose lots of fish.

Roll on the long hot summer days when the carp are feeding in the upper layers of the water, totally ignoring you bottom baits. Get on the Zigs and start catching those huge summer carp.

Tight Lines,
Smart Carping Limited


One thought on “How To: Effective Zig Rigs For Carp

  1. Dave Bee says:

    Like to know. How to set up a zig rigg and use the lake or pond.very grateful for your time

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