How-To… The Kebab Rig

Despite the name, this carefully engineered setup does not involve heading down to your local Turkish fast-food establishment, however tempting that may be. There’s no chilli sauce, pita bread or strips of greesy, grey matter simply labeled ‘meat’.

No, the kebab rig is in fact Solar Tackle boss Martin Locke’s favorite presentation. Having landed his 100th 50lb carp in October 2012, and as a former World carp record holder in 2010 with a colossal 94lb mirror, the results are difficult to ignore. Here are the creator’s thoughts on why it’s so successful:

“The whole idea is to make a mouthful that’s easy for a carp to pick up, but one that becomes incredibly difficult for them to eject once inside their mouth.

The Kebab Rig - Carp Fishing Rigs

I use Spiker Hair Pins for smaller baits

“You’ll notice that the kebab rig uses a selection of size, type and shape baits on the hair, which means that you are now using more than one type of hook bait. Most of us bait up with a mixture of particles, boilies, pellets and so on, either throwing the concoction over the side of a boat or spodding it out. The fish in your swim will therefore be feeding on a variety of baits at once, so, to me, it makes sense to use a mixture of baits on the hair as well. Not only will this look more ‘natural’ over the baited area, but it also adds an element of confusion when a fish picks it up, as well as confidence as they feed around, and on, it. Better still, with three different baits on one hair you’re not putting all of your eggs in one basket regarding hook bait choice.

“The original thinking behind the kebab rig came as a follow on from Albert Romp’s original Greedy Pig rig from Savay many years ago. Albert’s thought was that everyone was using stringers at the time and once a rod was reeled in there would be three or four baits sat out there in a line which were as safe as houses for the carp to eat, which the carp soon cottoned on to. So, he started mimicking that with his hook baits and the rest is history. The theory is similar with this rig, in that it mimics what the carp are feeding on confidently.

“A long hair, which this rig has, is easy for a carp to suck in, but extremely difficult to eject, with the anti-ejection being exaggerated further with the necklace effect. By leaving a gap of 4mm to 5mm between each bait, the hook bait becomes exceptionally difficult to ‘deal with’ once in the carp’s mouth as it’s flexible. Without these gaps the three hook baits become one, large object, which is easier to deal with. The rig mechanics are helped further by placing the largest bait at the end of the hair. As a fish tries to eject the bait, the entire hair has to pivot through 180 degrees to leave the mouth, as it will always ‘travel’ biggest bait first. When this happens, the bait often comes into contact with the roof of the mouth, which has the effect of pushing the hook down toward the bottom of the mouth and the bottom lip.

The Kebab Rig - Carp Fishing Rigs

With bigger baits rigs, such as the ones I use at Rainbow, leaving small gaps between the baits make the rig even harder for carp to ‘deal with’

“Out at Rainbow, and when using bigger baits, I’ll use Sampson Hair Braid, but when fining the rig down for doubles and twenties, I use a 25mm Spiker Hair Pin. The stiff pin means that the necklace effect is lost, but when the rig is scaled down and you’re using small, light baits I don’t think it matters as much. The most important aspect is the way it’s set up.

“The multi-rig is my favorite setup for the kebab rig. It allows the hook to be changed quickly and easily without needing to tie another hook link, but vitally, it allows the hair to exit the rig by the eye of the hook. Unlike most, I pull the loop on the multi-rig, usually used to create a D-rig presentation, tight, trapping the swivel to which the hair is attached tight to the back of the eye.  This creates an aggressive angle between the baits and the hook, which provides maximum ‘hookibility’. It ensures that, as the rig enters a carp’s mouth, the hook enters bend first and with the hook sat in the correct orientation, with point below the shank and so closest to the bottom of the mouth and bottom lip. When a fish tries to eject the rig, the hook is already sat in the perfect position to catch hold.

The Kebab Rig - Carp Fishing Rigs

A ‘streamlined’ rig will enter a carp’s moth with the hook in this orientation

The Kebab Rig - Carp Fishing Rigs

Whereas the kebab rig enters a carp’s mouth with the hook in this orientation with the hook point ready to catch in the bottom lip

“I have always thought that streamlining a rig, as is common practice nowadays by using silicone tubing or the like to have the hair exit the hook at the bend, or the base of the point, makes it easier for the fish to eject. If the hair exits the hook shank anywhere below level with the point then the hook will enter a carp’s mouth upside down, with the shank closest to the bottom of the carp’s mouth and the point above it. Try it for yourself, set up a rig with a piece of silicone tubing causing the hair to exit the hook on the bend. Bait the rig and then hold the hook bait between thumb and forefinger in one hand, hold the hook link in the other hand on a level plane and see how the hook sits. This is how the rig will enter a carp’s mouth when picked up.

“Don’t get me wrong, these rigs will, and do, catch plenty of carp, but the hook has to turn once in the mouth to catch hold in the bottom lip, or bottom of the mouth. After all, how many carp have you hooked in the top lip? I bet it’s a lot less than in the bottom lip. What we will never know is how many chances we’ve missed because the hook wasn’t in the correct position or didn’t turn as it should on ejection.

“So, I want the hook to enter the carp’s mouth already in the correct position to catch hold and this can be achieved by having the hair exiting the hook between opposite the point and the eye.”

Below is your step by step guide…

The Kebab Rig - Carp Fishing Rigs

Step 1

The Kebab Rig - Carp Fishing Rigs

Step 2

The Kebab Rig - Carp Fishing Rigs

Step 3

The Kebab Rig - Carp Fishing Rigs

Step 4

The Kebab Rig - Carp Fishing Rigs

Step 5

The Kebab Rig - Carp Fishing Rigs

Step 6

The Kebab Rig - Carp Fishing Rigs

Step 7

The Kebab Rig - Carp Fishing Rigs

Step 8

The Kebab Rig - Carp Fishing Rigs

The outcome


2 thoughts on “How-To… The Kebab Rig

  1. Dave David says:

    Like it and going to adapt it slightly
    It is quick and easy, and I like a knot free hair which doesn’t damage the bait
    Also been thinking about having the bait tight to the eye of the hook, like a D rig, I used to use very long hair with a huge gap between the hook and the bait but although these can be effective they can equally be ”blanky” and very prone to tangles.. even stiff rigs with very long hairs can be prone to hair tangles on the cast

  2. Appreciate your input Dave, certainly food for thought!

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