How to Construct Safe Carp Fishing Rigs




Introduction: How to Construct Safe Carp Fishing Rigs

About: I am the Managing Director of Angling Lines. We offer carp fishing in France at 36 lakes.

A disturbing aspect offering carp fishing in France on a commercial basis is the numbers of carp each year that end up dragging leaders and leads around the lake because carp anglers use unsafe carp rigs.  

A fundamental aspect of carp fishing is the safety of our beloved quarry - the carp. Unfortunately unsafe rigs can lead to carp dying because the tackle used by some anglers does not allow heavy leads to be jettisoned by the carp in the event of the main line breaking. The reasons can be;

*  leaders cannot pass freely through the tail rubbers to safety clips

*  rubbers are pushed onto clips too tightly

*  the wrong tail rubbers to safety clips are used

*  tail rubbers are superglued on

*  leads are tied to clips because anglers don’t want to lose their leads

*  the use of leaders incorporating tungsten putty

Any of these causes can mean that the carp cannot get rid of any of the component parts in the event of the main line breaking... a situation which often leads to death for the carp. And it's so easy to avoid, often simply cutting the tail rubbers at an angle allows leaders to pass freely through them.

So here's a step by step guide on how to construct a safe carp rig. Let's start with the component parts;

Step 1:

*   Distance lead

*  Tail rubber

*  Clip with tab retained, but cut back

*  Swivel with Q ring

Step 2:

*  Normal tail rubber

*  Tail rubber cut at 45 degrees

Step 3:

*  Tail rubber intact

*  Safety clip intact

Step 4:

*  Tail rubber cut

*  Safety clip cut, but still retaining short tab as shown

Step 5:

*  Key ring

*  Q ring

Step 6:

Distance Lead Type 1

This is a lead often used by carp anglers. This lead and clip set up is designed to allow a lot of movement between the lead and the clip.  It also allows the lead to sink into soft silt, effectively increasing the weight of the lead on the take from the fish. This can help you get good hook holds because the extra weight helps pull the hook home.      

However, if this set up is fished on bottoms of gravel or thin silt the lead will not sink into the bottom material. In this case the weight of the lead is not getting to the point of the hook quick enough because of the excessive amount of movement between the lead and the clip. This can lead to the carp dropping the bait before the hook is set home.  

Result  - missed takes!

Step 7:

*  Distance lead Type 1

*  Swivel removed from Type 1 lead

Step 8:

Result is my preferred Distance lead  - the Distance Lead Type 2

Step 9:

Distance Lead Type 2

In this set up the clip and lead arrangement minimise free movement - so the weight of the lead is getting to the point of the hook quicker. Because the lead and clip fit snugly together it is acting almost like an in-line lead set-up.

Result - less missed takes!

Step 10:

* Q ring connected to swivel

*  Swivel threaded onto fluorocarbon leader

*  Lead and tail rubber easily pass over leader knot

*  Tail rubber easily slides off tab when tab has been cut

Step 11:

*  Leader threaded through clip and tail rubber

*  Lead and key ring slides onto clip

Step 12:

Distance lead Type 2 set up complete

*  The ring must pass over the stem of the clip and push in behand the tab end.  I use a key ring with an internal diameter of 6.4mm

Step 13:

*  My normal baited hook length, hair tied KD style

*  The stiff boom is lead core

Over the course of the season, the carp become aware of this aggressive hook pattern so I use the baited hook length shown in the next photograph.

Step 14:

*  Boom section – Suffix Shock Leader material

*  Leader knot

*  Braided hook length

*  Size 6 Mugga hook

*  Silicone rubber

*  Hair tied KD style but flattened to the bend of the hook

A small piece of silicone tubing is inserted over the hair and hook to flatten the hair length to the hook. When the fish mouth the boilie the silicone easily slides up the shank of the hook so that it then reverts back to the aggressive KD pattern. I used this pattern hook length through the whole of the September session when I caught all the big carp

Step 15:

*  This is the leader knot used to tie the leader to the main line, be it mono or fluorocarbon

*  I also use it for tying the stiff boom section to the supple hook length

Step 16:

*  Hook bait with dissolvable foam threaded over hook length - ready to fish!

*  Two pieces of foam cover the supple section of the boom which prevents the rig from tangling. The foam is sprayed with a retardant spray which slows the dissolve rate. Using a single piece of foam, also sprayed with retardant, may bring a quick take because the bait is presented "on the drop"

Step 17:

*  On the take the component parts will pull apart, with the lead retained on the leader

Step 18:

*  I use Petroleum Jelly to bed all my knots down, giving maximum knot strength

*  The spray retardant for foam

Step 19:

For every carp angler the welfare of the carp is your top priority. This rig is a safe alternative for anglers who want to retain their leads on a crack off or carp snagging situation because the component parts will easily pull apart, even when lead core leaders are used, and the leader will freely pass through the clip.

And just to prove it works here's a 46lb mirror carp I caught on this rig at Vaux in September 2011.

Here's wishing you happy (& safe) carping!

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    Not to be a buzz kill but this is not a safe rig in the slightest it may have the character of an inline but the chances of this tangling before it comes off the line is very high if you was going to use a safety clip why would you mod it like this when the lead will come straight off as it is not attached to the line in the first place.


    6 years ago

    Disagree. This is not what i would call safe... Flourocarbon leader, leader knot and tail matter how far back you cut it you are risking that rubber jamming against the leader knot. And if that happens you have a big lump of lead jammed on there also as its running on the line. I would not call this a safe rig at all?


    8 years ago

    But this method wouldn't dump and get rid of the lead if say you got snagged up, having the lead free running like this could easily damage the fish and could even aid in you losing fish


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Great rig design, trouble is with so many new carpers entering the sport without having any or very little fishing knowledge much of what is shown here may as well be in chinese, a sad situation but true in many cases.
    I teach carp fishing and have the idea that as simple as possible is the way to go, trying not to over complicate things to much to new carpers.
    The rig I teach is the basic no nonsence rig.
    Your hook length between 3"-8" (knotless knot) Mono or braided line eg Snakeskin etc
    Tied to a good Quality cheap chinese poundshop purchaces.
    large rubber bead pierced with baiting needle threaded on mainline first so a little resistance when sliding the bead up and down the line. shock rig style.
    Followed by an inline lead with tail trimed back so it has very free movement.
    followed by another large rubber bead..
    This is then tied to the hooklength swivel.
    On testing every rig out there this was shown to be the safest. in every situation.
    this rig works and is only ment for the novice carper as a starting point, and even now after carping for over 32yrs in most situations I still use it regualy here and abroad.
    Not taking anything away from the rig you use in any way, in fact out of the many so called safe rigs out there yours is one of the best I've seen, and will give it a go this season.

    Angling Lines
    Angling Lines

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Many thanks! We've got lots of great content here (we've been in this business 12 years) so there's lots more I can post - just need the time!