The Zig Rig - by Ryan Boyda
Zigs are a very underused method in carp fishing in my opinion, I’m sure more carp would be put on the bank throughout periods of high pressure in the spring/summer if more anglers would give them a go as the carp are in the upper layers, instead of continuing to use a boilie on the bottom. There are various ways of using zigs which I’m going to explain...
Spoding over zigs
Spoding over a zig is something which has served me very well over the past few years, generally on you deeper hungry waters where the carp are attracted to the sound of the spod. It is important to use a spod mix which contains a large amount of ground bait and small light particles to keep an attractive cloud in the upper layers for a good period of time. One of my favourites for this is prepared chopped pea nuts as the oils in the nut help it to sink very slowly and flutter down through the water column giving the carp something to compete for. I would usually use my zigs a couple of different lengths, with one being 4ft below the surface and the other at half depth. This is to keep my hook bait in clouded water from the spod mix for a longer period of time as the cloud sinks through the depths. A piece of white foam or trimmed down white pop-up will always go out on one rod to blend in with the pea nut, on the other I will be regularly change the colour in the hope to keep those bites coming.
This is more your big fish method for those weary old carp which are more tricky to persuade a pick up from. So, I would be trying to stay one stage ahead, by this I mean I would be looking at trimming up my hook baits to mimic certain fly hatches, tadpoles, beetles ect throughout the spring/summer. I would be spending a lot of time watching the carp to work out the roots they are consistently using throughout the days which will certainly up my chances of a pick up if my zig is on the carp’s course.
Over depth zigs
This is a very good method to use when your surface fishing is proving to be difficult in windy conditions making it hard to keep your hook bait amongst the feeding carp, possibly costing you a take from bad presentation or spooking the carp from having to keep recasting. When using an over depth zig I like to use it half the waters depth longer to give you a 45 degree angle from the lead to the hook bait so the carp does not come into contact with the hook length before you hook bait. An added benefit to this method is you can fish with two or three rods all out on the surface with good presentation. Also in my experiences, once a fish has been hooked the rest of the group begin to snatch at the remaining mixers as they think the dodgy one is out the way, but to the carps surprise another baited rig or two is still in the area giving you a chance of a bonus fish. The key point in feed is to put small amounts of mixers in regularly to get the carp feeding confidently but spread them around to keep the fish moving to trick them into hooking themselves.
Here are the components you will need to set it up. Firstly some drennan double strength in 10 or 12lb, 0.5 silicone tubing and a size 10 fox sssp hook.
Pass a small piece of 0.5 silicone tubing onto the double strength
Tie a palamour knot onto the hook and pass the tag end through the eye from front to back
With the aid of a baiting needle tie an overhand knot in the tag to form a short hair
Pass the silicone tubing over the eye and up the shank of the hook
Tie your hook length to a swivel at the required depth
A very simple rig to set up and well worth the results it brings!