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Guest Sodbury Steve

Bolt rig basics 4. The Zig Rig

8 posts in this topic

OK, we know carp are bottom feeders, and consequently carp anglers spend an inordinate amount of their time fishing baits that sit on or very close to the bottom. And there's no doubt this works. However nobody seems to have told the carp this. Consequently the little darlings spend large amounts of time swimming well above the lake bed right up to the top layers of water, particularly if this is where the warm water and food is.

Lets say that you're sitting by a lake and every carp you can see is in the top few feet of water - how do you catch them. Well obviously you can use a standard float fishing setup. However to do that requires light tackle, and the strong chance that even if you do hook up on a 30lb lump, you're going to struggle to land it to say the least.

Hence the zig rig ( see below ), which is realy simplicity that can go badly wrong <_<

Instead of a bottom bait ( lets use boilies for example ) you use a bouyant boilie as a hookbait. Since you're fishing in 6ft of water, you use a 5ft leader. Easy eh? :D Now I know what you're thinking - tangle city :D Its going to happen sometimes and thats life but there are ways around it.

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There are a couple of problems.

Obviously its all well and good for fishing in shallow water, but things get sticky if you're fishing in say 14ft of water. Thats one hell of a long leader, but casting it can be done.

1. Use PVA string. Carefully roll the leader up into a loop to shorten it, and tie the loop up with PVA string (which dissolves in the water.)

2. Use a mat, lay out the leader carefully on it and cast. Some people will roll the leader up in a bowl.

3. Always 'feather' the cast. Before the rig hits the water put your finger on the rim of the spool to slow down the line coming off. Stop the line feed just before the rig hits the water, which will help seperate the leader from the weight ( this is a technique you should get used to using, since it helps reduce tangles regardless of which set up you use )

4. Use a boom arm made with heat shrink tubing ( see below ) on the first few inches of the leader coming off of the swivel. This helps keep the leader clear of the weight set-up.

It may seem a bit tricky, but this set up has caught me loads of fish ( it even works at night ). You don't have to set it for just below the surface either. Ive used 3 rod set ups where the leaders have covered 3 different layers ( say 6ft on one rod, 8ft on another and 10ft / surface on the third. ) I also use an adjustable version sometimes ( see here ) which is a bit more tricky.

other posts

inline bolt rig

safety clip

method feeder

helicopter rig

Zig rig

braid and combi rig

marker float rig

Carp tackle UK style

Bare necesities

surface fishing

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I think unless you plumb the bottom of the water to find the exact depth at that very spot it would probably be best to use the adjustible zig rig.

Even though I think the adjustable zig is more of a running rig than a bolt rig I think it would be very helpful if you posted it here.

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Steve why couldn't use just use a running rig with a pop-up boilie and let it float up to the surface then reel in X amount of line?

It seems like it would be better for people in the US than things like pva string and shrink tubing.

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Good points mate.

Firstly I'm assuming you know the water well enough to know its depth. If not then its a good idea to do so, and I'll be doing a bit about depth finding soon.

Secondly if you have a vague idea of the depth, then use that. Its not all that important if a bait is a foot or two over or under length. If your hooklength is a bit long the bait will just rise to the surface. A bit below then its still in a reasonable zone to attract surface level fish.

Re. the running rig idea. Sounds ok in theory but doesn't work in practise. From my experience of using the adjustable zig ( which is after all the same thing but with added bouyancy ) unless you have the extra bouyancy of the float, there isn't enough bouyancy in the bait to help pull through the main line ( hope that makes sense :D )

Finally as regards PVA and shrink tubing etc. The problem I have posting advice across the pond is knowing what you can and can't get as regards rig components. To be honest mate I've just checked out what wacker has and if its there ( or a similar product ) I've put it in. Best I can do at present.

Keep up the thinking pal though :D

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Re. the running rig idea. Sounds ok in theory but doesn't work in practise. From my experience of using the adjustable zig ( which is after all the same thing but with added bouyancy ) unless you have the extra bouyancy of the float, there isn't enough bouyancy in the bait to help pull through the main line ( hope that makes sense  )

Could you use a regular clip on float for added bouyancy? Is it possible that the carp get spooked by the float below the bait?

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Could be worth trying - I use a Drennan sub float because it's a clear and very bouyant float, although I couldn't get hold of them easily when I first started using an adjustable set-up so I used a pike fishing float instead.

However if you're talking about using it in shallower waters ( like the one you are taking about for your night fishing trips ) I'd stick with the basic rig, as its much less hassle.

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Sod,

Thats the place I was thinking of using the zig rig. I think when I go there in the morning to chum the area I will plumb the area so I could just set up the regular zig rig at home.

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