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shadowline

Hair Rigs - The best way to fish them?

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Up until recently I fished corn directly on a hook and had some pretty high hook-up rates.  After watching many videos and reading many articles I decided to make a change to using hair rigs with pack baits and/or method feeders (depending on where I was fishing).  Since that point production has dropped dramatically.  I have plenty of pickups but very few hookups.  I was using the hair rig method of hooking the loop back over the hook in lieu of using a bait stop.  So I figured this "cheat" so many were touting was likely counteracting the benefits of the hair rig.  So, I started using stops on the rig.  No change.  Any ideas?  Am I just on a cold streak for catching?

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Well the rig worked perfectly on this guy just now. 

20170901_191123.jpg

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Bait stops?  I use short pieces of rubber bands.  I can make about 8-10 from one rubber band, depending how precise I am with the scissors.  I cut at an angle so I have a point to insert into the hair loop.  There are some great tutorials on the forum and on youtube for tying hair rigs.  My friend needmotime2fish shared his method- quick and hold up great.

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Thanks guys.  I actually do know how to tie and rig hair rigs.  The ones I tied up are exactly as they should be.  My problem has been a very low hookup rate on them. (much lower than when using corn directly on the hook).

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Try this- when you run the line through the hook eye, make sure it is passed from the back to the front (point).  When you pull the line, it will cause the hook point to move up and hopefully make a good hookup.  Try it.  This is how I do it.

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I too was very disappointed in the hair rigs I had been tying, but just in the past 10 days, I tied 6 more and they are catching up to my subtle bit technique. The main difference....-I tie short (3-4") hook links to the method feeder, sticking the eye of the hook into the pack (panko, strawberry jello and sweet corn juice), as a blow-back rig with #6 Korda Raptor wide gap hooks, and bingo, I've caught a half dozen carp, including an 11-11 grass carp today (in a slough off the Missouri river), in the past 10 days, as opposed to more than 700 carp in the past year, with 2, yes 2!! carp on hair rigs, and although I specialize in creeks with the subtle bite technique, I am shifting to lake/pond fishing, which appears more conducive to hair rigs....but I'm just a newbie......tweaking the hair rig ( I was using circle hooks as well.) has been most rewarding!!...........hope this helps, but I'd rely on the master for better info!....   :)

grass_carp_11lb_11oz_Sept_3_2017.JPG

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hooks are critical as are rig dynamics.... sizes, from 8...to size 2.....a method ball of bread, grits and sweet corn fished with a single grain of pop up plastic corn dipped in glug will catch you more fish than you can imagine...shorter hook links and bold rig of 3oz leads...google rigs on youtube.......chumming is an art form....chic peas, hemp, rice, corn, pellets like layers pellets or calf manna....boilies rolling your own is a blast......big fish are cautious, or they don't get big chumming a spot over time gets larger fish feeding with confidence..if your not landing bigger fish..thats prob why..some waters are over run with fish under 5 pounds...but you might be surprised whats in there....night fishing seems is when the bigs come out....

 

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here is a carp spooking off a rig

 

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one of the best things I ever did was by better hook link materials, its pricey buy lasts,

my catch rate jumped 100 fold, same bait-hook-etc but this alone will catch you more fish,

hinge rig...KD rigs..chod... so much more you can do rig wise

below are the ones I have used, I like 20# 

If I was to give anyone starting advise is learn all you can about tying good rigs and why its important

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ntrap.jpg

snakeskinbite.gif

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Interesting video, MOCarp.  However, I would have lots of questions about the video.

1.  Was it the rig itself?

2. Was there some repellent scent on the rig as sunscreen, etc.

2. Was the flavor, if any, indicative of being caught in the past?  Bass have been shown to be conditioned to certain lures.  That is why bass anglers have hundreds of dollars invested in artificial baits.

To me, there are many variables here.  Like casting to a bass 25 times and getting a strike on the 26th cast.  Why that one cast?

One thing would have been to have everything identical except for one hair rig and one with the bait on the hook. 

 

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5 hours ago, Dale Holmes said:

I seldom use hair rigs anymore.  I use a more simple rig:

 

Dale Holmes what kind of bait do you use with that set up?

 

4 hours ago, Cannonball said:

Interesting video, MOCarp.  However, I would have lots of questions about the video.

1.  Was it the rig itself?

2. Was there some repellent scent on the rig as sunscreen, etc.

2. Was the flavor, if any, indicative of being caught in the past?  Bass have been shown to be conditioned to certain lures.  That is why bass anglers have hundreds of dollars invested in artificial baits.

To me, there are many variables here.  Like casting to a bass 25 times and getting a strike on the 26th cast.  Why that one cast?

One thing would have been to have everything identical except for one hair rig and one with the bait on the hook. 

 

Cannonball hard to say, it seems like they are touching line..almost like giving them a "shock" I know a braid hook link seems less to spook carp for me and catfish.....I think bigger fish because they live a very long time figure out how to avoid getting caught...usually just by being more cautious, baby carp get munched if they just swam up and started feeding in the open..even then the fastest strongest dart away to live another day..would explain why carp are so much stronger than other fishes on that 1st run..as I started to use more sophisticated rigs my size of fish went up, I think bigs are there, just mouth it once..feel a hook or line then eject it without getting hooked...better rigs hooks them the 1st suck.....

Edited by MoCarp
spelling

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There's a lot to consider in this thread.  I hooked into a huge fish on a hair rig yesterday (only to have it spit the hook 5 minutes later!) but I had countless other "hits" with no hookups.  It is very possible there are smaller bass hitting the corn and giving the impression I'm missing carp though.  I think I will need to experiment further with my rigs.  Perhaps tie some new hair rigs, and experiment with baiting directly to the hook again.  

I was speaking with a gentleman fishing next to me yesterday and he shared in the same location last year he and his wife caught approximately 200 carp, but had only landed about 50 so far this year.  Perhaps they've just gotten smarter!

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Quarter stick of TNT will do the job every time!  Also known as a DuPont sinker.

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When i was young we would use m80s to get bait. We would turn the lights on over the water at night and as all the bait fish schooled we would drop one in. It would stun them and we would scoop up and either geind them into chum or toss them in a cooler for the next day. Got in a lot of trouble doing it but had plenty of free bait!

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google rigs on you tube......if you get hook pulls and loosing fish its a sign of rig issues....i'd say try hard deer corn soaked over night then boiled in crushed red pepper as hook bait....simple and works ....plastic pop up corn is dirt cheap..it helps make your offerings neutrally buoyant, that allows it to fly right into the carps mouth, and as the hook turns it should hook the fish in the bottom of the mouth, line aligner shrink tubing etc..10 bucks can buy all the little things you'd need off Ebay or amazon... BCT about anywhere, make some glug from flavoring in the baking section of your local supermarket glycerine and a few drops of anything sweet, molasses some aminos from the vitamin areas and you'll catch way more than most

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There are some definite steps to improve your hookup ratio, but it depends on where you're fishing. For example, what's the average size of the carp in your swim? If it's around 8-10 pounds a size 6 or 4 hook should work fine. If the fish are larger and average 20+ pounds, a size 2 or even a size 1 hook can work. Remember that a 20lb Carp has a mouth about 3" wide, so a 2" hook should fit fine in there. Carp hooks are made so small because most of the market is in Europe, where the fish are most pressured and smaller hooks are required to land them.

While on the topic of pressured fish, if you are fishing a smaller lake or anywhere the fish are likely to have been caught more than once, shorten your hair and hook length. The fish could cautiously be slurping the bait, and any hair longer than 1/2" could miss the hookset, and they are likely moving slowly between baits so a short hooklength/leader will set the hook sooner, reducing the odds of an ejection.

on the other hand, if you're fishing a large river with a nonstop swarm of hungry, voracious carp (Delaware, Raritan, Potomac) you want the opposite: long hairs and long hook lengths. In these rivers the average size is often well over 20lbs, and as I previously mentioned most fish have a mouth over 4" wide, so a 2" hair     is not going to miss the hookup. Also, because the fish are so unpressurized you can use a longer hooklength, because the fish are likely moving quickly between baits and feeding areas so competition is reduced.

Finally, one tip I can make reguardless of where you're fishing is to use a blowback rig. A small ring is placed along the shank of the hook, and tied to the hair.When a fish attempts to eject the bait, the ring slides up the hook forcing the fish to blow the bait out slightly further to eject it. It might also be in your best interest to add a rig kicker to your hook. It pivots the hook angle about 15 degrees, so that you get the benefits of a circle hook on an extremely sturdy, j carp hook.

hope this helped, and good luck!

Lizardman529

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On 9/4/2017 at 11:05 AM, Dale Holmes said:

I seldom use hair rigs anymore.  I use a more simple rig:

Here's the link:  

 

 

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Not sure why you keep loosing fish on the hair.  The hook is fully exposed.  Make sure you are threading the line the correct way into the eye.  I also see people making a very long hair and the bait is very far apart  from the hook.  I am not a fan of that.  There should be a little gap but not a lot.  

If you are using braid or any kind of supple hook link, use a korda kicker.  it will create that "bend" for better hook ups. 

Or just use mono.  Use fluro.  The stiffness of the mono will naturally create that bend without the korda kicker.  

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shadowline, why don't you take a good picture of your rig, and post it here. Then we can discuss more constructively. There is no discussion that a properly tied hair rig will give you more (and better) hookups than putting corn on the hook. But there are a few subtle points that could make your rig ineffective. Hard to say without seeing it. Let's see what you do!

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I agree with jerome.  post up a pic.  

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