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How the size and weight of your bait can make the difference between a pick up and a rejection

20mm boilies with hook and baiting needle

Choice of bait size and shape is fundamental to the mechanics of any rig. Don’t believe me? Fair enough. Have you ever tried to perform the palm test, on a rig, without a boilie? No? then why don’t you have a go.

testing your carp rig on your hand

If you make my simple carp rig for estate lakes shown above, then test it without the 2 x 20mm boilies. You’ll see that the rig fails the test. In fact most rigs would. Try the test again but with just 1 x 20mm bait. It works better but it’s not what I’d call 100% certain. Only with the 2 x 20mm baits and an ultra sharp hook (See article how to make your own ultra sharp hooks) does this rig flip and grab like a tiger time after time every time!

If you’re used to Carp fishing in the UK with single 16mm boilies on size 8 or 10 hooks then double 20mm on a size 4 is going to look insane!

Please bear with me!

I’ve chosen a size 4 due to the size of the fish and the nature of the lake. The smallest hook I would ever fish with at Beausoleil is a size 6 again in the wide gape X pattern (anything lighter may open up during the fight). Single 16mm bait on a size 4 is unbalanced so I’ve upped the bait size to be in proportion to the size of the hook. The smallest carp you’re likely to hook at Beausoleil is 20lb with large mouths, in which even this rig looks lost! The double bait makes the rig a real mouthful to deal with and the weight of the baits means that they pull the hook rapidly down to the floor of the carp’s mouth where you need the hook to be.

UK variation

At Beausoleil, during the closed season, when bites are hard to find, sometimes I scale this rig down to 2 x 15mm baits in a solid PVA. This would be a great approach for many UK venues and it’s one I use when targeting smaller carp at other venues here in France.

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