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How to test this semi-fixed inline carp rig

I’ve always felt that simply following instructions on how to tie a rig and then fishing with it is an incomplete exercise. Many articles fail to provide:

  • a description of the type of angling situation that the rig has been designed to cope with (this is covered in part 1),
  • a decent explanation of the actual rig mechanics and an explanation of any tests that you can do to prove you’ve got it right (this is covered below and in part 4).

To rectify this, I’d like to show you how test the rig that you made, so that you can understand it fully and have confidence in it.

Testing the rig mechanics

semi fixed inline carp rig - how to test the rig mechanics 1

Take hold of the baits and the other end of the hooklink and lightly tension to the braid, the thick braid in combination with the in-turned eye, and the two turns below the hair, cocks the hook over at a more aggressive angle than a regular knotless knot. This change in angle has the effect of opening up the distance between the point of the hook and the eye (the gape) when measured perpendicularly to the angle of the braid under tension. This increases the chance of getting a pick up and gives you the effect of a line aligner or shrink tube, without a line aligner or shrink tube.

semi fixed inline carp rig - how to test the rig mechanics 2

If you hold the bait only and let the hook and braid hang freely, the hook point is presented in a near horizontal position. This matches the angle of the floor of the carp’s mouth when it picks up the rig. As the fish tilts up to move off, this angle changes and the hook point presents itself perfectly for gaining a hook hold as the fish hits the lead. I want the point of the hook to be the first thing to engage with the floor of the carp mouth, not the bend of the hook as in the KD rig. This is why it’s whipped down the shank until perpendicular to the point.

Using the palm test to test this rig

Whether you’re targeting pressured carp and catfish in the UK or France, it’s important that your rig is up to the job. If your rig doesn’t turn over well enough, you will be done time and time again and may miss the opportunity of a new PB. In my experience, the mouths of the larger French fish are generally much harder than those found in the UK and they are subsequently harder to prick. Currently, the best way of testing your rig is with the simple and yet effective “Palm Test”. This test is much more effective than the finger test and can really expose weaknesses in rig design.

rig palm test

In this example, the combination of a hand sharpened size 4 wide gaped hook (see related article: How to create your own ultra sharp hooks for more information), 25lb braid, a well tied variant of the knotless knot and the weight of 2 x 20mm  baits means that when you place this rig in the middle of your hand, as shown, it turns over and grabs hold immediately. Even if it doesn’t flip instantly (due to lack of tension on hair) the hook will still turn nicely as you continue to draw it towards the edge of your hand.

The weight of the baits is an important factor and unless the hair is under tension, the rig won’t flip and turn as quickly. Try taking one bait off to see what I mean. If you really want to get as close as possible to what happens for real then do the test under water.

In the final part of this series, we’ll look at the lead setup.

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