A Variation Of A Classic

Carl King takes us through his variation of the extremely popular hinged stiff rig.

I’ve been using this rig for a couple of years now and have had some fantastic results from a variety of venues. It’s nothing revolutionary; in fact, it’s just a simple variation of the extremely popular and well-documented hinged stiff rig.

The hinged stiff rig consists of a stiff, curved section at the hook end, as well as a stiff boom section. There’s no denying it’s an absolutely fantastic setup for large carp, but it does have a couple of flaws, especially if you fish venues that contain any weed, silt or debris. I target a lot of such venues and, although I love the rig, the stiff boom section makes it difficult to present a hookbait just how I’d like, so I started playing around with a supple boom section. I suppose the supple section you choose comes down to personal preferance, though I’ve always been a firm fan of coated hooklinks. Although braided materials can work, they are much more prone to tangles.

The 30lb 2oz common caught using Carl’s hinged stiff rig variation

A variation of a classic

To begin with I was joining the two materials with a ring swivel. Although it worked, I did feel the presentation looked a little bit clumsy, so I started attaching the stiff section to the coated braid using a simple back-to-back grinner or an Albright knot. Once the stiff material and coated hooklink are joined, I generally strip back a couple of inches of coating because I want to improve rig movement. After attaching my hookbait, it’s just a matter of adding some putty to the knot to ensure the rig sinks really, really slowly. It takes a little bit of tweaking, but once finished you’ve got an incredible big-fish presentation suitable for a variety of lake beds.

I’ve had some great sessions using the rig since the spring but one that really comes to mind was a capture from my southern syndicate lake. After work, I headed straight down to the lake for the night. It was my birthday the following day and I’d managed to book the day off work, enabling me to spend longer than usual at the lake (most of my sessions are overnighters). After arriving at the lake, I did a couple of laps before settling in a swim where I’d seen a few fish show.

Fortunately, I didn’t need to have a lead around or make any disturbance because I’d fished the swim on a previous session and knew exactly where I needed to be fishing. Two variations of the hinged stiff rigs were attached to the rods before I flicked them out into the pond. It was time for a well-earned brew…

Carl uses these components to tie his hinged stiff rigs

Carl favours a size 6 CHD hook

The coating can be stripped to creat extra flexibilty

I was up at various points throughout the night and heard no signs of carp. Fortunately, at around 10am, I saw one fish show down the treeline to the right of my swim. I knew the area was covered in weed and debris, and I decided to reel in one of my rigs and sling it on to the showing fish. Before casting it out, though, I extended the boom section to ensure that the presentation would sit okay.

I flicked the rod on to the spot and was relatively confident when I felt a subtle ‘donk’ transmit through the rod tip. As I sank my line and crouched to set the bobbin, the line pulled tight and the rod was away. I kept steady pressure on the fish throughout the fight, constantly trying to steer it away from the large weedbeds that spanned the length of the margins. Eventually, after a couple of worrying moments under the rod tip, a huge common emerged a few feet from the bank, taking gulps of air. I knew it was ready for the net and managed to slip it in first time. I knew it was a very good fish, so I secured it in the margins and shouted my friend from the next swim. The fish weighed 30lb 2oz and was an epic way to spend my birthday. It just proved how important location is. A couple of seconds in the right place is better than 12 hours in the wrong.

Another victim of the hinged stiff rig

Carl uses an Albright or back-to-back grinner knot to join the coated braid to the stiff hook section

If you’re targeting a lake that contains weed and debris, and you want to use a rig that’s got a certain amount of big-fish pedigree, take a look at my variation. It’s very simple, easy to tie and incredibly effective.

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