How to tie the perfect maggot rig


When winter comes and the fishing starts to slow down, there is only one bait I really turn to, and that’s the humble maggot. I like to use bunches of maggots so I don’t have to drop my hook size at all. I’m a fan of big hooks all year round, and when using quantities of maggots, I also like to ‘match the hatch’ and use them as hookbaits.

Using a maggot clip is the fastest and easiest way to thread maggots on to your rig and is much quicker than other methods out there. Here is my six-step guide to tying the rig that’s been doing the business for me.

Tying Stuart’s maggot rig

 Tying Stuart’s maggot rig

  • STEP 1: Choose the right components. You need a wide-gape hook (size 4 is ideal); look for one that has been micro ground for extra sharpness. You also need a coated braid, a lead clip, tail rubber, small rig ring, anti-tangle sleeve, maggot clip, coloured line aligner, some super-heavy tungsten putty, a tube of PVA mesh and finally some liquid additive for that extra attraction.
  • STEP 2: The rig is constructed using a coated braid. The first step is to cut about 30cm of the braid from the spool and strip back 10cm of the coating. Then, using a half blood knot, attach a maggot clip to the braid. This is a quick and easy method of threading maggots on to the rig – quicker than other methods – and has put more carp on the bank for me. Once this is in place, trim off the excess material and burn the remainder back with a lighter to neaten the rig.
  • STEP 3: Secure a rig ring in place using a double overhand knot. The rig ring should be around 15-20mm from the top of the maggot clip. Slide the rig ring on to the hook and position it opposite the barb of the hook. Once in position, tie a knotless knot to your size 4 wide-gape hook.
  • STEP 4: Slide on a coloured line aligner and pull it over the eye of the hook – this will disguise the hook and make it look like a maggot. Add a small piece of Graviton putty around 1cm from the end of the line aligner – this will keep the rig pinned down to the lake bed.
  • STEP 5: Now tie a loop knot in the end of the rig and blob it with a lighter down to secure it in place. I like my rigs to be between 10cm and 15cm in length to ensure they have enough movement to suck in the hook and then feel the weight of the lead. Now place an anti-tangle sleeve on to the end of the rig and tie the end to the quick-change swivel, situated inside your lead-clip set-up.
  • STEP 6: Start to thread the maggots on to the maggot clip. I like to use between 8 and 12 maggots. To finish the presentation off, add a golf-ball-sized Meltz PVA mesh bag of maggots. Make sure to leave a long tail on the PVA bag, as you need to thread this on to your hook. Then wrap the tag end of the PVA around your hair to ensure the hair on your rig doesn’t tangle when casting out into the lake. Finally, to give the bait extra pulling power, add a small drop of additive on to the PVA bag. I use Almighty Almond flavour.

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