Whilst I’m more than happy to make up rigs on the bank if I’m faced with a particular situation or problem, I’m firmly of the opinion that the best place you could possibly make up carp rigs is in the comfort of your own home!
Making up effective carp rigs that are going to go the distance requires concentration, patience, and commitment. Time and time again I witness anglers rush when making rigs on the bank – the end result is that they are not as good as they could be – and when it comes to catching specimen carp, my experience is that it’s those who go the extra mile tend reap the rewards.
I’ve read many articles in the past where anglers talk about getting to the bank, assessing the situation and then spending an hour tying up rigs to suit. Each to their own, but to me that’s madness – you can only catch a fish if your rig is in the water, and an hour spent tying up rigs on the bank is an hour wasted. What’s more, I bet if the same people tied them up at home in a controlled environment, it would take them far less than an hour!
Each week, I find a bit of time to make up a few rigs. Usually at night, when the kids have gone to bed, so there are no distractions. Then, I’ll gather my end tackle items, make a brew, switch on the radio and make up some rigs. This way, everything is totally relaxed and, because I’m not rushing to get the rig made and out into the water, I can ensure perfection at every stage and if it’s not right, I simply scrap it and start again with no fishing time lost.
I’m not one of these who believes in overcomplicating rigs; as a stalking angler at heart I believe simplicity is the key, though when creating rigs for static approaches, I always use a wide variety of hooklink materials for different situations and waters, and incorporate components I believe will aid the pick-up, penetration and setting of the hook.
By far the biggest mistake I see anglers make when tying up rigs on the bank is the failure to test them properly before sending them out. I’m pretty anal about my rigs reacting in the way I want them to and will combine many elements in their construction to ensure they behave as intended.
The only way to ensure your rig acts perfectly is to test it – properly! I know that on all of my critically balanced boilie rigs, a 15mm cork ball wafter with a sinking corn stop is enough to make it dance along the bottom perfectly – because I test every single one at home. I know that six live maggots on my double hook corn rig are enough to make it sit up an inch off the bottom perfectly, whilst if I want it to drop to the deck I add eight maggots. Again, I know this because I test each rig before I get to the bank...
NO rig makes it into my tackle box unless it’s been properly tested with bait on in my dip tub at home. It’s just another level of confidence added, so that when I get to the bank I don’t have to worry about any aspect of my rigs – I can devote all of my attention to my watercraft. It’s an incredibly rare occurrence that one of my rigs fails, and over the years my rigs have ultimately proved successful in countless situations where they have well outperformed their breaking strains and tolerances, and I’m sure this is due to the fact that I make each and every one carefully and concisely at home and test it fully before it makes it out onto the bank!
I see a lot of people dropping takes out on the bank, losing rigs and all sorts. Much of it is put down to luck – or the lack of it – and they re-rig to try again. Personally, having witnessed the way many tie up their rigs on the bank, I’d put it down to poor planning. If your rig has not been constructed with care and tested so that you know it will perform to the best of its ability, then there’s a very good chance it’s going to fail!
Therefore, my advice would be to make them at home, where there’s no rush to get them finished. I actually enjoy the process and it allows me to try and test new things without losing valuable fishing time on the bank!