The Ultimate Rig Guide

As a seasoned old campaigner who’s been on the banks and in the industry for many years, I wasn’t sure how this new publication from the guys as Carpology and Maximum Carp would stack up against some of the quality publications on rigs and rig-thinking that have gone before it, and I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised. Don’t get me wrong, I know they put together two very impressive titles each month, but my fear was that much of the content in this new publication would be a compilation of previously published articles from their magazines all stitched together… how wrong I was!

Whilst I’ve never been a fan of the word ‘ultimate’ in carp angling, I have to say that this rig guide really does take some beating - it’s the most refreshing piece of angling-related literature I’ve picked up in a good while, and after reading it cover to cover over the last month or so, it’s even got this old dog thinking about some new tricks to roll out and use to my advantage on the waters I’m going to be targeting during 2012.

From the novice or intermediate anglers perspective, what I like about the guide is that it’s not just a book full of ‘tie & try’ rigs. There’s all the information you need to go with each rig; the thinking behind its construction and mechanics, advice on where and when it should be used, a shopping list of rig bits you’ll need to construct it, and of course, fantastic photographic and illustrative images allowing you to follow along and tie them up as easily as possible.

The Ultimate Rig GuideIt doesn’t just jump straight in, either; first there’s a foundations section explaining how carp feed, what happens when they sample a bait, and how this affects hooking and hook holds – all fundamental parts to the puzzle when trying to understand which rigs you should use, and more importantly, when!

There’s also good guidance section on knots, and then we’re into the thick of it. This publication really goes to town; firstly showing us countless different rig set ups in glorious detail, before diving straight into a section which talks to all the big names including Gaz Fareham, Adam Penning, Jon ‘Shoes’ Jones, Nigel Sharp, Kevin Nash, Martin Locke, Lewis Read, Ian Chillcott and others, detailing some of their favoured rigs and approaches, again in microscopic detail. This, for me, gives a real insight to how some of these guys approach their fishing from a strategic point of view, and clearly demonstrates how they are able to put so many carp on the bank - it’s certainly given me plenty of food for thought.  

That’s far from the end of the story, mind you. The guide than has some wonderful (not to mention lengthy!) rig thinking articles from the likes of Terry Hearn and Jason Hayward, which again, really get the brain ticking over. There’s then a section on lead set ups, along with some nice bring-together pieces on understanding rigs, hooks and leads as a whole. No modern publication would be complete with out a few ‘edges’, and the final part does just that, with some handy ‘how to’ shorts covering various aspects of rig making and baiting.

All in all, this is a quality publication, well worthy of the price tag. What I really like is the fusion of old and new, or to be more precise, new thinking which moves forward older tried and trusted approaches. Many of the rigs are nothing new, but the way that the authors are fishing them – especially some of the new breed of coming through – definitely is, and I don’t mind saying that I’ll be incorporating more than a few subtle changes to my own approaches this year as a result of reading this publication cover to cover – and I’ve been at it for over twenty years! For those fresh into the sport, this really is an invaluable addition to one's carp fishing armoury.

I guess the ‘ultimate’ plaudit would be that fact that I’m keeping it! The publishers kindly sent me a copy to take a look at, and it was fully my intention to use it as a prize or giveaway on my site – but I have to tell you that it’s going absolutely nowhere! I’ve found myself going back to it on a number of occasions when I catch myself thinking about new ideas, and as a result, I can see that it’s going to be a valuable point of reference for some time to come…. if anybody wants it, they’ll have to fight me for it!

132 pages, Priced at £14.99. Available from selected tackle shops and Carpology.

Julian Grattidge
Northwestcarp.co.uk
January 2012