Where do we start with commercial pole rigs? What’s pole type float? Which line?, stotz’s or shots? What Shotting to use? What size hook length and what type of hook?
The answer is to use Youtube and Social media
Its all very confusing and you can get lost spending many hours watching Youtube clips from the Country’s leading matchman. There’s lots of content out there and I’ve spend hours watching and learning from these excellent video’s from the likes of Jamie Hughes, Des Shipp and the like. These anglers will run though all their float selections and shotting patterns, better than I could ever do. So with this post I just share how I tie my rigs and organise them in a way best suited to me. Giving me all the options I need.
Summer Carp Rigs (Long line, Windy conditions)
I want a good all rounder and Guru’s Wire Pinger with its sensitive 1.5mm tip its fit the bill. The rugby ball body shape and wire stem give good stability at long range and I use this in windy conditions as the float is great for combating tow. Mainline is 0.19mm N-Gauge with a spread bulk of stotz’s in 2 inch gaps from the hook length. A 6 inch Guru SLWG banded Ready rig size 14 (0.15mm) completes the rig (No need to tie your own hook lengths these days!) Use a 16-18 elastic
Summer Carp Rigs (long line, Calm conditions)
In calm conditions I prefer a slim bodied pole float as this gives less resistance to the fish and stops the fish ejecting out the hook. Preston’s Carp Pellet with it 2mm tip is ideal. It’ll support a large hard pellet and this will be shotted with a spread bulk of stotz’s on 0.19mm mainline similar to the Guru Wire Pinger. A 6 inch Guru SLWG banded Ready rig size 14 (0.15mm) completes the rig (No need to tie your own hook lengths these days!) Use a 16-18 elastic
Summer Short pole line Rigs
Generally in the summer months the carp will be closer in towards the margins in the warmer shallower water this is where the short line can ready produce with large pellets, meat or corn. Guru’s Diamond is tough and has a long glass stem which will give stability when you are fishing over a pile of bait and the 1.7 tip will support all large baits. fished on 0.19mm N Gauge with a spread bulk of stotz’s above the hook length. The hook length is a Preston ready rig and a heavy carp hook is ideal such as the 6 inch size 14 XSH (0.15mm) Preston Ready Rig. Use a 16-18 elastic (no need to tie your own these days)
Pre-tied Hook lengths
These days I see no need tie my own hook lengths. The quality of Ready Rigs available in tackle shops has made this tiresome job redundant now. I just buy them now. Ranging from the heavy Preston innovations XSH versions for summer carp fishing, down to the GPM’s and SFL for the depths of winter. The Guru Banded SLWG;s are used for banded hard pellets. All these are available in different sizes and line diameters. There really is not point tying your own these days now. However sometimes you want a 4inch hook length when fishing in the margins or shallow but all you need to do is cut a ready rig down, simple!
Summer Margins Rigs
Margin fishing needs a short strong float with a thick tip to eliminate liners. The Preston Edge is ideal with its 2.5mm tip and and the 0.19mm mainline line goes through the body of the float making it ultra strong. You want to use a heavy float in the margins with a short 4 inch hook length to nail the bait to the bottom of the pool to combat the bait moving around when large carp enter the margins. I use a cut down XSH 12 or 14 Ready Rig with strong elastics 16-20.
Summer Shallow fishing
For Shallow fishing for F1’s, Preston F1 Shallow and Preston Dibbers are my pole floats choices and the Carp Shallow for proper Carp
Dibber floats come into play when fishing very shallow. up to a foots deep with a small bulk of stotz’s above a 4 inch hook length. I use a 4×10 float sometimes only 6 inches deep. There no needs to strike as the fish will hook themselves. The thick 2.4mm tip caters for all pellets and these small floats are inline so there are less tangles when slapping. I use 0.17mm mainline on these rigs as it’s more durable than using a small line diameter , this again helps with less tangles. Use a light elastic so hooked fish can swim away from the other feeding fish and they don’t get spooked. The key to this method is to keep the feed area tight and to keep lifting a dropping in the rig. When your fishing shallow the fish can be at different layers and once you start fishing deeper than 18 inches a small float with a bristle is better than a dibber float. This is so you can read the float better and you can see the bites better. If you begin to miss bites this is probably because the fish are shallower and are intersecting the bait shallower. If this is the case return to a shallow Dibber rig. The set up is the same as the Dibber floats and feeding and slapping is the same. Although these floats are called F1 Shallow these floats can be used for Carp fishing too the float are very strong.
Fishing for Carp Shallow requires a bigger bristled pole able to support a 6mm pellet. I switch to a Preston Carp Shallow with 0.17mm mainline set up with a heavier 13 hollo elastic which can be fished at different depths around 2 foot deep with all the shot directly below the float stem. Just the natural fall of the pellet through the water is required. If mugging is your game then a heavier float with a long lash will enable to to flick the rig out to any cruising carp, Using a good pair of polarised sunglasses is a must to spot the carp though the glare on the water surface.
Small Carp/F1 Rigs
I visit some venues where the stamp of fish is predominately F1’s and small Carp so I fine down my rigs and turn to the F1 Maggot when fishing with maggots as the name name suggests. The 1.5mm hollow tip and carbon stem suits small baits fished thorough the water with a spread bulk of stotz’s. I use these rigs where the stamp of fish is a lot smaller and you can get away with lighter hook lengths from 0.13mm in Summer to 0.11mm in winter. So the mainline drops to 0.15mm to get more bites. Should a hook a large Carp the float is strong enough to cope when balanced with a softer elastic ranging from 10-14. A 6 inch Ready rig in either a GPM or SFL in winter conditions to used.
For soft and hard pellet fishing in the summer for F1’s and small Carp I turn to the F1 Pellet. I just find it easier using the F1 Pellet and F1 Maggot floats for each bait the name suggests as it just makes it easier finding the right rig in my seatbox. The F1 Pellet is similar to the F1 maggot but has a wire stem so the the bait is fished on the bottom and the shotting is more closer to the hook length. You are not fishing through the water like the F1 maggot’s carbon stem so the shotting is generally in 1 inch gaps above the hook length. Mainline is the same as the F1 Maggot, 0.15mm and hook lengths vary from 0.13mm GPM’s to 0.11mm SFL. I cut down a pretied 6 inch hook length to 4 inches as F1’s can to finicky feeders and can eject the bait before you see the bite and you need that last shot nearer the hook for the bite to register on the float.
When it comes to winter commercial fishing you can either sit it out on a carp bait or keep busy catching all that swims. Maggots and Pinkies come into play now as natural baits will get more bites. But Bread and corn can still get you that bonus Carp. Your tackle needs to be finned down even more now. Sensitive floats are needed to see the bites and the tip needs to be dotted right down. So I turn to the F1 fine. It’s 1.2mm tip is very sensitive and mainline drops down to 0.13mm with a 0.11mm hook length with a fine wire gauged hook. The size 18 (0.11mm) Preston SLF Ready is used on an 11 Hybrid elastic will still land large Carp. I fish this with a spread bulk of 3inch gaps of no.10 and no.11 stotz for a slow natural fall.
A bag of Silver fish can boost your match winning weight. Carp will often only feed in the first and last hours in a match. This is when some silver fish can help get you over the line. I select a Chianti float with its cane tip tied up on 0.13mm mainline with a spread bulk of no.10’s and no.11 stotz’s for a gentle fall through the water layers. The hook length drops as low as I dare now with half a chance of getting a good fish out. I use a size 20, 0.10mm SFL ready rig now with a 4-6 elastic. Maggots and pinkies are a good bait for all silvers, Skimmers, Ide and Roach. But Caster can also be good for quality Roach trickled though the swim. little and often. The cane tip can be difficult to see in low winter light and it’s best fished close in.
Shotting Patterns explained
Matty Dawes has produced some excellent Youtube videos showing how to tie up rigs with the correct shoting patterns. Far better than I could explain!
If you’ve reached the bottom of this page I hope all the information here has made sense to you and you go on to catch plenty of fish with your own pole rigs.