The Best Carp Rigs For Beginners - (Complete Guide To Buying Or Tying Your Own Rigs)

beginners guide to carp fishng rigs

So you're into carp fishing and you have started to research the wonderful (yet very complex) world of carp fishing rigs. This subject can be an absolute minefield these days with all sorts of fancy components and bells and whistles thrown at a tiny 6" length of material.

On top of this, everyone seems to be shouting about how good a particular rig is over the other. For a beginner, this can all be a bit of a headache!

In this article, we aim to be the painkillers you need to clear this headache! We will take you through everything you need to know about carp fishing rigs from what tools you need to how to tie them.

Our aim is to make a very complicated subject simple for you, so let's get into this...

Strapped For Time?

This article is a full and comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about carp fishing rigs if you are a beginner. If you are in a rush then you can skip straight to our recommended rigs below.

Alternatively, please read on for a detailed look at everything you need to know about carp rigs.

Please read on for more information on everything you need to know about the best carp rigs for beginners...

Why use a carp fishing rig in the first place?

At the end of the day, you can still catch carp freelining a bait on a hook with no other paraphernalia involved at all!

Various studies over the years have shown that as carp feed they are constantly sucking in what they see and feel as potential food and blowing out non-food items or anything that feels unnatural.

A baited hook falls in the unnatural category so the studies have shown that the carp, more often than not, will attempt to blow your hook bait out in a fraction of a second with not so much as a beep from your bite alarms.

Now a good, finely tuned, well-tied carp rig can change your fortunes quite drastically by making this blow-out action from a carp difficult for them. In turn, they quite often panic, hook themselves and swim off at speed producing what we call a 'run'.

So, in summary the use of a decent carp rig can significantly increase your success rate in carp fishing. 

The components of a basic carp rig

So a basic carp rig comprises of the following items:

  • Swivel (optional - can use loop knot)
  • Rig Tubing (optional)
  • Hook-link material
  • Hook
  • Choice of bait
  • Lead (inline or pear type)
  • Lead Clip (if using a semi-bolt rig)
  • Tail Rubber (if using a semi-bolt rig)
  • Lead core or anti-tangle tubing (optional)
beginners basic catp fishing rig
carp rig for beginners

For quick reference check out this handy rig components guide as a snapshot on what is recommended to use:

A table showing the recommended components of carp rigs:

Rig Hook-link Material Hook-link Length Hook Size Hook Type Recommended Bait
Standard Bottom Bait Braid, Mono, Fluoro or Stiff 6 to 10 inches 4 to 10 Wide Gape or Long-Shank Any Bait
Standard Popup Rig Braid or Stiff 6 to 10 inches 4 to 10 Wide Gape Any Buoyant Bait
D-Rig Bottom or Popup Mono, Fluoro or Stiff 6 to 10 inches 4 to 8 Wide Gape or Stiff Rigger Boilie, Pellet or Particle
Blowback Rig Bottom or Popup Braid, Mono, Fluoro or Stiff 6 to 10 inches 4 to 8 Wide Gape or Stiff Rigger Boilie, Pellet or Particle
Chod Rig Mono or Fluoro 1 to 3 inches 4 to 8 Stiff Rigger Popup Boilie
Ronnie Rig Braid, Mono, Fluoro or Stiff 4 to 8 inches 4 to 6 Curved Shank Popup Boilie
Zig Rig Mono or Fluoro Set to required depth 8 to 12 Wide Gape or Stiff Rigger Rig Foam, Popup Boilie, or Dog Biscuit

What do you need to tie a carp rig?

Carp rigs can be as simple or as complex as you want or need them to be. Depending on your circumstances you may have to use a different rig for each session and different ones within one session.

For this reason, it's best to arm yourself with everything you need to make a multitude of rigs so you can adapt to the particular angling situation you are in.

Like most things, if you have the right tools for the job, the job is much easier. The following list of components covers everything you need to kit yourself out properly with some good suggestions of specific products to buy if needed.

NGT Tackle Box

Tackle Box

If you were a tradesman and you didn't have a toolbox, you would probably be totally disorganised with tools all over the place.

The same goes with carp fishing. To keep things neat, tidy, and organised, ensure you have a decent tackle box that can hold everything you need to tie your rigs. 

NGT Rig Board

Rig Board

The tackle box above comes with a rig board as part of the setup. However, if you already have a tackle box but do not possess a rig board, we recommend you get one.

Rig boards keep your end tackle, neat, tidy, in good condition, and tangle-free.

Fox Braid Blades

Braid Blades

Have you ever tried cutting braid with scissors? Don't bother it makes a right mess and certainly won't help you with intricate rig tying.

This is where braid blades come in. They are basically scissors with serrated blades that cut braid, and indeed any hook-link material perfectly.

best rig components for carp fishing rigs

Lead core or rig tubing

Lead core or rig tubing is an optional extra to your carp rigs but one that we highly recommend using.

This is a long length of coated material that secures between your actual rig and the mainline.

It has an additional benefit, other than its anti-tangle properties of actually pinning down your mainline that is closest to your rig, keeping it as inconspicuous as possible.

If we had to choose between the two, the lead core would take preference over anti-tangle tubing as it can be quite fiddly to thread a long length of mainline through the tubing. 

Swivels & Hooks

Swivels & Links

Swivels and links are fundamental to carp fishing rigs as they allow for easy attachment to your mainline as and when required.

The use of lead clips, tail rubbers, and beads usually follows on from the swivel so it's best to get a selection of all of these before you attempt to tie your own carp rigs.

shrink tube

Shrink Tubing

Shrink tubing is a handy bit of equipment that is often used at the business end of a carp rig.

Shrink tubing shrinks when heated and we use it to create a bent hook effect which has anti-eject properties.

There is more on this within this article but for now, if you are serious about rig making, we recommend you get some.



Putty has a number of uses when tying carp fishing rigs. Its fundamental use is to keep things pinned down.

This can be in the form of your mainline, rig tubing, or, most commonly, when using a pop-up bait. 

A piece of putty an inch from your hook fished with a pop-up will ensure your bait is just an inch from the lake bed rather than the full length of your hook link.

Baiting Tools

Baiting Tools

When using a hair on a carp rig, you need a way of getting the bait onto the hook.

You do this by using a baiting needle which is basically a small tool that hooks onto the loop of the hair before you thread the bait onto it.

If the bait is hard and has no hole for the baiting needle to push through, you can always use a bait drill to create this hole. Once the bait is on the hair, you need a way of stopping the bait from slipping of the hair again whilst you are fishing.

To achieve this you will need to purchase some bait stops (also called boilie stops) which is a very small piece of plastic that forms a barrier between the hair loop and hook bait. The colour of the boilie stop ideally needs to match the bait you are using.



Of course, you can't catch fish without a hook at the end of your line. But if you are going for big fish, it pays not to skimp on this important piece of equipment.

Hooks vary in size and shape and we have more detail on how to choose the right hook coming up in this article.

hook length material for carp fishing rigs

Hook-length material

Another important part of a carp fishing rig is the hook-length material. The most common types are monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braid.

There are a multitude of ways to present your hook-length with more detail coming up in this article.

What hook to use on a carp rig?

There are many different types of carp fishing hooks on the market today, each with its own unique features and benefits. There are some carp hooks that better suit certain carp rigs so before you start tying your first rig, it's important to understand the different types available.

What type of carp fishing hooks are there?

Generally speaking, there are four types of genre you could classify carp hooks into. These are as follows:

  • Wide Gape
  • Long Shank
  • Stiff-rigger
  • Curved Shank

Wide Gape Hooks

wide gape hook carp rigs for beginners

Wide gape hooks are probably the most common hook type used, simply because of their versatile nature.

A wide-gape (as the name suggests) has a wide-gape, which has great anti-eject properties and as such is suited for both bottom-oriented carp rigs as well as pop-up types. 

Long Shank Hooks

long shank hooks carp rigs for beginners

Long shank hooks are great hooks for fishing bottom baits. Some anglers say that they are more suited to fishing particles with but we have had just as much success using them with boilies.

One of the real benefits of fishing long shank hooks is that they tend to provide much stronger hook holds than other hook types.

Stiff-rigger Hooks

stiff rigger hooks carp rigs for beginners

The stiff-rigger hooks have been tailor-made to perfectly compliment specific rigs. Fluorocarbon and monofilament hook links are widely used with this type of hook.

Probably the most common rig type that uses the stiff-rigger hook to its advantage is the chod rig.

Curved Shank Hooks

curved shank carp rigs for beginners

Curved shank hooks have started to become more popular in the carp angling world recently with the invention of more 'technical' carp rigs.

One such rig is the KD rig that relies on the curved shank hook as part of its make-up. Curved shank hooks have great anti-eject properties due to the turning nature of the curved shape.

What size carp hook should you use?

Those carp anglers that can keep their rig as natural and as inconspicuous as possible are quite often the more successful carp anglers. With the hook being the closest part of the rig to the hook bait, this has to be as subtle as possible.

With this in mind, you need to be using the smallest hook that you can get away with. When we say "get away with" we mean the hook has to be in tune with the rig you are using, the carp bait you are using, and the target fish size.

For example, you wouldn't want to use a 22mm boilie, fishing for 30lb+ carp with a size 20 hook! Equally, if you are on a runs water where the average-sized fish is say 8lb, a size 2 hook fished with a grain of sweetcorn is just as unbalanced.

We find that there are 3 hook sizes we tend to use the most for our carp fishing and fit the majority of fishing circumstances. These are sizes 6, 8, and 10.

Barbed or barbless carp hooks?

The decision of whether to use barbed or barbless hooks on your carp rigs is quite often governed by the rules of the particular water you are fishing.

You'll probably find that the majority of fisheries will dictate barbless hooks, some won't stipulate at all and others will have a different view of preferring barbed or micro barbed over barbless.

This is a subject that quite often divides opinion with different theories on which is better in the long term for the fish themselves. For a beginner who has just started to tie their own rigs, we advise tying a variety of rigs with both barbed and barbless so you can always abide by the rules of the fishery when setting up.

barbed vs barbless hooks for carp fishing rigs

Barbed vs Barbless Hooks

Sharpening you hook

If you have ever waited hours or even days for a take, only to then connect with potentially the fish of your dreams and to almost instantly disconnect from what was potentially the fish of your dreams you will know the importance of a sharp hook!

Hooks take quite a battering, especially on the cast, where they can easily blunt slightly against rocks and debris on the lakebed. To ensure you don't experience the scenario above, we recommend that you sharpen your hooks between casts.

The following video provides some guidance on sharpening your hook:

If you need a hook sharpening tool the following kit from NGT comes thoroughly recommended:


What hook-length material to use for your carp rig?

Hook-length material choice for your carp fishing rigs can be tricky, purely because there are so many different types, brands, and colours available on the market today.

The most common materials used for hook-lengths are as follows:


Mono is the most popular choice amongst anglers as a carp fishing mainline. But is it as popular as a hook-link material? The answer to this is no. With the rise of fluorocarbon and different types of braid, mono has definitely taken a back seat with carp rigs.

That said, it still has its uses and some people still swear by it. Sometimes, being different and going against the norm can pay dividends.

Extra Stiff Monofilament

Although the traditional monofilament material is less popular as a hook-link than it used to be, 'extra stiff' monofilament is becoming more popular. Some, more modern, carp rigs make the use of extra stiff monofilament as a key part of their makeup.

An example of this is the chod rig, which utilises the properties of extra stiff monofilament perfectly within its presentation. 

The following monofilament hook-link material is a good choice for the tying of carp rigs for beginners:

Fox Rigidity Trans Khaki Chod Filament Extra Stiff 30m: 30lb

10 new from £6.48
as of 23 June 2024 16:11


Fluorocarbon looks similar to monofilament however it's slightly stiffer and has far superior light refracting properties. These properties make it an ideal material for your hook-link when tying a carp rig.

Rigid, fluorocarbon type carp rigs are very popular these days with reputable fishing tackle companies like Fox, Nash, and Korda all making fluorocarbon-based hook-links, to perfectly suit certain, more advanced carp rigs.

The following option is a great choice for a fluorocarbon hook link material when looking at carp rigs for beginners:

IQ Intelligent Hook-link

11 new from £9.64
Free Delivery
as of 23 June 2024 16:11


Braid, naturally, is a very subtle material and as such can make an ideal hook-link. As we said earlier, the more natural you can make your carp rig look and feel the more successful you are likely to be. Out of all hook-link materials, braid will make your presentation feel the most natural to a fish when a bait is picked up.

The debate to have, however, is whether or not braid makes it natural enough? and if not, losing some of the anti-eject properties that mono and fluorocarbon bring could actually harm your chances of catching?

To counterargue that debate there are various types of braided hook-links that combat this potential issue. For example, you can buy coated braid that you can strip off to your required length to produce a hook-link with a small piece of subtle braid showing near the hook. The rest of the hook-link will then be the stiffer, coated material.

This effectively then brings back the anti-eject properties whilst maintaining a subtle edge to the bait on pick up. Another option is to use a length of tubing at the swivel end of your hook-link to, again, achieve the stiff to subtle effect.

These coated braids are two of our favourites and are ideal to use on carp rigs for beginners:

Korda Kamo 20lb Coated Hooklink

13 new from £13.57
as of 23 June 2024 16:11

Korda N-Trap Soft Coated Braid Hooklink In Various Sizes And Colours Brand New

as of 24 June 2024 15:03

How long should my hook length be?

A common question when beginners tie carp rigs is how long should the hook link be. The frustrating answer is that it depends! It depends on what rig you are tying and what your specific fishing circumstances are.

For example, a chod rig requires a hook link of 1 to 3 inches. A basic bottom bait rig will need a hook link of at least 4 inches but more commonly 6 to 10 inches in length. A zig rig can have a hook-link of up to a few feet in length, so length really does vary with rig choice.

carp rigs for beginners - short vs long hook-links

And then you have the specific fishing circumstances. What we mean by this is, if you are fishing a pressured water where carp are warier of line and leads in the water, a longer hook-link of around 10 to 12 inches could be the difference in catching or not.

What is also an important factor when deciding on hook-link length is the make-up of the bottom of the lake. If you are fishing heavy silt or deep weed, then a pop-up presentation may be the best option. You would need the hook length to be long enough to sit above any silt or weed that could stop any carp from finding it. 

carp rigs for beginners- fishing a pop up over weed

Sometimes it's best to experiment and what we recommend to beginners who are starting to tie their own rigs is to trial rigs of different materials at different lengths and see what produces you results. 

What are the different types of carp rigs?

As we have already spoken about, carp rigs can vary in terms of what hook-link material, length, hook size, and what bait you use. 

Carp fishing rigs can also differ in the way you actually fish and present these rigs as well. Let me explain more by taking you through some examples of different ways to fish your carp rigs...

Bolt Rigs

Bolt rigs are designed so that the lead is secured to your mainline in a way that when the carp takes your bait, it also moves the lead with it.

The main advantage of fishing like this is that the fish tends to hook itself through the process of trying to eject the hook and then (as the name suggests) bolt off, almost in a panic, which then secures a hook hold.

A major disadvantage to bolt rigs is to do with fish safety. If your line snapped when playing a fish, the fish could be swimming around with a heavyweight attached to it, with no way of losing the lead. If the attached lead then becomes tethered to a snag, the fish is effectively then tied to this snag which could ultimately be fatal.

To compensate for this major disadvantage and with fish safety in mind, it is advisable to fish with semi-bolt rigs. With semi-bolt rigs, if a fish was faced with the scenario above, a small degree of pressure would release the lead so the fish could swim freely.

Most carp fishing venues nowadays have banned the use of, fully locked, bolt rigs and will only allow the semi-bolt variety.

To complicate proceedings slightly further, there are three types of common ways to fish a semi bolt rig. These are Inline, through the use of a lead clip or via a helicopter rig.

Inline Leads

An Inline lead is basically a lead that is attached to the mainline by threading your line through the middle of the lead before pushing it into the end swivel of your rig. With a degree of pressure, the lead can become free from the swivel, creating the semi-bolt effect discussed earlier. The end result is a nice, neat tidy presentation with great anti-tangle properties.

carp fishing rigs for beginners - inline lead

An example of an inline lead set up

The use of a lead clip

A traditional pear-type lead can be fished as a semi-bolt rig via the use of a lead clip. A lead clip and a tail rubber get threaded onto the mainline. The lead then gets attached to the clip and then secured via the tail rubber.

One of the main advantages of using a lead clip in this way is that you can very quickly change your lead type or weight by just unclipping and reattaching.

carp rigs for beginners - lead clips

An example of a lead clip set up

Helicopter Rig

A helicopter rig is tied in a way that the actual lead is attached to the end of your mainline. Your rig gets threaded on before you tie on the lead alongside a couple of rig beads to protect the knots.

The rig can rotate around the setup the full 360 degrees hence the name 'helicopter rig'. Again this rig has great anti-tangle properties and is a popular way of fishing a lot of the newer, more innovative rigs.

carp fishing rig for beginners - helicopter rig

An example of a helicopter rig set up

Running Ledger

A running ledger style of fishing is the opposite of fishing a bolt rig. When a bait is picked up, the fish will be able to swim off freely, with the lead still on the bottom of the lake bed.

The advantage of this is that there is less resistance and a possibility that the carp doesn't suspect anything when the bait is picked up.

The disadvantage to using a running ledger is that you lose the self-hooking benefit that a bolt rig brings. This means that when you are fishing with a running ledger, there is more emphasis needed on the strike to ensure the hook hits home.

All three of the above methods can be fished with both bottom baits or buoyant baits such as pop-up boilies.

carp fishing rigs for beginners - running ledger

An example of a running ledger set up

Floating Rigs

Floating rigs are designed to fish on the surface and used in conjunction with floating baits. Quite often carp anglers will just freeline a piece of bread crust or floating dog biscuit making it the simplest type of rigs you can tie.

Surface fishing can be a tricky method however and some anglers opt to use some additional tools to help. Firstly a controller float quite often gets used. This is a fairly large, buoyant float that is attached to the line via a loop at the top of the float.

The main use of a controller float is to give enough weight to get the bait out to where the fish are feeding but to also aid in bite indication.

Another tool you can use with your surface fishing rigs is a suspender. This tool has the advantage of keeping the line immediately next to your hook suspended above the water in an attempt to prevent spooking fish that are rising to take your bait.

Check out this brief video of a floater fishing rig in action using the suspender: 

Float Fishing Rigs

One of the most under-utilised methods I see on the bank is float fishing for carp. Sometimes you really don't need to blast a 4oz bomb 120 yards to catch. Quite often the fish are right under your feet and a great way to catch them is on a float rig.

We have a full article on float fishing for carp so please check this out for more detail on this great tactic.

Top tips when choosing a carp rig?

Before we get into how to tie the more popular rigs, we just wanted to share with you some final top tips of things to consider before you make your final decision on what carp rigs to fish with.

Size of fish

The size of fish has more of an impact on the rig components rather than the actual fish itself. If fishing for large, hard-fighting fish, the breaking strain of the hook link should be higher and the size of the hook you use should be larger.

How pressured the water is

Pressured waters usually mean easily spooked fish are present. Wary fish can be particularly hard to catch as they are constantly on the lookout for anything that feels unnatural. Rigs that are as inconspicuous as possible with fine-tuned anti-eject properties are the order of the day in this circumstance.

What has worked well previously

Hindsight can be a wonderful thing! In the world of carp rigs though it can really make a difference to your results. If you have caught on a particular rig on a specific water before or if you ask fellow anglers that have been successful what rig they were using, you can gain a distinct advantage over those anglers without prior knowledge.

How far will you be casting?

Rig choice can be a consideration if you are looking at fishing long distances. When casting at range, a rig with anti-tangle properties is paramount to ensure good presentation when the rig has settled.

Long hook-links can also reduce your casting capabilities due to resistance in the air. For example, zig rigs can be particularly tricky to cast if the hook-link you are using is long. 

Match your rig to your hook bait

A key consideration on carp rigs for beginners is the choice of hook bait. Before you start tying, you really need to know what hook bait you are going to be tying the rig for. Your hook bait will dictate rig type, hook-link length, hair length, hook size, etc and so it's important to decide on this first.

Match your rig to the conditions in the lake

We mentioned earlier the importance of your carp rig being inconspicuous as possible. As such, the water you are fishing is an important consideration in your choice of carp rig.

For example, you wouldn't want to use a dark coloured hook-link material in clear water or a very short hook-link in very silty water etc. Knowing some detail about the water you are fishing will really help with your rig choice.

Rig Safety

Absolutely the most important consideration on rig choice is the safety of the fish. Do not use dangerous rigs where fish can become tethered on crack-offs and ensure your rig is suitable for the conditions of the lake.

For example, if you are fishing near snags, then ensure your rigs are strong enough to have a chance to guide the fish away from danger.

The basic knots on a carp rig

So now you know everything you need to decide on what rigs to use on your chosen water. Before we start looking at tying some rigs, it's important to know how to tie some basic knots if you're a beginner. The following knots will be used most in your carp rig tying...

Knotless knot

The knotless knot is arguably the most used knot when tying carp fishing rigs. It's very simple and key to learn for beginners:

Half-Blood knot

The half-blood-knot is most commonly used when tying to a loop, swivel, ring, or hook and is probably the most used knot in coarse fishing. It has its uses in carp fishing so another key knot to learn:

Loop Knot

Tying two loops together is useful for all types of fishing. A very simple but effective fishing knot:

Grinner Knot

The Grinner knot is similar to the half-blood knot in the way that it is used to attach the line to a swivel, loop, or hook. Carp anglers often use the Grinner knot to attach braid or coated materials. It is considered a lot stronger than the half-blood though so one well worth mastering:

The best carp rigs for beginners & how to tie them

So you should now be all clued up on the foundations needed to tie the best carp rigs for beginners. Let's get into the actual rigs...

The basic bottom bait carp rig

This rig is a classic and one that has formed the foundations of all other modern carp rigs you see on the market today. The rig is simple to tie and offers great balance to cover most fishing circumstances as well as great anti-eject properties through the use of the knotless knot and a line aligner via some shrink tubing.

How to tie a basic bottom bait carp rig?

Step 1:

Cut a 12-inch length of your hook-link material and tie a small loop at the end.

Basic carp rig for beginners step 1

Step 2:

Thread your desired hook onto the hook-link and hold the loop (or hair) at the desired length on the outside of the hook.

Basic carp rig for beginners step 2

Step 3:

Whip the whole hook length around the bottom of the hook shank 6 times making sure the whipping doesn't overlap each other. 

Basic carp rig for beginners step 3

Step 4:

Thread the end of the hook-link through the eye of the hook. - Make sure you thread it through the outside of the hook eye going towards the inside.

Basic carp rig for beginners step 4

Step 5:

Add you short piece of shrink tubing to the end of the hook eye so the hook point aligns with the tubing. Shrink this down with some steam. - This helps the anti-eject properties of the rig.

Basic carp rig for beginners step 5

Step 6:

Your rig is now tied. Make sure all your knots are tightened and any tag ends trimmed.

Basic carp rig for beginners step 6

Above photos supplied courtesy of Gardner Tackle

If you prefer a readymade version of this rig, we recommend this one here.

The basic pop-up rig

A pop-up rig can be a great option to use if the lakebed is weedy or contains heavy silt and/or debris. Using a pop-up rig can make your bait stand out compared to the freebies in the area and as such can sometimes tempt a carp to take.

Using a pop-up bait also has the advantage of neutralising the weight of the hook, making the bait feel more natural to the carp compared to a bottom bait.

How to tie a pop-up rig?

You can simply tie the basic bottom rig (featured above) and add a piece of rig putty to the desired length of the pop-up and away you go. To show you something different though, the following pop-up rig utilises some coated braid and a rig ring as a point of difference:

Step 1:

Start by stripping off approximately 15cm of your chosen coated hook-link using a stripping tool.

carp rig for beginners - pop up rig step 1

Step 2:

Tie a small loop to the end of the hook-link to act as the hair.

carp rig for beginners - pop up rig step 2

Step 3:

Tie on a small rig ring at the required length of the hair. (ensure the coating of the hair is fully stripped off)

carp rig for beginners - pop up rig step 3

Step 4:

Thread your chosen hook through the rig ring and then secure with a knotless knot. Try to ensure that the last turn of the knotless knot is coated braid.

carp rig for beginners - pop up rig step 4

Step 5:

Thread a small piece of rig tubing or shrink tubing down the hook-link

carp rig for beginners - pop up rig step 5

Step 6:

Push the tubing over the eye of the hook so the end of the tubing is aligned with the hook point. (this helps with the anti-eject properties of the rig)

carp rig for beginners - pop up rig step 6

Step 7:

If using shrink tubing, then use steam to secure. The hook should look like the following picture.

carp rig for beginners - pop up rig step 7

Step 8:

Strip back another small length of coating to the required height of your pop-up bait. 

carp rig for beginners - pop up rig step 8

Step 9:

Mould some rig putty just above the stripped section of the required height of your pop-up bait.

carp rig for beginners - pop up rig step 9

Step 10:

The rig is finished and the business end should look like the following picture. The whole length of the rig should be anything from 6 to 10 inches.

carp rig for beginners - pop up rig step 10

Above photos supplied courtesy of Gardner Tackle

If you prefer a readymade version of this rig, we recommend the following:

KODEX Bottom/Pop-Up Anti-Tangle Braid Rigs

as of 24 June 2024 15:03

The D-Rig

The D-Rig got its name due to the D shape that is formed when tying this rig. It isn't an actual rig per se but more of a way the bait is presented on the hair within the carp rig. The aim of the D-Rig is to create movement of the bait (along the D) when a carp inhales the bait.

This movement then significantly helps with the anti-eject properties of your carp rig as it isn't a simple 'suck in, blow out' action for the fish. The D-rig is commonly used with stiffer hook-lengths both with bottom baits as well as pop-ups.

How to tie a D-Rig

Step 1:

Thread your chosen hook-link material through the back of the eye on the hook.

Carp fishing rigs for beginners - The D Rig - Step 1

Step 2:

Wrap the hook-link, neatly around the shank of the hook being careful not to overlap. Keep wrapping until you are level with the point of the hook.

Carp fishing rigs for beginners - The D Rig - Step 2

Step 3:

Pull the hook-link through the back of the eye as if you were tying a knotless knot.

Carp fishing rigs for beginners - The D Rig - Step 3

Step 4:

Thread a rig ring or a bait screw through the tag end where the 'D' will be formed.

Carp fishing rigs for beginners - The D Rig - Step 4

Step 5:

Pass the hook-link tag back through the eye on the back of the hook to form the 'D'.

Carp fishing rigs for beginners - The D Rig - Step 5

Step 6:

Melt the very end of the tag with a lighter to form a blob that is bigger than the hook eye.

Carp fishing rigs for beginners - The D Rig - Step 6

Step 7:

Your D-Rig is now ready to tie your chosen baits onto.

Carp fishing rigs for beginners - The D Rig - Step 7

Above photos supplied courtesy of dreamcarpholidays

If you prefer a readymade version of this rig, we recommend the following:

Nash Slip D Ready Tied Carp Rig

as of 24 June 2024 15:03

The Blowback Rig

The blowback rig, similar to the D-rig, is more of a way that the bait is presented on the hair rather than an actual rig itself. If you are a beginner tying carp rigs and learning the craft, then knowing how to tie a blowback rig will help you no end.

The hair on a blowback rig is mounted onto a ring which in turn is mounted to the shank of the hook. This setup allows the hook a lot more movement than a standard hair and if tied correctly you'll see quite a dramatic twist of the hook when running it along your hand.

This drastic movement has great anti-eject properties and (as the name suggests) is a great way of setting up your rigs to combat fish blowing back your hook bait too easily and therefore increasing your chance of catching.

How to tie a Blowback rig

Step 1:

For our example, we are using a coated bread. In this instance strip a 10cm section of your chosen hook-link.

best carp rigs for beginners - blowback rig - step1

Step 2:

Tie a small loop at the end of the braid to form the hair.

best carp rigs for beginners - blowback rig - step2

Step 3:

Attach a small rig ring and place it at the desired length of the hair.

best carp rigs for beginners - blowback rig - step3

Step 4:

Tie the rig ring in place, ideally with a granny knot.

best carp rigs for beginners - blowback rig - step4

Step 5:

Attach your chosen hook with a knotless knot and set your rig ring in line with the barb of the hook or equivalent if using barbless.

best carp rigs for beginners - blowback rig - step5

Step 6:

Attach a small hook aligner onto your hook-link via a baiting needle. Alternatively, you can use shrink tubing.

best carp rigs for beginners - blowback rig - step6

Step 7:

Slide the hook aligner or shrink tube up the hook-link towards the hook.

best carp rigs for beginners - blowback rig - step7

Step 8:

Slide onto the hook eye and align the bend with the hook point.

best carp rigs for beginners - blowback rig - step8

Step 9:

The finished setup should look like the following photo. Attach your rig to your mainline, bait up and you're ready to cast.

best carp rigs for beginners - blowback rig - step9

Above photos supplied courtesy of Gardner Tackle

If you prefer a readymade version of this rig, we recommend the following:

Nash Blow Back Rig

as of 24 June 2024 15:03

The Chod Rig

The chod rig is designed to fish waters where the bottom is either weedy or full of debris. A basic rig in these circumstances has the potential to get buried, hidden, or damaged and as such hindering your chances of catching.

The chod rig is mostly used with buoyant baits and the way the rig is constructed will ensure your hook bait sits above any problematic matter on the bottom.

How to tie a Chod rig?

Step 1:

Tie a D-rig as per the instructions above with a swivel and rig ring at the end of a very short hook-link of a maximum of 3 inches. N.b - You need to achieve a slight curve in the hook link as per the picture.

carp fishing rigs for beginners - Chod - Step 1

Step 2:

Take a long length of lead core (approx. 120cm) and tie it onto your mainline. Slide on a tight bead followed by the chod rig followed by another bead then a tail rubber.

Then attach a metal lead clip to the lead core which will then allow you to attach your lead. You can use a chod bead kit for this process too.

carp fishing rigs for beginners - Chod - Step 2

Step 3:

Slide the tail rubber over the metal lead clip to secure it in place.

carp fishing rigs for beginners - Chod - Step 3

Step 4:

With the beads and the rig in place, the setup should like this in the photo.

carp fishing rigs for beginners - Chod - Step 5

Step 5:

Tie on and secure your required buoyant bait and balance it with putty if you need to. Ensure you test in the margins before starting to fish.

carp fishing rigs for beginners - Chod - Step 6

Step 6:

Your rig is complete and ready to fish.

carp fishing rigs for beginners - Chod - Step 7

Above photos supplied courtesy of dreamcarpholidays

Check out this short video clip made by Nash on how to tie the chod rig:  

If you prefer a readymade version of this rig, we recommend the following chod rig here.

The Ronnie Rig

The Ronnie rig is quite an advanced rig that is relatively new in its usage. When we say advanced, we mean the mechanics of the rig, and why it's successful is fairly complex. However, it is still a rig that can be relatively easily tied making it one of the best carp rigs for beginners to use.

The Ronnie rig is predominantly used as a pop-up rig that is finely balanced and just sits up the length of the hook. Because of this, it is a rig that is mostly used on fairly clear lakebeds.

The mechanics of the Ronnie rig allows the bait to rotate 360 degrees as well as the rig which also rotates. This allows the rig to maintain its anti-eject hooking position at all times allowing for more opportunities for a take.

How to tie the Ronnie rig?

Step 1:

Cut a half-inch length of shrink tube and slide it over the eye of a curve shank hook. Ideally, the hook needs to be fairly large at a size 4 or 6.

best carp rigs for beginners - ronnie rig - step 1

Step 2:

Take a Kwik lock swivel and thread it onto the eye of the hook using a pair of pliers to open and close the link if needed.

best carp rigs for beginners - ronnie rig - step 3

Step 3:

Push the shrink tubing back down the shank of the hook to cover the eye and also the barrel of the swivel.

best carp rigs for beginners - ronnie rig - step 4

Step 4:

Using a kettle or a lighter, steam the shrink tubing so it sits tight and firm on the hook.

best carp rigs for beginners - ronnie rig - step 5

Step 5:

Slide a micro rig swivel through the point of the hook and onto the shank.

best carp rigs for beginners - ronnie rig - step 6

Step 6:

Push a small rubber stopper onto the hook so the swivel will not fall off.

best carp rigs for beginners - ronnie rig - step 7

Step 7:

Your rig should now look like the following picture. The movement from the swivel is what generates effective anti-eject properties.

best carp rigs for beginners - ronnie rig - step 8

Step 8:

Attach your pop-up boilie onto the swivel with the use of bait floss and then blob the end of the floss with a lighter to act as a boilie stop.

best carp rigs for beginners - ronnie rig - step 9

Step 9:

To perfectly balance your rig, add some rig putty, if required, over the shrink tube. Test in the margins or a bucket of water if possible.

best carp rigs for beginners - ronnie rig - step 10

Step 10:

Tie the rig to your chosen hook-link material and you are ready to start fishing.

best carp rigs for beginners - ronnie rig - step 11

Above photos supplied courtesy of dreamcarpholidays

If you would prefer watching how to tie a Ronnie rig the please check out the following video:

If you prefer a readymade version of this rig, we recommend the following:

Gardner Tackle Ready Tied Ronnie Rigs (Pack of 3)

as of 23 June 2024 16:11

The Zig Rig

A Zig Rig is used when the fish are up in the water column. It is usually fished with a long monofilament or fluorocarbon hook-link set at a pre-determined depth with a buoyant bait. Being quite different from the normal bottom bait or pop-up rigs, using a Zig Rig can be really effective if the more common tactics are not working.

The main caveat to using a Zig Rig is that the longer hook-links can be tricky to cast at times, however, the recent invention of the Zig float kit mitigates this slightly.

How to tie a Zig Rig

Step 1:

Start by tying a small hair on a piece of mono or fluorocarbon using a knotless knot.

The hair needs to be short at about 5mm in length and the hook ideally needs to be smaller than usual with a size 10 or 12 being ideal.

best carp rigs for beginners - zig rig - step 1

Step 2:

Cut off a 1cm length of zig rig foam.

best carp rigs for beginners - zig rig - step 2

Step 3:

Cut a slit through the foam halfway in depth and about 3/4s of the length.

best carp rigs for beginners - zig rig - step 3

Step 4:

Push a baiting needle though the side of the rig foam ensuring it comes through the slice you have just made.

best carp rigs for beginners - zig rig - step 4

Step 5:

Thread the rig foam onto the hair, pushing the hook shank at an angle into the slit.

best carp rigs for beginners - zig rig - step 5

Step 6:

Using a boilie stop (ideally the same colour as the rig foam), secure the foam onto the hair.

best carp rigs for beginners - zig rig - step 6

Step 7:

Trim some of the edges of the rig foam with an aim of making the shape of the bait looking unique and weathered.

best carp rigs for beginners - zig rig - step 7

Step 8:

Your rig is now ready. The bait presented at an angle like this sometimes provides a better hook hold.

best carp rigs for beginners - zig rig - step 8

Above photos supplied courtesy of Gardner Tackle

Check out the following video that takes you through how to use a zig rig in conjunction with an adjustable zig rig float.

The following zig kit is a great choice:

Fox Edges Zig Float Kit

as of 24 June 2024 15:03

Carp Rig FAQs

When researching this article we asked a lot of beginner carp anglers what questions they would like answered. The majority have been answered above but we just wanted to answer the following four questions that frequently got asked...

What is the best carp rig for silt?

Deep silt can be a real problem when carp fishing as there's a real possibility that your hook bait can become buried within it on the cast. In this circumstance, we recommend fishing a finely balanced popup bait with a Ronnie Rig. 

We would also recommend pulling the weight clear of the silt immediately after casting so your bait can rest perfectly on the bottom, just on top of the silt.

What is the best carp rig for weedy lakes?

Fishing weedy lakes effectively can be difficult. This is simply because more often than not the weed will impede your bait presentation.

To mitigate the presentation problems faced with weed, we thoroughly recommend using a chod rig. This rig has the advantage of being able to fish your bait on top of the weed even if your lead weight is buried within it.

What is the best bottom bait carp rig?

There are many great bottom bait rigs to choose from nowadays. All of these rigs however have one thing in common and that is they all have great anti-eject properties.

We can't stipulate which one performs better over the other as it depends on your fishing circumstances. One thing we can recommend though is to ensure you tie your bottom bait rig either with a D-Rig style or the blowback style mentioned previously in this article as these will enhance your chances of catching.

What is the best all-round carp rig?

One of the best all-round rigs of all time is the bog-standard pop-up rig. This is simply because it covers a wide range of eventualities and will perform in virtually all of them.

Final Thoughts

When considering the best carp fishing rigs for beginners, there are a multitude of factors that need to be considered before you start tying.

Hopefully, this in-depth article has enlightened you on what these factors are and how to apply them to maximise your chances of catching.

Thanks for reading

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