Basic Carp Rigs – Guide for Beginners 2020

Carp fishing is actually enjoyable and fun especially if you have all the fishing gear with you on the perfect fishing spot. However, you also need to equip yourself with the knowledge on how to start the carp fishing using the basic carp rigs. If you’re one of those novice anglers that want to have good carp catch, then you landed on the right track.

As we go along, we will share here the list of the various types of rigs that you need when you engage yourself in carp fishing. Moreover, we also have here some helpful tips on how to set up the required fishing gear for beginners. Just check them out below!


Basic carp rigs
Image courtesy of Gardner Tackle

Generally, prior to knowing the ways on how to make a hair rig, you might ask for the best rigs for carp fishing. Actually, looking for the best one is really impossible as there are lots of various rigs out there that are qualified to be on top. To help you choose for your preference, here are the different types of rigs for carp fishing:


Over time, carp developed an acute sensitivity on angling pressure. Due to this, modern-day anglers think of new and innovative ways especially in terms of clear water beds in which the rigs visibility is more noticeable. Moreover, this makes a way for the anglers to find out methods on carp’s natural feeding spots. With this comes the birth of the pop-up baits through the use of polystyrene or styrofoam with a conventional boilie paste covering.

Further, as time passed by, the pop-ups were then replaced by cork balls with boilie paste covering. This is generally a good replacement as it is far more eco-friendly which is also prepared in the same way of boilie preparation through boiling or steaming. Generally, the concept revolves around the creation of lesser density bait thus making it to float. This bait leads the way for the utilization of commercial pop-ups using cork dust or other materials that are buoyant.

Unchangeably, this pop-up made a demand for having innovated rigs to showcase new buoyant baits. Later than the 1980s, worldwide carp anglers have followed the ideas of the old rig versions. There are others who have jumped out of the box to produce effective rigs of the pop-up type.

Among these effective rigs was the Multi-Rig in which most of the credit was given to Mike Kavanagh being recognized as the “Carp Guru“. But, since the real origin of this rig is ambiguous, there are others who were claiming to be the first one to come up with the idea of having a sea-fishing rig. This is basically known as the Sliding-Hook Rig.


One great feature of using this multi-rig is that the hook is quickly replaceable without the need for a retie. Basically, you just have to reverse the process of hooking into the loop. That way, you can generally replace the hook of the multi-rig the moment it looks dull or gets bent. Aside from that, the multi-rigs have lots of confidence displayed through various types of water.


The multi-rig has a coated braid material that is generally used for tying the rig. This material will eventually degrade over time thus increasing the chance that the looped area of the structure will begin to degrade. The good thing is that frequent rigs checking prior to recasting may highly avoid this kind of problem.


The Ronnie Rig is also known as the Spinner Rig. The concept of this rig actually revolves on fishing without a hook tied over a line. This type of rig is generally separated by a swivel from the rig to the hook. The hook will then pass through one of the barrel-swivel ends where stoppage over the hook-eye is allowed.

Ronnie rig or the spinner rig is amazingly effective to be used over various waters in the UK and Europe. But, the hardware quantity and the possibility to cause unwanted damage during fishing are major criticism for this rig type. Typically, tying this type of rig is through the use of quick-change swivel or via the utilization of a specialized spinner rig swivel. 


Generally, anglers might want to catch a carp properly hooked over the bottom tip of the mouth. The other best position for catching a carp is to hook it in the corner of the concentrated flesh. Unfortunately, using this rig, you might find it hooked on the roof of the mouth on some occasion. There are even times that you can hook the carp outside the mouth. Because of this, Ronnie Rig’s reputation decreases.


Another type of rig is the Withy Pool Rig which revolved on the basic idea of a rig that is generally difficult to retrieve from the fish’s mouth. Withy Pool was actually the name of the water which is so tricky and located in Bedfordshire, UK. This rig type is very simple and is actually one of the best pop-up rigs in the market.

Basically, the tying of this rig is through the use of the semi-stiff coated braid with stripped back-length, a hook with curve-shank, lengthy shrink tubing, hook-stop, rig-ring, and a split-shot. Moreover, by using the knot of your choice, you can generally tie the hook to the coated braid. Afterwards, cut the shrink tubing in order to fit on the hook’s eye. This is for the purpose of breaking the coating of the braid.

Moreover, by the use of a kettle, simply heat the shrink tubing and when it is still malleable, form it into a “C” shape. Finally, attach the rig-ring, hook-stop, and the preferred split-shot. The finishing touches will give an offset to the bait’s buoyancy. Aside from that, you can prove to have a good carp-catcher.


Generally, what makes the Withy Pool Rig a top choice of most anglers is its composition through the use of a single length of the braid. This is highly advantageous compared to other rig types that use a mixture of braid and fluorocarbon. In fact, they say that the more knots there are in a rig, the higher the chance that it fails.  


Generally, the idea behind the Shotshank Rig is actually different but it is not original. It is basically a mixture of two separate concepts. Initially, the one revolves around the existence of a spilt-shot attached into a small braid. This is eventually fixed in place either through a burning process or blobbing the braid using a lighter.

Basically, the Shot-on-the-Hook Rig is the original concept of this rig type which was a creation of Frank Warwick. There is a heavier hook-point present on this Shot-on-the-Hook Rig. Typically, the moment the carp sucks over the rig and the rig happens to experience a free-fall, the weight will drive down the hook and give a great hooking possibility.


The primary concern involved in the utilization of the Shotshank Rig is the potential of the split-shot to impede the ability of the hook to penetrate deeper. But, trying to spool stainless steel with braid generally gives you an idea that braid will slip over the steel and basically demands a backing. The spooling of the stainless steel with braid works on the same way with that of the Shotshank Rig.   


Generally, the hair rig is one of the most basic carp rigs but the most effective one. And, these basic carp rigs are also the most popular one due to the fact that it is also the carp rig being used by most novice anglers learning how to tie. Moreover, utilizing this basic carp rig is typically simple but the catch rates can be improved as this hair rig also comes with great versatility.

Aside from that, another thing that makes this basic carp rig a simple one is the requirement of just a few materials for tying. A hookup rate becomes decent due to the mechanics of the basic carp rig once the carp take the bait. Usually, the hair is the length of the line where the bait is attached underneath the hook. Because of this, the hook will embed on the lower lip of the fish most often. 

Basic Carp Rigs Hook Links Length

Image courtesy of Dynamite Baits

In most carp fishing scenarios, the length of the hook link is generally different. It is not a simple situation of tying up an old carp rig yet you are hoping to come out with the best. For this, it is basically essential to consider the fishing situation and go after the length of the basic carp rigs to be applicable to a particular scenario.

Ideally, it is better to use your time on checking in the margins and see the way the carp feed. Bear in mind that all strains of carp do not feed in a very similar manner. Yet, you may still notice that there are differences in every fish feeding on the same lake.

How Long To Make the Hook Link?

Generally, a short hook link, around 2 to 5 inches are allowable to hook and hit the lead weight. It also helps to set the hook of the basic carp rigs. This is due to the fact that the distance of the carp is moving prior to finding another bait is normally lesser.  

Moreover, in case the links are longer, they may have extra natural movement and they will also create more takes. Yet, having more kind of firm link stuff within the basic carp rigs is actually important. This is for the purpose of limiting any potential tangles. In addition, the hook links that are long braided have a higher potential to tangle. 

Meanwhile, the longer hook links are able to catch bigger carp better. Due to the natural movement of longer links, it can also fool around bigger fish to take the bait. Another thing is that bigger carp typically have larger bellies that naturally hang down. Meaning, it will basically up-end longer during feeding to prevent catching the large belly on the bottom.

The moment the carp picks up within the hook bait, there is a need to straighten it up once more. Basically, longer links would be applicable on the way of feeding large carps due to the additional length requirement for big carp in picking up a boilie and straightening it. Moreover, there are instances that few numbers of big carp feed on foodstuff over a long distance, at least around 4 inches farther. Take note that a longer link is able to stretch and reach into the back of the mouth giving more space for the hook to turn and get a hold.

Step-by-step Guide for Basic Carp Rigs Setup

Now that you know all the equipment needed that you need to prepare for your carp fishing activity, below is an overall basic carp rigs setup. This will generally give you an idea on how to set up and take your hook over the water.

basic carp rigs

Load the reel with the line

Generally, the ideal breaking strain of line is between 12 lbs to 20 lbs. Always keep this in mind while making the basic carp rigs.

Tie the basic carp rigs

The basic carp rigs can actually be used even if it is not tied. But tying the basic carp rigs comes down into lots of options and generally a cost-effective one. Likewise, you can also have the choice of buying pre-tied rigs if you want.

Attach the basic carp rigs into the line

Basically, a swivel is highly needed when you have to attach the basic carp rigs into the mainline.

Set up a lead clip system

Through the use of a lead clip system, you can generally cast and prevent tangles. Basically, attach your preferred boilie into the basic carp rigs. Finally, you are ready to have good carp fishing.

Final Thoughts

Proper way of tying the basic carp rigs is generally helpful for novice anglers in having a good carp catch. Initially, you must have to prepare all the necessary fishing gear that you need. Once you already prepared all of this equipment with you on your selected fishing spot, following the proper way to set up your carp fishing gear is highly important. Just make sure that you understand the process so that you can have great carp fishing experience.