The best winter carp rigs can be different from the summer. Winter fishing is certainly harder which is why it’s essential to get your rigs perfect. We give you our carp tips for fishing in the colder months and provide you with the best winter carp rigs around.
Here are our carp fishing tips for winter…
The Chod Best Winter Carp Rigs
The chod rig works all year round, but in the winter months when the leaves have come off the tree and other debris has made its way to the bottom of the lake there is no better rig in our opinion than the chod rig. It can sit over anything on the bottom meaning you always have a presentation ready for a bite.
No matter what water you are fishing, the chod is a great rig for the winter months.
We would always advise chod hooks for the chod rig, this may sound self-explanatory but I’ve seen many people tieing chod rigs with all kinds of different hooks. The reason why the chod hook was made is simply that it functions best with this rig.
I personally use Korda Kamakura Chod Hooks as they are the sharpest and strongest hooks I have come across.
– Lead System
Always use a system whereby the fish can escape the lead should your line break. It’s essential that the fish come first no matter what. Leaving a trailing lead connected to a carp is not good for the fish, the lake or angling in general.
Again I go to Korda here, the Heli-Safe release system by Korda is unrivaled from my research. There have been a few companies that have tried to mimic the system but they don’t come close to Korda’s. The only annoying thing with this system is that it’s hard to reuse the beads.
– Naked Or Leader
Always a question that’s asked a lot, especially now a lot of lakes put a ban on lead core. My preference with the chod rig has always been naked, I find it more discreet, less time consuming and more importantly, I seem to catch carp more consistently.
I personally use Gardner Insight GR60 in 12lb but 15lb will also be fine, I just like to use the lightest line I can get away with.
If you were to go for a leader then nothing beats lead core. You need to look up the rules on the lake though as mentioned above it’s banned in many places. As I don’t use a leader nowadays for chods I don’t have much advice on this but I have seen the new Korda Helicopter Chod Leaders but I can’t say how good they are.
– Size Of The Lead
I always use the smallest lead possible no matter what rig I’m fishing, this again falls into remaining discreet. As long as you can cast to the area you need to fish do so with the smallest lead. It’s all about trying to make your bait the only thing the carp sees.
I normally use a 1oz to 1.5oz lead, this is normally enough for me on the waters I fish.
Here are the items I personally use for the chod rig…
Putty is an essential part of the chod rig, the main place to plant some putty is on the swivel of the chod rig. This makes sure that your chod sinks and doesn’t float up in the water.
Always check your rig in the margin before casting, you want your hook bait sinking slowly but not fast. Add and remove putty as needed.
I would also advise that you place putty up the line if you are fishing naked. This will pin your line to the bottom, again, this doesn’t need to be much, just enough in a few areas to make sure the line is set on the bottom.
– Line Saver Bead For The Naked Chod
When using the naked chod there is a great item called the line saver bead. This protects the line from being cut by the ring connecting the chod to the line. This is very effective and something I use every time I use the naked chod.
Video – The Chod Best Winter Carp Rigs
Here’s Danny Fairbrass from Korda TV giving us a great insight into the Chod Rig.
The Stiff Hinge Best Winter Carp Rigs
Very similar to the chod rig the stiff hinge rig is great for winter carp fishing. It’s best fished with a scattering of boilies to get the fish into the areas you are fishing. Some people think the stiff hinge actually gives a better hook hold than the chod rig, I haven’t personally used it much so I can’t vouch for this.
The best hook for the stiff hinge rig is a size 4 or size 6 chod hook, again I would recommend the Kamakura hooks from Korda for the best strength and sharpness.
– The Lead
I can’t say it enough, always keep your lead to the smallest weight possible. The more discreet you can be the better. You’re far more likely to get bites when your end tackle doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.
– Naked or Leader
The Stiff Hinge Rig is best fished as a helicopter rig, in my opinion, this limits any tangling on the cast or as the rig settles. hook bit would be the same as the chod above. I would personally fish this as a naked system but you could use the Korda heli leaders if you prefer to use a leader.
Video – Best Winter Carp Rigs Stiff Hinge
Here’s Terry Hearns How To On the Stiff Hinge Rig, the guy who made it famous!
The Bottom Bait Rig
Fishing in the cold water months bottom bait rigs can be lethal, using a spod mix of hemp or a PVA bag with mashed up boilies can be really affective delivering baits right next to your hook bait.
If you can find a nice clear spot on the bottom then a bottom bait rig is probably your best option in the winter. We also advise fishing the deeper parts of the lake as this is where we have had most of our fish in the winter months.
For bottom bait rigs I always favor a wide gape hook, if you haven’t noticed I’m a massive Korda fan and any of their hooks will work well but once again we favor the Kamakura for its strength and sharpness.
You can, of course, use any hooks that you prefer these are just our preference in a size 8.
– Hook Link
We would advise a stiff coated braid, we use the Korda hybrid in weedy green at 20lb however this is again a choice with the individual.
Use whatever works best for you. We have used other hook links to the same effect.
Again using a light lead is always the best option, if you’re fishing over silt then this is even more essential. The last thing you want is a heavy lead pulling your rig into the silt.
This is why I much prefer a pop-up rig on a helicopter setup allowing us to fish the rig further up the line.
– Other Essentials For The Bottom Bait Rig
Putty can really set this rig apart allowing the best presentation and hook hold, use the Korda Dark Matter or any other putty that you like about an inch up from the hook.
You can add some medium shrink tube over the hook and the braid, just under half an inch seems to do the trick well. Check the picture below to see what works best for this.
Video – The Bottom Bair Rig
Heres Terry Hearn Again with a decent Bottom Bait Rig for the winter!