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21 Aug 2016
by Garth Ethelston
Loops Away
The mere loop adds so much to your rig and experienced big-carp angler Garth Ethelston is going to show us why...

I don’t think I ever cast out a rig that doesn’t feature some sort of loop. It could be a Hinged Stiff Rig, simple bottom bait rig or a Choddy; but all will feature some sort of loop along the link. They all act differently too because they can be utilised on your leader, at the hook end or as a simple Figure-Of-Eight to help you attach PVA Sticks quickly and efficiently.

Now, it might sound boring, a feature about loops, but they add so much to a rig and can transform a mediocre presentation into a very anti-eject one so you must read on. I tend to have three main presentations in my armoury and I stick to these for the majority of my fishing. They are the Chod Rig, Hinged Stiff Rig and a standard bottom bait.

A Figure-Of-Eight helps to kick the hooklink away on the cast

Figure-Of-Eight Loop Knot

Let me begin with my bottom bait rig. I like to keep things simple and generally whip up a Knotless Knot attached to size 6 Wide Gape, depending on bait size. A section of shrink tubing goes over the eye and then I finish by tying a Figure-Of-Eight Loop at the end or a Link Loop. I use these loops so that I can change my rigs quickly. A large Figure-Of-Eight Loop means that you can simply place it through your ring swivel and move the rig back through the loop before pulling tight. Now not only will it allow you to chop and change rigs instantly, the Figure-Of-Eight will also encourage your hooklink to kick away from the lead on the cast. By doubling it over, you’re making it more rigid and it acts as a kind of anti-tangle sleeve. You get my drift? As you can see, the mere Figure-Of-Eight has a multitude of uses and probably its most frequent is employed with the popular PVA Stick.

The Figure-Of-Eight can also be used on your main line to make the quick-changing of leaders hassle-free. Experienced carp-match anglers that I know tie up 10 or so solid PVA bags to Safe-Zone Leaders in advance. They then employ the Figure-Of-Eight Loop system on their main line and can quite literally swap to a fresh bag in seconds using a simple loop-to-loop. Make sense? You can do this with any type of leader really as long as it features a loop at one end. On bagging up waters their couldn’t be anything more simple.

An alternative to a Figure-Of-Eight is a Link Loop. This little, teardrop-shaped product, like a Figure-Of-Eight Loop, is designed to allow the quick-changing of a rig or Stick. It’s very reliable and allows you to tie a trusted knot to it. If you’re not a fan of Figure-Of-Eight Loop, this is a great alternative.

Give your rig some movement and you WILL catch more carp

Chods and Hinges

So that’s my bottom bait rig and how I incorporate it with my trusty Figure-Of-Eight. Now lets move onto Chods and Hinges because they play a massive part in my fishing too. I’ve been fishing these two presentations for years now and they really have evolved. I’m talking about them together because the Hinged Stiff Rig is formed in exactly the same way as my Chod… it’s just tied with a length of N-Trap as the boom, unlike a Chod of course, which is fished directly onto the leader.

My original Choddy/Hinge was tied to a size 11 Ring Swivel. This provided movement and acted like a loop because it could rotate 360-degrees. This worked well for me but I felt there was much more to the rig. Having seen and read a few articles by Jim Shelley, I was intrigued as to why he would form such a big loop before the swivel. The theory was that it would make the rig bounce. It would encourage that short, stiff section of hooklength to rock up and down, independent of the swivel. If you think about it I guess it gives a bit of a 3D effect. Wherever a carp sucks in the hookbait, the rig and hook can move to the correct angle.

Since using this loop, my hook holds have been immense. Before I explain how I form it, I’d like to say that you could take a shortcut and simply use a Thinking Anglers Double Ring Swivel. This does the same thing, although is best suited to the Chod and not the Hinge.

Prior to the innovative Krimping system, I would form a loop using a Tucked Blood Knot which worked well. However, since its release I have been using the Krimps on all of my Chod/Hinges. It’s extremely neat, very quick and ultimately strong.

I use a Chod-It Tool to help me form the perfect loop
This is how the hook end should look or a Chod or Hinge
They come in handy for making ‘D’s’ too

Simply whip your Chod material to a size 6 Choddy using either a Knotless Knot or a Domhoff. Slide a rig ring onto the tag end and then place this back through the eye of the hook. Now blob the tag end with a naked flame. I use a Chod-It tool to carefully mould my D into shape (see pics). With the hook end sorted, I then measure the length I require and slide on a small crimp. This is followed by a size 11 Ring Swivel and then I place the tag back through the crimp. Before crimping, I slide a Chod-It Tool into the loop so that it holds its shape whilst I squeeze down the crimp with some dedicated pliers. Once squeezed down, remove the Chod-It and trim the tag end. By doing this, you will have created the perfect loop.

If you’re using it as an out-and-out Chod Rig on leadcore, you won’t require any putty to anchor the pop-up. However, if you opt to use a Chod-On-The-Line or a Hinged Stiff Rig, you will require putty to balance the buoyant bait. Simply roll some Dark Matter around the crimp and test it in the margins until it sinks slowly to the lakebed. I never roll the putty around the swivel because it hampers its movement and defeats the object of the system.

One of the most important things about a Chod or Hinge is the curve of the material and the way that it comes off the loop. Before I cast out, I will make sure that it’s of the right nature. By continually rubbing the Mouthtrap, my choice of Chod material, it will warm it and help to shape the curve. Over the years I have enhanced my curves more and more and I feel that they act like a claw and wily old carp find them extremely difficult to eject.

How to make Chods and Hinges easy

1. You need: Mouthtrap, IQ2 20lb, Krimping Tool and Dark Matter.
2. Whip the size 6 Choddy to the Mouthtrap using a Knotless Knot.
3. Thread a small Krimp onto the tag end where the swivel will be attached.
4. Now follow this with a size 11 Ring Swivel like Garth has here.
5. You now want to place the tag back through the Krimp like so.
6. Place the Krimp in the Krimping pliers, leaving room for a loop.
7. Having crimped it down you’ll be left with something like this.
8. Next, carefully blob the tag end with a lighter to keep neat and tidy.
9. Now simply slide a rig ring onto the tag end as shown here.
10. Take the tag end back through the eye of the hook like so.
11. Now blob the filament to stop it going back through the eye.
12. Using the new Chod-It Tool from Korda, you will form a D.
13. Chod section sorted, now you need to tie the IQ2 to the swivel ring.
14. To do this, use a trusted Figure-Of-Eight Loop Knot like so.
15. As with all knots, wet with saliva and it will bed down like this.
16. The rig is now starting to take shape… Onto stage 17...
17. On a Hinge I like to wrap some putty around the crimp.
18. Ensure that the pop-up is balanced and you’re ready to roll.
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