Before I started chasing big carp I was actually a mad keen match angler and competed in competitions all over the Midlands. I used to catch loads of upper-doubles using mono hooklinks, 4mm hookbaits and tiny hooks. When I started targeting larger carp I started using the same kind of rigs, but obviously stepped up the end tackle to meet the demands of the larger specimens. It may seem like a strange concept, but I’m certain the rigs I use put me more carp on the bank. In can be a huge leap of faith using small hookbaits and size 10 hooks, but I’ve landed UK forties and fifties on these kind of rigs.
When using stiffish monos, always ensure you use an out-turned eye otherwise the angle created from the mono exiting the eye will close the hook’s gape.
Whilst the rest of the angling population will be using 15 or 18mm hookbaits, go against the grain and either go really big or tiny like Steve has above.
You don’t need to use big hooks to land large carp. Smaller hooks are generally sharper than big hooks because they have a finer point so they prick the fish quicker and I’m certain they are more effective.
Monofilament boasts great anti-eject properties and a relatively low diameter. It rarely tangles and I’m certain it gives you an edge on venues where everybody is using more conventional hooklinks. And let’s be honest, 90% of the anglers on your lake are probably using a coating hooklink of some description so using something different is an edge in itself.
I very rarely use 15mm hookbaits these days because I actually think they are too big for the venues I fish. I’ve caught so many large carp on 10mm hookbaits and have even done well on 4 and 6mm baits! Again, just like the mono hooklinks, they are an edge simply because everyone else will be using 15 or 18mmillers!