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Rigs
01 Dec 2016
by Rob Hughes
Is the Hinged Stiff Rig really the ultimate presentation?
Does the Hinged Stiff Rig always give the best presentation? Our subsurface angling specialist Rob Hughes investigates...

Whether it’s a strippable braid or tied with nylon, the default rig of choice for a lot of anglers is the Hinged Stiff Rig. The general view is that the stiff boom will push the hookbait away from the lead and give the fish less hooklink to play with. Usually fished with a pop-up it is sometimes used with a bottom bait but the true way of fishing it is with a critically-balanced or slow sinking bait to get the rig to perform in the way in which it was invented.

To get the bait to kick out from the lead it’s important that the hookbait is light enough to do that. We have to look at physics for the answer and more specifically gravity. The heaviest part of the set-up is the lead and it is that which falls to the lakebed first. Following on behind is the next heaviest item, and that will be either the hookbait in the case of a bottom bait, or the balancing putty in the case of a pop-up or balanced bait.

Once the lead has landed, the hookbait will be almost directly above it unless it is falling on a tight line and a swing back. Once the lead touches down and the fall has been stopped the bait will generally fall straight down. If it is directly above the lead it will want to fall right beside it and the only way it will kick out is if the down force of the sinking bait is less than the outward force created by the hooklink material.

In the case of a straight bottom bait the gravitational pull down will be bigger than the out force and the bait will fall closer to the lead with the hooklink coming to rest in a looped arch. If no putty is used on the centre section of the hooklink material, there is a good chance that the hooklink will loop up off the bottom. If putty is used, the arch will fall over and lie on the bottom of the lake in a curve.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that using a pop-up will solve the problem as the photograph here shows a pop-up on a stiff boom of 35lb Amnesia, a very stiff material, but because the pop-up has been over weighted the weight of the putty has caused the bait to drop quickly by the side of the lead and the hooklink is looped. In clear water this may well be off-putting to any carp that may intend to feed on it.

It always pays to test your rigs in the edge first to see if they are doing what they are supposed to be, but be careful not to just lay it down in the edge so it is lying as you would want it to lie. There is a big difference between putting a rig in the edge and slinging it miles out into the pond. For a truer test of how the rig is likely to sit, flick it up in the air rather than placing it down and then have a look at it. You should get more of an idea about whether the line might need a twitch to settle it properly.

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