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04 Dec 2013
by CARPology
Rig Chat With Luke Griffiths
We quiz Luke Griffiths on his latest incredible capture and find out how he's currently claiming the ‘top rod' status on his current water

Luke, you're fishing a tricky little venue which holds around 50 fish, but in just seven or eight nights (and these are at the weekends) you've had 20 bites – what's the key to your success?
"Firstly, I would have to say location, the area I have been fishing screams carp! With plenty of features such as lily pads, a tree-lined margin and weed, the carp are bound to feel safe here. Not only this but it is the main body of water leads off too many other bays meaning it is an obvious patrol route for the carp. With an awesome bait and some really good spots which I've been fishing and baiting regularly the carp really seem to have been holding up here."

I believe you started off fishing Chods but then switched to Hinged Stiff Links incorporating really long, slightly supple boom sections. How long are they and what's the thinking behind this?
"I usually always start with the Chods on a new water but after finding some nice spots with just a light covering of weed I decided to switch to lead clips. With the lake being so weedy I can be confident in losing my lead every time a fish may come into contact with any heavy weed present. Taking into consideration the light weed I'm fishing over, I tied my boom sections 12-inches in length using 25lb Coretex Matt in Weedy Green. As I'm using a lead clip system I don't want too stiff a boom section like the original Hinged Stiff Link using a rotary set-up as it doesn't have the same movement in it so any stiff material could stick up off the bottom and not rest nicely on top of debris."

What are the key mechanics of this rig? What are you looking for it to do?
"The rig is designed to rest gently on top of any bottom debris with a critically-balanced bait. Although balancing your bait can be time-consuming, if you get it right it will not pick up any weed and be presented nicely with the boom section kicking the hookbait away from the lead every time. With the hook section being a nice curved two-inches of 25lb Rigidity you have all the hooking properties of the Stiff Link/Chod Rig."

Does that go for bottom baits, too?
"My bottom baits compromise of around 10-inches of 25lb Coretex Matt and an XSC hook, usually size 6 to match my 18mm hookbait. I use a Line-Aligna Adaptor to help turn that hook point into the carp's mouth and I'm more than happy with hook holds I've been getting using this set-up. Quite simple but it works!"

Tell us why you prefer to use a pop-up for most of your fishing?
"With a pop-up rig I find you get better hook holds and the hook cannot get masked on any weed also keeping the hook nice and sharp, preventing it getting blunt on the lakebed. I also only ever use boilies so I think I can get away with it more as the fish are moving around to pick up each bait. I believe they are easier to catch when feeding like this."

You use really light leads. Firstly, how light and secondly, why?
"Just lately I've been fishing between 30 and 40yds and using between 1 and 1.5oz leads. I always use as light a lead as I can get away with; I don't see the point in using 3oz leads all the time. I like to keep the disturbance to a minimum and it's surprising how much different a spot can feel with a lighter lead on. I find heavier leads just sink into weed/silt not helping with my presentation at all. I always match the lead to the range I'm fishing though as there is no point struggling to hit a spot with too light a lead on."

All your bites have come to white pop-ups fished over the top of a bed of Mainline Hybrid. Why a different hookbait and why white?
"I think using a different colour hookbait can definitely aid you and get you bites quicker. With a white bait it is standing out more, they can't miss it! I think it is the first bait they are coming in and picking up more often than we think. The Milky Toffee from Mainline catches so many fish; it is a great pop-up to fish over any foodbait. If I'm struggling for bites I will mix it up a bit but on this venue I started catching on the Milky's from the off so will carry on using them with confidence."

The spots you've been baiting are now almost clear of weed, does this mean you'll switch over to a bottom bait set-up?
"While I'm catching on pop-ups I will carry on using them but if things start to dry up I will definitely be trying a bottom bait. I will happily fish a pop-up over a really clear spot as long as it's working."

Tell us about the fish that's on the cover – how often is it caught?
"Seeing a photo of this fish is what initially made me want a ticket for this water – as I'm sure you can imagine. I didn't expect to catch it though! To my knowledge the fish got caught this year in May but previous to this it has been hardly caught, maybe less than half-a-dozen captures in over 30-odd years."

Doesn't it have a very small mouth? Do you think this is why it's a rare visitor to the bank?
"Definitely! I think this fish has got away with it a lot in the past after seeing how small its mouth was. A lot of the anglers fishing the lake use big baits to keep the tench and bream at bay so more reason to believe this as well."

This article was taken from issue 113 of CARPology magazine. For the very latest articles and best deals subscribe to CARPology magazine.

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