Some waters are banning Zigs because of foul hooking (break-offs resulting in trailers) and other fisheries are setting maximum hooklengths that can be fished. Are these measures necessary?
“Zigs are a fascinating method and one that at certain times of year can prove absolutely devastating. On even the lowest stocked lakes I’ve known them to be effective and those who write them off as a ‘day ticket’ tactic ought to take the blinkers off because they are missing out, believe me.
“Should they be banned on certain venues? That’s a difficult one. I know they get used in some pretty irresponsible situations where the weed makes it almost impossible to use the set-up without the inevitable breakages and losses, but most are using it with a safe lead system and the break-offs happen at the hooklink. Crack-offs resulting in trailers happen with all manner of rigs, not just Zigs. The same fisheries that bemoan this situation don’t go around policing line diameters and knot strengths though, do they? If you’re unsure about Zigs, just buy an Avid Carp ready-tied version. All the stuff is in the packet that you need to tie an effective Zig. Once you’re comfortable with that, start tying your own.
“As for the foul-hooking situation, I must admit I have had a handful of occasions where this has happened but I’ve had just as many, if not more, whilst surface fishing. But please don’t ban that!”
“I don’t think the issue with Zigs is, “Do they catch” as they undoubtable do but then so would boilies with chunks of sharp glass in them. Now if that sounds a little extreme it’s meant to and it’s also meant to shock you a little. Fish safety seems to be only used as a catch phrase in today’s commercial world of carping. The drive for results, numbers and names has warped carp fishing to the point where I am appalled at some of methods being used, Zigs are on this list.
“I have to be honest, I have used them very little, perhaps only three times hooking and losing one fish. I soon came to the conclusion that they were bad for carp and carp angling just like many other carp anglers have. So why are they bad if they catch fish? Well, quite simply because the carp more often than not swim into them and foul hook themselves. This will cause tearing of the fins, scales torn off and deep scratches/tears along their flanks.
“Setting a maximum depth of use will alleviate this problem but it will of course still occur and people will break the rules. Damage like this will stay with the fish for its lifetime unless of course if infection doesn’t set in and kill it first. The evidence of this has been growing steadily and is in my opinion overwhelming so I welcome an outright ban.”