It’s the Longshank Rig that Savay anglers have been keeping under their hats for decades. A shrink tube arrangement that’s accounted for some incredible captures. Here, Mat Woods lifts the lid on another of the pros secrets…
Savay. That word conjures up some images, doesn’t it? Carp that look like tree roots dipped in treacle and footprints left behind by some of the most influential carp anglers of our time – it’s a mecca. Somewhere we have all read about, dreamed about and talked about.
One thing that’s never really been too forthcoming from these historic banks is how the guys there actually fish. With syndicates like Elstow, Yateley, Ringwood… we’re all made fairly familiar with the tactics used by the regulars. Granted, not all of them, but for the most part, we have an idea of what these guys are up to. At Savay, however, it’s all shrouded in good old-fashioned secrecy.
But loose lips sink ships and without going into too much detail, on my travels I’ve seen a few things. I was a carp magazine editor myself once, so I got to see the odd thing that said anglers probably didn’t want me to see. Over time I have been asked to keep a few secrets. Fellow ‘Ology contributor Ian ‘Chilly’ Chillcott told me if I ever showed anyone a particular rig he’d been using he’d remove my fingernails with a set of pliers and then feed them back to me – with a chainsaw! The rig I’m going to talk about this time is not that rig by the way. A secret is a secret, after all.
The rig at first looks like a fairly innocuous longshank set-up. Shrink tube extension, nobody bats an eyelid. But if you knew the fish it had accounted for, and with what regularity, you’d be tying one right now, before you even took the time to read the words to this article, trust me!
The rig is uncommonly known as ‘The Loner’. Quite why I’m not sure, but I guess it’s to try and single out those larger, wilier carp that spend a lot of time on their own. Perhaps it’s a single hookbait set-up (probably more likely) but whatever the reason, it’s like a line-aligner on steroids.
There are two variations I’ve seen. One that extends the length of the longshank hook by almost double, which is exaggerated by using double shrink tubing to make it almost like a metal extension, and the other that does the same, but has stiff rig filament running through the tubing, with a small tag end to almost act like another barb, to spook the fish and almost trap their bottom lip.
For the sake of this article, the rig in my images is tied with an Avid size 6 LSK hook and an Outline Fluorocarbon hooklink. All previous versions of the Loner I’ve seen were tied in Amnesia or Maxima in a heavy strain, but in the modern world, you can’t beat a good fluorocarbon, and Outline is exactly that.
I’m sure the rig would be effective with supple hooklinks or coated braids, but I believe the whole idea behind The Loner is that it’s a ‘one-way’ rig. It goes in one-way and doesn’t come out. Because the little kink at the end prevents that from happening.
It basically widens the gape of the hook by almost double. It’s like moving the eye along so it’s the length of the shank again further away from the point. Twice the distance, equals twice the opportunity to grab hold.
There are few rigs more effective in a bog standard ‘palm’ test, which I know isn’t the answer to all rig theories, but it is quite noticeable that most rigs that do well in a ‘palm’ test also catch a lot of carp. Pull The Loner across any surface and the hook wants to dig in. What’s more, when you go to take it the point back out the way it came, it doesn’t really want to. It’s like that pronounced kink at the end provides a truly ‘anti-eject’ setup.
I can see why the rig would be effective for single hookbaits, especially something like a balanced Wafter. I had a play in a tank for the purpose of this feature to see how it behaved with a nice 24/7 wafter on and it was just how I like my wafters – the hook sitting flush to the lakebed and the bait just dancing around above, like a freebie would. I’m sure that gets noticed by carp and lowers their guard, which makes a difference to the positivity of their approach to eating the hookbait. If they suck it in with more enthusiasm, the chances of getting a bite increase massively.
Stick a pop-up on this rig and it doesn’t quite make so much sense, though if used ‘shot-on-the-hook’ style I could see that being effective as well. For all I know, at Savay that’s called something else?
By the end of this article, I’m sure there will be a ‘Kill Mat Woods’ rig drawn up at Savay. Probably have a Grinner Knot at one end and a massive angry carp angler at the other! See you next time (hopefully!).