I don’t use many rigs, but the ones I do use have been finely-tuned over the years. Obviously the most important thing is a sharp hook, but that aside, there are certain rigs where you have to tie the knots a particular way to get them to sit perfectly aligned. Chod Rigs and Hinged Stiff Links have to have the correct amount of curve in them; I don’t like them to be too aggressive, just enough to spin the hook around. The right lengths, the right materials – even to the point where the pop-up has got to be right. You can cast out a factory-made one which might be buoyant enough when you first tie it on, but after an hour or so in the water it might start listing to the side and that affects how the rig works – i.e. if this happens with a Choddie it won’t turn or spin right which will result in an iffy hook hold. This is why I roll all my own corkball pop-ups, as then I know they keep the same buoyancy all night, meaning my rig will be fishing as effectively from the moment I cast out to 24 or 36hrs later.
Other key areas which get plenty of focus including the size of my ‘D’ on my Chod Rigs; using the right swivel with my Hinged rigs (some swivels will hinder the rotation of the rig) and making sure all the loops are perfectly round; even making sure my hookbaits are tied on correctly and they’ve not split or cracked. Every part of a rig has got to be bang-on as far as I’m concerned.
1. 45lb leadcore which is soaked and stretched prior to casting out
2. 30lb fluorocarbon hooklink which is steamed straight
3. Nige uses a Whipping Knot over the Knotless Knot as it sits straighter
4. The ‘D’ is the same size on each and every rig
5. The hook point is the sharpest he can find in the packet
6. Even the baits are carefully tied on, ensuring they’re not cracked