Carp Specialist UK
CARPology Rigs
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A Timeline of Rig Development

Featuring, amongst many others, the Stiff Rig, Mag-Aligner, D Rig, Line-Aligner and co.

What: The Buried Hook Rig (the onset of carping)
When: 1940s
Lowdown: In those early days of carp fishing, the anglers such as Dick Walker believed the hook had to be totally concealed by the bait, hence so many missed runs.


What: The Zig Rig
When: Mid 40s
Lowdown: The members of The Carp Catchers Club were beginning to use anchored crusts. In the mid 90s the innovative Zenon Bojko stated using, cork and foam, later became known as the Zig Rig.


What: The Spaghetti Rig
When: The 60s
Lowdown: The lads in Kent started using spaghetti and other odds and ends between the paste bait and the bend of the hook in an attempt to stop the hook being pulled in further during the strike.


What: Side hooking
When: The 1970s
Lowdown: The boiled bait had emerged from the secret hotbed Kent. These baits were simply side hooked onto the hook, and whilst one problem had been overcome, the issue of loads of missed takes still existed due to the bait masking the hook.


What: The original Hair
When: Pre-1980
Lowdown: The brainchild of the rig man of the day, Lenny Middleton. The Hair rig separated bait from hook, meaning there was no masking of the hook, so the takes and hook holds were phenomenal. This was historically to change carp angling forever.


What: The thru the eye Hair rig
When: 1983
Lowdown: Instead of tying the Hair to the bend of the hook, the Hair came through the eye of the hook, offering possibly better anti-eject properties. The Hair was an integral part of the hooklink material which had now changed to braid.


What: The Sliding Hair Rig
When: 1983
Lowdown: One of the most influential anglers we have ever had is Rod Hutchinson, and his rig skills were second-to-none. When he suspected fish were getting away with the Hair, he started experimenting with what later became known as the Sliding Hair Rig, and the Sliding Hooklink Rig.


What: The Spring Rig
When: 1983/84
Lowdown: This was the mastermind of Clive Dietrich. Basically a small, wide gape hook was tied on and the Hair was whipped further up the hooklink. This was taking bait-to-hook separation even further and accounted for numerous fish out of Savay and The Cons.


What: Roger Smith’s D Rig
When: Mid-80s
Lowdown: Another tremendous thinking angler, Roger Smith, developed the D Rig. Little did he know then, whilst fishing Savay, that his ‘D’ pattern would stand the test of time and be used in many rigs in the future. Again, lots of movement with the thought process of great anti-rejection by the carp.


What: The Savay Looney Extension Rig
When: 1986
Lowdown: Developed at Savay by The Famous Five, the thought process of this rig was to push the hook further up, meaning the hook was always well inside the mouth, particularly when the carp lifted its head. They later devised an even better version in the form of the Sliding Loony Extension. That man Locke and Maylin were at the back of it all.


What: The Bent hook
When: 1986/7
Lowdown: Difficult to know precisely as the very secretive Jon Holt designed this whilst fishing at Longfield. Later the large hook he used was substituted with a long shank Kamasan lure hook, publicised by Clive Williams. In the early 90s Partridge hooks released a commercial bent hook under the name of Ritchie MacDonald.


What: The Slip D Rig
When: 1987
Lowdown: Martin Clarke first created this brilliant bottom bait rig using simple hooklink materials. He later refined it in the period of 2002 using coated braids. Brilliant bait separation and incredible hooking for wary fish.


What: The Swimmer Rig
When: 1989
Lowdown: Rob Maylin is accredited with this deadly pop-up rig, which he used to devastating effect with the buoyant microwaved pop-ups and later critically-balanced baits.


What: Zenon Bojko’s Helicopter Rig
When: 1989
Lowdown: Zenon developed this as an alternative to anti-tangle tubing. He also found it was much less prone to tangling during long casts with the then in-vogue braided hooklinks.


What: The Line-Aligner
When: 1992/3
Lowdown: Jim Gibbinson, one of the long time carp anglers who was so adaptive, brought us the Line-Aligner; the principle being to make the hook flip over the lip quickly. This has now been used in many formats to small pre-set kickers etc.


What: The Blow Back Rig
When: 1996
Lowdown: Devised from another innovative mind, Kevin Nash. Not only was he designing tackle, he was sorting out big carp. Kevin wanted to know if he was being done or not, and this was one of the prerequisites of this rig. He later changed the short piece of silicone tubing for the sliding ring, which once again has become an important piece of rig making kit.


What: The Combi Rig
When: 1996/7
Lowdown: Tim Paisley and Dave Chiltern headed this rig. Initially this started as using braid and Multi-Strand and a means to reducing tangles. Then Tim used Amnesia as the boom section with a braided link to which the hook was attached. Another one that has stood the test of time.


What: The Hinged Stiff Link
When: Late 90s
Lowdown: The initial concept was taken from a rig Alan Welch and his mates were using and refined and tweaked by Lewis Read and Terry Hearn. The inclusion of the boilie hook and Domhoff Knot creating a perfect ‘D’ for the pop-up to be attached made this rig one of the most popular and effective set-ups of all time.


What: The Chod Rig
When: 1990s
Lowdown: Carp anglers in South Africa were using the concept of what later became the Chod Rig, as publicised by Terry Hearn. Don’t forget though, before this all happened, Frank Warwick was using a rig, which is probably what they worked on. It’s fair to say that Terry and Nigel Sharp really tweaked the rig to where it is today and help promote it to the mass market cira 2004.


What: The 360ş Rig
When: 2006
Lowdown: Dave Lane wanted a pop-up rig that caused the carp trouble with rejection. The 360ş Rig does just that: the hook spins and invariable every fish is nailed in the centre bottom lip. A devastating big fish pop-up rig.


What: Mike Kavanagh’s Multi Rig
When: 2006
Lowdown: Mike Kavanagh was the first person to go against the grain of using supple hooklinks and is credited with the first Stiff Rig, tied from Amnesia. He also came up with the incredibly popular Multi Rig, and is probably one of the most versatile rigs you can tie. It’s great for most baits and is a must if you are fickle about hook sharpness, allowing you to change a damaged hook in seconds.


What: The Mag-Aligner
When: 2007/8
Lowdown: Rob Maylin, never to be forgotten fish-catching genius, developed the infamous Mag-Aligner to suit his style of maggot fishing. It is unquestionably the best rig for fishing with maggots, and you only need to see what he caught on it in the first season to back that statement up.


What: The German Rig
When: 2013
Lowdown: Mat Woods has been firmly behind the movement of the German Rig. To all intents and purposes, it’s a very simple set-up: curve shank hook, tied on, with the a bottom bait or critically-balanced hookbait presented on a hook swivel and hook bead, but it’s incredibly effective.


What: The Ronnie Rig
When: 2015/6
Lowdown: The devastating low pop-up rig has proven deadly for big fish, which isn’t surprising really, working around the fundamental mechanics of the Hinged Stiff Rig. The swivel provides extension and movement, making it a difficult to get rid of rig. Loads of tweaks have been made, and now there’s even dedicated hook patterns for the rig available.