D-Rig In Detail
Marcus Howarth explains why this presentation is his go-to winter rig
I first stumbled across this rig - or a variation of it - around six years ago. I’d always been a fan of balanced baits and was looking for a rig that was perfect for such a successful method.
I began to play around with various hooklink materials, steering clear of braid and sticking to a mono, or fluorocarbon alternative. I would hazard a guess that over 90% of anglers would use a braided hooklink for their bottom-bait fishing, and my feeling was perhaps, that the carp are beginning to deal with it.
I wanted something stiff which would be extremely difficult for the fish to eject once they’d made the mistake of sucking in the bait. After a long time playing around with various hooklinks, eventually I settled for 25lb Amnesia Clear - its first, and most important attributes being its stiffness and extreme rigidity.
Not only does it cause a huge problem for the carp once the bait’s sucked in, it also eliminates completely, any chance of tangles. One of the biggest problems with set-ups that don’t incorporate PVA is that they can often suffer tangles, thus rendering your rig completely useless.
I used the hooklink in conjunction with a helicopter system, which again ensured that the rig would always remain fishing, if you will. Due to the rig’s rigidity, even if a tench picks it up or a carp wafts it around when it’s feeding, it will always reset itself; this is greatly important.
The bait is key. It must be balanced in some way or another and should sit just above the hook, which will lie on the lakebed. Because the bait sits on top of the hook, you can get away with using a larger size than you’d usually deploy. I’ve used a size 5 Stiff Rigger for years now. This pattern has an out-turned eye, and this is really important. If you used a pattern with an in-turned eye, it would close the gape on the hook too much and it’d become difficult to hook the fish. With an out-turned eye, there’s a good separation from where the Amnesia comes out from the eye to the hook point. When a carp sucks in the bait before attempting to blow it back out again, the whole of the hook will be exposed and ready to take hold. I started off using it with wafters straight out the pot and managed to catch the largest common in the lake I was on at over 37lb, along with one of the rare mirrors at over 30lb.
I was sold from the off, and knew I was on to something that could prove to be a major success. I’ve since used it in a variety of situations, but always when fishing on a nice, clean bottom, be it silt or gravel, as long as it’s flat the rig will sit perfectly. If there’s even sparse weed around the spot, there’s a slim chance that the hooklink could loop up over it, which is not what you want.
A lot of my time on the bank is spent just boilie fishing, and this rig is perfect for the spread baiting approach - providing, as mentioned, that the bottom is clean. I like a hookbait that’ll waft just above the hook, which, as mentioned, lies on the lakebed.
How to put together Marcus’ D-Rig arrangement
1. First off, take a length of Amnesia; Marcus opts for the Clear.
2. Marcus uses one of the new Thinking Anglers Out-Turned Eye hooks. Now thread through the eye and wrap it round the shank like so.
3. Wrap two times back down the shank and through the eye.
4. Next you need to add a Hook Ring Swivel onto the tag end.
5. And then push the tag end back through the eye to create a D.
6. As usual, take a lighter and blob it down to keep the D secure.
7. It should look like this to allow plenty of flexibility.
8. At the other end of the rig, tie a size 8 ring swivel using a Grinner.
9. Mould some putty around the centre of the hooklink.
10. Now give the rig a steam, keeping it under tension as you do.
11. Attach your bait, Marcus prefers Wafters, and it’s job done.