Oz Holness Rigs

How To Tie Oz Holness's Hook Ring Swivel Rig

For as many years as I can remember now, I have used a D style rig presentation, in some form or another, for my carp angling. The original Hair rig idea of separation between hook and hookbait, had, for me, been superseded by the use of modern materials. New ideas and concepts increased the efficiency of our terminal arrangements and converted more pick-ups into fish on the bank. Seeing the underwater videos of endless hookbaits being ejected, where the hook was dislodged using the hookbait itself, or simply the hook was blown out upside down etc., was testament to how inefficient many rigs had become over time. Oz Holness

A bit more subtle

The concept behind this particular rig for my own use came about via my friend Ben Hamilton and his company Thinking Anglers. They had produced the first micro ring swivel, maybe getting on for ten years ago now, one they called the Hook Ring Swivel. A tiny, neat little ring swivel that sat beautifully on either the shank of a hook or a ‘D’ loop, giving free movement and 360-degree rotation to the hookbait, allowing the hook to remain in prime hooking position under the bait… just like a claw!

There were so many applications for this little swivel in rig construction, it was incredible. It just suited my chosen rig patterns perfectly at the time. It was ideal for all those D style rigs, such as the Hinges, Chods and Multi Rigs, as well as my favoured D style bottom bait presentations I fished with big hooks and large loops.

The fairly agricultural approach of boilie angling out on baited areas was well covered with my rig armoury, and I was happy enough with the effectiveness of the stiffer materials and mechanics of the D sections I used. However, I always felt I lacked a suitable rig for the more subtle particle approach or edge fishing in shallow clear water scenarios etc. Ben was far more proficient in this sort of style than I and so I was keen to get his take on things. The main thing I wanted to keep was the fast reacting nature of the hookbait being close to the hook itself, but I required something more subtle than the large D loop, which was perfect for boilie hookbaits, but less so for the smaller baits I wished to use. This is especially so when using a particle approach or in the edge, where the carp were particularly wary and scrutinized everything in a slow and methodical manner.

Eureka moment

Originally, Ben was using a small ring on the shank but the hook holds were sketchy with fish getting hooked in the scissors at times. It seemed the ring just didn’t have the necessary separation qualities required, and often the bait would twist the hook into the wrong position for optimum hooking. Adding a micro swivel to the rig ring was a eureka moment and that old hook ring swivel was born.

Ben had a lot of success on a variety of waters by simply threading these Hook Ring Swivels directly on the hook and stopping them on the shank with a small bead. From this idea it was simple to effectively create a couple of different styles of rig mechanics, simply by moving the bead along the shank! For straightforward bottom baits, such as a small barrel-shaped boilie, I move the bead round to the bend of the hook, which allows the hook to flip over as the link tightens once the fish moves away.

My preferred method of fishing this particular rig, however, is to place the bead opposite the barb of the hook and fish a balanced/wafter hookbait. This could be a small balanced boilie, or a simple drilled and corked tiger nut, or even a single grain of plastic maize etc. Either way, the bait is threaded on to the swivel via bait floss and then, simply by blobbing the floss, the bait is secured in position. The bait is then finely balanced by either trimming it down, or adding small amounts of rig putty, so as the bait sits perfectly above the hook. The swivel, being mounted on the shank, allows the hook to be almost perfectly obscured from sight and I generally tailor my hook size to the bait size in these scenarios.

Go short

My favoured Tungskin coated braid is fished short, with a tiny break in the skin to allow the hook full freedom of movement, whatever the angle of approach from carp. It is stiff enough to be awkward to eject, but subtle enough to fish small hookbaits over small food items in these particle/seed situations.

The main thing I wanted to achieve was a fast reacting rig against these very slow moving carp. Fishing small mass food items can be frustrating as the fish often feed with their mouths pinned to the deck, often rendering our rigs ineffective as they have so long to detect the danger.

Everything and more

So this swivel on the hook rig does everything I require. It reacts ridiculously quickly once mouthed, as the rotation of the swivel and drop of the hook is instant. It is subtle and versatile, you can adapt the hooklink to suit the situation you are faced with. I have fished it with coated braid much of the time, but I have used fluorocarbon hooklinks on really clear shallow water situations. You can fish a wide variety of small hookbaits safe in the knowledge that everything is balanced and working in harmony with each other. A great rig that is well worth a place on your own rig board.

What you need

35lb Tungsten Loaded
Straight point hook
Hook Ring Swivels
Hook Beads
Wafter hookbaits

Pulling it all together

1. Take a length of the Tungsten Loaded (I like the 35lb BS version).

2. Next, you need to strip off a shortish length of coating like so.

3. Attach a straight-point hook using a Five-Turn Knotless Knot.

4. Cut and blob the tag end - you won’t be tying a traditional Hair.

5. Shrink a small piece of shrink tubing over the eye to create a curve.

6. Now you need to thread on your Hook Ring Swivel as shown here.

7. Followed by a Hook Bead and move it round to this position.

8. Attach and tie on your chosen bait - Oz opts for a wafter hookbait.

9. And here’s the finished rig: really simple but extremely effective.

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