Latest Issue March
Nigel Sharp Rigs

Nigel Sharp's Stiff D-Rig Set-Up... It's Deadly!

When Nigel Sharp started off his spring campaign on Engy, targeting this generation’s Black Mirror - Baby Black - he was baiting and fishing an area which hadn’t been cleaned off by birdlife and tench, so fishing Chods was a better option because Engy is a fairly soft-ish bottom lake. In time, as he continued his baiting, he could start feeling the drops at distance, even though it’s a relatively shallow lake, so he knew the areas were getting firmer. The birdlife, tench, and silver fish were visiting regularly and he was deliberately baiting with visual stuff, such as boilies and particles to get them digging and firming up the areas.

After doing sixteen nights using Chods and banking just one fish, Nige thought he probably should have been catching more, so he decided to switch over to bottom baits, namely Stiff D-Rigs. Normally when an area becomes firmer, there’s little point using a pop-up to hold your hook above debris.

“When fishing over a tight, mass baiting, the D-Rig is the one to use,” says Nigel. “You can get bites on pop-ups but you’re better getting your hookbait down on the deck where they are feeding, which is why I used the D-Rig.”

Switching to a loop
In the past, when constructing a D-Rig, Nigel has tied the hooklink directing onto the swivel end of a flexi-ring swivel using a Four-Turn Grinner Knot, however, last year he started experimenting using a Loop Knot. He’d seen a couple of other anglers do it and they had been quite successful. He figured that if the rig landed on a silty bottom and the swivel end was being masked, it might force the hooklink to sit up at 90-degrees, especially when combined with the weight of the hookbait, causing a halo effect. Whereas with a Figure-Of-Eight-Loop knot, it gives that little bit extra movement to the rig, particularly when combined with a buoyant topper on the hookbait to make it sink slower once the lead has hit the bottom.

Mix breakdown 
25lb Trick-Link (Silt)
Size 12 Covert Flexi-Ring Swivel 
Size 5 Covert Dark Chod Hook
Large Covert Rig Ring

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How to pull it all together
1. Start by taking a size 12 Covert Flexi-Ring Swivel and checking it rotates really smoothly.
2. Now take a length of 25lb Trick-Link. Nige has been using Gardner’s new Silt version recently.
3. Thread this through the eye of the swivel and not the ring. Pull about a foot of the Trick-Link through, so in essence it’s doubled over.
4. Now tie a Figure-Of-Eight Loop Knot, so the loop itself is around half-an-inch in length which
allows for loads of movement in the rig. Nige prefers to use a Figure-Of-Eight-Loop Knot as it beds down well and runs in-line rather than a standard Overhand Knot which can kick off to the side.
5. Take a size 5 Covert Dark Chod Hook, Nige’s favourite hook pattern when using the D-Rig.
6. Thread the Trick-Link through the front of the eye of the hook, going out the back of the eye and pull around seven-inches of hooklink material through.
7. Tie a seven-turn Whipping Knot and tuck it back through the loop that you started with, at the back of the eye, and slowly tease it down tight.
8. Take a Large Covert Rig Ring and thread it onto the tag end.
9. Thread the tag end back through the back of the eye of the hook and pull it up tight.
10. As a general rule, Nige leaves a distance of “a gape of the hook and a half”, before burning it down with a lighter to about half the gape of a hook, which leaves a perfect sized D.
11. Straighten the hooklink material by steaming or rubbing your fingers along it.  
12. Finally, tie on your chosen hookbait with bait floss; Baby Black fell to a 15mm Red Spicy Fish tipped with a tiger nut.

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