The Soft Hinge Rig
Why Simon Kenny uses it for most of his fishing and how he ties it...
The rig I’ve used for several years, and that I’ve used for most of my fishing this year, is a variation of the Hinged Stiff. I’d come off a successful season on the Essex Manor - a lake covered in silkweed. When I first started Horton, I noticed that there too, a lot of the shallower areas were covered in silkweed, which carp adore. This rig is perfect for fishing over a lakebed like that and that’s what I used for the rest of my season.
From all angles
Chod Rigs have been used a lot over the years and fish, I’m sure, learn to deal with them. The carp have to go over the top of the bait and put their mouths over it to take it in. With the Hinged Rig however, there’s a lot more movement and the fish can suck the bait from a greater distance, yet still take the bait in. The boom allows this to happen, which is why I use a material that’s stiff enough to kick away, but flexible enough to bend back on itself easily, should a fish approach the rig from a ‘bad’ angle.
Tungskin in 25lb is an ideal choice for the rig and I’ve had a lot of success using it. I tie this to the stiff material, to create a Combi-Rig. This then, makes the swivel - which tends to catch up on the silkweed - redundant. The Combi, with half-an-inch of Tungskin stripped back, allows for greater movement. The putty is the only thing that can catch on the silkweed, but the contact is minimal. For me, it’s a much neater presentation than the original Hinged Stiff.
Lengths and curves
I keep the stiff material to just over an inch-and-a-half, and the length of boom section depends on the bottom I’m fishing on. I use a lot of boilies in my mix, and whether I’m straight-boilie fishing, or mixing it with particles, I have complete confidence in
the rig and I’m happy to use it in any situation.
Anything with a stiff, curved-bristle filament offers superb hooking properties and some of the hook-holds I’ve had have been incredible - especially with big fish. I favour a straight-point hook with a pop-up, and always have done. I think they penetrate the mouth much easier than a beaked-point and I use them in size 5, which are nice and strong.
How it’s tied
I start off by whipping up the hook, doing a seven-turn Knotless Knot. I then create the ‘D’, adding a small rig ring and then blob it, leaving it a good size - I like it to have plenty of movement and this helps. The next thing I do is bend the bristle back on itself to the length of pop-up section I require. I then strip a few inches of coating from the Tungskin and thread it through in-between the fold of stiff material. I then whip around the stiff material seven times, then back down it four times. There’ll be a loop at the bottom of the bristle and you pop the tag end through that. Hold both tags, moisten the knot and pull it down tight.
I then mould some putty around the knot, which pulls the pop-up down and neatens everything. I then make a Figure-Of-Eight Loop Knot at the other end of the hooklink and all that’s left then, is attach a pop-up.
It’s a superb rig and one that’s been written about a fair bit in the past, but I rarely see others using it. I’ve certainly had a great season with it myself though, banking twenty-one forties and a three fifties.
How to construct Simon Kenny’s version of the Soft Hinge Rig
1. Secure a size 5 out-turned eye hook using a Knotless Knot.
2. Attach a rig ring and push the tag end back through the eye.
3. To fix, blob the tag end with the lighter to create a bulb.
4. The ‘D’ should be large to allow for maximum movement.
5.Fold the stiff material over the height you want the pop-up to sit.
6. Take off a length of the coated hooklink - Simon uses Tungskin.
7. Now strip back a few inches of the outer coating like so.
8. Push the stripped back material through the loop you formed.
9. Whip the braid up the loop eight times, keeping the loops tight.
10. You now want to whip back down four times as shown here.
11. Holding it all tight, pushing the tag through the loop again.
12.Wet and then pull both tags down tight and form the knot.
13. With the knot fully secure, trim the tag ends to neaten it off.
14. To create the perfect curve in the material, hold over steam.
15. At the other end, form a Figure-Of-Eight Loop Knot at.
16. And finally, mould some putty round the knot to balance.