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31 May 2017
by John Hannent
The top 10 rig mistakes
We've all been there: multi strand, sucked in by endorsements, Chod Rigs; here's John Hannent's biggest ten...

1 Leadcore

The stuff available now is soft, supple and sticks to the bottom like you know what. The gear that I originally played with years back was like curtain wire. Bought in good faith from a long-since defunct establishment, this cream-coloured spring was totally unmanageable. While I'm sure it was 'acceptable' (I'll go no further) in its primary use for dragging lures across the depths of Scottish Lochs, it was somewhat lacking on the end of 12lb Sylcast. It did keep the gear down on the bottom, and it caught, but plastic that went hard when cold... And white. Shows how thick they are! Back to tubing... 

2 Armoured tubing

Don't get me started. This wonder-gear was sourced to protect my line from the rigours of mussels, flints and even scissors strewn across the bottom of my Norfolk lakes (invariably soft, muddy ditches). It came in carbon grey or a 'flesh' colour. It said gravel on the pack, but I couldn't see it against the back of my hand. Now, while I noticed no problems with clip-type rigs, when utilised as the backbone of a helicopter rig, this gear would, under the swivel, wear through your line very quickly. I lost two fish before I realised what was happening. GRRRRR.

3 Multi-Strand

Now, I know a brilliant angler who conquered 'multi-strand' hooklinks, tied by their own fair hands in monofilaments slimmer than a spider's thread and used successfully in conditions you wouldn't drive a tanker through. I didn't, I bought the off-the-shelf stuff which takes some mastering. Mastering!? Every time I reeled in that vital 12" looked like the city dump covered on wet toilet paper. Try as hard as I might, with knots, stringers, even changing areas to 'cleaner' ones, I always came back the same. Until I discovered...

4 Product 'X'

...At last, you could buy something that stuck your multi-strand together and turned it into... well... 'STRAND'! But the great think about this semen-like liquid was the fact that the multi strand maintained its ability to attract anything that laid in the surround area and tangle with it. Marvellous! I'll stand in the lake and tear-up money (or go back to Dacron). 

5 Cranked hooks

Pffft! Actually, double Pfffft!

6 Confidence rigs

They work, believe me, they work. Long, soft (sometimes ;-)) hooklinks with very small hooks. But what's long? I've seen anglers slinging out up to 5ft of Trilene hooklink on the sole supposition that a fish is going to nose the bait around in a radius of 10' before it decides it's the 'bait for me' and unhindered by a clumsy anglers end tackle. Or had it just been dropped 30 times and some poor cypry got the last inch? Cobblers.

7 'Out' barbs

Kevin Maddocks, who shall remain nameless, put a range of hooks on the market with the barbs on the outside. Really! So when penetrating the flesh, the barb actually pushed the hook out of the hole. Now, Kev's a far better angler than I'll ever be, but what this did prove was that the carp world was a sucker for a big name on a packet of 10. 

8 Foam nuggets

Now, I use them all of the time. That little bit of confidence that your rig isn't tangled and has landed correctly is important to me. But that's through the air. If you think that you can drag your rig across gravel etc. by simply folding one over your hook, think again. Stick it in a PVA bag, or slice and stick for greater longevity. Listen to me! Rig guru. 

9 The Chod Rig

Pull your eyebrows down, I know you've got 50 of them pre-tied in your box. But how are you using them? Have you bothered to find out what you're fishing over? Do you use it because 'you know you're fishing effectively'? Are you? Doesn't a four-inch pop-up over gravel look a tad odd? Does a four-inch pop-up in 5ft of weed look at all odd? Did you tighten up? Did you feel it down? Where are your beads? You can't just sling it anywhere, over anything. "Darrell does", 'Jim Does", "Terry Does"... They don't.

10 Dung leads

This one is just personal preference, but slinging out a lump of church roof that looks like Worzul Gummidge's pubes leaves me cold. True, camouflage is everything (I've heard) and the addition of bark chippings, aggregates and grass clippings will always confuse our quarry as to where and when the end tackle lies... Normally two-inches down in silt or soft sand! And, what would you rather have pulled across your eyeball. Or am I getting soft?

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