Catch more carp on the pole this winter as Steve Ringer guides you through the best rig to use...
Float: For all of my deep-water fishing on open lakes such as Lake 2 at BW Makins, I use a float that is very stable. It's a Mick Wilkinson Diamond pattern that features a cane bristle and a glass fibre stem. In terms of stability the float is the best I have ever used and definitely helps me use a lighter float than other anglers. I prefer to use a lighter pattern as I feel it helps to fool more carp in harder conditions. As the floats are handmade, they are very robust because the bristle joins the stem inside the floats body. For further strengthening the float has small length of silicone down the body so the line will never cut through the body. This gives me lots of confidence in the float I use and means I can concentrate on the fishing rather than on broken floats.
Line: I always use Shimano Antares Silk shock line for all of my carp fishing. This is because the line is supple and has very good diameter to strength ratio. For my main rig I would use 0.14mm straight through. I fish my rigs straight through for extra strength and no weak spots down the rig. I might also have a rig with 0.16mm line, this would be used if the fish were larger than expected or if I started bagging.
Hook: For all of my year round carp fishing, I have three hooks that I am confident in using. For winter pole fishing it is the Kamasan B911. This hook is medium gauge carbon wire with a wide gape and swept point that aids penetration. Hook size depends on bait used but I will use either, 16, 18 or 20.
Shotting: This is the most important part of the rig and I like to have this right before I start fishing. Over years of winter carping I have come up with a very simple shotting pattern that I am confident in. I have a spread bulk of No10 shot starting from 18 inches above the hook. The gap between each shot is about one inch; this gives the hook bait a very slow fall as it nears the bottom, which can fool carp into taking the bait. The shotting pattern is very versatile as I can change the way it behaves by moving shot into different places.
Plumbing: Most open waters especially Makins suffer from a lot of tow, for that reason I start with my rig an inch overdepth. This then depends on how the rig reacts in the water but sometimes it is better to have a bait moving slightly in the tow, as it looks real natural like the loose feed.
Why it works: The rig is very simple and requires no extra work to the rig in the session. I feel it provides a presentation that carp require in colder conditions as it moves down the water column slower and looks natural to a fish. The rig is also positive and will show up delicate knocks, this can give me an indication to how the fish want to feed.
Top Tip: In winter the best tip I can give is about location. Do your research and find out where the fish have been showing in matches then fish them pegs as in winter fish can be tightly shoaled up. This can ensure you get a few bites in the hardest of conditions.
This article appears in the February 2005 issue of Advanced Pole Fishing and is reproduced with their permission.