THE NOODLE RIG
In his own words, Scott Lloyd explains how he creates this devastatingly-effective rig for balanced hookbaits, and how every aspect serves a specific purpose
THIS is known as the Noodle rig, but I also call it the ‘half a stick’ rig because it incorporates half a length of shrink tube.
The thinking behind it comes from my love of longshank curve hooks. They’re great hooks, but they can be pretty ruthless with the mouth, twisting round and catching in the net. So this is a safe solution. I’m very meticulous and sequenced in my approach and I’ve watched fish do a lot of things with rigs in the edge. So, do I think the big piece of shrink tube puts them off? Not at all. I’ve seen carp spook off leads, definitely, but not off rig components.
I’ve also never seen them be able to deal with this rig. This isn’t me guessing either – this is what I’ve seen from climbing trees and watching fish.
I’ve used quite a lot of rigs in the edge, where the fish are at their most wary, and I’ve seen them deal with most of them – especially those tied with pop-ups, which they can easily blow out.
To date, I’ve never seen a fish spit this rig out, and that gives me a massive amount of confidence.
I will occasionally use this rig with a bit of putty (where the coated braid is broken) but I prefer to get my balance from the hookbait – I always go for balanced hookbaits.
“I want the rig to just kick away (from the lead) when it drops”
I’ve witnessed fish coming over baits and controlling their suction to work out which bits are safe. With a ‘heavy’ bait, you’re unlikely to catch these fish.
I test the balance of the rig in the edge before I cast out – I want the rig to just kick away (from the lead) when it drops.
I also never cast out any bait without a piece of dissolvable foam. I wrap this around the back of the hook, lick the tips of it, then just pinch them together. There is an art to it and it takes practice. You don’t want to squeeze the whole thing flat, because it’s the air in it that keeps it buoyant. And you don’t want it sticking to itself too much, though obviously it must be able to survive the cast and crashing through the surface of the water.
I use Korda Wide Gape X hooks for this rig, and they are very sharp straight from the packet. I would only sharpen a hook if I knew it wouldn’t be out in the water for longer than 24 hours, because I feel the acidity of the water causes problems.
Finally, when putting the curve in the shrink tube, I dunk it in boiling water rather than steam it, because steam can damage some hooklinks and the water gives you longer to mould the tubing.
Safe and strong Although the rig can be used on a helicopter or running rig, Scott uses it mainly with a safety clip, which will dump the lead in weed, leaving him in direct contact with the fish. Scott used the Noodle rig to land one of the country’s most sought-after carp – the mighty Burghfield Common at 62lb! Semi-stiff boom A length of coated braid helps to kick the hook and hookbait away from the lead, in order to keep tangles on the cast to a bare minimum.
Extended ‘kicker’ A long section of shrink tube with a small curved section at the end makes the rig extremely difficult for the carp to deal with. Baits of choice The rig can be used with just about any type of hookbait, but two of Scott’s preferred offerings are a wafter dumbell boilie or a critically balanced tiger nut.