Hi Team,

Carpworld - - MAINLINE - Dave Levy

The rea­son for us­ing a short (6 inch) or a long (12 inch) hook­length has of­ten been a ques­tion I’d like an­swer­ing. I use both sizes and both have caught me carp. Fish­ing over weed or silt I use a longer hook­length due to us­ing a pop-up – any­thing from 1-3 inches up off the bot­tom. On clear wa­ters or over gravel, I tend use a shorter length. That’s been my ap­proach for a while but I don’t fully un­der­stand the think­ing be­hind each one. I’ve had finicky bites that are not quite takes and have won­dered if I’d used a longer or shorter hook­lengths, would it have made a dif­fer­ence. I am con­fi­dent in the rigs that I am cur­rently us­ing, it’s just the length in dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions that I’m un­sure about. Thank you for your time and hope­fully you will be able to ad­vise me... Kind re­gards, Andy Michie Hi Andy,

You al­most hit the nail on the head – the most im­por­tant as­pect of rigs is to use the right one in the right sit­u­a­tion. If I’m fish­ing hard, clear lake beds I’ll use rigs as short as 3 to 4 inches, yet on the silty and choddy areas, I will use any­thing up to 18 inches in length with­out hes­i­ta­tion.

The rea­son for this is sim­ple – it’s down to the move­ment of the carp while feed­ing and what the carp can get away with. Carp are a lot more dif­fi­cult to catch over th­ese harder lake beds as the rig is eas­ier to deal with and this is why we shorten the rig, as it gives them a lot less room to move around.

Out in the weed or silt it is much harder for a carp to de­tect for­eign ob­jects such as hooks and gen­er­ally the bait is more spread out. Mak­ing a carp move fur­ther be­tween its food items is key to trip­ping them up.

An­other rea­son we fish the hook­link in a longer fash­ion is to be clear of the silt and not have the hook­link dragged down into it, con­se­quently mask­ing the setup. Of course, you can com­bat this with set­ups like the he­li­copter rig, this would al­low you to have the best of both so to speak. As with many things in carp fish­ing there’s a lot of trial and er­ror in­volved. I will of­ten fish wafters or pop-ups in the silt and weed but al­most al­ways like to use a bot­tom bait from the bag when fish­ing clear hard-spots, as I be­lieve that with all the free of­fer­ings carp feed on th­ese days, a bot­tom bait is prob­a­bly the most nat­u­ral­look­ing on this type of lake bot­tom.


This carp was caught on a very short rig when fish­ing over a hard bot­tom, i.e gravel

I will of­ten use a wafter when fish­ing over silt or light weed

The length of my rigs can vary tremen­dously, based on what ground I am fish­ing over

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