When the stiff-hinge met the multi-rig – Karl White
They’re two of the best pop-up rigs around, but Gardner Tackle’s Karl White has created a hybrid of the two
CARP anglers are always striving to find that extra edge to put a bonus fish or two on the bank. Even when a rig is billed as ‘the ultimate’ or ‘best ever’ there’s always someone who manages to make a couple of clever tweaks and improve its effectiveness even further. One such angler is Gardner Tackle and Sticky-backed Karl White. In recent years, the multi-rig and stiff-hinge rig have been two of the most popular pop-up presentations responsible for the downfall of countless big carp. But the 30-year-old railway engineer has taken the best elements of the two set-ups to create a hybrid of the two. And his results hav have been impressive.
The birth of a rig
The stiff-hinge is often credited with being the ultimate big-fish rig. So why would you try and improve it in the first place? “I was actually doing really well using stiffhinge rigs but it was while fishing with a friend that I started to think about possible improvements,” explained the Essex angler. “My friend is always changing elements such as rig length or hook size until he gets a bite. He was using multi-rigs and I was impressed at how quickly he could land a fish, attach a fresh hook and get his rig back in the water. I realised that I was spending much more time with my rods out of the water while I tied on a new rig. On some waters you can get a bite really quickly after landing one fish before the shoal moves on, and I felt this could be costing me bites. As a result I came up with this presentation that combines the unrivalled mechanics of a hinge rig with the versatility of a multi-rig. If I need to replace a blunt hook or even just alter the size it now takes seconds instead of having to tie up a complete new rig.”
The stiffer the better
According to Karl all good pop-up presentations have something in common. “Having an element of stiffness between the anchor point – the putty or split shot – and hook is critical. With this hybrid rig I found that not only did the doubled-up section of stiff filament double the stiffness of the hook section, but also that it retained its curved section much better,” he revealed. “If you are casting regularly, the resistance created when the hookbait hits the water can cause a traditional stiff-hinge to lose its shape. With this rig, I can be 100 per cent confident it has kept its shape.” One thing that immediately jumps out when you look at the rig is the short length of silicone tubing threaded through the eye of the hook. “This actually came about completely by accident,” said Karl, a wry smile on his face. “Because the stiff filament is smooth it can slip through the eye of the hook and I often found that the ‘D’ had got bigger when I cast out and the rig hit the water. I didn’t want to put tubing over the eye of the hook as this would stop me being able to quickly change the hook. “My solution was to thread on a small piece of silicone so that it sat behind the eye and stopped the filament pulling through. When I did it, though, the silicone wedged itself in the eye and it looked perfect.”
Boom length matters
With the all-singing all-dancing hook section it’s easy to overlook the boom section and the important part it plays. If you get it wrong the rig could easily be rendered useless. “What a lot of anglers don’t realise when they think they’ve found a lovely hard, clear area is that, in reality, it probably isn’t as clear as they think,” cautioned Karl. “A light layer of silt or weed can easily feel like a clear spot when you pull a lead over it. If a stiff boom gets pulled into this, the rig is going to sit up at a weird angle. A supple boom, however, will settle nicely over any contours.” Not only does the material used need to be taken into consideration, but careful attention also needs paying to the boom’s length. “I judge it purely on how the drop feels when leading about at the start of the session,” explained Karl. “My go-to length is 10 inches but if the spot feels particularly soft, I’ll go up to 14 inches. Alternatively, if it’s firm, I’ll go as short as eight inches.” In terms of lead set-up, Karl once again warns that you should never assume the lakebed is as firm as it feels. “Using a helicopter set-up enables the hooklink to move up the leader if the lead plugs into any soft silt. It also has the advantage that if a fish shows where I’m unsure of the lakebed I can slide the top bead further up the leader and the rig should be well presented whatever the bottom. “If you did want to fish it on a lead clip I would recommend making the boom section just a little bit longer than you think you would need. For example, if you think you need eight inches, tie up 10,” he added.
“It’s critical to have a really buoyant bait for this rig so that it sits cocked and ready for long periods of time. I’ll often use a Sticky 16mm Krill White pop-up as I favour a bright hookbait over an area of feed to make it stand out,” said Karl. “Most times I bait up with 12mm, 16mm and 20mm boilies to give the fish plenty of different-sized baits to deal with. I use more of the smaller baits in the mixture and if the spot is really clean I’ll add plenty of crumbed-up boilies too.”
This cracking common failed to deal with the hybrid multi-rig
These are the components required to tie Karl’s clever hybrid multirig presentation
The hybrid multi-rig provides excellent hookholds – there was no way this fish was coming off!