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This month panel of ex­perts from Main­line an­swer your ques­tions on how to per­fect your stick-mix, why find­ing gravel is im­por­tant when fish­ing on the bot­tom, and how to get the most out of the Spin­ner/ron­nie Rig

Dear Ex­perts,

It seems ev­ery­body is catch­ing on the Spin­ner/ron­nie Rig re­cently. Can the panel please ex­plain the best way to use this rig and what would be the best hook­bait to use? Should I be us­ing a pop-up or a wafter? Fi­nally, what loose feed works best? Many thanks,

An­drew Harris

Stock­port

Dear An­drew,

The Spin­ner/ron­nie rig is very easy to con­struct us­ing a boom sec­tion, fol­lowed by the Spin­ner/ron­nie sec­tion it­self. When I am con­struct­ing the rig, I pre­fer to use the 25lb Korda Boom hook­link around 10 inches long which I crimp at both ends. I leave a 10mm loop at one end with a tail rub­ber, and crimp the quick change, flexir­ing swivel quite tight at the other. I then add ei­ther a min­i­mum of a size 6 hook, but usu­ally a size 4 curve shank hook, then the short length of shrink tube, mi­cro flexi ring swivel and hook bead just be­low the barb and it is ready to go, armed with your cho­sen pop-up.

I tend to fish the rig so that it sinks ex­tremely slowly, so test­ing it in the mar­gins is a must! With the big hooks like a size 4, I use a 14 or 15mm pop-up, favour­ing ei­ther the white (flu­oro) Cell or Milky Tof­fee which I have had amaz­ing suc­cess with. This coun­ter­acts the weight of all the met­al­work and min­imises the need for much putty on the crimp. I pre­fer to fish this he­li­copter-style with a heli-safe bead (set to drop the lead) over a clear or weedy bot­tom, and sim­ply move the bead up the lead­core leader to al­low the bait to gen­tly rest on weed if nec­es­sary. Oth­er­wise, when fish­ing over a firm bot­tom I push the no-trace bead nearer the lead. One of the fea­tures I re­ally like about this rig is that the boom never fails to kick away from the lead, which is the per­fect anti-tan­gle sce­nario. Be­cause this is a low ly­ing popup rig, I tend to fish it over a mix­ture of chopped boilies and small par­ti­cles to re­ally get the carp feed­ing hard on the mul­ti­tude of small bait items – and it has proved a very suc­cess­ful method for me.

Hope this helps,

Hi,

I would like some help on where I’m go­ing wrong. I have de­cided to use a stick-mix this sea­son on a fun­nel web sys­tem. I have bought the mix and cor­re­spond­ing oil to suit it, how­ever, ev­ery time I try to make a batch it ei­ther ends up too wet, with the ap­pear­ance of a ready-to-roll base mix, which just stays like a sausage of paste un­der wa­ter once the PVA melts. Ei­ther that, or it be­comes far too dry and more like a pow­der. Is there a spe­cial method or am I just be­ing plain daft?

Re­gards,

Craig

Southamp­ton

Hi Craig,

First of all, it is by no means a daft ques­tion. It is some­thing my­self and plenty of other an­glers I’m sure, still get wrong from time to time when putting the mix to­gether. It’s a method I per­son­ally use mostly dur­ing the carp matches I take part in, or at fairly pro­lific venues when I’m look­ing for quick bites, or when set­ting lit­tle traps if a wa­ter is fish­ing par­tic­u­larly hard.

Ob­vi­ously I can only give you my meth­ods and the prod­ucts I use to make my mix and hope it’s some­thing that helps you go­ing for­ward. Firstly, I do like a lot of the flavours Main­line do in the ded­i­cated stick-mix bags. Lately, I’ve been match­ing the flavoured stick-mix to what I’m us­ing on the hook and my free of­fer­ings, this isn’t a must, it’s just some­thing I’ve been do­ing with some suc­cess re­cently.

So with that in mind, at this cur­rent time I’m us­ing the Main­line Hy­brid ground­bait and Hy­brid stick-mix liq­uid. The ground­bait it­self is packed with lots of high qual­ity, food in­gre­di­ents and crushed par­ti­cles. To this I add crushed Hy­brid boilies, be­fore fi­nally adding my Hy­brid stick-mix liq­uid to form the mix.

Now the im­por­tant part – how to make the mix: I’ve got a one pint mag­got box that I use,

this will hold enough of the fin­ished ar­ti­cle to make a dozen small sticks, once done. This will keep me fish­ing quickly and ef­fec­tively when the ac­tion’s steady but of course I can al­ways make a smaller batch up if I’m only set­ting a trap and wait­ing for a bite over a longer pe­riod.

What I’ve man­aged to mas­ter over the years, is the amount of pow­der and liq­uid to add. I’ve done this by filling to a line I’ve marked in my bait box. I fill the ground­bait to the line and then from do­ing it reg­u­larly, I’ve now got a rough idea on the amount of liq­uid to add, to get the mix ready.

This is very much a trial and er­ror process to start with, but by adding the liq­uid lit­tle and of­ten and stir­ring as you go, you’ll soon mas­ter it. You’re look­ing to achieve a mix you can bind but eas­ily crum­ble. Once you’ve achieved this, for me, then the next most im­por­tant thing is putting the stick to­gether. You’ll need the Korda Boilie Fun­nel Web and a firm sur­face to com­pact the stick – a bucket lid is per­fect. Use the lid to com­press the stick in­gre­di­ents nice and firm – it’s im­por­tant for the stick to be tight and com­pact, this will make the bag ex­plode af­ter a short pe­riod of time in the wa­ter giv­ing you the per­fect pre­sen­ta­tion and hope­fully... a carp shortly af­ter­wards.

Kind re­gards,

A re­li­able pop-up is al­ways needed

This big com­mon fell to a Milky Tof­fee pop-up on a spin­ner rig, fished over par­ti­cles

Make sure you use top qual­ity at­trac­tors, like the Hy­brid Stick Mix Liq­uid When it all comes to­gether

Trial and er­ror to start with but you’ll soon get it right

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