Winter and early spring can be a very difficult time to catch consistently, the fish are either lethargic or just beginning to wake up and a big bed of bait is the sure fire way to destroy your chances of catching. I prefer a single bright pop up positioned in the right place that will get any carps attention, I’ve caught many fish this way over the years.
The “multi-rig” as it is widely known is a rig that you can cast almost anywhere to showing fish or position on gravel, silt or even light weed just by adjusting the height of the popup, this really is a versatile rig. The other benefit is that if you accidently blunt a hook and cannot re-sharpen it effectively or you catch a fish on the rig, you can change the hook very quickly without having to retie a new rig every time, just slip off the retaining loop, slide on a new hook, position the loop again around the shank and you have a finished brand new rig all ready to cast out.
How I have found to best fish this rig is to attach to a ring swivel on a lead clip system, I trim the “Critical Mass” putty until the 15mm pop up just sinks. This enables you to use a small piece of Dissolving Foam if fishing over weed and as the foam dissolves the pop up drifts slowly down to rest on any debris on the lake bed, thus presenting perfect presentation every time.
The components you will need to tie this simple but effective rig.
Cut off the desired length of hook link depending on what you are fishing over, a good starting point is around 12 inches. I also like to blend in the colour of the hook link to the bottom I’m fishing over.
Tie a large loop in one end with an overhand knot, bear in mind that the size of the loop you are tying will represent the height of the finished pop up.
Take a “Peel & Pull” Stripper Tool from Gardner, these little gadgets make stripping back the correct amount of coating so easy, gone are the days of me using my teeth. Strip back around an inch, this will give the finished pop up more movement.
Now tie a smaller loop in the other end of the hook link, this is for attaching to the ring swivel on my lead clip system.
Attach the hook link via a loop to loop knot to the ring swivel. This will make it easy if you have to change hook link colour, breaking strain or even if it gets damaged. Attaching it to this ring will give the rig a lot more movement and aid in a tangle free cast.
Take a Size 6 Covert “Chod” hook, these hooks are perfect for this type of rig, the Covert finish makes them less obvious on the lakes bottom. They also have a very sharp straight point which aid better penetration when you get a pickup when using popup rigs. It also has a slightly out turned eye which makes the 45 degree angle off the hook when this rig is tied up, giving it the perfect alignment for better hooking.
Thread the hook onto the loop as shown in the picture.
Take a large Covert Rig Ring, this again coming from the Covert range has the anti-glare coating on the ring making it inconspicuous.
Thread a Covert Rig Ring onto the loop as you did with the hook.
Pull the loop end over the point of the hook, pull down gently creating the “D” effect for the pop up to run along. You can have this as small or large as you require.
This is how the rig should now look with a nice “D”, note the aggressive angle of the hook, which is what makes this rig so effective.
Take a 15mm pop up of your choice.
Tie securely to the Covert Rig Ring as shown in the picture.
Take a piece of Gardner “Critical Mass” Putty. I like to choose the colour relative to the bottom I’m fishing over, in this instance it’s the “Camo Green” as I’m using this rig over light weed.
Mould around the end of the stripped back hook link to give the rig added movement. A good tip here is when you are making a hot drink, leave the putty on the top of the kettle, this will make the putty a lot more pliable in extremely cold weather. Just mould around with your fingers if not as cold.
Here is the finished rig. You can now test the rig at the waters edge and trim back the putty to create a slow sinking pop up that will rest on any weed on the bottom. This will also aid in the pop up going back into the carps mouth a lot further thus getting a better deeper hook hold. Add a piece of Dissolving Rig Foam to the hook to create a very slow sinking hook bait that will rest on the bottom perfectly.
Here is the proof in the pudding, a nice early spring mirror caught using the rig described.