As we’re now firmly headed into autumn, and the winter is fast approaching I’ve once again started using my old faithful balanced pop up rig that has served me so well in previous years. This rig is a real gem from this time of year onwards, as the water temperatures drop off and I have found that it will often out-fish any other rig during this time. Like most great methods it’s very simple; and this highly effective rig allows you to fish a pop up extremely close to the lake bed, whilst still ensuring that the hook bait stands proud enough to visible and give off that vital ‘eat me’ signal.
I’ve used this rig regularly for about four years now, during which time its caught me fish to over 40lbs; culminating in a great catch from a little syndicate I fished last winter – taking 28 fish in 3 weeks between January and February! Whilst location and bait application certainly played a big part in this result, I put a great deal of this success down to this rig. I’ve found that combining this rig with a hi-viz pop-up is a real winner.
A major advantage of the rig is that it allows you to use a big hook as the counterbalance weight lays it inconspicuously on the bottom, and completely out of the way. I’ve been tying it with 25lb Gardner Chod Skin combined with a size 6 Covert Mugga hook, knotless knotted with a small piece of tubing trapping the hair on the shank. Not only does this hold the hair in place but by moving the tubing up or down you can finely adjust the height of the pop-up as and when you need to without having to tie a whole new rig. By placing a shot on the hair just below the pop up you are able to balance the bait perfectly, with the whole set up looking very neat and tidy.
Most of the time I’ve been fishing this with a 14mm CCMoore ‘Acid Pear Drop’ pop-up over the top of various combinations of pellets and boilies., whereas fishing this rig with a little stringer or small bag of pellets also seems to work very well, and often trips up those more ‘riggy’ or rarely caught special fish.
Mechanically the rig woks superbly, however I think that this rig is particularly successful because it sits just off the bottom, not standing out as obviously as a normal pop-up but just enough to catch the carp’s attention as they come across it hoover’ing food up off of the bottom.
The hook holds are always very good!
As the rig is balanced it just flies back into the mouth and combined with the big sharp Mugga hook there’s no way they’re getting away with it. In fact when thinking about it now I can only recall ever losing 3 fish on this rig in the 4 years I’ve been using it.
The other advantage with balancing this rig so it sinks very slowly is that it will effectively fishing no matter what type of bottom your fishing on. From my experience with this rig it seems to be light weed or silt where it’s really at its best.
Have a go with this rig this autumn and winter and I’m sure it will catch you a few more fish.