I first came about this little number a couple of years ago whilst reading an article featuring Gardner Tackle’s Lewis Read. After sitting down with the relevant components and taking the time to complete a few practice trials I soon mastered tying it.
From that day it has proven to be a deadly rig as it incorporates a tiny supple section which gives freedom for the hook to flex and turn. A tidy knot known as the Albright joins the two materials used to construct the hook link; a supple braided section of 20lb Trickster Heavy and a stiffer section of 15lb Subterfuge Super Soft fluorocarbon. This is key, because these two materials act very differently, so the final rig combines the best of both worlds and the Albright knot gives a lovely mounting point to mould a blob of Critical Mass Putty around.
This particular rig interested me because I was looking for a variation of a pop up rig for use with a whittled down pop up or dumbell with the hookbait being presented really tight to the lake bed, maintaining the mechanical advantages of a pop up but still being a lot subtler to the crafty carp than a more blatant high pop up.
The rig really ticks all these boxes and also has the advantage of having an extremely low visibility boom section thanks to the fluorocarbon, with a good range of free movement for the hook and hookbait created by the supple braided section.
The finished rig allows the hook to hover just above any debris on the lakebed, sitting like a claw ready to catch hold the instant it is inhaled by an unsuspecting carp.
I’ve had great success with this rig on a variety of waters catching some extremely wary carp, some of which have gone long periods of time without gracing the bank. As far as hook holds go, provided the hook point is sharp (I always touch mine up with a Gardner Point Doctor) it is mega effective when tied correctly and generally gives a firm hold in the centre of the bottom lip.
Personally, I use it with both helicopter style and lead clip arrangements, with the final choice of lead arrangement completely dependant on the situation and terrain I’m positioning it in. As a rule of thumb I increase the supple section over choddy areas and shorten it over a clean lakebed, giving the impression that it is practically on the bottom and looking inconspicuous to any browsing carp.
I’m looking to achieve a subtle, low sitting pop up with the finishing touch being the addition of just enough Critical Mass Putty to ensure it sinks slowly. A Covert Hook Stop is positioned on the shank of the hook level with the barb, which helps the hook to act like a claw, increasing the rigs hooking properties.
Generally I like the finished rig to be around seven inches in length in most situations, unless I am fishing over a tightly baited area when I would reduce it to four or five inches. If I was fishing in deep silt then I would increase the length to around nine inches or so. Don’t forget to experiment with different shaped baits or even a stack of plastic.
One particular event that stands out in my mind is the capture of one of the three large ghost carp that reside in the famous Yateley Match Lake, which fell to my rods whilst using this rig. This one in particular was the prettiest of the bunch, a real corker. Having seen plenty of pressure over the years, Yateley carp can be tricky at the best of times. For a fortnight I raked and then baited two areas amongst a thick set of weed beds in a swim known as the Gate. I repeated the process every other day and it wasn’t long before the area was prime and I was confident fish were visiting the spots regularly. On the very first session I managed three bites and the pick of the bunch was the Big Ghostie weighing 29lbs 4oz. It was a little down in weight after spawning, but looked stunning all the same and was right royally nailed by the combi rig.
On inspecting the hook hold I noticed that my size 8 Covert Mugga was set about ten millimetres back, dead centre in the bottom lip. A perfect hook hold and this obviously filled me with lots of confidence knowing I had got it dead right and its been a rig I have used with utter confidence ever since.
How to tie Ian’s combi rig
When tying the rig I place my faith in the super sharp Covert Mugga hook, 20lb Trickster braid, Subterfuge Super Soft fluorocarbon in 15lb, a Covert Hook Stop, a small Covert Rig Ring, Critical Mass Putty, a 4.6mm latex bait band, and a dumbell hair stop.
Recommended rig components needed to tie Ian’s Combi Rig.
Step 1 – Tie a size 8 Covert Mugga hook with a 4 turn grinner knot using 20lb Trickster Heavy braid.
Step 2 – Neatly bed down the knot and cut off a short four inch length of 20lb Trickster Heavy.
Step 3 – Using a length of 15lb Subterfuge Super Soft fluorocarbon form a loop over the braid.
Step 4 – Tie an Albright knot and neatly bed the knot down as shown, the-Supple section is around half an inch (1cm for the kids) in length.
Step 5 – Add a small piece of XT Covert Silicone Tube to the eye of the hook which helps to exaggerate the angle even further. Thread on a medium size Covert Rig Ring and a Covert Hook Stop to prevent the rig sliding off the hook.
Step 6 – Tie a simple figure of eight knot in the end of the fluorocarbon for ease of attaching the rig.
Step 7 – Mould a small blob of Critical Mass Putty around the Albright knot.
Step 8 – Attach your chosen pop up to a 4.6mm latex bait band.
Step 9 – Trim away at the sides of the pop up to produce a critically balanced hook bait.
Step 10 -The rig ready to catch your next carp.