When Nigel Sharp started off his Spring campaign on Engy, targeting this generation’s Black Mirror – Baby Black – he was baiting and fishing an area which hadn’t been cleaned off by birdlife and tench, so fishing Chods was a better option because Engy is a fairly soft-ish bottom lake. In time, as he continued his baiting, he could start feeling the drops at distance, even though it was a relatively shallow lake, so he knew the areas were getting firmer. The birdlife, tench and silver fish were visiting regularly and he was deliberately baiting with visual stuff, such as boilies and particles to get them digging and firming up the areas.

After doing sixteen nights using Chods and banking just one fish, Nige thought he probably should have been catching more, so he decided to switch over to bottom baits, namely Stiff D-Rig. Normally when an area becomes firmer, there’s little point using a pop-up to hold your hook above the debris. ‘When fishing over a tight, mass baiting, the D-Rig is the one to use’, says Nigel. You can get bites on pop-ups but you’re better getting your hook bait down on the deck where they are feeding, which is why I use the D-Rig.

Switching to a loop

In the past, when constructing a D-Rig, Nigel has tied the hooklink directly onto the swivel end of a flexi-ring swivel using a Four-Turn Grinner Knot, however, last year he started experimenting using a Loop Knot. He’d seen a couple of other angler’s do it and they had been quite successful. He figured that if the rig landed on a silty bottom and the swivel end was being masked, it might force the hooklink to sit up 90-degrees, especially when combined with the weight of the hook bait, causing a halo effect. Whereas with a Figure-Of-Eight-Loop-Knot, it gives that little bit of extra movement to the rig particularly when combined with a buoyant topper on the hook bait to make it sink slower once the lead has hit the bottom.

25lb Trick-Link (silt)

Step 1. Start by taking a size 12 Covert Flexi-Ring Swivel and checking that it rotates really smoothly. Take a length of 25lb Trick-Link (Silt), thread this through the eye of the swivel and not the ring. Pull about a foot of the Trick-Link through, so in essence it’s doubled over.

Step 2. Now tie a Figure-Of-Eight-Loop Knot, so the loop itself is around half an inch in length which allows for loads of movement in the rig. Nige prefers to use a Figure-Of-Eight-Loop Knot as it beds down well and runs in-line rather than a standard overhand knot which can kick off to the side.

Step 3. Tighten down the knot.

Step 4. Take a size 5 Covert Dark Chod hook, Nige’s favourite hook pattern when using the D-Rig.

Step 5. Thread the Trick-Link through the front of the eye of the hook going out the back of the eye and pull around seven inches of hooklink material through.

Step 6. Tie a seven-turn Whipping Knot.

Step 7. Tuck it back through the loop that you started with at the back of the eye.

Step 8. Slowly tease it down tight.

Step 9. Take a Large Covert Rig Ring and thread it onto the tag end.

Step 10. Thread the tag end back through the back of the eye of the hook and pull it up tight.

Step 11. As a general rule Nige leaves a distance of ‘a gape of the hook and a half’ before burning it down with a lighter…

Step 12. …to about half the gape of a hook, which leaves a perfect sized D.

Step 13. Straighten the hooklink material by steaming or rubbing your fingers along it.

Step 14. Finally, tie on your chosen hook bait with bait floss.

Step 15. Attach to the Rig Ring on the D.

Step 16. Blob down the excess with a lighter.

The Finished Rig.