I love using pop-ups. Primarily I’m a boilie angler and often use a blatant pop-up sat two inches above the bottom, even over clean ground in circumstances where, according to popular wisdom, they aren’t the right choice. I am willing to acknowledge however, that there are situations where they aren’t the most effective presentation. One such was on a local water a few of years ago where I’d found three big fish feeding close in. As I couldn’t see the makeup of the bottom, which they’d really clouded up, I dropped a chod on the spot as soon as they vacated. When they returned, a short while later, I watched as they homed in on the handful of 15mm Cell I’d scattered loosely around. My heart boomed and I felt a big rush of adrenaline and then deflation when one spooked off my rig. When the water cleared I could see just how incredibly noticeable my presentation was. A change was required.
The standard choice, in scenarios where something less obvious is required, is to change to a bottom bait. My preference however is to tweak my normal pop-up rig, giving a subtle, low pop-up that retains most of the advantages that pop-up rigs provide without any of the drawbacks that come with having the hook on the lakebed. The low-lying version doesn’t rely on the hook turning to find the bottom lip as the hook is suspended with its point down, creating the maximum chance of finding a purchase. My confidence is stronger when using pop-ups as I believe they produce a significantly higher ratio of pickups to hooked fish ratio. Additionally, I’m never really that comfortable with the hook on the deck where it is vulnerable to being fouled by twigs, leaves, weed and all manner of detritus.