If you have grown up or been around carp fishing as long as I have then, the Hinge Stiff rig surely must need no introduction. Its popularity shot to fame after its use by the likes of Terry Hearn and Lewis Read over Yateley, and other notoriously difficult waters, to fool the rig wary carp those living in those waters. Whilst its popularity might have been overshadowed recently by the Spinner or Ronnie rig, the Hinge Stiff is still as effective today and it certainly makes up a large part of my rig arsenal, none more so than in the autumnal months.
If ever a rig was purpose made for a season, the Hinge Stiff rig, for me, was made for autumn. That’s not to say I don’t use it at other times of year, but from around September onwards, as the weed beds begin to die back and the leaves are starting to fall from the trees, this rig for me becomes my number one choice.
It is quite simply perfect for the job, much like a Chod rig, it almost guarantees presentation, as it will sit up off the lake bed, free from debris, cocked ready to go, and is more selective of big fish, but unlike the Chod rig, the Hinge tends to lend itself to baiting and spot fishing.
Let me explain. The Chod Rig can be fished pretty much over anything. Its ability to be cast out and be fishing makes it a devasting rig, espically for casting at showing fish, or when the lake bed starts to become littered with detritus from the fall, but for me it, its short coming is spot fishing.
The Chod rig is far more suited to spread baiting, such as boilies with a throwing stick, or areas where if you are going to use some baits such as tigers, you can can maintain the spread keeping fish moving between baits.
Once I get to autumn, the carp have been pressured and I am looking to target the smaller less blatant spots, such as the bloodworm beds where the carp are harvesting the last of the naturals, or reap the rewards from the spots I’ve been extensively trickling bait on too, and had the fish keep clean and polished. This is where the Hinge comes into its own.