What is a Zig Rig?
You will have heard anglers talking about zig rigs, but if you're new to the sport you may be wondering what they are! Zig rigs are nothing new but have become what can only be described as the in thing in recent years for those who are fishing for carp.
A zig rig is nothing more exotic than a suspended floater. It is a long nylon hooklength which sits at a predetermined depth. But this little bit of kit could help you to land a good catch even when all else is failing.
Finding the Perfect depth
Zig rigs work because they enable you to fish at the depth where the carp are feeding or resting. That depth will be dictated by where the food is located and that will vary across the seasons. Zig rigs can be particularly effective during the winter and early spring when the fish are often to be found mid-water. The cold temperatures mean that they are largely not feeding but they are still experiencing pressure from anglers as people are now fishing year-round at some venues. The carp settle mid water where they can hang out undisturbed. So, perhaps it's time that you disturbed them!
[caption id="attachment_273" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Zig-Rig example placement - Krafty Koi. Carp image by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.[/caption]
If you dangle bait in front of their noses they just might bite out of aggression rather than hunger. Your bait doesn't need to be flavoured and when presented with it waving in their faces, carp who are just hanging out trying to conserve energy may feel suitably irked and so bite it!
When waters begin to warm, carp may rise closer to the surface to enjoy the milder temperatures. They will be keen to feed so fishing at this depth will ensure that you present them with something tempting that they are unable to resist!
Vary Your Approach
Zig rigs can be effective year-round but the depths at which you will find the fish can vary by the day. You will have to experiment using zig rigs at different depths to establish what is right for the venue and the conditions. Start at three-quarter depth and move up until you get a bite. This will mean that you will require multiple rods. Once you have established the right depth, apply this length to all of your rods.
Problems with Zig Rigs
As zig rigs link to your line you should be aware that links of over 10 foot in length can pose issues when netting fish and so you may require assistance. It is best to fish with someone else. You will also need to take additional care when casting as links tend to spiral behind you as you cast. The issue can be overcome by placing the bait and hook in a mug or similar receptacle on the floor. This will stop things moving about and the hook from collecting debris from the floor. It is possible to achieve accurate casts with a 20 foot link using this method.
A nice video showing how to tie a zig-rig by Carp Rig Corner YouTube: