The Famous Stiff Rig - The Carp Angler


South African waters in general are fairly unpressurised when it comes to all forms of freshwater angling, in particular Carp. For this reason, and just because we are in summer, I chose a Stiff Fluorocarbon rig for this month’s subject, but with a twist.

Normally stiff rigs are built throughout with either mono or Fluorocarbon, but in recent years I have had serious success on a number of waters with a stiff rig and a subtle hair, blow-back style. I particularly like fishing it with all sorts of critically balanced baits such as whafters, sweetcorn, peanuts and tiger nuts.

Although there are various ways to tie this rig, I am going to show you my preferred way. Loutjie Louwies and I got our personal best catch of 1297.12kg of carp in 62 hours using this rig exclusively, and since then have caught untold numbers of Carp from Bloemhof to Doorndraai dams and from 2kg to well over 15kg on this very same rig. The long and short of it is that it is a very effective rig indeed, of course if tied correctly and with the correct hook pattern.


The answer is very simple: the stiff boom when sucked into the fish’s mouth creates an anti-eject effect, coupled with a dedicated Stiff Rig Chod hook with blow-back hair, makes for a powerful hooking tool. By fishing this rig with critically balanced baits, the weight of the hook is minimised and the fish inevitably sucks the bait in much further than usual, and with a long straight point and seriously wide gape, the hook penetrates deep into the flesh of the fish’s mouth - when this hook goes in, it does not come out!

With such incredible hooking power these type of hooks also cause less damage than other hooks in this category. Well worth considering for your next outing.



  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Baiting Needle
  • Pulling tool
  • Braid
  • 12lb Fluorocarbon
  • Hook Bait of your choice. I chose a punched out Tiger Nut and small piece of high-density foam for this presentation.
  • Bait Stop
  • 0.7mm Silicone Tubing
  • Size 4 Stiff Rig Chod hooks
  • Cut a 3mm piece of silicone tubing and thread it onto the hook. Cut a 16cm strip of uncoated braid, make a double turn Granny knot on one end and cut the tag end. Take the splicing needle and push it through the length of the silicone tubing from the eye of the hook towards the bend and pull the uncoated braid back so that the hair sits near the bend of the hook. Push the loose end of the braid through the eye of the hook and put your chosen bait onto the hair and measure the correct length of hair - 5mm between the bend of the hook and the bait is perfect.

    Remove the bait so that you have workspace. Fold the loose end of the uncoated braid back towards the eye of the hook and cut the excess braid roughly the length of the hair. Now cut a length of fluorocarbon and thread it through the eye of the hook. Thread it through the eye again and form a large loop and first wind one loop back towards the bend of the hook and then wind 8 times back towards the eye of the hook and wet the lot with saliva before pulling the tag end on the hair side of the hook until all the loops are aligned and tight. Now pull both ends of the fluorocarbon as tight as possible and pull the long end back towards the eye of the hook. Pull the hair in line with the back of the shank of the hook and trim the tag ends of the braid and fluorocarbon.

    The result is a very neat looking rig with lots of hooking power. Now thread the bait back onto the hair and choose the length of hook link (my preference is around 18cm) and make a single reverse loop knot (fold the line with loop in your left hand and make the knot by going over and under before passing the one loop through the second). Wet the knot with saliva and pull tight with the pulling tool.

    Give this rig a try this summer and see for yourself how effective it can be, and watch the awesome hook-holds achieved.

    I would like to hear your feedback and suggestions on rigs you wish to see in the series, so please contact our editor and give him your wish list.

    001 The tools required.

    002 Cut a 3mm piece of silicon tubing.

    003 Thread the silicon over the hook point. 

    Then take a splicing needle and thread the braid through the silicon.

    004 The silicon should be in this position.

    005 Tie a double overhand knot.

    006 Pull tight with a knot pulling tool.

    007 Trim off the tag end.

    008 Thread on your chosen bait.

    009 Finish off with a neat bait stop.

    010 Neat presentation is critical.

    011 Thread the other end of the braid through the eye.

    012 Fold the braid back along the hook shank.

    013 Thread the fluorocarbon through the eye of the hook.

    014 Align the one end in the hair direction.

    015 Thread the other end through the eye again after forming a large loop.

    016 Wind one end of the loop over the braid and fluorocarbon, first back towards the bend of the hook.

    017 Then wind 8 times down the shank towards the eye, keeping them wraps tight and moist with saliva.

    018 Gently pull the tag end of the fluorocarbon on the hair side tight until aligned. Now pull both ends really tight.

    019 Once tight and aligned, trim off the tag ends of both the braid and the fluorocarbon

    020 Thread the bait back on the hair and choose the length of hooklink you want to use.

    021 Once the length is chosen, make a single reverse knot.

    022 Fold the line with a loop in your left hand and make the knot by going over and under before passing one loop through the second.

    023 Wet with saliva and pull tight.

    024 What a sexy presentation.