The Basic Hair Rig
Without a doubt hair rigs have transformed the carp fishing scene being the most popular and successful type of rig to use when fishing for carp of all types and sizes, excepting maybe the crucian carp.
The basic hair rig is an easy rig to tie up and offers secure bait holding properties and superb hooking capability to the carp fisherman. It is a rig that all carp fishermen should master because many of the more sophisticated and complicated carp rigs now in use are based upon the principle of the basic hair rig.
How To Tie A Basic Hair Rig
First cut the required amount of hook length material from its spool (8-24") and then tie a standard overhand knot (pictured here) into one end and trim off the excess leaving a very small tab. Some carp fishermen prefer to go through the loop twice for a more secure knot, but it is a personal preference.
Next you can put a boilie or other bait onto this knot using a boilie stop, we do this now so as to avoid any guess-work as to the length of the hair when we tie the hook on. Be sure to put the bait on that you will be using this rig for, there is no point in tying a hair rig of perfect length for say a 16mm boilie then using this rig for a single grain of corn.
Next, lay the line along the back of the shank of the hook and thread the free end of your line through the BACK of the eye as per diagram 1.
Now to tie the knot less knot, leave the bait hanging the desired length from the hook (which as said earlier is dependant on size of bait), now wrap the line from the bottom of the eye, down the shank five or six times as per diagram 2.
Then feed the loose end, again, through the BACK of the hook and gently pull everything tight so as your rig now looks similar to diagram 3. Some carp anglers then super glue this knot and some do not, but i prefer to err on the side of caution and glue mine, being VERY careful not to let the glue stick the "hair" to the shank of the hook in the process.
This just leaves you to tie the loose end of the rig to your chosen swivel, depending on which hook length material you are using will depend on which knot you will use for this purpose but we will cover this in our Carp Fishing Knots section.
It is well worth the time, effort and practice to become adept at tying the basic hair rig, as there is nothing worse than needing a new hair rig whilst fishing, especially at night or in extreme weather conditions, when you find yourself fumbling about with a basic hair rig and then when you do finally re-cast your baited hair rig into the lake, find yourself doubting as to whether you have tied a good strong rig or not.
It is far better to be able to tie a basic hair rig easily and comfortably, in adverse weather conditions, low light levels and with wet fingers, and then fish with the knowledge that your rig is tied correctly and will not let you down when you get a run from a strong carp, rather than sit there doubting yourself and worrying about the rig and its knots due to lack of practice which can be done easily in the comfort of your own home, until you have mastered this, the most basic and simple of all the hair rigs.
Carp Fishing Thoughts
"The landing of any carp should be seen as an achievement, and to capture a particularly wary fish is a truly remarkable event" - John Bailey - an excerpt from his book "Carp Challenge".