At last the sun is staying out for a more than a few minutes at a time, and many of us are thinking about Zig Rigging and Surface Floater Fishing! As stillwaters warm up, the surface layers often increase in temperature more quickly – attracting carp up in the water. They can be real suckers at this time of year for a well presented bait on, or just under the surface.
Kev Hewitt is a bit of an expert at both techniques – famously taking a monster haul of carp at Drayton Reservoir early this Spring during an England Pairs trial match. He’s seen here playing yet another big Drayton carp to the net on a Zig Rig incorporating 12lb Double Strength.
With both Zig Rigs & Surface Floater Fishing, you need a very sharp hook – which is ideally a compact shaped pattern (so as to be fairly unobtrusive), yet has to be strong enough to be able to land big fish. A very popular choice is the Drennan Super Specialist Barbel hook – which is available right down to a little size 14, so there is a size to match virtually all baits from tiny pieces of foam, cork balls to mixers and pop ups. Some very very large carp have been taken over the years on this proven pattern.
Secondly, because of the way you are going to be presenting your hookbait to the fish, you need a low diameter, supple and unobtrusive monofilament – ideally used either straight through to the hook, or alternatively as a long hooklink. A long established favourite of specimen carp anglers is Drennan Double Strength; often in breaking strains of 8lb, 10lb or 12lb depending on the fishing situation and size of fish you’re trying to catch.
Thirdly, Drennan Surface Controllers are another long established and successful design. These are available in sizes 3g, 5g, 10g, 15g & 20g – and unlike some designs, feature a fairly subtle white sight-top which isn’t overly scary to spooky carp! The weight down shape casts very well and the pattern is easily used with the swivel eye trapped between 2 Grippa Stops to make a bolt effect.
Finally, for those that know their Zig Rigging, an adjustable Zig enables the angler to wind up / down the rig to present a bait at different depths, without winding in and adjustments being made (it works in a similar manner to a Marker Float set up). Drennan Subfloats are available in 4 sizes and can be incorporated in-line to construct an adjustable Zig Rig or an uber-subtle surface controller set-up.