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PULLING POWER OF THE ZIG RIGUKCARP MAGAZINE 31 JANUARY 3RD 2012Q My water produces on zigs, a technique I have no confi dence in. Can you explain the best way to tie one, what bait to use, and whether you use them at night?Mark Yoxall, BostonA Zig rigs are a very effective way of catching carp but you have to work hard to get results.To start with I suggest you keep it simple - once you've caught a few fish and gained some experience you can develop your own tactics and methods. Using a good strong 10lb mono, tie a simple knotless knot hair rig with a size 10 Fang X hook. Don't worry about using a leader or tubing, just fish your mainline through to the lead clip 'naked' without any clutter.A Weed Safe lead clip will allow the lead to discharge on the take, which will make playing a fish on a long hooklink much easier.As far as hookbaits are concerned, Air Ball pop-ups are very effective. On some waters an unflavoured rig foam might work best, on a given day a certain colour might work better than the rest, so be prepared to experiment.Depth is crucial. Sometimes just a few inches either way can make a big difference. Obviously you need to be on fish, but start off mid-water and if you don't get a take within, say, half-an-hour, try a different depth. Ideally you need your hookbait just slightly below the fish as this tends to improve the hooking potential of the rig.Nash Bait Spod Cloud groundbait is ideal for drawing the fish in. The mix is designed to 'hang' in the water and it really drives the fish mad. If the carp will tolerate the disturbance, a spodful on a regular basis can produce multiple takes.Zigs are very effective at night, but not many anglers seem to use them after dark. If that's the case on your water, get on them now! Billy Flowers says...Julian Cundiff says...Different leads - different uses.The sticky sharp Fangs will nail those fish without the need for a heavy lead.Spod Cloud really pulls them in.Lead release is important.ARE HEAVY LEADS THAT NECESSARY?Q All the anglers I see appear to be using massive leads. Why do they do this when they only have to cast 30 yards? Doesn't it spook the carp?Harry Thomas, CannockA Some years ago, when hooks were not as sharp as the Fangs and Twisters that I now use, you really did need a big lead to 'prick' the hook home but nowadays the super sticky sharp hooks and less stretchy mainlines make possible the use of lighter leads that still generate great hook holds. I tend to use leads of 1.5oz-2oz, and at up to 80 yards I find these ideal. A lighter lead allows you to feel the bottom better - it won't spook the carp as much on the cast and it is easier to cast more accurately.So don't 'follow the leader' and end up with a heavy lead plugged into the bottom with no carp about. Instead, try 2oz and see how you get on...I bet most of the anglers using heavy leads don't even think about why they are doing it either.

Q Why do carp anglers add tubing to their hooks? Doesn't this make the rig even easier for the carp to see and feel?Simon Pledge, Tunbridge A Shrink tube is very useful for fine-tuning the mechanics of your rig. A small shrink tube kicker on the Fang X and Twister hooks that I use and highly rate really makes them flip over and take hold to produce solid dependable hookholds. If you give the idea a try I'm sure you will be impressed. Carp routinely pick up mouthfuls of lakebed debris, sort out any potential food items that they want to keep and eject the rest. In most situations I don't think the feel of a hook, even if they can detect it, will put them off. In any case, if it's an effective rig, once it's in the carp's mouth it should be job done!If you are worried about the hook or rig standing out on the bottom I would recommend you use Diffusion shrink tube. This blends in extremely well against any shade of lakebed.NASH KNOWLEDGEASK A QUESTION AND WIN A PRIZE Nash Knowledge, UKCarp, Bauer Media, Lynchwood, Peterborough PE2 6EA.PRODUCT MONTHOF THENASH COMPACT KOOL BAG PRICE: £25.99This small insulated bag is ideal for the mobile angler. It will accommodate all your food and drink for a short session, or you can use it to keep your bait super fresh on the bank. We really like this product and it has become a mini carryall for the brew kit. Features include:? Insulated main compartment with three-sided zipped lid? Zipped front outer pocket? Neoprene carry handles and padded shoulder strap? Durable material, heavy-duty base and zips ? 40cm x 25cm x 20cm Q At the moment I'm using Monster Squid, but I'm told I'll have to change it when the weather fi nally gets cold. Is this true?Andy Moore, BeverleyA Many years ago anglers believed winter carp were virtually uncatchable. It was thought that you had to scale down to roach-style tackle to get a bite. Nowadays we know carp can be caught in just about any conditions. All the boilies in the Nash range are designed to catch carp throughout the year, and Monster Squid is a particularly effective all-seasons bait, so use it with confidence. Wouldn't you prefer to dine on something you've been eating and benefiting from all year? Baiting levels are critical. I like to use Soluballs and Chain Reaction to create plenty of attraction without risking overfeeding.When fishing for a bite at a time, mix in a few Amber Attract boilies. These combine very well with the Monsters you are already using. Brilliant white Monster Squid Hi-Viz pop-ups are also worth a try, and can produce a bonus fish on those difficult days.Bernard Anderson says...Jamie Londors says...IF IT AIN'T BROKE THEN DON'T FIX IT!TAKE THE TUBE TOFINE-TUNE YOUR RIGDiffusion shrink tube - a tackle box essential.Soluballs and Chain Reaction - these are perfect for fine-tuning those crucial winter baiting levels.Shrink tube improves the turning effect of the hook.