• Max Cottis with an absolutely stunning common carp caught on a zig rig.

    Max Cottis with an absolutely stunning common carp caught on a zig rig.
  • Here's all the components you need to tie the perfect carp zig rig.

    Here's all the components you need to tie the perfect carp zig rig.
  • Take a small rubber critter and cut it back to about 1cm. This will be used to create a line aligner.

    Take a small rubber critter and cut it back to about 1cm. This will be used to create a line aligner.
  • Next you’ll need some fine diameter rig line to tie up your zig set up.

    Next you’ll need some fine diameter rig line to tie up your zig set up.
  • Attach your chosen hook bait so that it is easy to gauge hair length when attaching the hook.

    Attach your chosen hook bait so that it is easy to gauge hair length when attaching the hook.
  • With the hair set at the right distance from the hook, use a knotless knot to tie on your hook.

    With the hair set at the right distance from the hook, use a knotless knot to tie on your hook.
  • Thread the rubber critter onto the line and over the shank of the hook to create a line aligner.

    Thread the rubber critter onto the line and over the shank of the hook to create a line aligner.
  • The end result is a small morsel of food that will stop carp in their tracks when set at the correct depth.

    The end result is a small morsel of food that will stop carp in their tracks when set at the correct depth.
  • Wrapping a little PVA tape around the safety lead clip will ensure it ejects easily if snagged.

    Wrapping a little PVA tape around the safety lead clip will ensure it ejects easily if snagged.
  • Take a nugget of PVA foam nugget and place your hook bait in the centre of it.

    Take a nugget of PVA foam nugget and place your hook bait in the centre of it.
  • Lick the PVA foam and fold it over the hook and hair. This will ensure the bait remains above any weed.

    Lick the PVA foam and fold it over the hook and hair. This will ensure the bait remains above any weed.

Tying the perfect Zig Rig

During his early years of carp angling, zig rig fishing wasn’t really one of the methods that Max Cottis employed, but in more recent years he’s taken the tactic by the horns and has had some incredible catches on it. Max takes up the story…

For me personally, I much prefer to fish with legered carp baits where possible, but at the same time you just can’t deny the effectiveness of presenting a bait somewhere between the lake bed and the surface.

For this reason I’ve started to use this tactic a lot more over recent years, but one thing I’ve not been happy with is the pattern of hook I’ve had to use. The key part of zig fishing is not only presenting a bait at the correct depth, but to also make sure that when a carp does decide to mouth your hook bait, the hook manages to take hold.

As zig hook baits are largely presented on a long hooklength, the fish have a lot more chance of shaking the hook, so anything that you can do to increase your chances and increase the effectiveness of your rig the better!

When we set out to produce our new range of ACE Razor Point carp hooks, this is something I very much kept in mind. With no dedicated Zig Rig hooks on the market, and with the tactic becoming increasingly popular, it was obvious that a dedicated pattern was seriously needed!

Over the last two years I have worked tirelessly with many of the UK’s top carp anglers to produce the ultimate zig hook and believe we have created just that with a dedicated Razor Point Zig hook.

This hook has some great characteristics that make it the ideal pattern for the zig angler, including a wider gape, slightly out-turned eye and an extremely sharp straight point. In testing it has proved to convert a lot more pick-ups to solid hook holds, which is all you can hope for with this sometimes frustrating tactic.

My preferred way of mounting a hook bait is to attach it via a short hair. This helps to bring the point of the hook forward and creates an aggressive angle that the fish will find very difficult to deal with.

Hook bait choice is extremely important and it can massively pay to keep your eyes peeled for fly hatches, as the naturals that are in abundance at the time of your session can often give you vital clues on what hook bait to use. There are days of course when fluro boilies and the like can be the preferred hook bait, you just need to experiment a bit on the day.

Obviously the depth you set your hook bait is extremely important, and for me personally I like to start at around two-thirds of the depth and then work either side of this with my other two rods. Once I hook a fish or have reason to believe I have found the correct depth, I will change my rods to the same to try and increase my chances.

Zig-rigging can be a really frustrating tactic to get your head round at the best of times, but by making sure everything is set up appropriately and that you are using the best possible components it can be the difference between catching and blanking. It’s certainly one to dedicate a bit of time to if you haven’t already!

If you’ve never tried zig rig fishing, and fancy giving it a try, follow the detailed instructions above to find out how to tie this ingenious rig…