Avid Carper Ian Russell explains everything you need to know about his much talked about Flick rig.
I’ve tried pretty much every rig imaginable over the years and had considerable success on most of them. When I think about it though, I don’t think any have been as productive as this unique little presentation. This year my fishing has changed considerably and I’ve found myself targeting some pretty tricky venues for some very old, large carp. Since I started using this presentation a couple of months back I have noticed a dramatic increase in the size of carp I’ve been catching. You see, I’ve always managed to catch my fair share of carp, but I’ve always had a habit of catching the smallest fish in the lake. If you put me one a venue with loads of thirties and a handful of doubles, I’d end up catching the smaller ones. I’d always put this down to being an unlucky sod but, since rethinking my approach and tinkering with this rig, I’ve changed my outlook completely. Although I don’t think this rig will necessarily single out the larger specimens, I do think that bigger carp find it much difficult to eject.
I’ve thought long and hard about why bigger fish struggle with the flick rig and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because of the separation between the bait and the hook. Most modern rigs these days seem to revolve around having the hookbait tight to the shank of the hook and, although this undoubtedly works, I don’t think it’s as effective at nailing the bigger fish.
When I first started using the flick rig I actually thought it would work most effective with a pop-up and never considered using it with a balanced hookbait. Then, while fishing out in France, I accidentally attached a wafter and ended up catching a string of large carp, including a couple of massive commons. The hook holds were absolutely incredible and the ring swivel was well past the carp’s lips. At first, I thought it was because the carp were hungry and feeding aggressively but, when I realised was using a wafter, it all became clear. Isn’t it funny how sometimes a mistake can lead to a revelation.
When tying the rig I like to use the 20lb Pin Down hooklink as a boom section because it’s strong, heavy and extremely flexible. When the Pin Down boom settles on the bottom, it doesn’t sit perfectly straight. No matter what we think, no supple hooklink does. This is perfect though because it coils up ever so slightly on the lakebed ready for a carp to suck up the hook bait. When a carp sucks up the pop-up, the Pin Down boom will straighten and shoot into the carp’s mouth. The fact that it’s coiled up means there’s a lot more movement and allows the hookbait to travel much further. This is why they are nailed every time.
At the business end I like to use the 20lb Stiff Rig Filament and a size 6 LSK hook. Although some anglers favour the stiffer variety, I like the 20lb version because I think the extra flexibility and movement encourages the hook to take hold better. Although you can tie the rig with a chod-style hook, I genuinely believe a longshank pattern is much more effective. If you tie both presentations up and put them side by side you will see exactly what I mean. The longshank hooks sits at a more aggressive angle and I’m convinced this is why it nails the larger specimens.
I like to create a slight curve in the Stiff Rig Filament before I cast it out. There’s no need for anything too aggressive. A slight curve in the material is all that’s needed for the rig to work correctly. Although the rig may look a little strange on close inspection, it really does catch them. You may receive a drop in the amount of takes you get, but you will definitely connect with a higher stamp of fish. This is the first rig I’ve ever seen that works better with a wafter than a pop-up. Give it a try!
1. These are the components Ian uses. An LSK hook, Captive Stiff Bristle Filament and Pindown Hooklink, with Hook Swivels and a Ring Swivel.
2. Begin by tying a knotless knot in the Stiff Rig Filament and creating a D rig. Ian uses a small Avid Hook Swivel rather than a rig ring.
3. Next tie the stiff section with a loop to a Ring Swivel. Ian likes this to be around 1-2" long for pop-ups or wafters.
4. Now tie a long boom using the super soft, supple and fast sinking Pindown Hooklink in 20lb as shown.
5. Using some Stiff Rig Filament, thread a length through the swivel and attach your chosen hookbait. Blob with a lighter to secure.
6. There's the final setup and Ian's awesome Flick Rig. Ian likes to use a pop-up that just sinks under the weight of the hook and swivel for optimum results.