If you take one rig everywhere you might want to reconsider, as Jim Wilson reveals how that can never be enough…

I’ve seen, read and heard so many anglers say that they are so confident in their favourite rig that it’s the only one they take regardless of where they are fishing and what for. Current favourites include the Ronnie Rig, 360 and Multi-Rig, all pop-up presentations incidentally.

Above: The Ronnie and 360 rigs are undoubtedly effective, but they can’t possibly suit every situation.

For me, however, how can that possibly be? Every swim on every lake is slightly different and even the same swim can change over the course of a year or season. Not every carp feeds the same as the next either, so already there are variables in every fishing situation, so how can one rig possibly cover all of these situations.

Sure, I use the above rigs and I do like pop-up fishing on the right day and especially in weedy conditions, but just as often I use bottom bait and balanced bait rigs. It’s all dependant on what’s in front of me and I won’t hesitate to change from one rig to another in a session if I deem it necessary.

Above: Every swim in every venue will offer different challenges.

Using clay as an example, why would you use a pop-up rig on such a bottom? If it’s clean and has obviously been fed on then presenting a bait off the bottom will never be as effective as one on the deck. It’s the same with silt, where the carp feed in it rather than on top of it.

Above: Jim uses D-rigs for his balanced-bait rigs…

Above: …and a more traditional hair with a rig ring for his bottom baits.

I happen to think that bottom bait rigs are less obtrusive and obvious to carp than a pop-up rig. I’m not suggesting that carp know what a rig is but they associate certain things with danger or, let’s say, they seem to know when something isn’t quite right. Reducing this sense of unease is the number one objective, and that includes rigs and, crucially, line lay.

As a result, my rig box is filled with a number of different rigs, including 360’s, balanced wafter rigs, stiff bottom bait rigs and one or two others. If the rig I want itself isn’t in there then I certainly carry the bits needed to tie it.

Unless you fish the same swim all the time, you’re going to be faced with different situations on each trip, so why not go ready and armed for every eventuality. It makes no sense not to, as far as I’m concerned.