Shaun McSpadden

Whilst I have never been one to do a lot of writing in the carp magazines I do like to read them from time to time and one rig that I seem to see more and more of is the hinged stiff rig. Popularised by the likes of Terry Hearn, this rig seems to now be the presentation of choice for many anglers not only in the UK but also across Europe as well. I know that many of the UK Fox anglers such as Chilly, Mark Pitchers, Scott Day, Lewis Porter and even Tom Maker find a lot of success using the rig in its many different guises. I too am a big fan of this presentation and I have a very specific way that I like to fish it, which I believe makes it as effective for my style of fishing as it can be. In fact over the years my take on the rig has helped me to bank carp over 70lb overseas and over 50lb from the UK and so my confidence in it couldn’t be higher. Whether I am visiting a lake for the very first time or fishing a syndicate venue I’m familiar more often than not this will be my first port of call...

The Boom
As I said the hinged stiff rig is used by the masses and I have seen all manner of different variations of it. Many anglers tending to use booms ranging from stiff right through to super-supple but for me I believe the rig works best when fished how it was originally designed with a nice stiff boom – hence its name! My choice for the boom section back in the day would have been some good old Amnesia, however, materials have moved along a lot in recent years so now I use a 30lb fluorocarbon called Illusion Trans Khaki, which is nice and stiff yet invisible on the lakebed. In addition to these benefits the fluorocarbon is very heavy and therefore will pin to the lakebed without the need for putty or sinkers along it.

The Hook Section
Again in order for the rig to work how I want it to the hook section needs to be as stiff as possible and that is why as part of the Edges range we developed the Rigidity Trans Khaki in 30lb. There is no stiffer chod filament on the market to my knowledge and this I believe is a massive edge. Like the fluorocarbon boom, this material benefits from the Trans Khaki camouflage that I developed alongside top diver and Fox consultant Rob Hughes, so once again it is practically invisible in the water, which greatly reduces the chances of carp becoming spooked. The hook itself I cannot talk too much about as we are currently testing a new design that is ideal for use with stiff materials however, my preference is for an out-turned eye and a long sharp point. At the end opposite to the hook I use a small swivel that is attached with a 1-turn blood knot. This mini swivel is then attached to the boom via a ‘perfect loop’ to give the hook section plenty of flexibility and movement. And talking of flexibility I mount a Mini Hook Ring Swivel onto the D-rig on the hook for attaching my hookbait to as this allows my hookbait to move 360 degrees, which again is an edge. Once the hook section is tied I like to steam a nice progressive curve into, which I believe is perfect for nailing the fish as they try and move off with the bait. I’m not a fan of having the curve too aggressive like a Withy Pool as I think there are times where that can prevent fish being hooked.

The products Shaun uses for his boom and Chod section

The Chod/Withy Bin helps create the perfect curve in the Chod section.

The vast majority of the hinged stiff rigs that I see in the magazines and DVDs these days are presented on a lead clip setup usually with a leadcore or lead-free leader. Using a lead clip is fine if you are using a supple boom; however, if you’re using a stiff boom like me then a lead clip really isn’t the one as there is a big risk of the boom kicking up out of the silt on the lakebed ruining the presentation. Instead I opt to present my hinged stiff rig on a Helicopter presentation and use a 30lb fluorocarbon leader (same material that boom is constructed from) wherever possible. I will setup the helicopter just like a naked chod rig with a sinker and tungsten bead above the hooklink as a stopper. This enables me to have the stiff rig fly up the leader like a chod rig so I can present it over both soft silt and low lying weed. The lead will simply plug into the nasty stuff leaving my hooklink free to flutter down and sit on top. Once again due to the fact my boom is fluorocarbon my whole setup remains invisible on the lakebed and means I can catch wary carp that don’t realise they are even being angled for.

1. Start by attaching your lead to the leader and place a Heli/Chod Buffer Sleeve over it

2. Next take an Edges Quick Change O Ring and thread it onto the leader.

3. Now thread an Edges Mainline Sinker and a 5mm Tungsten Bead behind the O Ring.

4. Attach the Hinged Stiff Rig to the Quick Change O Ring and your setup is ready.

The Heli/Chod Buffer Sleeve protects your naked line from the hooklink swivel during the fight.


Perfect for long range
One of the real advantages of fishing the rig how I do is that it makes it perfect for long range fishing as it will hardly ever tangle on the cast and will more often than not be well presented over most lakebeds. It also has the ability to reset itself should a carp eject it or a bird pick it up meaning there’s no need for repeated recasting which can disturb the swim. When fishing the rig at long range I will always fish with tight lines as I know that my leaders will be sitting flush to the lakebed at range anyway (as proven again through working with Rob Hughes) and therefore I want the very best bite indication, which tight lines offer.

The Baiting Game
I don’t think there is a better way to fish this rig than with a nice bright pop-up hookbait fished over a widely spread bed of boilies. I think my spreading boilies across a tennis court sized area you can get the carp moving between each bait and as we know - a carp that has to move between mouthfuls is a much easier carp to hook.

Feeding a nice spread of boilies with the throwing stick gets the carp moving between mouthfuls.

A 40lb carp taken on the exact tactics outlined in this article…