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How to tie a hair rig and why use it.

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Old 10-22-2006, 05:50 PM   #1
TimJC
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Default How to tie a hair rig and why use it.

Click here to view this post with pictures.

A few people have asked what a hair rig is, how and why it is used. I will try to explain how to tie a hair rig here and why it is effective.

The hair rig was the invention of Lenny Middleton and Kevin Maddocks, who were looking for a way to fish with boilies, and other hard baits, that would improve hook hold over simple side hooked bait (The Fox Guide to Carp Rigs). The design of the hair rig allows the hook to be fully exposed while the bait is on a length of line that extends past the bottom of the hook.

The genius behind this type of rig is that it cuts out a lot of the mouthing of the bait that carp can do. When the fish feels the hook the immediate reaction is to spit and run. The spitting of the bait helps to plant the hook in the bottom lip of the fish and as it begins to run the hook pierces through the lip for a perfect hookset. Couple the hair rig with a fix lead (sinker) or running (slip) rig of one to four ounces, and the fish hooks itself. Now you simply have to loosen the drag and wait for the fish to take off.

The versatility of the hair rig extends beyond just carp. Fishing this way for smaller catfish produces excellent results with a perfect hook hold in the bottom lip or corner of the mouth and no need to set the hook ferociously.

Many different types of baits can be used with this type of rig. Many of the same baits that you use directly on the hook can be used on the hair rig. This can range from sweet corn, to worms and dough bait. Dough bait can be molded around something hard like a bead or pieces of maize to leave the hook exposed and improve hooking.

The need for the hair rig was originally the boilie, but other hard baits have been utilized as well. The boilie was created, in England, as more durable dough bait that nuisance fish couldn't peck away. In the US, however, the nuisance loathed by many carp anglers is the catfish, and channel catfish tend to love boilies and other, more carpy, baits like sweet corn. Other hard baits include dry seeds and nuts like maize (field corn), tiger nuts (chufa), peanuts, and chick peas (garbanzo beans) that are soaked and boiled in water, and other flavors and attractants, to soften them up. Boiling makes the bait more attractive the fish and easier (safer) for the fish to digest.

That should be enough about the rig for now. Let's take a look at how I construct it. For the hair rig you will need a small hook, preferably with an inturned eye, like the Korda Wide Gape size 8 I will be using here. You will also need a foot or two of 20lb braided hooklink, like PowerPro, Spider Wire, Sufix Braid, or Fox Cortex, which is a braid with a removable plastic coating that I will be using. An optional piece of equipment is a small piece of rig tubing that allows for some adjustment and may enhance the hooking effect. The final piece of equipment that will need is a baiting needle. This is what you will need to put bait on the hair. It can be a purpose built needle, like mine, or you could use a straightened jig head or something from a fabric or craft store.


Step 1:
Pass the hooklink (leader) from the front of hook (point side) through the back. If you are using a coated hooklink, like the photo, you will need to strip off three or four inches to expose the soft, flexible inner braid.
Carp Discussions

Step 2:
Pass the hooklink down the back of the shank and then back up to the eye to create a loop that extends one to two inches below the hook. Extending the tag end of the line past the eye will allow you to adjust the size of the hair after the rig is finished. You can then cut the excess off after the rig is baited.


Step 3:
Wrap the hooklink, on the frontside of the hook, down around the shank five times or until the wraps are about even with the point of the hook. Be sure to start the wraps on the side where the bend of the eye starts and not where the end of the wire closes off the eye. The sharp end of the wire could cut through the hooklink during the fight.


Step 4:
Pass the end of the hooklink through the backside of the eye towards the hook point. This helps the point of the hook turn down into the lip.


Step 5:
Pull the end of the hooklink all the way tight and you have a nearly completed rig. If you have added wraps to the point where they are even with the hook point you are ready for bait.


Step 6:
I slide a small piece of tubing onto the hair and then over the hook to hold the hair against the shank. This gives me a little room for fine tuning and I believe it enhances the hooking effect since is slides back when the bait is ejected from the mouth while the hook stays in place.


Step 7:
To add bait to the hair rig you need to use a baiting needle. It small needle with a hook in the end to latch onto the hair. Thread your bait, in this case sweet corn, onto the baiting needle.


Step 8:
After hooking the loaded baiting needle to the hair, simply slide the bait onto it.


Step 9:
After removing the baiting needle, you will need to stick something through the end of the loop to hold the bait on the hair. This can be a small stick, part of a blade of grass or a small piece of plastic, like I am using here.
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Last edited by TimJC; 03-03-2007 at 12:45 PM. Reason: Forum changes: picture limitations, and changed gallery links
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Old 10-22-2006, 05:55 PM   #2
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Thats pretty sweet, and not what I thought a hair rig is...
Thanks for sharing that will use it next spring.
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Old 10-22-2006, 05:58 PM   #3
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Very cool. Thanks Tim.
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Old 10-22-2006, 07:27 PM   #4
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nice this should be a sticky topic
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Old 10-22-2006, 07:32 PM   #5
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wow tim.. nice pics.. they came out great..
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Old 10-22-2006, 07:44 PM   #6
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They did come out good. Thanks for taking them, btw.
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Old 10-22-2006, 08:41 PM   #7
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Default Boilies

You mentioned that the boilie was created in England. Do you have any time date regarding that time frame. The reason I ask is my father was using boiled bait balls around one hundred years ago when he was a teenager. I can remember the first time he took me carp fishing when I was nine years old which was fifty eight years ago. We used boiled balls of bait which he made the night befor using three dry ingredients and two different liquids, one of which was vanilla. That is about all I remember regarding the recipe other than it took him quite a while to make and cook the bait. Dad was a excellent carp fisherman until he discovered bass fishing with artificials which became his favorite, but he would take me carp and sucker fishing in the Spring until the season opened on bass. Then it was bass, bass, bass.
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Old 10-22-2006, 09:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shortdrift
You mentioned that the boilie was created in England. Do you have any time date regarding that time frame. The reason I ask is my father was using boiled bait balls around one hundred years ago when he was a teenager. I can remember the first time he took me carp fishing when I was nine years old which was fifty eight years ago. We used boiled balls of bait which he made the night befor using three dry ingredients and two different liquids, one of which was vanilla. That is about all I remember regarding the recipe other than it took him quite a while to make and cook the bait. Dad was a excellent carp fisherman until he discovered bass fishing with artificials which became his favorite, but he would take me carp and sucker fishing in the Spring until the season opened on bass. Then it was bass, bass, bass.
According to The Fox Guide to Carp Rigs, "in the late sixties the boilie was invented." I'm not sure if this information is entirely accurate or if it was merely adapted for use in England in the 60s. The bait you are familiar with may also be different from a boilie. A boilie is basically a blend of different flours mixed with eggs. Flavors and other additives are then added for attration and digestion. Like I said above, the purpose of these baits was to make it tough to survive the nuisance fish.
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Old 10-23-2006, 08:13 AM   #9
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Thanks for the reply regarding the boilies. Maybe Dad was a little ahead of his time when it came to carp.
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Old 10-24-2006, 11:09 PM   #10
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One thing I do, when my leader length isn't made with the leftover line from my hair. You know, when it's just a hair rigged hook, I put a coat of super glue over the shank of the hook to make sure it does not come unraveled. They seem to work pretty good. I usually make up a dozen or so before a long outting.
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Old 03-02-2007, 05:23 PM   #11
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A few people have asked what a hair rig is, how and why it is used. I will try to explain how to tie a hair rig here and why it is effective.

The hair rig was the invention of Lenny Middleton and Kevin Maddocks, who were looking for a way to fish with boilies, and other hard baits, that would improve hook hold over simple side hooked bait (The Fox Guide to Carp Rigs). The design of the hair rig allows the hook to be fully exposed while the bait is on a length of line that extends past the bottom of the hook.

The genius behind this type of rig is that it cuts out a lot of the mouthing of the bait that carp can do. When the fish feels the hook the immediate reaction is to spit and run. The spitting of the bait helps to plant the hook in the bottom lip of the fish and as it begins to run the hook pierces through the lip for a perfect hookset. Couple the hair rig with a fix lead (sinker) or running (slip) rig of one to four ounces, and the fish hooks itself. Now you simply have to loosen the drag and wait for the fish to take off.

The versatility of the hair rig extends beyond just carp. Fishing this way for smaller catfish produces excellent results with a perfect hook hold in the bottom lip or corner of the mouth and no need to set the hook ferociously.

Many different types of baits can be used with this type of rig. Many of the same baits that you use directly on the hook can be used on the hair rig. This can range from sweet corn, to worms and dough bait. Dough bait can be molded around something hard like a bead or pieces of maize to leave the hook exposed and improve hooking.

The need for the hair rig was originally the boilie, but other hard baits have been utilized as well. The boilie was created, in England, as more durable dough bait that nuisance fish couldn't peck away. In the US, however, the nuisance loathed by many carp anglers is the catfish, and channel catfish tend to love boilies and other, more carpy, baits like sweet corn. Other hard baits include dry seeds and nuts like maize (field corn), tiger nuts (chufa), peanuts, and chick peas (garbanzo beans) that are soaked and boiled in water, and other flavors and attractants, to soften them up. Boiling makes the bait more attractive the fish and easier (safer) for the fish to digest.

That should be enough about the rig for now. Let's take a look at how I construct it. For the hair rig you will need a small hook, preferably with an inturned eye, like the Korda Wide Gape size 8 I will be using here. You will also need a foot or two of 20lb braided hooklink, like PowerPro, Spider Wire, Sufix Braid, or Fox Cortex, which is a braid with a removable plastic coating that I will be using. An optional piece of equipment is a small piece of rig tubing that allows for some adjustment and may enhance the hooking effect. The final piece of equipment that will need is a baiting needle. This is what you will need to put bait on the hair. It can be a purpose built needle, like mine, or you could use a straightened jig head or something from a fabric or craft store.


Step 1:
Pass the hooklink (leader) from the front of hook (point side) through the back. If you are using a coated hooklink, like the photo, you will need to strip off three or four inches to expose the soft, flexible inner braid.
Carp Discussions

Step 2:
Pass the hooklink down the back of the shank and then back up to the eye to create a loop that extends one to two inches below the hook. Extending the tag end of the line past the eye will allow you to adjust the size of the hair after the rig is finished. You can then cut the excess off after the rig is baited.
Carp Discussions

Step 3:
Wrap the hooklink, on the frontside of the hook, down around the shank five times or until the wraps are about even with the point of the hook. Be sure to start the wraps on the side where the bend of the eye starts and not where the end of the wire closes off the eye. The sharp end of the wire could cut through the hooklink during the fight.
Carp Discussions

Step 4:
Pass the end of the hooklink through the backside of the eye towards the hook point. This helps the point of the hook turn down into the lip.
Carp Discussions

Step 5:
Pull the end of the hooklink all the way tight and you have a nearly completed rig. If you have added wraps to the point where they are even with the hook point you are ready for bait.
Carp Discussions
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PB Common Carp: 39lb 12oz (Tennessee River)
PB Mirror Carp: 27lb 10oz (Mason, OH)
PB White Amur (Grass Carp): 34lb 8oz (Ohio River Aurora, IN)
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Old 03-02-2007, 05:24 PM   #12
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Step 6:
I slide a small piece of tubing onto the hair and then over the hook to hold the hair against the shank. This gives me a little room for fine tuning and I believe it enhances the hooking effect since is slides back when the bait is ejected from the mouth while the hook stays in place.
Carp Discussions

Step 7:
To add bait to the hair rig you need to use a baiting needle. It small needle with a hook in the end to latch onto the hair. Thread your bait, in this case sweet corn, onto the baiting needle.
Carp Discussions

Step 8:
After hooking the loaded baiting needle to the hair, simply slide the bait onto it.
Carp Discussions

Step 9:
After removing the baiting needle, you will need to stick something through the end of the loop to hold the bait on the hair. This can be a small stick, part of a blade of grass or a small piece of plastic, like I am using here.
Carp Discussions
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Old 03-03-2007, 12:14 AM   #13
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Nice pics,Tim....How do you like the Korda Wide Gapes?
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Old 03-03-2007, 12:23 PM   #14
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I like the Korda Wide Gapes a lot. They are my preferred hook at the moment. I just received 40 more from Big Carp Tackle this week. I use them in sizes 6, 8, and 10. I haven't had any problems with them bending nor the points getting damaged.

The ESP Big T's are pretty nice as well. They are a similar designed, but have a bigger barb and seem sharper. The problem with with the ESP Big T is that it is only available in a couple sizes here in the US.

I also used to use the Nash Fang X's and they were very nice forged hooks with a strong point. The ones that Big Carp Tackle carries now seem a bit different from the ones I used a few years ago.

I should have ordered some of the new Fox hooks that are Teflon coated to see how they stack up. I have had issues with the points bending on the series 1 and 2xs in the past, and stopped using them after that.
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Old 03-03-2007, 09:51 PM   #15
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I picked up some of the Wide Gapes and Longshank X's
this winter.I haven't had a chance to use them yet though.
I think they look promising.I also plan to get a few of the
new Fox designs (mainly the pattern similar to the Wide
Gapes).
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:27 PM   #16
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Just a self promoting bump
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:21 PM   #17
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when im fishing the hair rig and using corn as bait should i set the hook like i would on any different kind of fish ?

Thanks
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:59 PM   #18
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It really depends on the rod you're using.

The carp rods (yes, they are specifically made for carp) I fish with are 12ft long and have a soft tip. These long rods allow me to simply lift until the is a moderate bend and then I know the hook is secure.

With that said if I was using shorter or lighter rods I would put a little more enough into it. I have a 10ft crappie rod I use for float fishing and I will put a bit umph into setting the hook with this wimpy noodle.

When using heavier catfish gear I would use even more caution. Unlike a catfish with a boned jaw, when hooking into a carp you are grabbing into its soft lips, and these could tear easily.

That is kind of the beauty of carp fishing. You are using small hooks to land a big hard fighting fish, and you have to use caution, because the hook is embedded into the fish's soft lip. You can't simply wrench down the drag and horse the fish in. This delicate balance is definitely part of the appeal to me.

The beauty of this type of rig is that the fish is usually hooked by the time you even get to the rod.
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:31 AM   #19
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Can I use mono? Thats all I have at the moment.
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:15 PM   #20
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Mono should work, but you might have trouble getting it through the eye of the hook twice. Also, you might want to tie a small loop knot into the hair instead of looping the tag end back on the shank of the hook, due to the stiffness of mono.
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