Recommended uses are for carp although I do catch a fair amount of catfish as well. Bait is threaded on the "hair" near the hook. When a fish sucks in the bait, the hook point is facing out causing the fish to hook itself. This coupled with a fixed or semi fixed lead produces screaming runs so keep your drag loose
Like Vince said, usually used with boilies or a few ffake corn/floaters. You take a tool and thread the bait onto the Hair, then put a stop in the loop and pull it out. When it is made right the hook will sit flat on the bottom of the lake or float under the bait if usuing a floater. The carp sucks in the bait/hook, then if they try to spit it out the hook goes right into the fish.
Look up videos on hair rigs on youtube if you need some more visual explanation.
I have seen these rigs before, I know they're popular in combination with boilies amongst European anglers. It seems boilies aren't that popular over here though (then again I guess carp fishing isn't really either). All that being said, I'm sure someone on here has used these before over here, are they really that much more effective (both the rig and boilies)? I'm by no means, a carp fishing expert, but I have caught my fair share of carp (and almost got caught by one when I was little) using canned corn and a standard slip-sink rig, and I can't recall missing too many hook ups.
I fish for carp exclusively and I can attest to the hair rig catching a ton of fish. Chumming the water and using the right hookbait can produce very good results. I fished Alum last Saturday night and managed 9 carp and 2 very nice size channels. I've had days of 15-25 carp in a single session (6-8 hours). Sometimes it's hard to even keep 2 rods in the water.
The tool used is called a baiting needle but you can go to walmart and get something called a "knit picker" which is the same thing.
When you thread the bait on the hair, use a beaded tie to put through the loop and pull the bait tight against it. Cut the beaded tie so you have a small plastic piece resembling a dumbbell.
Went out to Alum and tried using this today, side by side with the standard slip-sinker rig I have always used and caught carp with. I have only fished the spot for carp once before and they were spawning so no luck. Using canned corn as bait, threw a bunch out at the start of the day and threw pieces after each reel in or every 20 min or so.
Got 4 solid hits, all on the hair rig. Unfortunately I missed all 4 (worst feeling ever). The first I missed because I was rigging up my second pole, by the time I got to my pole the carp had wrapped itself around a tree.
The other misses, I could use some help with. I stuck to one pole after this, kept getting bites, never waited more than 10 minutes to get a bite, but in every case the hooks came off. I used 15# Spiderwire braid, and size 8 hooks. The line didn't break, the knots didn't come undone, I only lost the hook. Any clue what I did wrong?
TIL that my phone takes way too big of pictures for this site, and uploading photos to a post is way harder than it should be.
Anyways... I was using size 8 shank hooks as they were all I had. I tied a Surgeons loop (I believe that is what it's called) to make the first loop, pulled the line through the back of the eye, wrapped the line down and around the shaft of the hook and the hair, then looped it through the back of the eye again, and made another surgeon's loop at the top and attached it to a swivel. I'm not sure how much the picture will help but it is attached
Weird, what phone? i have a samsung note 2 and can post fine.
I'm still new to them but looks like the hair is too long.
You want it tight to the bait so that when the fish Vacuums it up it is impossible to get rid of the hook.
Look up a bolt rig. I tried using the Carolina rig with the hair. The result is they pick it up but there is no resistance and it is dropped before the hook gets set.
My best guess is they see the movement and panic and drop.
The other possiblity is it could be is canned corn is soft and they could just be stripping it off. Without even needing to go near hook.
I have a Samsung Galaxy S2, it takes 3,264x2448 pixel photos.
Thanks for the help CarpRule, but it seems I have found my problem... well half of it any way. I must be tying it wrong, because a decent amount of force (nothing an average size carp couldn't muster, even with low drag) will pull the hook right off the line, which is exactly what happened on the lake. Now I just have to figure how I'm tying it wrong and remedy it