5 Best [Hair] Rigs for Carp Fishing [Beginners Guide]

Best Hair Rigs for Carp Fishing

Fishing for carp is great, but choosing the best hair rigs for carp fishing is not always easy. Many anglers stick to just one or two options, and that is a mistake.

Not all rigs are suitable for all situations, and some work better in certain times of the year, on in weedy areas. There are a lot of possibilities, and here I am going to list the 5 best hair rigs for carp fishing, that should cover majority of fishing conditions.

These 5 hair rigs are the simple hair rig, the classic pop-up rig, the chod rig, the multi rig, and the Ronnie rig. Some are easier to set up than others, and beginners can start with the simple ones. There is also an option to get the ready-tied rig, but that one has some downsides too.

Using the right rig can increase your fishing success and make a big difference. Of course, you have to use right carp baits too, and know at least the basic carp fishing techniques.

Rigs are designed to provide good hook holds, minimize the chance that carp spits your bait up and to suit certain baits. Their effectiveness is also influenced by the equipment you are using, such as fishing line type or a hook size and shape.

So, before you head out to your next carp fishing trip, make sure to find out the basics about these rigs, and use the suitable one.



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Basic Guidelines for Best Hair Rigs for Carp Fishing

As I already mentioned, different rigs have different features, but they are all designed to provide the best properties in conditions they are made for.

To achieve this, you will have to follow some simple rules.


Use proper hooks for different rigs because they influence the rig a lot. The same goes for fishing line, and all other parts.


Not all rigs are suitable for every bait. Using wrong ones will decrease its effectiveness. I will tell you more about it in the following chapters.


Some rigs are suitable for weedy areas while others are not. Use the one that suits the conditions you are fishing in.


If you are still learning on how to set up a rig, take the time to do it properly. Poorly done rings are not effective and can result in lost fish and a lot of frustration.

What do You Need to Make Best Rig for Carp Fishing?

To make a carp rig, you will need some tools, and I assume that many anglers already have them.

First of all, I would advise you to get a decent size tackle box, to store everything in order. You will always know what you have and where it is, instead of digging through a pile of tiny equipment pieces.

Good organization is half of the work!


Although carp can grow big, don’t use too large hooks to catch it. Sizes can vary, but most commonly used are those in a 10-6 range.

Circle hooks are widely used, great for beginners, work well in many situations, and they set easily.

When it comes to shape, you can use other types too, such as wide gap, which are good for pop up rigs. Another possibility is using hooks for stiff rigs, that have eye pointed outwards and work great for chod rig. Other options are long shank (suitable for baits like corn) and curved shank. For weedy areas use those with straight point and those with eyes turned inwards for braided hair rigs.


Depending on a setup, you may use mono, braid or fluorocarbon.


Bait needle is used for piercing baits like boilies, to be able to attach them on a rig.


Baitstops will keep your hookbait in place and unable it to move or fall off.


It is used to sink the bait.


Swivels prevent line tangling and enable it to turn without tangling. Links are used for attaching weights.


These are used to tighten everything up and add length to the shank so that turning axis shifts further from the hookpoint.


Putty is used to balance the rig, and pin it down.


Scizzors are a must-have piece of equipment for all kinds of cutting tasks.

Some items are not mandatory, but can be extremely helpful, and one of them is a knot puller. It will make your life a lot easier.

Best hair rigs for carp fishing - Tools 

5 Best Rigs for Carp Fishing:

What is the best rig for carp fishing is not a simple question.

All rigs have certain advantages and should be used in conditions where they work the best.

So, here is a list of the best ones:

The Simple Hair Rig

If you are in a search for a rig that can be used in many different situations and it works well, than this is the one.

It is simple, can be used with various baits, and it is ideal for beginners. When you learn how to use this one, you are ready to move on to more complicated setups.

Usually anglers use boilies with it, but you can use baits like corn too. Or maybe combine a few corn kernels, or 2 boilies, where the smaller one is on top.

It works best with smaller hooks, like 10 or 8.

Here is a guide on how to do it.

1. STEP: Take about 35cm/14inches of braided hooklink and remove the coating from the last 7cm/3inches. Make an overhand knot on that end, and pull the line from back the front side of the eye.

2. STEP:  Tie a knotless knot (about 6 wraps) and pull the line through the hook eye in the same direction.

3. STEP:  Add shrink tubing over the eye. Add another piece over the hair and shank.

4. STEP:  Tie the eight-knot near the end of the line, to be able to add lead. And you are done. Attach a desired bait and present it to carp.

You can also check a really good presentation (a similar version) in next video ...

The Classic Pop Up Rig

This one is the second one on the best carp fishing hair rigs list, and it is similar to the previous.

As the name suggests, it works best with pop-up boilies and buoyant baits. It is not too complicated to set up, and even beginners should be able to do it. Here is how:

1. STEP: Use about 30cm/12inches of braided line, remove coating from the last 5-7cm/2-3inches and tie a small loop. Add a boilie in the end.

2. STEP: Use a knotless knot, about 6 wraps, like described in the previous rig. Boilie should be positioned so that its center is across the hook bend.

3. STEP:  Add shrinking tube over the hair and shank.

4. STEP: Tie the eight knot near the end of the line, to be able to attach the lead.

5. STEP: Use warmed up putty and attach a blob to balance the rig. This is the tricky part, and remember, practice makes it perfect.

Best hair rigs for carp fshing - Pop-Up

The Chod Rig

The chod rig is one of those rigs that are frequently overlooked, but there is no reason for that. It works excellent in all kinds of conditions.

To set it up, short and stiff hooklengths are used, and beginners will need some practice to master it. It offers very secure hook holds and eliminates tangles.

You will need items like stiff rig hooks and stiff filament hook links. Here are the steps.

1. STEP: Take a hooklink and pull it through the eye from the inner hook side to the outer.

2. STEP: Use knotless knot to attach the hook and leave about 7cm/3inches of hair. Slide a rig ring onto it.

3. STEP: Pull the hair through the eye from the outer to the inner side.

4. STEP: Use a lighter to heat and make a blob on the end you just pulled through, to secure the ring. Do his carefully.

5. STEP:  Tie a swivel to create a short hooklink by using eight knot and forming a loop.

It works excellent with buoyant baits like pop-up boilies.

The Multi Rig

Among the best hair rigs for carp fishing is definitely a multi rig. This multi-purpose rig works well in various conditions. It enables simple and fast hook and bait changes.

It is also made with the use of putty, so beginners may find it a bit complicated. Follow these steps to set it up:

1. STEP: Use about 30-35cm/12-14 inches of braided line and form the eight loop in the end.

2. STEP: To tie it easily, wet the line and use a knot puller if you have one.

3. STEP: Make the same thing on the opposite end, but the loop has to be smaller.

4. STEP: Strip the coating from the line above the larger loop, 7cm/3inches long.

5. STEP: Use size 8 hook and place a hook bead to the shank. Pull the bigger loop through the eye. Add a swivel.

6. STEP: Pull the loop over the end of the hook. Pull down and tighten to the hook bead.

7. STEP: Add a boilie to the swivel. Warm and add putty onto the big loop.

The last two steps may seem pretty straight forward, but it is not as easy as it seems. Beginners should practice a lot.

The Ronnie Rig

And the last one among the best rigs to use for carp fishing is the "Ronnie rig".

There are a lot of variations and they slightly differ, however they are all used to present your bait slightly off the bottom. It is mostly used with pop-ups.

By using this rig, you are enabling your bait to rotate freely around. It can be used in areas around weeds or over gravel.

And to set it up, follow these steps:

1. STEP: Take about 7-8 inches of braided line, bend it in half to double it, slide a mini ring over the bended end, and then pull the hook through that end below the ring (when I say hook I mean the point and bend part, not the eye).

2. STEP: Pull it to the hook shank and pull the ends through the eye, from back to front and use one part to create a knotless knot around the hook (about 6-8 wraps). Finish by pulling the end again through the eye, from back to front.

3. STEP: Make a blob by warming it up with the lighter and attach a shrink tube over the shank and the knot, but make sure that the ring remains out.

4. STEP: Take the swivel and tie it to the other part of the line by creating three granny knots as close to the hook as possible

5. STEP: Put a shrink tube over the swivel

6. STEP: Attach a hook length and bait. Use putty to balance the bait.

Of course, these 5 are not the only ones, and there are numerous carp fishing rigs, and dozens of variations.

As you gain more experience, you will also use many of them, and know exactly which one to use in a certain situation. There are numerous guides and videos online with detailed instructions on how to set up all kinds of rigs.

If all of this sounds a bit complicated, here is a quick overview chart, so that you can compare them side by side.

Rig Time to Set Up (min) For Weeds For Silt For Gravel Baits Difficulty (1-5)
Simple Hair 3 No No Yes Boilies, corn, snowman 1
Classic Pop-Up 4 No No Yes Pop-Ups 2-3
Chod 5-6 Yes Yes Yes Pop-Ups, ultra buoyant 4-5
Multi 4 Yes Yes Yes Pop-Ups, bottom baits 3-4
Ronnie 5 No No Yes Pop-ups 4

Always keep in mind that rigs like chod have to be adjusted to fit different situations, and you will need to add/remove some length to make them work.

What is the Best Rig for Winter Carp Fishing?

Rigs and baits (for carp fishing) should be chosen in accordance with the year time too.

So, what are the best rigs for winter carp fishing?

First of all, I would say the Ronnie rig. It is great for presenting single and visible hookbaits close to the bottom, where carp will most likely be in the winter.

Another option is the Chod rig. Because this is a free running rig, carp will feel almost no resistance when biting on the bait. It works best with pop up boilies.

You can find instructions on how to set them up in the previous chapters.

AND if you want to learn more, check this article with TOP tips for carp fishing in winter.

What is a Fixed Rig in Carp Fishing?

Fixed rigs are sometimes mentioned, but exactly what is a fixed rig in carp fishing?

Those are the rigs that have a lead clip followed by a tail rubber. It is similar to in-line lead setups.

These can be used on bottoms covered with gravel due to the fact that hooklink has full weight straight from the lead. It enables quick and precise hooksets.

These should not be used on silt, as they tend to burry.

Are Ready-Tied Carp Fishing Rigs Any Good?

Many beginners get overwhelmed when choosing the best rig for carp fishing, they think that setting them up is hard, and decide to use already tied ones.

These rigs are precisely made, you can choose which one to buy, and work excellent. However, there are some downsides too.

They are not cheap, and can`t be adjusted later on. I think that all anglers should tie their own rigs to learn how to handle the equipment to get the better understanding of it.

Of course, you will need a lot of practice to make a rig as good as the one available in tackle shop, but it is the only way to learn and make progress.

Best hair rigs for carp fshing - Ready Made

What is the Best Rig for Carp Fishing in Weed?

Fishing in weeds can be very productive, if your rig is not pulling up grass constantly. Some rigs work well in these conditions.

One of those is the Chod rig. I already described how to set it up in the previous chapters.

The reason it works well over weed is that you can adjust the length of the section to match the weed height and it lays on top of it.

What is the Best Rig for Carp Fishing in Silt?

Lighter setups are better in silt, to prevent it from burying in.

And when it comes to the rig, you should choose the ones that do not have an in-line lead, and have a bit longer hooklinks.

The "Naked chod", also called a "Helicopter rig", will go down in a way that the lead hits the bottom first followed by slowly moving buoyant hookbait. This enables the bait to lay gently onto the surface, without digging in.

Difference between the chod and the naked chod is that the first one has a leader, while naked one is connected onto the mainline.

To set it up, do the following:

1. STEP: Take extra stiff filament, about 12cm/5inches.

2. STEP: Attach a hook with a knotless knot, and leave about 3.5-5cm/1.5-2inch hair.

3. STEP: Slide a swivel on the end of the hair. Put it back through the eye to create a “D”.

4. STEP: Make a blob to prevent it from slipping out.

5. STEP:  Attach a swivel to the other and of the hooklink by using blood knot, 2-turn version.

6. STEP: Add putty onto the swivel eye.


The best rig for carp fishing is the one that brings results in certain circumstances.

You can`t simply choose just one to use at all times, because all of them have some advantages that make them suitable for various conditions.

For a beginner, it would be great to learn how to set them up and use them, so that you can get the most out of every fishing trip.

And no matter where you fish, keep in mind that carp is a very cautious fish, so try to blend into the environment as much as possible. And never forget about what does carp eat in nature - this will help you to choose the correct bait!

About Me

Slo-fishing - About Us


I am Siniša Pintar (friends call me Sina), the guy behind Slo-fishing.si and eBook writer. This site is base camp for fishing enthusiasts from all over the world. I love fishing and want to share all my stories, knowledge and my experience with any and all potential anglers. Read more ...

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