THIS week’s Angler’s Mail carp blog takes a different tack – it’s from our regular carp expert Colin Davidson, running through how to set up the chod rig. 

Here’s a round-up of some of the important principles and dos and don’ts, if you’re new to choddies or feel you’re not getting the best from them.

Understand when a chod rig is appropriate. It doesn’t work well with smaller carp, simple as that. On runs waters with a good head of single-figure fish or smaller doubles, leave it alone. Despite great mechanics, the chod rig is crude. Save it for waters with good numbers of 20-pounders or at very least big doubles and some bigger fish into the mix. You’ll catch far more on smaller fish waters using more orthodox presentations.

A chod rig is a boilie presentation and works at its best when using larger 15-20 mm boilies only.

It’s not a rig to be used with PVA bags of pellets or PVA sticks, and isn’t working at its best if you’re putting it over a spodded area of small feed items and then suspending a large boilie several inches above where carp are grazing. Chods also work better when you’re spreading boilie freebies around a swim, not grouping them tightly.


Use the right materials!

A stiff link mono or bristle filament withstands whipping and knotting a short length without becoming kinked or damaged. Don’t substitute other materials like fluoro, mono from the reels or coated braids – they won’t do. Hooks should be straight pointed with a slightly out-turned eye to ensure the hook sits correctly. Korda’s Mouth Trap in 15 lb and ESP Stiff Riggers in an 8 are an excellent combination.


For the best chod rigs, learn the Snell whipping knot. A knotless knot leaves the link at an acute angle down through the eye, a whipping knot sees the tag end exit at a much shallower angle which makes your finished chod rig adopt the finished curve you want for the best hooking.


Chod rigs must be fished on a helicopter end tackle. Trap the link between stops that, for safety purposes, can slide with gentle finger pressure up and down a leadcore leader.

Solar’s chod beads are excellent, pierced and threaded on with a needle. Never trap the link down tight between the stops, the freedom of the link to slide freely at least a few inches along the leader is a key part of the rig’s success, preventing a carp shaking its head to dislodge the hook.


The chod swivels from Thinking Anglers are great to give this improved movement.

A double ringed swivel at the end of a chod link improves its mechanics compared with the standard ring swivel commonly used. Tying the link to the large ring allows it to spin more readily if a carp approaches the bait and contact the curved link material behind where the hook point is sat under the bait.


Ensure you check that the hook point hangs well clear of the lead, adding a long silicone sleeve or cut down tail rubber to prevent any risk of hooks being blunted on the cast or retrieve.

Choddies are a long casting, aerodynamic end tackle and are often first choice on bigger venues where big chucks can be required. But long, streamlined leads on the end of the leader can see the hook point able to catch or blunt on the coating of the base of the lead.


Very buoyant hook baits help sit a chod rig up more readily, offering improved hooking. Cork ball pop-ups are the best choice by far, keeping the link and hook bolt upright off the leader.

They need tying on not piercing. There’s huge variation in airball-style pop-ups, some being more than buoyant enough for choddies, others being hopeless. If in doubt, use a white airball pop-up, they will always be the most buoyant. Check the bait pulls the link upright by testing in the margins.


A chod rig needs a curve along it to perform effectively. The curve of the link spins the choddie around if a carp’s bottom lip touches the upright link material as it tries to take the pop-up. I find a gentle curve with the hook still sat upright, rather than tucked under the bait, effective. Don’t tie up choddies and then carry them under tension nicked into the ring of a rod, you’ll straighten them, which makes them far less effective.


Tie choddies in advance and store them carefully to maintain their curve.

Because they involve blobbed tags and fiddly knots, they’re better tied at home not on the bank. An old fashioned rig bin is brilliant and dirt cheap. The larger pike and carp models maintain a better curve on choddies than the smaller carpy mini rig bins but there are specialist chod bins made by Fox, amongst other companies, which have graded cylindrical sections to store different sizes of chod rigs.


Feathering a cast and feeling the rig down is critical with choddies, keeping the line tight behind the lead as it sinks, to allow the bait to settle slowly over any bottom.

The lead doesn’t have to be heavy, the hook is tensioned in by the weight of the leader and line. Light bombs also allow you to drop rigs over weed and silt as the rig settles over them, allowing you to fish confidently almost anywhere.


After casting, chod rigs work best on a slack line, not wound up tight.

A slack line builds up tension on the hook point more slowly and steadily which is much harder for a carp to deal with. Although chods are fished on a lead forward helicopter end tackle, you will always get a line tightening as the bait is lifted off bottom, and often a sharp bang on the rod tip or jump at the indicators – that’s a carp shaking his head, not able to get rid of the hook and in trouble. You’re in!


Follow these simple steps and you’ll soon be catching crackers, just like this!


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