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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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