Using a propriety brand carp float for strength and high visibility, set up the rig with the bulk weight close to the bottom, be it a string of small shot or an olivette as shown above. Use a strong specimen hook of size appropriate to the bait being fished - size 14 is about right for a 1/4 inch cube of meat. Keep the loose feed going in, using a pot for accuracy.
Following a couple of requests and with a view to helping a few people who are new to pole fishing I have added a couple of basic rigs for people to have a look at and understand. The first one relates to plumbing the depth which if you read a lot of the experts advice is the most important thing to do before you start fishing. You can learn a lot from spending 5 minutes plumbing the depth of your peg. It will tell you if there are any drop offs or shelves where the fish would be congregating looking for food and also where there any depressions in the lake bed again where fish would gather.
It must be remembered that these rigs are really the basic starting point and to get he best from your fishing you will need to experiment with your depths and with the basic shotting patterns. It is amazing sometimes that just moving a shot a few inches will make all the difference and you will catch a lot more fish. It is also useful to have more than one rig set up just in case you break one or you can have other rigs set up for when the fish come up in the water or are feeding on the surface. This will save a lot of time especially in matches. Please note that these rigs are essentially for use on still waters. River pole fishing is a totally different proposition.
Plumbing the depth
VIDEO LINK TO PLUMBING UP BELOW
Once youíve plumbed a rig itís wise to mark the depth of the swim on your pole in case you need to re-rig or change the depth at any point. This can be done with Tipp-ex as it can be easily wiped off without doing damage to the pole. Alternatively use a chinagraph pencil
This rig is used when the fish are feeding on or very near to the surface. This is usually during the summer or early autumn months when the fish are very active and need a lot more food. The fish become very competitive when this method is used with constant feeding (sometime 2 or 3 times a minute) and it can be a deadly method for carp on commercial waters. It will work just as well for other species but normally the Carp being far more aggressive get to the bait first. If you can get the fish feeding this way it is very exciting as the fish will almost pull the pole from your grasp at times. Many large weights are recorded using this method during the summer months with baits such as meat or sweetcorn. When fishing this method it is important to remember that the fish will vary the depth that they are feeding at and you will need to be aware and change your depth accordingly if the bites stop. This is where the experts catch more fish than the average angler as they are prepared to change their rigs and shotting patterns all the time. You would normally use strong lines (6-8lbs) and larger hooks (12-14 ) with stronger elastics (anything between 10 and 20 rating) for this type of fishing as the bites are very strong and you are likeley to hit big Carp which you need to get out of the shoal as soon as possible.
Mid Water Rig
Again this rig is used when the fish are "up in the water" and again this is usually during the warmer months. However this is not always the case as when the vegetation or leaves on the bottom of the pool start to decay in the late autumn or early winter the fish can often come off the bottom to get away from the decaying vegetation. This is quite often a very good method for roach in the autumn when fishing with hemp seed or casters but any other species are likely to be caught using this method. Again you will need to be aware that the fish will vary their feeding depths quite often and you will need to react accordingly. This method is generally referred to as "fishing on the drop" as the fish intercept the bait on its way down to the bottom. This method is good for any type of bait and again can yield very good bags of fish at times. This rig is a little more difficult to predict as you can catch all sorts of fish in this way. You would normally have 2 or 3 other top 2 or 3 sections set up with varying elastic ratings. If you do start catching Carp you can use the heavy elastic but equally if a shoal of roach or skimmers are feeding then you can change to a lighter elastic say a 6 - 8 rating. It really depends on what happens on the day and you should be prepared for anything.
Full depth rig
This is probably the most important basic rig pattern and is normally one that you would start with. During the warmer months you will often find that you start with this rig but very soon after you start introducing feed the fish will come up in the water and this rig needs to be changed for a mid water or surface rig. During the winter months when the fish are less active and generally stay on the bottom this is normally the preferred starting method and one you would stick to. During the winter the fish are less responsive and you may have to wait a couple of hours until the fish start feeding. During the winter months you will also need to use far less bait and you generally find that smaller baits like maggots caster and pinkies work better than larger baits like meat and corn. However nothing is guaranteed in fishing and sometimes even in the coldest of winter a change to a piece of corn or meat will bring a bonus fish to the net. With this rig I would normally tend to use a bulk shot in the shallower water say up to 5-6 feet and use an olivette (see below) for deeper lakes and pools. It is really just a personal preference. You can always move your bulk shot around or string them out but an olivette is a solid weight.
These are the two most used types of olivette. The first one is called an "in line" olivette and the line quite simply runs through the middle. It is stopped at the required depth with a small shot. The second one is attached using 2 small silicone rubbers which can be easily pushed up or down the line. Olivettes come in various sizes depending on the weight of the float and how you want to fish. See below for a general shotting guide when your floats show the weight in styl leads.
I hope this information is useful to you. These rigs are basic but they are proven to work and are always the best place to start. As we all know every fishing day is different and the best advice I can give is to be prepared to make changes if you are not catching fish. Always experiment with your rigs and shotting patterns.
Of all the various pole rigs that anglers use, the paste rig is perhaps the most misunderstood but itís one of the easiest to tie, easiest to fish and it catches absolutely tons of carp each year.
The most important thing that you need to get right when paste fishing on the pole is to plumb the depth accurately. So, youíll need to lower your plummet all over your swim to locate a flat area where you can be 100 percent sure that your bait will always be touching the bottom.
The float is important too. The perfect paste float will be seriously long, have a large balsa body and a very long and thick sight tip. All these features are vital to ensure that your float performs in the way it should.
Shotting paste rigs is easy Ė you just need a bulk of shot set just above your hooklength. It ought to be positioned around 8ins from the hook. One thing you must bear in mind is that you need to add enough shot to take the float down to the top of the balsa body Ė all the sight tip should be visible above the water.
The next important thing to do it tie on the largest hook you have, bearing in mind the rules of the venue. You can use huge hooks when paste fishing because the paste is moulded around the hook, therefore the fish canít see it.
When you have found the area that you are going to fish, itís time to set the correct depth of your rig. Clip a plummet onto the hook, lower it into your swim and if the whole of the floatís sight tip is showing you have the rig set too deep. You will need to slide the float down the line a little until only 1cm of the float is showing when you lower the plummet and rig into your swim. This is crucial.
Take a look at the paste rig on the right (A). Here the plummet has been removed, a large chunk of paste has been moulded around the hook and the float sits perfectly in the water Ė this is because the weighty paste is anchoring the rig to the bottom Ė itís pulling the float down.
Now take a look at the rig on the left (B). Here the paste has dissolved and broken down, therefore it has lost its grip on the hook. The buoyant pole rig will pull free from the paste and youíll immediately see the float pop up to the surface. Thatís the time to ship the rig back and bait the hook with some more paste.
No other rig tells you that your bait has fallen off quite like this paste rig Ė itís perfect and helps you save time waiting for a bite when your bait has dissolved ages ago!
Bites are unmissable Ė the float will either shoot under, rise to the surface then go under, or just bob around and go under.