The Loop Rig
Mark Bryant details his reusable rig
In all of my rig construction I find myself gravitating towards the easiness of changing the hook or hookbait without sacrificing the hooklinks that took an age to neatly pre-tie. Being able to switch the hook, which may have blunted on gravel or been dulled from a capture of a massive fish, is essential in all of my fishing. The loop rig was born out of this need, and as you can see, once tied it can be reused for the whole season or more if you wish.
I have taken some very good properties of other rigs such as the multi-rig and adapted it to suit my requirements. The loop on the end of the rig lends itself to most presentations, be it a bottom bait, critical, snowman or pop-up. A rig that ticks all these boxes is very rare. When creating the loop, I always use a higher breaking strain braid than normal; 25lb Supernatural ticks this box perfectly. The reason for this is 15lb braid has a tendency to cut into the fluorocarbon or mono boom section and reduce the breaking strain.
I always make sure that the hookbait is thrown away from the lead. A fully extended rig will without doubt catch you more fish, because the quicker the lead comes into play once the hookbait has been sucked up, the quicker the hook is sent home into the fish’s bottom lip. This is achieved with a stiff or semi-stiff boom section and always with a hookbait with a degree of buoyancy. A perfect all rounder is 20lb IQ2; not only does it give the necessary stiffness to throw the hookbait away from the lead, but it also has the flexibility to lay over any debris on the bottom and still not compromise the mechanics. On a really firm, clay bottom I use 25lb Mouthtrap for the boom section, the stiffer the better. The rig can reset itself time and time again, which is very important, especially when you have problematic birdlife constantly picking up the bait (if they grab the boilie first, it doesn’t move the loop on the shank).
The beauty of this rig is you can use a hook of your choice, but I have trialed various hooks and always come back to a size 4 Kurv Shank. I favour a size 4 as it gives me the extra gape I’m looking for, and this has caught me many bonus fish. Simply compare a size 8 or 6 against a 4 and you will see for yourself; it’s the perfect hook. A big blob of putty is secured around the knot section and this helps to pull the hook down towards the lip.
A short piece of silicone securely traps the loop as it passes through the eye of the hook. You can cast this as hard as you like and the loop will not move. The only time the loop will move is when you hook a fish, and then it will slip down to butt up against the eye. Another big advantage is you can see if a fish has picked up the rig and managed to get away with not becoming hooked. If the fish manages to shake the hook out, you will notice that the loop has been pulled down to the eye. This is particularly useful when trying to distinguish liners from aborted pick-ups.
I attach the bait to a hook ring swivel, pulling dental floss through the bait and then blobbing it. I find that the best position for the loop and bait is just past the barb of the hook. This is for two reasons: firstly, it helps eliminate the hookbait wrapping around the shank; and secondly, if you lay the rig in the margins the hook is always in the cocked position with the point pointing down – perfect!
Give this rig a go. Once tied, I promise you that it will be hard to fish with anything else.
How to tie Mark’s rig
- STEP 1: You will need some 20lb IQ2, 25lb Supernatural, Kurv Shank hooks, XS Kwik Links, Micro Ring Swivels, Long Tungsten Anti-Tangle Sleeves and Silicone Tubing
- STEP 2: Take a 14-inch length of IQ and form a small loop
- STEP 3: Take a 10-inch length of Supernatural and double that up too
- STEP 4: Pass the braid loop through the IQ loop
- STEP 5: Holding both braid tag ends, wrap them around the IQ loop six times
- STEP 6: Now wrap two times back towards the top of the IQ loop
- STEP 7: Pass the tags back through the IQ in the same direction you went originally
- STEP 8: Pull everything down nice and tight and trim off the braid tags
- STEP 9: Trim the short tag end of the IQ2
- STEP 10: Pull a short length of silicone on to the braided loop and pass the loop through the hook eye
- STEP 11: Slide a Micro Ring Swivel on to the braided loop and pass the hook point through the loop
- STEP 12: Position the loop as shown and slide the silicone over the hook eye to hold everything in place
- STEP 13: Mould a small amount of putty over the knot
- STEP 14: Attach a hookbait to the swivel using Bait Floss
- STEP 15: Slide a Tungsten Anti-Tangle Sleeve and a XS Kwik Link into place
- STEP 16: Tie the Kwik Link into position eight inches from the putty
- STEP 17: Slide the Tungsten Sleeve on to the Kwik Link
- STEP 18: The rig is now complete