This article is all about the chod rig. Including my chod rig set up, how to tie a chod rig and why I think it is such a great rig!
Introduction – The chod rig is one that has so many advantages and virtually no disadvantages that you would be mad to dismiss it. I will always make sure to have ready made chod rigs handy as they are a vital tool in my carp fishing armory. The chod rig has been regarded as a fantastic big fish rig, although it will catch most fish that swim, I’ve even had a pike on a white pop-up! The chod rig can be fished as a single hookbait or amongst a spread of free offerings. This carp fishing rig gets more and more popular as time goes by. Chod rigs are virtually tangle proof; the short stiff hooklink and helipcoter lead set up means the chod rig almost never tangles.
Purpose – The chod rig was designed to be fished on ‘choddy’ type lake beds. In deep silt/weed the lead can sink into the detritus and the hook section and hookbait will be left sitting nicely presented on top. With the birth of the chod rig us anglers can now fish previously unfishable swims and still be able to present a hookbait effectively. The fact that chod rigs can be fished on almost any lake bed means that you don’t have to spend ages thrashing the water to a foam in pursuit of a clear spot. With the chod rig you can always cast out with upmost confidence, this is especially useful when you are on a quick session or casting to showing fish! A lot of my carp fishing these days is on short sessions, I need a carp rig that will not let me down and one that I can fully rely on; with the chod rig I don’t have to worry about my rig so much and instead I can focus more on location (the biggest factor in carp fishing, in my opinion).
Set up – The chod rig features a short stiff hook section of bristle filament, usually curved. This curved hook section rotates 360 degrees meaning that the chod rig will find a hook-hold no matter what direction the carp approaches from. Chod rigs are fished helicopter style directly onto the line/leader between two beads that can be moved up and down. For safety it is vital to ensure that the top bead (furthest from the lead) is not fixed and that the rig can slide off the line easily in the event of a snap up.
PVA – Many people use the chod rig with a pva bag when first starting to use the chod rig set up. Although you will still catch carp doing this, I wouldn’t advise it for a couple of reasons that I will now go into. When you cast out with a pva bag you are likely to compromise the curve of the hooklink and instead will be left with a bent rig. Furthermore the rig mechanics of chod rigs do not lend themselves to be fished with a PVA bag; with a PVA bag the carp’s mouth will be tight to the bottom feeding on the contents, all while your hookbait is a good few inches higher. If you want to use free offerings then I am a huge advocate of a wide spread of boilies, this gets the carp swimming from bait to bait and tilting down for one boilie at a time. This carp fishing tactic also creates competition as the carp compete with each other for the boilies, this can cause them to throw out all caution and make a mistake.
Bead Position – There are a number of ways that the chod rig can be fished in regards to the position of the beads. The higher the top bead (one furthest from the lead) then the higher the chod rig is allowed to fly up the leader, when deciding how high up to place the top bead it comes down to the lake bed that you are carp fishing over; if the silt is 2 foot deep then you would want the bead about 3 foot up the line/leader. It is however, not as simple as this; I will usually use a big gap between the beads even when carp fishing on a relatively firm lake bed. With the beads so far apart and the rig allowed to run up and down the leader you are taking the weight of the lead out of the equation. As you may or may not know when a carp gets hooked they like to use the weight of the lead to dislodge the hook; this is very difficult for the carp to do when fishing a ‘free running’ chod rig (beads spread out). Don’t worry about not utilizing the lead for bolt effect purposes, there is still a lot of resistance when the carp rises up in the water. The free running chod is very effective for open water fishing over a big spread of boilie. If I am single hookbait carp fishing in a shallow margin, or snaggy spot, then I will position the beads closer together and nearer to the lead.
Tying – Many anglers have trouble when figuring out how to tie a chod rig, the chod rig set up can be quite difficult to achieve (mainly due to the stiff material), when I first started using the chod rig in around 2008 I too had trouble tying it. If you don’t have the time to practice and go though spools of material in pursuit of the perfect chod rig then don’t threat. Here at Carp Rig Corner we supply ready made chod rigs. Check them out if you like, we will custom tie the chod rigs with your chosen components.
Curvature – The amount that you curve your chod rig is a topic that is under debate in the carp fishing world. I like to use a subtle curve and some people like a really aggressive curve, it’s all personal opinion. The reason I prefer the subtle curve is that it leaves a big gape for the hook to catch hold, the rig doesn’t need to be any more curved and doing so only compromises the gape of the hook. Both the subtle curve and aggressive curve catch carp, as long as the rig ‘spins’ then you’re good to go.
Resetting – I think many of us would be surprised at just how often carp pick up our rigs and get away with it, as seen in the Korda underwater films. When fish and birdlife disturb your carp rig then the result is usually a rig in a tangled mess. When the chod rig is ejected by a carp, or picked up by a bird, it is no problem as the rig simply resets itself. I think a lot of us anglers overlook this factor of carp fishing, a long supple rig is good but when it is ejected and the hair has tangled around the hook then it certainly isn’t very effective.
The ‘Mk2 Chod Rig’ is like a miniature hinged stiff rig that has all the attributes of the standard chod rig, but with some extra movement engineered in. With a standard chod rig there is a chance that a shy carp may try sucking the rig from above, the carp may notice that the hook bait is tethered to the leader/line, restricting natural movement. The Mk2 chod gives the rig a boost of upward movement so that the rig can rise up into the mouth of a carp that is sucking from above. If the carp in your water are used to the regular chod rig then give this mk2 version a go. This rig gives me fantastic hookholds when carp fishing, far back in the mouth, which is testament to its great movement.
Hook pulls – I’ve had a few people complain of hook pulls with the chod rig, many people are surprised when I say I’ve never had a single hook pull with the chod rig set up! With the chod rig being only 2 or 3 inches long I always make sure to add some form of shock absorber on the lead, the ESP ones are what I use and are perfect in my opinion (as seen in first picture above). Another factor that may reduce hook pulls with the chod rig is to use a hook with a beaked point, I recommend both the Korda Choddy and the Fox SR.
In conclusion I will say that the chod rig is a no brainer, in my opinion. Not many other carp fishing rigs allow you to cast to any area, any lake bed and still be confident that it is always fishing spot on. I hope this article on the brilliant chod rig has given you some food for thought and you have picked up a tip or two along the way. I never envisaged the article to be quite so long but I guess that justifies my faith in it!