Category: Tutorials

Darrell Peck - Embracing the Hinged Stiff Rig

Darrell Peck – Embracing the Hinged Stiff Rig

Darrell Peck – Embracing the Hinged Stiff Rig: For those entering the realm of rig setups, the stiff-hinge rig stands out as a proven winner, having likely landed more substantial carp than any other rig. Darrell Peck, a seasoned angler, swears by this rig, especially when presenting a pop-up.

Darrell Peck - Embracing the Hinged Stiff Rig

The hinged stiff rig has withstood the test of time and remains a go-to choice for pop-up presentations. Its enduring popularity is attributed to two key factors: its guaranteed presentation and exceptional hooking efficiency.

This rig is primarily favored for larger fish, as it can be a bit too robust for smaller carp in the single and low double weight range.

Darrell Peck - Embracing the Hinged Stiff Rig

Various constructions of the rig exist, but I’ll elaborate on how and why I tie it in the manner I do. Keeping things simple is my mantra for rig creation. The essentials for me are tangle-free operation, effective presentation on the lakebed, efficient hooking, and the strength to land every hooked carp.

The hinge rig comprises two sections: the hook section and the boom section. Let’s start with the hook section.

When using a hinge, a pop-up hookbait is essential, attached via Bait Floss to either a rig ring or a micro ring swivel. This is connected to a ‘D’ section on the back of the hook, crafted from 20lb MouthTrap. A six-turn knotless knot, with the tag end pushed back down through the hook’s eye, forms the ‘D.’

My preferred hook for this rig is a size 6 or size 8 Wide Gape, known for its reliable hook holds. I’ve found it to outperform a Choddy hook, and the smaller size aids in securing hookholds.

Attention to the hookpoint is crucial, and given that the hook sits proud from the lakebed, a sharp point, such as a Kamakura or hand-sharpened hook, works well.

The 20lb Mouthtrap is my preferred material for its excellent memory, crucial for the hook section to maintain its shape. It’s essential to have the flexibility to create a curved ‘D’ at the rear of the hook.

While some anglers use alternative materials for hinges, such as supple fluorocarbons or braid, I advise against it. Stick to products designed specifically for this task.

The length of the MouthTrap varies based on the situation, but as a rule, I prefer hinges to sit around 2.5 inches off the lakebed. Very short sections of 1 inch can lead to hookpulls.

To complete this section, I tie the MouthTrap to a size 11 Ring Swivel via a 2-turn blood knot. When tying the blood knot, leave a smaller gap between the hook and the swivel than you think; the knot will gain an extra inch when tightened.

Once tied, give the MouthTrap a gentle curve to help turn the hook into the bottom lip, regardless of the carp’s approach direction. This curve is a potent weapon, and steaming the rig after pinning it into a chod bin helps set the MouthTrap into the desired shape.

For the boom section, Hybrid Stiff remains my top choice, ranging from 5 to 12 inches. Krimping it into position is a neat and easy way to set it up.

The lead arrangement can be a Lead Clip or Heli Safe, depending on personal preference and lake bed conditions.

The hinged stiff rig excels in various situations, with its peak performance as a single hookbait tactic or over a spread of boilies. It has likely accounted for more big fish than any other rig and remains my go-to for pop-up work.

Get Hinged Stiff Rigs now at Big Carp Tackle Store:


Goo Tips by Jamie Londers

Goo Tips by Jamie Londers

Baiting Carp for Beginners: Goo Tips by Jamie Londers

Meet Jamie Londers and get ready for some Goo Tips!

Definition: Goo

“Originating from South Africa, this secret mixture of additives was used to devastating effect by their national team in carp competitions. It is manufactured by Kiana and all different colours and flavours are available, as well as two different versions – a thinner one to soak hookbaits in; and a thicker one that can be used in PVA bags, groundbait, or even smeared onto the outside of baits before casting out.”

1. Combine Flavors

Goo Tips by Jamie Londers: combine flavors

Don’t limit yourself to one flavor – mix it up for maximum food signals in the water. Experiment by combining different Goo flavors to create your own custom blend for a personal edge. Each Goo variant offers distinct acidity or alkalinity levels, scientifically proven to alter the water’s pH and trigger positive feeding responses in carp. In simpler terms, fish find it nearly impossible to resist. The dense viscosity of the Smokes sinks through the water column, while the lighter Supremes rise, creating a powerful attraction that draws fish down to your hook-bait. It’s pulling power at its finest.

2. Bake It On

Goo Tips by Jamie Londers: Bake it on

Let your Goo’d pop-ups dry in the sun. Use the thicker Smokes to coat your hook baits, then leave them in the sun to bake and form a crust. Once in the water, this layer of attraction breaks down slowly, creating a long-lasting cloud of unrivaled attraction around your bait’s orbit. This tactic, favored by successful zig anglers, ensures the Goo withstands the force of a cast and disperses gradually once in position.

3. Use PVA to Create the ULTIMATE Attractor Package

Use PVA to Create the ULTIMATE Attractor Package

Take advantage of the PVA-friendly nature of Goo by applying it directly to your sticks. This opens up a world of possibilities, allowing you to make a bag or stick mix with high levels of liquid attraction – a fantastic way to apply taste and smell. The Goo’s solubility, combined with its PVA-friendly composition, lets you get creative. Apply a stripe of neat Goo directly to your bags or hook-baits before casting out to further boost attraction.

4. Use the Nozzle to Inject

Use the nozzle to inject.

For a quick and easy way to create an irresistible parcel of flavor and attraction, use the nozzle to inject Goo into your solid bags. Time is precious, and with just a squeeze, you’ll have a concentrated burst of goodness surrounding your hook-bait. This forms a cloud of high-level attraction, providing both a visual element with the colored halo and an unmatched concentration of some of the finest tastes and smells in the bait scene. A proven and winning tactic that keeps it simple.

Get Goo now at Big Carp Tackle Store:


Carp Fishing Masterclass Videos

Carp Fishing Masterclass Videos

The impact of Korda’s Carp Fishing Masterclasses on the world of angling has been nothing short of revolutionary since their launch. For this reasons Korda has created the Carp Fishing Masterclass Videos Series.

This remarkable series provides anglers with hours of valuable instruction from some of the most prominent and successful figures in the fishing industry. They share their expertise on a wide range of waters, both in the UK and overseas.

What makes these tips truly exceptional is their versatility, making them applicable to any fishing location for outstanding results.

Watch the videos here.


Match Fishing: Bream and Skimmers on the Feeder Tips

Let’s catch up with Andy at the popular Midlands location, Meadowlands Fishery. He’s here to share his insights and techniques for fishing with an open-ended feeder to target skimmers, roach, and bream. Andy will walk you through his groundbait mixture and the setup he uses. He’ll also provide valuable advice on casting, his feeding strategy, and the step-by-step process for assembling a winning haul of silvers during a match.

Get DynamiteBaits products now at Big Carp Tackle Store:


Tom Dove is a huge advocate of using corn

Unleash Your Inner Bait Whisperer: The Golden Grains

Sweetcorn – it’s more than just a classic; it’s a timeless legend in the world of carp fishing.

“No matter the season, those golden grains are an irresistible temptation for our finned friends. When Simon Scott boldly declares it as the “best carp bait of all time,” you can’t help but sit up and take notice.”

Unleash Your Inner Bait Whisperer: The Golden Grains: Sweetcorn’s versatility stretches beyond the obvious, and over the years, its applications have multiplied. Let’s dive into the uncharted waters of corn, exploring some innovative uses you might not have considered.

Tip 1: Dress Up Your Hookbaits

This tactic has taken Europe by storm, with many big carp catches attributed to it. When you’re baiting heavily, the challenge is getting a quick bite. By adding a colored plastic corn grain to your hookbait, you’re boosting its allure. When carp arrive for their feast, that pop of color often prompts a swift pickup. This tip also works wonders with single hookbaits, offering a flavorful and eye-catching alternative to a dull bait.

sweetcorn hookbaits

Tip 2: Outsmart the Crayfish

Crayfish are increasingly causing headaches in our fishing spots, nibbling away at baits until there’s nothing left. Particle baits slow down their destructive feast, and when paired with a hookbait of two grains of Fake Corn, you’ve got a crayfish-resistant setup.

Tip 3: Make It PVA-Friendly

Sweetcorn can be easily transformed into a PVA-friendly bait, as can other particles. Normally, bait submerged in water during storage can cause problems when using PVA bags. But fear not, drain most of the liquid from your tin of corn, add a generous amount of salt, and let it rest for a few minutes. The salt transforms the remaining water into a PVA-friendly solution, making your job a breeze.

sweetcorn pva friendly with salt

Tip 4: Achieve Bait Balance

Plastic sweetcorn can counterbalance a sinking hookbait’s weight. For instance, when using tiger nuts, topping your nut with a buoyant corn grain will initially make it sink quickly. But by carefully trimming the nut, you can achieve a slow, tantalizing sink. The result? An attention-grabbing, critically balanced hookbait that carp will find hard to resist. This technique is a favorite of the experienced angler Tom Stokes.

Plastic sweetcorn can be used to counterbalance the weight of a sinking hookbait

Tip 5: Dive into the Goo

The GOO is your gateway to enhancing the allure of any bait, whether it’s for free offerings or hookbaits. The GOO adds layers of attraction – color, smell, and taste – to anything it touches. Experiment with flavors like White Squid combined with White Banoffee Corn for winning results.

goo pop-up corn sweetcorn

Tip 6: Blend It Right

Liquidized corn is a versatile hookbait that fits various scenarios. Blending it into a slop creates a potent mix for spoding over zigs, pairing it with a trimmed yellow pop-up or foam as your hookbait. Alternatively, simply adding liquidized corn to your mix creates an enticing cloud in the water column, maximizing attraction without filling up the carp. It’s an underutilized approach that anglers like Jonny Old swear by.

blend your sweetcorn

Tip 7: Add a Dash of Naturals

Tom Dove champions corn, particularly as a stand-alone bait in weedy conditions. Its lightweight allows it to flutter down onto the weed. By pairing it with a small yellow pop-up on a chod rig, you ensure presentation in the weed, creating an effective trap. In one of his great achievements, Dovey introduced chopped worm to his corn, elevating the attraction and pulling power of his setup.

Unleash Your Inner Bait Whisperer: The Golden Grains: add chopped worm to your sweetcorn bait

Unleash Your Inner Bait Whisperer: The Golden Grains

Sweetcorn isn’t just the greatest carp bait; it’s also budget-friendly. You can grab kilos from the supermarket’s frozen section for a few bucks. Given its high attractiveness, you don’t need a ton to get bites.

So, as you venture into the world of carp fishing, remember that the humble sweetcorn, with its golden allure, has countless tricks up its sleeve. It’s a true angler’s ally, offering not just nostalgia but innovative techniques that keep the carp coming back for more.

can of sweetcorn

Tom Dove is a huge advocate of using corn
Tom Dove is a huge advocate of using corn

Get our excellent Sweetcorn products now at Big Carp Tackle Store:


wide gape X

Spotlight: Wide Gape Hooks

Spotlight: Wide Gape Hooks – The Wide Gape hooks have a storied history spanning over two decades, assisting anglers in landing numerous large fish. It’s a pattern that has stood the test of time and will likely remain a perennial favorite.

This hook was one of Damian Clarke’s early ventures in product development and was among the first hooks introduced by Korda, along with the Longshank. Later, enhanced versions in the form of the X and XX were added for added strength.

The Wide Gape hook was born from a fusion of different hook designs used by Damian and Danny Fairbrass. The primary inspiration came from the Maruta Kinryu, a Japanese hook with a wide gape and an Iseama-shaped bend, similar to other popular Japanese carp hooks like the Owner spade ends.

Spotlight: Wide Gape HooksInitial drawings were hand-drawn by Damien and Danny on paper before being professionally rendered and sent to a hook manufacturer for sampling. The received samples closely matched their vision, leading to the launch of the Wide Gape pattern. While the original design remained largely unaltered, the range expanded to include barbless models, heavier-duty variations, and sharpened Kamakura versions. There’s even a Basix range version with a slightly different eye.

wide gape hook original drawingsDespite its long history, the Wide Gape hook remains the top choice for many anglers in various fishing scenarios. Carp angler Darrell Peck, for instance, has used this hook in its various forms to land significant catches both domestically and abroad.

For anglers like Darrell Peck, landing the fish they hook is crucial, making the Wide Gape hook their preferred choice. Damian Clarke, despite trying various Korda patterns over the years, still favors the Wide Gape, particularly the upgraded Wide Gape X version, suited to the waters and carp size he targets.

Spotlight: Wide Gape Hooks:

original wide gape hook
The original Wide Gape hooks feature a slightly in-turned eye, a short shank, a heavily forged bend, and a razor-sharp beaked point. It was Korda’s first hook, introduced with a Teflon coating, a novelty in the UK at the time, which still protects against rusting.

wide gape hook

This versatile hook is suitable for various bottom bait and pop-up presentations, including the spinner rig, and comes in barbed or barbless versions in sizes 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10.

Wide Gape X:

wide gape X
The Wide Gape X is identical to the original version but boasts a heavier wire gauge, suitable for challenging UK situations such as snaggy or weedy waters, and overseas angling. It maintains the sharp beaked point, heavily forged bend, short shank, and slightly in-turned eye. Available in sizes 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10, it’s only offered in barbed.

Wide Gape XX:

wide gape XX
For extreme fishing conditions abroad or targeting larger carp species like Siamese in Thailand, the Wide Gape XX with thicker gauge wire is the right choice. It retains the original’s sharp beaked point, heavily forged bend, short shank, and in-turned eye.

Kamakura Wide Gape:

kamakura wide gape
While the original Wide Gape was sharp for its time, some anglers desire even sharper hooks. The Kamakura-sharpened version is available in barbed and barbless versions in sizes 4, 6, and 8. These hooks are incredibly sharp but have a thin point, best suited for situations without crayfish or nuisance fish.

Kamakura Wide Gape X:

kamakura wide gape x
Following the success of Kamakura Wide Gape hooks, a sharpened version of the ‘X’ model was introduced. It offers an incredibly sharp point and extra strength, available in barbed or barbless versions in sizes 4, 6, and 8.

Spotlight: Wide Gape Hooks – Basix Wide Gape:

basix wide gape
The Basix Wide Gape is a versatile hook designed to eliminate the need for additional components. It features an aggressively in-turned eye, allowing it to flip naturally. Made from ‘X’ gauge wire, it’s suitable for use in the UK and abroad. The black nickel finish and a longer-lasting point make it perfect for multiple fish without frequent changes. Available in barbed or barbless versions in sizes 2, 4, 6, and 8. These hooks are cost-effective and a great choice for beginners or anglers on a budget.

Buy Wide Hooks now at Big Carp Tackle Store:


How to Spool Up – PB Products | Control Mono

Heading out for the season ahead with new line on your reels is without question a safer option. It not only offers lot more confidence but also you can head out on your sessions without the worry of what imperfections could be hidden beneath the wraps on each spool.

In this how to video I talk over and show how I spool up with new line ready to head out for the months ahead.

The Control mono from PB Products seen in this video offers every thing you would want and need from a monofilament line. Super tough, plenty of knot strength and super supple. This means it covers us for many situations ahead.

To try and buy the PB Products Control mono for yourself, head over to Big Carp Tackle via the links below.

Spring Preparation – Pimping your Hook-baits

A variety of options for my spring hook-baits

With Spring just around the corner this is the month where I will be busy preparing several hook-baits, in preparation for when I hit the banks. This includes both bottom baits, wafters, pop-ups and plastic options, all with slightly different additives or liquids to boost their attraction.

What follows are several of my own favorite spring hook-baits and how I prepare them. These are all tried and tested and I’ve caught many carp on them over the years, but there are literally hundreds of different options available to you with the only limit being your imagination.

Plastic Baits

Plastic corn soaked in a flavor fooled this upper 50lb common

For the most part I use plastic corn and maize with nearly every hook-bait I cast out. This includes using them as a topper to bottom baits and pop-ups, but also on their own.

My standard additive is Hinders Betalin as this leaves a lingering odor on the plastic. In some cases I’ll also add a flavor, such as pineapple.

Application: After using the plastic for a few sessions, simply put it back into the container to soak again. If needed, add extra liquid to coat.

Betalin and a flavor to boost attraction

Korda Goo

Almond goo soaked hook-baits

Goo has been out for several years but I don’t see it being used that much. I’ve had great success with both the smoke’s and the supreme variations, with the main difference being the viscosity of the liquids. My particular favorites have been the almond, bumbleberry and mangonana although this spring I’m trying the mystic spice as I’ve found spice baits to be particularly effective in the spring.

An autumn capture using Korda goo

Application: Add the supreme first as it will penetrate the baits better. Over a few days make sure to shake the container to completely coat the baits. Once coated, add the smoke liquid and repeat the process.

Mangonana pop-ups ready to go

Boster Sprays

I typically add a few squirts of the boster spray to the baits, every week or so as it will soak in and then dry. Prior to a session I will repeat this process.

Classic corn boilies ready for boosting
Coated and ready to go

Application: Once the bait is ready to be cast out, I will add a quick spray onto the hook-bait, pva mesh or even the lead to boost the attraction levels.

Pink Pepper – A firm Spring favorite
A single hook-bait boosted with a matching spray can be deadly

Liquid Glugs

These come in several variations and make be a complementary flavor or something completely different; such as the Spotted Fin Finamino which is specifically designed as an additive.

Finished product
Hook-baits ready to go

Application: With the glugs I will place the hook-link with the attached bait into the pot (during the session) and leave for a few hours. If the glug is pva friendly I will also soak the pva bag (mesh or solid bag). With the Finamino I use this ahead of time and soak the hook-baits for at least a few days.

A matching flavored glug resulted in this beauty


I generally use alcohol additives during the winter as they do not coagulate in low temperatures. However, these can be deadly in early spring. Over the years I’ve used whisky and vodka which is especially effective on maize hook-baits.

I also use Bailey’s Irish Cream (there are cheaper options available) for pop-ups. You can also add this liquid to your feed bait as well.

A liberal glug of Baileys

Application: Liberally add this to your hook-bait pot. With vodka or whisky, you can also add a flavor, although it’s not really needed.

A winter thirty, taken on an alcohol soaked bait


These hook-baits take much more time and effort to prepare but have produced several big fish for me in the spring. I start by taking my hook-baits (usually ones I’ve made myself) and adding them to a container. I then will coat them in an oil (Salmon or halibut oil is my preferred choice). The next step is to add a powder (I use a pre-made ground-bait such as betaine) and shake them until coated.

You will repeat this step several times over a period of at least a week, until the baits develop almost a paste wrap around them.

Cultured bottom baits

Application: These baits will last several seasons if prepared correctly. Ahead of the session, just add a little oil and powder and repeat the process to freshen them up.

An upper 30 that took a liking to the cultured hook-bait

To buy and try your hand at pimping you’re very own hook baits. Follow the links below over to Big Carp Tackle.

How To: Splicing a leader

Splicing a leader can seem like a bit of a troublesome task at the best of times. But… it really doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems. 

Check out this “How-To” video as I talk over and show you exactly how I splice loops and swivels into leaders that be used in a number of ways and see how I use them in my angling.

To buy and try the items seen in this how-to tutorial, follow the links below over to Big Carp Tackle.

To take a look at the full range of PB Products available over at Big Carp Tackle CLICK HERE!