6 Forgotten Carp Tactics

Carp fishing has come on leaps and bounds in the past twenty years. From the invention of the hair rig, to the ever-popular zig rig, there’s always some new tactics that it being touted by the carp fishing media. But there are plenty of forgotten carp tactics too, many that will still produce the goods today.

Often reverting to lesser used tactics can give you a great edge on venues where everyone is doing the same thing.

Here are 6 forgotten carp tactics that we rarely see on carp lakes.

Beachcaster Rig

In the mid to late 90s, the beachcaster rig was well known for multiple hits of fish off the surface.

With the ability to keep your line completely free of the surface, it was a great way to increase confidence in surface feeding carp.

When set up correctly, the only part of your set up touching the surface would be the baited hook, and it was devastating on a hot summers day.

Another great advantage is that with your line effectively cutting through the air (like the washing line method), it was great at deterring birdlife too.

It’s demise came when fishery owners began to question the safety of this rig, as it was often botched together using all manner of materials including pike floats and float stops. – A rig so easy to get wrong and turn into a ‘death rig’.

You also had to find some means of elevating your rod as high as possible, which is well against the rules of the tackle tarts of today!

It would be interesting to see if this rig makes a comeback in the future, hopefully with a tackle brand being able to being out a safe set up version.

beachcaster carp rig
A very simple diagram showing the beachcaster rig. Picture from Anglers Net.

Method Feeder

A very well used rig on the match fishing scene, the method feeder has been forgotten by carp anglers in recent years.

We’re not sure why though, as it was once a devastating method, particularly on well-stocked commercial carp waters.

There was a misconception that it was considered a rig for small carp, but this is probably more to do with where it was used, rather than big fish giving it a miss.

Truth is, the method feeder is a great way to present a small parcel of attraction in amongst your hook bait.

For them times when you have a roving rod or just cast to showing fish without piling the bait in, it’s an excellent tactic.

Essentially, it’s very similar to the solid bag PVA method, which accounts for thousands of large carp up and down the UK.

The method feeder is great for presenting over most lake beds, albeit a little messy to put together.

We’re sure that this is one that will make a come back on the big carp scene soon.

forgotten carp tactics
The method feeder is not just a small fish tactic. It catches big carp too!


When you look at most carp anglers free offerings, you can bet that the majority will be made up of carp pellets, boilies and particles.

This wasn’t always the case, as a popular choice back in the day was to create a bed of bait using ‘groundbait’.

In powder form, groundbait is a mix of all sorts of attraction, with variations flavours available on the market. The main benefit of groundbait being, that once broken down in the water, it creates an irresistible cloud of attraction with minimal food source. – Similar to that of a zig rig spod mix. (See how for our cloudy spod mix ingredients.)

Using ground bait is a great way to attract carp without over-feeding them on bigger items such as particle, boilies and pellets. Creating a cloud of attraction will draw the carp in, leaving them with not much else to consume other than your hookbait.

Baiting up with groundbait is a little different to traditional free offerings. The best way to get groundbait into your swim is to compress it into round balls.

You can then either handball them in or use a bait launcher attached to your spod rod.

TIP: Combine balls of groundbait with the method feeder tactic mentioned above. You can be sure that nobody else is using this on your lake!

method feeder balls carp fishing
Create groundbait balls to make it easier to launch into your swim by hand, catapult or with a bait launcher.

Standard Knotless Knot Hair Rig

If there’s one thing that will confuse a carp fishing beginner, it’s carp rigs.

More often than not, the carp rigs that you see advertised by the big name anglers are designed for one purpose; to sell more of particular rig components.

It’s always best to keep things simple, and for that reason we’re surprised to see very few people cast out with a simple hair rig these days.

There really is nothing wrong with this rig, and if anything, tying it quickly will give you more time to spend on the important things, like finding the carp.

A simple knotless knot hair rig in the right place is better than a ronnie rig in the wrong place!

We’re not saying that new, more complicated rigs won’t work. But more often that not there is no need to overcomplicate things, and a simple hair rig will suffice.

Just check out big fish angler Simon Crow, who’s been using the same simple rig set up for over 20 years. Check out his video below:

Chod Rig

Flick through any magazine in the mid 2000s and you would be sure to see the majority of carp caught on the chod rig.

Made famous by the likes of Terry Hearn and Nigel Sharpe, the chod rig is a super-versatile pop up rig.

Designed to be fished over ‘chod’, the main principle is that your hookbait will be well presented no matter where you’re fishing.

This makes it a great rig to use when casting to showing fish, or when you don’t want to make any disturbance by leading around.

We’re not quite sure why the chod rig lost it’s suiters. Possibly due to the increasing trend of the ronnie/spinner rig which people like to couple along side a helisafe.

The banning of leadcore on some venues probably added to it’s demise, as a long length of leadcore leader was a key component within the original chod rig.

There has been more talk around the use of the chod rig in recent years, but we’re still wondering whether it will be used to the extent that it was in the mid 2000s.

chod rig for carp fishing
The chod rig is an excellent choice when you’re not sure what you’re fishing over.

Running Leads

If you ever graduated from an average float fisherman to fishing on the bottom, it is likely that you will have started with the running rig.

Ask most anglers these days, and you can be certain that over 95% will be using some sort of lead clip set up or helicopter set up. It’s easy to see why, as these setups offer some sort of resistance to the lead, increasing your hooking potential.

That being said, we know that carp are clever creatures, some even known to use the weight of the lead to shake out the hook. With that in mind, maybe it’s time to bring the running rig back?

With little resistance to the lead, the running rig offers excellent bite indication, and it’s likely to be something the carp haven’t experienced for some time.

Not only that, but it lends itself perfectly to certain situations such as slack lining or fishing tight to an island shelf.

running rig
A running lead is something a carp may not have experienced for a long time!

About the writer

Rob W

I’m Rob, Carp Squad’s main contributor. I’ve been carp fishing on and off for 15 years, but the bug is well and truly back at the moment. Hopefully the articles I write on here help you put more carp on the bank.

Find out more about me.

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