So, you’re looking to switch up your carp rigs to present a bait on the bottom? Let’s check out the best bottom bait rigs that you should have in your rig box.
For many anglers, choosing rigs is all about finding what you’re confident in and sticking to it. Whilst this is great in most circumstances, there are times when you will want to try new rig presentations.
A classic example is on busy day ticket waters. The fish in these venues are heavily pressured by anglers. As a result, they become incredibly familiar with common rig setups and often trickier to catch.
With that in mind, it pays to switch things up in terms of your rig set up. Pop up rigs have become the norm in recent years, so why not try presenting your hookbait on a bottom bait rig instead? It might just be the edge you need.
When should I use a bottom bait rig?
The aim of any successful rig presentation is to ensure that your hook and hookbait are sitting clear and accessible to carp. For that reason, bottom bait rigs work best on clear lakebeds.
With a bottom bait, your rig arrangement is much more likely to plug into the lakebed on the cast, which can lead to your hook being masked by debris or weed. At worst, the whole rig can be plugged deep into the silt and out of sight of any passing carp.
If the lakebed is made up of hard gravel or clay, this isn’t so much of a problem. A bottom bait rig cast to these areas generally presents itself well and will lead to successful pick ups.
Slip D Rig
The slip D rig has become one of hte most popular bottom bait rigs in recent years. For that reason, it was featured highly on our list of best carp rigs.
Perhaps it’s most vital attribute are it’s anti-eject properties. When a carp picks up the slip D rig, it finds it incredibly hard to eject.
By utilising a soft ‘D’ section and a rig ring on the shank of the hook, the hookbait has optimal movement up and down the shank. From a rig mechanics point of view, this means that the hook has the best chance of staying in place in the carps mouth, even when it tries to eject the bait.
To achieve these excellent anti-eject properties though, you need to choose the right hook.
Similar to the traditional blowback rig, the Slip D tends to work best with curve shank hooks. These give maximum length up and down the shank for the bait to move once ejected.
As a bottom bait rig, it’s super-versatile in every other aspect though. You can adjust your hooklink to any length that you desire and it works perfectly with bottom baits, wafters and pop ups alike.
Fluorocarbon D Rig
Another rig with great anti-eject properties is the Fluorocarbon D Rig.
Made famous by Team Korda and their IQ fluorocarbon material, this is a versatile rig that’s ideal for bottom bait fishing.
Aside from being hard for carp to eject, there are a few other reasons anglers choose to use this rig.
Firstly, being made of fluorocarbon material, it’s incredibly well-concealed on any lakebed. Fluorocarbon is virtually invisible to the naked eye, making it perfect for use as a winter carp rig when the water becomes clearer.
Secondly, the stiff fluorocarbon material ensures minimal tangles on the cast. If you’re fishing at range, this is really vital to ensuring your rig is presented properly on the lakebed.
This presentation can be manipulated depending on the lakebed in front of you. Fish it as a longer hooklink for silty areas and shorten it when fishing on harder bottoms such as gravel or clay.
If you’re someone who likes to change hooks regularly, then you’re going to love the multi rig.
Uniquely, this rig is constructed in a way that allows you to quickly change the hook, without having to tie a whole new rig.
It’s all due to the way the hook is attached via a loop knot, similar to how you would attach your mainline to a leader.
Within minutes you can un-loop the hook and add a fresh one onto the rig. This is ideal if you fish with sharpened hooks and regularly experience them being blunted on the cast or after a fish.
Similar to the slip D rig, the multi rig is quite versatile too. It can be used for pop ups, bottom baits and wafters alike. Simply add on some putty around the loop knot and you’re good to go.
Component wise, there are some unwritten rules for tying up the perfect multi rig. Ideally it should be used with a chod-style hook which benefits from the out-turned eye.
It also works best with coated braid so that you get the benefit of the stiffer material acting like a line aligner near the eye of the hook.
Overall, an excellent addition to most anglers rig boards.
The KD rig might not be the most fashionable rig right now, but it remains an excellent rig for bottom baits.
This is a super simple carp rig that works predominantly on how the hair exits the shank of the hook.
There are no extra components other than your hooklink material and a hook.
By whipping the hair in a way that it leaves the shank halfway up the knot, you achieve a really aggressive hooking angle with the KD rig.
Along with that comes excellent hookholds when used alongside a sweeping curved shank hook.
With the obvious lack of metal components too, you can achieve a really balanced set up with the KD rig. For that reason, it’s common to see this rig used for wafters with a small split shot placed under the bait on the hair.
If you’re looking for a rig that may be a little more unorthodox for carp to deal with, you should definitely give the KD rig a go.
For many anglers, the stiff nature of hooklink materials like fluorocarbon just wont cut it.
If you prefer the more natural movement that a supple braid gives, you can try tying up a combo rig.
The combi rig is essentially made from two hooklink materials; a stiff ‘boom’ section closest to lead and a shorter supple braid which makes up the final couple of inches closest to the hook.
This enables you to benefit from the anti-tangle properties that fluorocarbon brings, but also have some free movement in your hookbait due to the supple braid.
The two materials are traditionally tied together using an Albright knot. However, things have moved on in recent years with the introduction of Loops and Booms by Korda.
These nifty components allow you to quickly and easily tie up a combi rig loop-to-loop style. They’re all pre-tied and ready to go, saving you loads of time on the bank.
Generally this rig is best used for bottom baits, hower like the Multi Rig it can be quickly adapted to suit wafter or pop up fishing.
It’s an all time classic carp rig that we had to include on this list.
Tips for Presenting Your Bottom Bait Rig
Naturally it’s always a little bit harder to get a good presentation with a bottom bait. However, here are a few tips you can use for your bottom bait fishing.
Use PVA foam
Add dissolving foam to your hook prior to casting out. Due to it’s buoyancy, the foam will keep the hookbait suspended off the bottom, ensuring it stays clear of any low lying weed or debris.
Once it dissolves after a couple of minutes, your hookbait will flutter down gently and rest on the lakebed. You can then use the foam as a marker to spomb or catapult your free offerings to.
Hit the clip
With a bottom bait rig, you’re going to want to do every in your power to slow the rig down in it’s descent, to stop it plugging into the lakebed. One of the best ways to do that is to feather your cast down and make sure that you hit the line clip on your reel.
By placing your finger loosely over the spool on the cast, you can drastically slow down the speed at which your line leaves the reel. In effect this should decrease the chance of your hookbait being dragged into any silt or debris, along with your lead arrangement.
Mask the hook with a PVA stick
If you’re someone who likes to use sharpened hooks, you might want to look at ways to mask the hook on the cast. The likelihood of a hook point being blunted on gravel is heightened with the use of bottom baits.
A PVA stick is an excellent way to prevent this, whilst also providing a small handful of attraction around your hookbait. With a PVA stick, you can pull you hook point tight into the ground bait which provides extra protection when it hits the lakebed.
Conclusion – Best Bottom Bait Rigs
With the enormous popularity in pop up presentations, now might just be the time to try bottom bait presentations if you’re looking for an edge over other anglers. Whilst presenting a bottom bait leaves less margin for error, with some proper planning and knowing what you’re fishing over, you can be confident of that you’re fishing well with a bottom bait.
Like most choices of rig, it pays to give something a go and stick with it until you’re confident. In my opinion, the aim should always be to find 3-4 rig presentations that you can take anywhere and covers pop ups, wafter and sinking baits.
Hopefully this article has helped guide you on some of the best bottom bait rigs that you can use successfully in your angling in the future.
About the writer
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.