Carp Rigs for Weed

carp rigs for weedy waters

Being able to present your bait properly on the lakebed is an important aspect of carp fishing. It’s not always easy though, particularly if you’re fishing in weed. However, it is possible to fish in weed by choosing suitable carp rigs for weed and adjusting your angling style accordingly.

But what rigs should you use in weed? In this article, we’ll show you what carp rigs to try when targeting carp in and around the green stuff.

Use the links below to jump to each section of this article:

Should I fish in weed?

Firstly, there is no problem fishing in weed, as long as you are fishing safely and are able to land any carp you hook. Carp love to hold up in weed beds, and that’s why they make such an attractive area to target for carp. Here’s a few reasons why carp love weed:

  • Carp feel safe in and amongst the cover of thick weed beds
  • Weed is packed full of natural food that carp love to feed on, including bloodworm and snails
  • Weed is often neglected by other anglers in favour of clearer areas of the lake. Carp will often reside in areas where there is less angling pressure
  • Oxygen levels in the water are often much higher in and around weed beds due to photosynthesis. In hot weather, you’ll often find carp held up in the weed for this reason
carp rig for weedy lake
Carp love weed, but you need to adjust your rigs to fish in it effectively.

Carp Rigs for Weedy Waters

We’ve already mentioned that you can fish in weed, as long as you adjust your angling style. Choosing the right rig for weed is the first step, as well as baiting more effectively.

carp caught in weed
A brace of mirrors caught fishing amongst the weed.

Here are some of the more effective weed rigs for carp fishing:

Chod rig – the best carp rig for weed?

Made famous by Terry Hearn, the chod rig is known as the ultimate rig for fishing on any sort of weed or debris.

Due to the unique nature of the rig, you’re left with great separation between the hook and the lead. With the lead being the heaviest part of the rig, it buries deep into the weed, leaving the hookbait standing proud.

carp rigs for weed
The chod rig can help keep your hookbait above the weed.

The beauty of the chod rig is that you can determine the distance the hookbait sits from the lead by adjusting the top buffer bead to reflect the depth of the weed.

In conclusion, you’re left with your lead plunged into the weed and your hookbait sitting further up the leadcore, above any protruding weed.

The chod rig is equally as good in weed as it is when fishing in silt. It’s always worth having a few tied up and ready to go.

Use a light lead and drop it where possible

It pays to use the lightest lead you can get away with when using the chod rig in weed. This way you can prevent the whole rig plunging too far into the dense weed. Not only that, but you’ll find that a lighter lead doesn’t snag as much, helping you landing anything you hook.

You might also want to look at using a Korda Heli Safe. This genius invention from the Korda guys allows you to easily drop the lead off a chod rig. when you get a take.

Safety Clip or Lead Clip

The lead clip was a revelation when it first hit the carp scene. Being able to discard the lead when a fish picks up your bait in weed is a massive advantage. Safety clips, or lead clips as they are otherwise known, allow you to do just that.

With the lead dropped, carp tend to reach the surface easier, enabling you to steer them clear of the weed. Additionally, with the lead being the bulkiest part of your rig, there is less for weed to snag onto, increasing your chances of landing the carp.

lead clip rig for weed
Dropping the lead makes fishing in weed much safer.

Whilst the lead clip is not a rig on it’s own, it’s a major component that can help.

Couple this with a long supple hooklink and a balanced bait, you’ll have no problems fishing in the weed.

If you use a lead clip around weed, just remember to thoroughly wet it and slide the tail rubber on only slightly, so that it can easily release.

Solid PVA Bags in Weed

Solid PVA bags present themselves well on most lake beds, and they can work in weed too.

With solid PVA bags, you can pretty much guarantee that your hookbait will be presented well. That’s why they are considered great carp rigs for weedy bottoms.

With the rig and hookbait encapsulated in the PVA, you have no problems with the hook being masked by the weed.

solid pva bags in weed
Solid PVA bags are my choice for low-lying weed.

This being said, there are times when they might not your best choice. Whilst they will work well in low lying weed and debris, they’re not as effective in weed that stretches from the lakebed to the surface. This was proved by Rob Hughes in his Understanding Underwater series on the Dynamite Baits YouTube channel:

Rob Hughes showing how solid PVA bags are presented in dense canadian pond weed.


If it’s possible, free-lining can be one of the most effective ways to present a hookbait in weed.

By removing any of the unnecessary tackle components like hooklinks, swivels and leads, you’re left with just your mainline and a hook. – The bare essentials!

Subsequently, you can drop a slow sinking hookbait in amongst the weed with very little disturbance. By letting a hookbait rest on top of the weed, you’re much likely to catch the attention of any carp passing over the weed beds.

This is one of the most effective ways to catch carp in the weed. So much so that Nash designed the bread bomb specifically for this style of fishing.

FAQs for choosing weed carp rigs

Can you use a ronnie rig in weed?

Yes, you can use a ronnie rig in weed. The beauty of the ronnie rig is it’s ability to reset itself and remain well presented when paired with a pop up. As we have already mentioned, the success of you carp rig in weed will depend mostly on your lead arrangement.

The ronnie rig paired with a helicopter lead arrangement or lead clip will work fine in weedy conditions.

Can you use PVA bags in weed?

Yes you can use PVA bags in weed. Solid PVA bags are one of the most effective ways to present your hookbait when trying to catch carp in weed.

Conclusion: Carp Rigs for Weedy Bottoms

Hopefully this article has helped you understand how you can adapt your carp rigs for weed. With a few adjustments to your angling style, you can easily outwit carp in weedy venues.

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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