How to fish with a hair rig
The hair rig is a incredibly effective tool for carp fishing. It was created by anglers in the UK in the 1980's. These days the hair rig is used to catch carp and other fish with similar feeding habits all over the world.
With most fishing rigs the bait is placed directly on the hook. With a hair rig the bait hangs on a "hair" or piece of line behind the hook. This allows the bait to move freely.
Carp have a tendency to suck up a bait then spit it back out. The hair rig works around this. When a carp tries to eject a bait attached to a hair rig, the hook will normally stick in the fish's mouth.
Fishing with a hair rig
Hair rigs are tied with a small loop left hanging below the bend of the hook. This is the "hair" section of the rig. You can pull the loop through a bait. Typically, hair rigs are used with boilies. Though they also work well with other baits like flavored corn, artificial corn and even imitation bread.
We offer hair rigs tied on 30 pound Daiwa J-Braid line with size 6 hooks. We find that this combination covers most carp fishing situations in the United States. Many other sizes and lengths are available.
In the US, hair rigs are most commonly fished on a slip sinker rig. This consists of a sliding sinker, a swivel, and a hair rig. The bait is held in the feeding zone until a carp finds it. One a fish takes the bait the line can slide freely through the sinker minimizing resistance.
Baiting a hair rig
Fishing with a hair rig is a lot like any other bottom fishing. The biggest differences are the way the bait is presented and the baiting of the rig. With most rigs you simply run a hook through the bait. With a hair rig, you must thread your bait onto the hair.
We carry a hair rig tool kit that is made for this purpose. It comes with several tools that make baiting a hair rig easy.
First you use the small drill to make a hole in your boilie. If you are using a softer bait like corn you may be able to use the pointed baiting needle instead.
Next you open the end of the baiting tool. Then you push this tool through the hole in your bait. You insert the loop from the hair rig into the hook on that tool and then close it. Now you can pull the loop back through the bait. This threads the bait onto the hair.
Finally you have to use some sort of stop to keep the bait from sliding off the hair. We sell hair rig stops made for this purpose. Just snap one off and insert it into the back side of the loop. Then pull the bait up snug and you're ready to fish!