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The hair rig represents one of the great early carp fishing rig innovations. Adding anti eject properties and providing a good opportunity for a good hook hold it revolutionised the sport upon its development in the 1970s. Wary carp were becoming more adept at recognising the feel of a bait with hook and ejecting the bait before it could be passed to the teeth in the carp's throat.
Attributed to Len Middleton and Kevin Maddocks the hair rig involves threading the bait to a hair which is attached to the hook. The earliest hair rigs used a thin hair tied to the bottom of the hook bend. It was later found attaching the hair on the shank of the hook allowed the hook to find the bottom lip more effectively.
There are many debates on the most effective hair length and exit point from the shank. Whilst it became most popular to fix the hair on the shank around opposite the hook point on the shank later variations have explored all possibilities.
This is still a good starting point on new waters though with the boilie hanging just below the base of the hook.
Probably the most popular variation of the rig is now tied using a knotless knot where the hooklength material continues down to form the hair.
Whilst it was originally thought a fine flexible hair was most effective they are nowadays tied with both stiff and flexible hooklengths.
Other variations on a theme include; the d-rig where the bait is tied to a small ring which can float along a d shaped hair, the blowback rig, where the ring runs up and down the shank of the hook.
As the name of the game is preventing the carp recognising the danger of the hook it pays to be different to others. Some great captures have come on very long 3 inch plus hairs as well as ultra short hairs. There has even been success to some mounting the hair once more on the bottom of the hook.
Last Edited by: erikb on the 03 March 2009