The Ronnie rig has been pivotal in the capture of some of the biggest carp in the UK and on the continent in the last few years. Its immense hooking properties and ability to reset itself has made it a rig that so many top carp anglers will not be without today. Until fairly recently though, most of us had not even heard of this rig, let alone knew how to tie the ronnie rig. However, when you understand its amazing hooking mechanics it is hardly surprising it was kept a secret.
It is similar to the 360 rig, using a micro rig swivel to attach a pop up boilie to the hook but the increased length of the curved hook shank by utilising the kwik lock swivel and shrink tubing, which pulls straight when to fish is hooked, has meant that the concerns around mouth damage and hooks getting caught the landing net mesh are removed.
The Ronnie rig is essentially a low lying pop up rig, enabling the boilie subtly sit up just off the lake bed making it ideal for when there is not too much weed or debris.
The micro rig swivel allows the boilie to spin 360 degrees off the hook and the curved hook which pivots off the shrink tube and kwik lock swivel enables the rig to also easily rotate. The rig is able to maintain its aggressive hooking position at all times, yet with virtually no chance of tangling. This is what makes the Ronnie rig so brilliant and a rig that is here to stay.
How to Tie the Ronnie Rig
To tie the rig you will need a size 4 or 6 curved shank hook, a micro rig swivel and hook stop, kwik lock rig swivel, shrink tubing, bait floss and your chosen hook link material.
Cut a piece of shrink tube about half an inch in length and slide it over the eye of the curve shank hook.
Take a kwik lock swivel and opening the crook slightly to pass the swivel through the eye of the hook
Use a pair of plyers to push to crook back into position.
Push the shrink tube down the shank of the hook, over the hook eye and over the barrel of the kwick lock swivel.
Next steam the shrink tube over a kettle to fix the shrink tube in place
Slide the micro rig swivel onto the hook
Push the rubber stopper onto the hook which ensures the rig swivel stays on the hook and gives the hook additional movement which helps with the hooking mechanics when the carp picks up the bait.
Attached a pop up boilie to the micro rig swivel using bait floss and secure the boilie by blobbing the bait floss down with a lighter.
To perfectly balance the rig take some rig putty and carefully mould it around the shrink tube until to rig slowly sinks with the hook sat up off the lake bed
Finally attach the rig to your hook link material and cast to you chosen area.
“A few of the boys noticed I was catching a lot more than them. I eventually showed them and through word of mouth they all wanted them. It’s mostly Perch we fish for and find the evenings a lot better. I find the best set up for these lures a simple Carolina rig. Watermelon I my favourite. Regards Rob 👍 “
Ragworms come from a large family of phylum annelids, many of which are polychaetes, or bristle worms. Now you know that let’s identify the ones that are important to sea anglers.
Here we are going to focus our attention on red ragworms, as opposed to the whites and others that anglers will come across. Biggest worm in the range is the spectacular king rag (nereis virens), the common red rag, (nereis diversicolor), and the harbour rag, (hediste diversicolor).
Starting with the biggest, king rag are usually about 30cm long but are known to reach up to a metre in length. If you look carefully at the head of the king rag you should be able to make out two pairs of eyes and four pairs of antennae. Anglers are more concerned about the reversible proboscis containing a very impressive set of pincers, which can give you a sharp nip if you are not careful. King rag are loners and it’s rare to find concentrated colonies of the really bigger specimens.
The common red rag grows to around 15cm and is more likely to be found in reasonably dense colonies in harbours and estuaries. These are the worms that are stocked by most tackle shops.
Harbour rag, also known as maddies or wrigglers, grow to around 8cm and are nearly always found in dense colonies. This worm lives in a vertical burrow and can reach quite high densities in sheltered estuaries where conditions are usually unsuitable for other species.
It is easily identified by a red dorsal blood vein, which runs down the centre of its body. It is an important food source for many species of estuarine wading birds.
Reproduction depends on the species. In most species the sexes are separate but there are a few that are both male and female (hermaphrodite). When they spawn the males change to a light green and the females to a dark bottle green.
The ragworm is both a scavenger and an efficient predator feeding on mud, detritus and plankton. When in hunting mode it can rapidly shoot out its powerful jaws to catch other softbodied animals.
They all inhabit much the same type of ground in sheltered harbours and estuaries and favour broken muddy and sandy ground.
They can also be found close to mussel beds and in some cases the king rag will live in very rocky ground where it is relatively protected and where it can grow to a very large size.
WHY NOT COLLECT YOUR OWN WORMS?
With a bit of planning you can gather your own ragworms for bait, but first you have to identify a broken muddy or sandy location where the ground is reasonably firm and well exposed during a big low tide.
Be careful in harbours where the mud can be thick black and oozy. If you wear Wellington boots you will get stuck and even wearing waders doesn’t mean you are safe from getting bogged down.
Search for rocks and stones, turning them over to find the holes and channels the worms make. If you are careful, quiet and turn the stone over quickly you should be able to grab the odd ragworm in your hand before it disappears down its burrow.
After turning over the rocks to find some tell-tale holes you should dig. If the ground is hard try a flat-tined potato fork that also offers less chance of cutting the worm in half.
Harbour rag can usually be found in the top 30cm of the ground and the bigger worms will be a bit deeper, up to 70cm in some cases. If there are lots of worms dig trench style working back along the trench to expose any worms. Normally it is necessary to have a good look around, find a suitable small area of ground before digging and then moving onto another spot.
Surface water often runs into the hole if the ground is very soft. If this happens use a spade using a small bucket to bale out the water.
You can dig a lot deeper and quicker with a spade. Your tools must be strong because they will be used as a lever just as much as a digging implement.
When exposing a worm try to lift it out of the hole with the next dig rather than trying to pull it out, which can break the worm. Try to vary where you dig as well. On big tides start at the furthest exposed point and leave the top of the beach for smaller tides.
You might find that the worms are easier to gather by digging right on the edge of the ebbing tide when the ground is still wet and the worms have yet to move deeper.
Worms seem to know when the tide is flooding and move upwards in anticipation of a supply of fresh seawater, in which case try digging right on the edge of the water line.
Warm weather usually brings the worms up to the surface, and very cold frosty weather will drive the worms a lot deeper in the mud.
Big king rag are dug individually. Foot pressure can often result in a spurt of water coming out of a hole and sometimes you will find bits of seaweed, that the worm has tried to take, sticking out of a hole.
Dig a small trench at the side of its burrow and then try to follow the hole as it twists and turns down through the ground. This is hard work but can produce some massive worms once you know what to look out for.
Washing your worms
When you have enough bait wash off your tools and then fill your main container with fresh seawater, rinsing the worms out thoroughly.
Separate the broken ones into your smaller baling bucket, which then fits inside the bigger bucket. If you leave whole and broken worms in the same container the water will quickly turn orange and on a warm day in a car boot the worms will die.
Back home the whole worms go into a bucket of clean seawater aerated by an air pump for a few hours; this gives the worms time to expel any mud that is still in their system.
Missed broken worms go into a separate shallow tray with containing a few millimetres of water, while whole worms that may be damaged go into a different tray. The good quality hole worms go into other trays all covered by a few millimetres of water.
All the worms are stored in a fridge, which not only keeps them cool but also in the dark. Change the water twice a day to keep your worms healthy.
● When you go fishing keep bait parcels of newspaper, which helps to toughen them up, in a large bucket. If it’s a hot day put a small freezer block in the bucket.
● The size of the worms can make a difference to results. Small worms are more effective for catching small fish, large worms are best for specimen fish. Ask your tackle dealer for the size you need or request a mix of sizes.
● Can’t face handling a ragworm because of their pincers? Cut off the head with your scissors.
● Cocktail baits are deadly for lots of species. There are no rules that say you cannot mix two, three or more baits. Beware of masking the hook point though and use a hook size that suits the size of the bait.
● An excellent guide to what hook to use is to match the size and pattern to the bait being used. Long-shank hooks in size 1/0, 1 and 2 are best for worms and sandeels. Use short-shank hooks up to 3/0 for crabs and fish, with mediumshank hooks in size 6/0 suited to squid and live fish.
● Keep your bait out of the wind, rain and sun and it will retain its freshness longer. A cool box is as useful in the winter as in summer to keep bait fresh and alive.
The Cheb Rig or The Cheburashka Rig is something you may have heard of but aren’t really sure how it is different from other rigs that you’ve used in the past, for example, the Ned Rig or the Jika Rig. There are a number of reasons that you might want to consider using this rig, but before we get into why you might want to use it, let’s take a look at what it actually is.
Much like the Ned Rig, it is a great way to fish for perch – especially if you are not having much luck catching them. The reason for this is that the Cheb Rig is a brilliant technique for searching the water and can be fished quicker than the ned rig, therefore covering more water. It is also quite versatile due to being able to change the weight, hook size and pattern very quickly.
The key to success when fishing with the Cheb Rig, is having a range of Cheb weights. Whether you use an offset hook and fished weedless or a mounted straight hook, it’s the movement between the weight and the hook that make the lure look great in the water.
The Cheb Rig is a unique pin and weight system that is perfect for a very effective bottom jiggling technique. It was developed in Russia has become popular in the UK and Europe. If you are moving around whilst fishing and encounter lots of different fishing situations and swims, then the Cheb Rig is ideal. The quick-release and change system lets you fish at different depths, in different conditions, all with multiple weight jig heads in a short session.
The rig isn’t anything too complicated. In fact, it is a basic, trace body that terminates in a clip. Add to this the Cheb weights and a hook that is suitable for whatever bait you are using to fish. A Finesse Worm hook is commonly used with the Cheb Rig, though you are also fine using an EWG Offset style hook as well.
Depending on what you are trying to fish with the Cheb Rig will influence the kind of lure you are using. We have listed a few baits that we like to use at the bottom of the page. Whatever bait you choose to use, a float stop can be extremely useful to keep the bait in place.
When to use the Cheb Rig
The Cheb Rig can be used at any time of year and can be especially useful if you find that you are stuck in a rut with your fishing and want to try something different or you need to search the fish out.
Advantages of the Cheb Rig
The Cheb Rig is one that comes with many advantages:
The weight is attached to the hook – unlike other rigs, namely the Texas Rig, the weight is actually attached to the hook. This means that you don’t get the same low pressure, running away bites that you can get with a Texas Rig. Instead, you get a firm bite.
It’s easy to change the hook
It’s easy to change the weight
You can change the weight, hook and bait to fish different species of fish as and when you need to.
The weight sits on the bottom, and the hook can move freely to the bait. It allows action on the bait just sitting in the flow.
How Do I Fish With it?
Fishing with the Cheb Rig is can be done in a fast or slow way, similar to fishing with the Ned Rig. Though when fishing slower you will need to be a little more patient with the Cheb rig, especially when fishing using buoyant baits. Once the weight hits the bottom, you need to let it sit for a second so that the bait has a chance to bob back up. Then using small taps and bounces, no more than six inches of movement along the bottom at a time before you let it sit. Make sure that each time you let the bait sit a little longer than you would with a Ned Rig to let the bait float back up again.
If you are in doubt about how good the Cheb Rig looks in the water, watch it come back up to surface and glide it around a bit.
Setting up the Cheb Rig
Tie a figure-eight loop at the top of the mainline. It’s a small loop, but it is strong enough for fishing the Cheb Rig, but most importantly it is small enough that you can easily pass the Cheb weight over the top of it. This is the method we use to make the Cheb even easier to swap around. However many other anglers just tie an improved clinch knot directly to the Cheb clip without using a loop. It’s entirely up to you. See the videos below if you are unsure about either knot.
To put the weight on the line, choose whatever Cheb weight that you want to use, and then take the pin out of the centre of the weight. Thread the loop through the centre of the weight, the hook the loop through the pin. Don’t put it back in the weight just yet, it’s time for the hook first. Take the hook you are fishing and thread it onto the clip. Once the hook and line are both hooked in place on the pin, pull the weight back down the line and slip the pin back into the centre of the weight.
Not only is this set up really flexible, but it also saves on having to use an additional clip on this rig. It also makes it much easier to swap the hook and weight whenever you want to.
Traditionally, there has been a clear divide been coarse, lure and fly fishing; Until recently, where the line has started to blur. With such a growing variety of angling styles and techniques, it was inevitable that lines would be crossed and boundaries pushed.
The first clear crossover was a few years ago when carp anglers, noticing fish feeding on the aquatic life in the diferent water layers, introduced the ‘Zig Bug’ which in certain conditions is unbeatable. The bucktail lure has been been around for years, being a popular lure especially stateside. A few years ago Fox made the crossover introducing the much underrated ‘fly fry’. Then over recent years, the lure anglers decided they wanted to fish flies but on their regular spinning and casting rods. This is where the ‘Jig Fly’ was born.
What is a Jig Fly?
It is exactly what it says on the tin, essentially a fly with a slight bit extra material than its counterpart, tied onto a jig head or weighted with a ‘Cheb’. This extra weight allows it to be cast be lure anglers on their setups. With many versions popping up featuring articulated bodies, trailing stingers, and endless patterns with some also utilising the new fly tails that have arose recently, you can be certain there’s a Jig Fly out there for you.
How to fish a Jig Fly
A jig fly is essentially retrieved in the same style as a lure, the usual ones being a constant or varied retrieve, twitch and jerk, stop and go and bumped along the bottom. The retrive is more to do, like lure angling, to do with the conditons. There is little point fishing a jig fly quickly on a frosty winters morning as the pike will unlikely be active, such like fishing too slowly on a warm day when they are hunting can pose the threat of deep hooking a fish. I could talk all day about variations of retrieves, but just try what you know already and you will soon find your stride. For those beginners, just stick to the ‘usual ones’ to start and ask others for help. The lure angling community is very welcoming, just don’t expect them to tell you where to fish!
One Life Fish It
Tom Hatton of ‘One Life Fish It’ is one of the many anglers utilizing this fusion technique. He skillfully ties pike and perch jig flies, using them to great effect, catching fish after fish along the way. Only being in the jig fly world for a year, lets see what he has to say…
Everyone knows the days where you get down to the bank, pop the lid off the lure box and decide which hard, soft, hybrid or spinner bait would do the job today?
Well recently there’s been a new weapon creeping into a number of arsenals around the world, the ‘Jig Fly’.
Whilst lure fishing and fly fishing have been around for a long time individually, this crossover has only happened recently in comparison, yet is starting to gain traction in the lure fishing scene.
Being both a lure and fly angler amongst other disciplines, this new creation seriously tweaked my interest and soon enough I had a couple to try out.
With the style of the retrieve being pretty similar to most lures it wasn’t long before I found which retrive suited which fly and the fish started coming!
My setup is made of 2 different approaches, for the lighter end I’ll use a rod around the 10-30g range twinned with either a 2500 spinning reel or a 131 baitcaster. Then when I need more backbone to keep the larger fish away from trouble I use a 20-
80g baitcaster twinned with a 131 which throws a wet 5g fly no problem.
As with all styles of fishing there are pros and cons, the Jig Fly being no exception. In my opinion, the pros have to be the movement, variation of styles/colours, easy to make yourself if you learn, and very effective. As for the cons, you cant load a jig fly with too much weight as the majority will quickly hit the floor as soon as your stop retireving and look anything but natural. This means you cant cast them as far as hard or soft baits without usually dropping line diameter and setup weight, potentially ending up snapping a lot and risking leaving a fish with some unwanted souveniors. Another con is that, like the normal fly, they tend not to push as much water as lures, therefore not creating as many vibrations and disturbance for the fish to zone in to, there are advances being made to try and make this leap, with a few ideas already out there.
Now on to the most diverse area of the Jig Fly; colours. These are only limited by the tyers ability and imagination, but have only one real end consumer to make the final judgement. The main colours I tie and use are ‘green and gold’, ‘copper and orange’, ‘red heads’ and ‘white and gold’. The two styles I prefer in my box are either an articulated fly or one with a titanium stinger and tail attachment. My choice of tails at the moment are the pacchiarini dragon tails as they have proved themselves time and time again, not just for myself.
My best moment since coming over to this side of fishing was one morning. Myself and two good mates headed down to the banks of a mist covered River Severn to be greeted by an emerging sunrise and waking birds. This twinned with a falling and clearing river, gave us the feeling that everyone knows, that moment when everything just feels right. With only a quick session before work, we soon finished the morning brews and started fishing. We all started on soft and hybrid baits looking to get a quick fish to start things off. After an hour of trying different spots with no luck, I decided on a change. Off came the soft bait and on went my jig fly, fresh off the vice the night before. Within 15 minutes the first pike was in the net. Two swims on and in came the second. In the next half hour I managed two more pike on the same fly, with the best being a 97cm female around the 12lb mark. Whilst not a massive fish, it’s a pretty good stamp from the section and to top it off, it came to a Jig Fly of my own creation. It’s a feeling you just can’t beat.
The thing that pulls me towards a jig fly as my go-to in most situations is the movement, not just as a whole, but each indivdual strand or fibre of material moving and glistening individually within that silhouette. It’s almost mesmerizing, watching it dance back through the water until you’re snapped backed to reality by a flash of green and a swirl of water above where your fly was. Fish on!
So get out there, grab a few Jig Flies and gain your own opinion. I never looked back.
DROP SHOT FLY
Another fusion of the lure and fly world is the use of flies on a drop shot set up. Set up exactly the same but adding a small fry fly instead of the softbait.
Again the flowing movement of the lure supassses anything you can get from a softbait and the hang time is extended, often the time when the hit comes. The most successful patterns are the small (approx 25mm) silver fish shapes with dolls heads or added eyes.
The downside is that market bought flies often have barbed hooks, which I have to crush down. Also changing flies when the fly is getting ragged by multipe catches is more time consuming than a quick softbait change, as you need to re-tie the rig. However, that said, the durability of a fly is much better than a softbait. I can often go an entire session on one fly.
The other preferred colours aside from silver is anything with a red flash or black back, obvious lure colours that also work well with softbaits. Last season on my local canal, I nearly exclusively fished the drop shot fusion fly towards the end of the season. I found fishing under bridges and near sunken trees, these lures produced more results than any other lure and often filtered out the wasps and tempting the bigger fish.
Try these killer jig fry patterns for pike and perch. The jig head and feathery bodies make a very durable and life like lure. They catch lots of fish and its lots of fun.
There are rigs and then there is the “Ronnie rig”. Some rigs stand the test of time and work year after year. Others are more transient in nature, their tangible benefits are the figment of a twisted mind, and they don’t offer any real advantage in terms of catching carp or being easy to tie!
This one, however, is very special. It’s a rig that’s been used successfully on the quiet for a few years now, being deployed as a tool pivotal in catching some phenomenal big carp from a number of waters. But now the word is out and everyone want’s to know how to tie this amazing rig
The Ronnie rig is easy to tie and offers the benefits of a super-consistent low pop-up presentation, fished the height of a hook and a swivel of off the lakebed, but without the issues of a naked hook eye that has the potential to snag in landing-net meshes (one of the main problems associated with the original 360-style rigs).
It offers all the advantages and awesome rig mechanics of the hinged stiff rig, but without the need to trying to fish it low to the lakebed, which isn’t the optimum arrangement. When it’s tied right, those of us that have used it extensively have pure unadulterated confidence in it because hook-pulls are almost non-existent. I can’t remember pulling out of a single fish with the Ronnie rig.
Luckily, it’s amazingly simple to construct thanks to the use of a size 12 Covert Kwik-Lok Flexi Ring Swivel mounted on the eye of the hook. That, combined with a Gardner Mugga hook, offers a highly aggressive, fast-reacting presentation that is ruthless in the extreme!
It’s also extremely versatile. I always have a number of pre-prepared hook sections ready to go, and I tailor the hooklink material to suit the lakebed or the lead arrangement.
That could mean a lead clip with a long, supple, skinned hooklink such as Ultra Skin in silt, or a helicopter-style arrangement and a Subterfuge fluorocarbon boom on clean sand and gravel.
Personally, I think balancing it like a hinged stiff rig works best – so the hookbait is slow to sink. Why? If you overbalance the hook by moulding putty around the shrink tube, the hook has a tendency to lie over further and this inhibits it from twisting and turning as quickly as it could (the same drawback you get with a hinged stiff rig).
Realistically, mounting the swivel through the eye means you need to use a ‘nice’ sized hook, and the size 4 Mugga or Continental Mugga are both perfect. You know, some rigs work with some hooks better than others, and this is the one. The Mugga’s curved swept shank and 20-degree inturned eye complement and enhance the mechanics, lining up the shrink tube naturally in a way that gives maximum ‘twistiness’.
Variants of some rigs come and go, but the Ronnie rig is one that I know will stand the test of time. Like all presentations, it isn’t the panacea of all things riggy, but what it is is the best low pop-up rig that I have used.
Now it’s time to show you how to tie this amazing rig so you can go out and use it for yourself!