Ian Welch re-visits a rig which appears to have fallen off the radar of many anglers
Jim Gibbinson’s original line aligner remains one of the important ‘breakthrough’ rigs in modern times, second only to the hair rig some would say, and I don’t think I would argue with that. In fact I remember vividly being a young kid in the small audience of the talk when Jim first unveiled the rig (my copies of his books in hand, nervously awaiting my chance to ask my hero for his signature!).
The mechanics of the rig have been tweaked and adapted in more recent times and have formed the basis of a number of different carp rigs but the original theory is still just as effective, and with the Enterprise Tackle Mag-aligner grubs, still the first choice for winter maggot fishing for carp.
My own ‘meddling’ started as soon as I saw Rob Maylin’s original maggot rig. I was seriously into my tench fishing at the time and, years before I got into maggot and caster fishing for the species, quickly realised that a grain of artificial corn worked in exactly the same way and made self hooking deadly effective – they just didn’t ‘get away with it’.
I wrote about the original corn-aligner rig I used many years ago but I’ve not seen mention of it in recent years; not, I know, because it is any less effective, but simply I suspect because it has fallen off the radar of many anglers.
These days I rarely use corn for tench – the aforementioned maggots and casters are far more effective – but I do still fish corn for a number of other species, including carp, and I recently had occasion to break out some corn on a river session where I accidentally happened upon some carp grubbing about in the margins and the corn-aligner seemed to the perfect way to tackle them with the kit and bait I had to hand.
To put the rig together is essentially the same process as for the Mag-aligner and I start off by tying up a short hooklength, usually with a coated braid.
Using a gated baiting needle it’s then a simple matter of piercing the corn through the top surface as shown, pulling the hook length through, and then seating the hook to give the attacking hooking angle which ensures the hook is both disguised and counter-balanced and, perhaps most importantly, also flips over to ensure the fish is pricked when it tries to eject the rig. I finish the rig off by adding a ‘mouse dropping’ of rig putty to ensure it lies flat on the bottom.
The maggot version is usually fished helicopter-style with a PVA sausage of maggots. I can’t see any reason to change this winning approach, albeit I’m not using maggots, so I fish the rig helicopter-style with a PVA stick of groundbait containing a few grains of corn and although there is no need to add any real bait to the hook the addition of a grain of real corn would do no harm.
It’s a rarely seen rig but it remains incredibly effective and doing something a little different to the norm will always catch you fish – it’s too good a presentation to forget!
By the Same Author
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