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Old 12-06-2006, 22:33
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So, I've been away from the fishing world for a few years (nearly 20 as a matter of fact), I'm now convinced you (or more importantly me) can catch fish on a bare hook.

It took a while, but I'm now using hair rigs, pellets and boilies and had a few (can't remember the last time I bought a pint of bronze!).

Why do they work? Think of all the wasted time I spent breeding gozzers, pinkies and turning casters just to get a **** draw or get trounced off the next peg.

If I knew then what I think I know now...................


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Old 12-06-2006, 23:42
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Hi Neil,

Hair rigging works a treat to be sure, especially with species like Carp, Tench and Barbel who 'suck' in their food. The hook point isn't obstructed by a bait and quite often the fish is self hooked against the weight of the lead or feeder.

Don't ditch the maggots for ever just yet though, I have increasingly been using smaller, more 'natural' baits recently and sometimes you'll find the 'out of fashion' technique can out-fish the pellet/boilie approach.

Some fish, Chub for example, actually pick baits up in their lips and in this case a directly hooked bait will give you more chance of a banked fish.

It is a case of the right approach on the right day but don't discard half of your armoury because it seems out of date.
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Old 13-06-2006, 05:21
BAZ (Angel of the North) aka Fester
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We are/were told that the hair rig is a touchy feely thing, in that the fish doesn't feel the hook when it mouths the bait. But I'm not so sure.
Good question though because I've thought of a few answers, and they seem to contradict each other. The best I can come up with is that the hair allows you to use a small hook with a large bait.
Anybody wanna argue it?
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Old 13-06-2006, 06:08
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Yep, hair rigs also allow you to use a small bait with a large hook, ie, a small bunch of maggots, 4 or 5 say, hair-rigged to an 8's.

No question that the greatest advantage of the hair rig is that it leaves the hook free to do its job.
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Old 13-06-2006, 06:24
Ron 'The Hat' Clay (ACA-Life Member)
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After using the hair rig for about 25 years I would agree with that.

In the early days I used to tie a bit of low bs to the hook with a leger stop or even a small split shot on it. Then I would mould paste around that. I also used to use a couple of grains of corn on the hair.

The local guys in SA used to wonder how the heck I could catch do many fish whilst they struggled.

For most cyprinids, the hair rig has been one of the most significant advances in angling technique in the last 50 years.

The guy who told me about the hair was Eric Hodson. He sent me a sample hook length made up. He was a committee member of the BCSG at the time.

And old Don Wittich, one time member of the Coventry Specimen Group was knocking out lots of big SA carp using the hair, and keeping very quiet about it.
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Old 13-06-2006, 06:25
BAZ (Angel of the North) aka Fester
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I think that's it Graham.
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Old 13-06-2006, 06:38
BAZ (Angel of the North) aka Fester
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Whoa! hang on a sec.
If we use a "large" hook with a small bait such as a bunch of maggots. Surely this would put the rig completely off ballance and make it feel completely un-natural (what is un-natural to a fish). So where does that leave the thinking of ballancing and matching your hook with the hook-bait? See what I mean?
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Old 13-06-2006, 06:53
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Better presentation is not always the reason why you would use a hair rig.

Here's another reason:

You want to present a small bait because that's what the fish want.

You can't present it on a small hook because it's not strong enough to land the target fish.

So you use the hair rig - small bait on large (strong) hook.

We used to do it with maggot and caster for barbel on the Severn many, many years ago. Long before the Korda Maggot Klip was invented.

It's not a new concept.
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Old 13-06-2006, 07:25
BAZ (Angel of the North) aka Fester
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Thanks Graham, that has answered what I would have said next.
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Old 13-06-2006, 07:35
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going back to the original question, why does the hair rig work

basically the principles are based on how the fish takes a bait, how it picks up, to anyone who has ever studied feeding carp, carp take food like a vaccum cleaner, they suck in and blow out again, when they suck in they dont only suck in the food morsel, they also suck in all the surrounding debris, like small stones, twigs etc and then blow them out again, a hook is not different, the bait is sucked in and the hook follows, however rigs can be designed on an anti eject model thus making it difficult for the hook to be ejected, ie the hook catches on the carps lips in eject mode. Hair rigs are thus designed based on how the fish are generally picking up the bait in a particular water at a particular time
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