Carp fishing is becoming increasingly popular, with many more anglers taking to the banks regularly to try and put a few of the large carp swimming in local and national finishing venues.
Carp can grow to sizes that completely outmatch the native coarse fishing species swimming in fresh waters in the UK, Europe and across the globe, and their distinct behaviours make for great sport.
When it comes to carp fishing, specialised tactics have been developed over the years to entice the carp into your swim and hopefully pick up your hook bait.
A lot of these tactics only target carp, so beginner anglers have a lot to learn if they want to become a successful carp angler.
One area of angling that can make the difference between catching plenty of fish in a session to catching nothing at all is the rig that you choose, so it is imperative that new anglers learn all about carp rigs and how to use them.
One of these rigs is the chod rig.
This rig has been increasingly popular in modern times, with many anglers swearing by this presentation.
So, let’s look at how to fish a chod rig.
How To Fish a Chod Rig?
Fishing a chod rig should always be a potential for carp anglers, so learning the basics behind this rig, how to set it up, what hook baits you should use, and the method behind this rig should be essential.
Let’s break these down into easy steps for you to follow along so you can try fishing the chod rig yourself.
What is a Chod Rig?
The chod rig is often credited to Frank Warwick, who is thought to have developed this rig in the late 1900’s; so, as far as carp rigs go, this one is fairly new to the carp fishing world and has proven to be extremely effective in the right situation.
“Chod” or “Choddy” is a word that has been used to describe venues or areas of venues that hold a lot of debris on the bottom of the water that can be a nightmare for presenting conventional bottom rigs.
If you try to fish bottom rigs such as the method feeder or PVA bag rig your hook bait and rig can easily become buried or hidden from view of the carp.
This debris (chod) on the bottom of the water includes dead weed, dead leaves and even thick silt.
A lot of the time, Autumn can be a time when a lot of venues become “choddy” as surrounding trees lose their leaves and vegetation in the water begins to die off.
Many of these leaves will make their way into the water, where they will eventually sink and cause “choddy” bottoms of decaying organic matter.
The chod rig was developed especially for fishing in these situations where it is not ideal to be fishing more common rigs on top of these debris-covered areas.
When the rig is tied correctly, your lead will sink to the bottom, but your balanced pop-up will be free to move up the mainline and settle suspended up and away from the debris on the bottom.
Chod rigs are also developed to aid the hook hold if a fish comes along and picks up your suspended pop-up.
When is a Chod Rig Most Effective?
The chod rig is at its most effective when using bottom rigs could result in your hook bait and rig being covered by underwater debris on the bottom.
If you’re unsure what condition the bottom of the water is in, you can use a free running lead and cast to areas of the venue.
You should feel your lead drop to the bottom; from this, you can build up a rough idea of what the bottom of the venue is like in the area you cast to.
If you feel the lead land on a hard surface, this will typically be an area of clean gravel, and you can clarify this by feeling the lead bounce over small stones as you reel it back towards you.
If you have cast-over silt, you may not feel much of a drop at all as the silt cushions the lead. When you start reeling in the lead, it should feel smooth and steady as the lead pulls through the fine silt.
On the other hand, if the silt is especially deep and made up of lots of decaying organic matter, you may feel resistance you reel in the lead, and the lead may be covered in “sludge” that may smell.
This is one example of when it could be best to give the chod rig a go to avoid your bait being swamped in this heavy silt.
If you have cast into weed or dying weed, you will most likely hardly feel the drop, and you’ll be met with heavy resistance as you reel the lead back in.
The weed will also likely tangle around your lead, so you’ll be able to see some weed or dying weed as you remove your lead from the water.
This is another circumstance to tie on a chod rig.
Another benefit of the chod rig is that it is classed as a “cast anywhere” rig.
In other words, if you’re not building u a picture of what the bottom is like with a lead, then a chod rig can be a simple method for ensuring that your rig will be presented nicely no matter what the bottom of the water is like.
How to Tie a Chod Rig?
When it comes to tying a chod rig, the process shouldn’t be overly complicated. Pre-tied rigs available on the market will provide a quick and easy way to set up and fish a chod rig without any more advanced rig-tying expertise.
The video below does a great job at explaining how you can set up your first chod rig using a pre-tied chod rig.
Best Hookbaits for the Chod Rig?
The next step in learning how to fish a chod rig effectively is hook bait.
When using a chod rig, you must use a highly buoyant pop-up so that your hook and bait will slide up the mainline and settle over any debris on the bottom.
Conventional boilies or pellets are completely useless using a chod rig as they will also sink with the lead and end up hidden the debris or weed.
The best pop-ups for the chod are pop-ups made with cork.
These pop-ups are extremely buoyant, and you can be confident your hook and bait will slide up your mainline and settle on top of the debris.
Chod Fishing Tips
Now that you should know what a chod rig is when it is at its most effective, and how you can set up and fish a chod rig let’s get into some tips that will aid you in fishing the chod rig as effectively as possible.
It can be common for anglers to tie on any old lead, no matter how heavy it is, but you should try and avoid this. When fishing the chod rig, you’re not relying on the weight of the lead setting the hook as the carp moves away from your bait, so these don’t need to be heavy.
The lead should be heavy enough to cast the distance you want to fish, but it doesn’t need to be much heavier than that.
An overly heavy lead will burry itself deep into silt, debris and weeds, which can cause issues if you hook into a fish.
A heavy lead can cause problems when fighting fish, and if it is buried in silt or weed, where you hook into a fish can create unnecessary added resistance as you try and manoeuvre the fish away from the weeds.
Smaller leads may also sit on top of blanket weed which gives you the added benefit of not pulling the lead through the weed when fighting fish.
Quality Pop Up
A quality pop-up hook bait is essential for the chod rig to work effectively, as you need good buoyancy for the popup to slide your hook and bait up the mainline to sit above any chod on the bottom.
The po-up should also be hardy enough in the water to go soft and fall off the hook.
Cork ball pop-ups are common for chod rigs are they are buoyant enough to pull your hook up the line.
You should test the rig in the shallows to make sure that the pop-up floats properly and the hook moves up the mainline with ease.
Chod rigs are a highly effective rig choice when fishing over “choddy” bottoms that hold a lot of debris or weeds.
The presentation allows the pop-up hook bait to slide up your mainline as the lead sinks to fish above and away from any debris on the bottom.
The process off tying and fishing the chod rig should be fairly straightforward if you opt for pre-tied hair rigs and follow the steps in the video above.