How to set up a boilie rig - Man holding boilie attached to hair rig with carp liquid in hands

Carp fishing can be seen as quite a complicated sport for beginners. Over the years, modern baits and rigs have been developed with carp behaviours in mind to help give you the best chance of getting fish in the net.

Carp are bottom feeders and have many tools, such as their olfactory system, barbels and mouths full of sensitive taste buds that allow them to find food sources in the water column.

These fish are opportunistic and scavenge feeders and will spend a lot of time cruising the bottom and other layers of the water column on the hunt for anything edible.

Due to this, you need to tailor your rigs and approaches to these carp behaviours.

The boilie is one of the most popular modern baits in the carp fishing market today. The boilie is a versatile bait that could be used in many rig applications.

If you’re new to carp angling, a variation of a  boilie rig should get you started and shouldn’t be too challenging to learn how to set up.

In this post, I’m going to show you how.

So, how to set up a boilie rig?

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  • What are Boilie Rigs?

    Before I get into how to set up a boilie rig I’ll give you a bit of an explanation of what boilie rigs are. Boilie rigs are essentially any bottom rig for carp that utilises a boilie as a hook bait.

    Modern-day boilies are usually made up of fishmeals, milk proteins, bird foods, semolina, soya flour and added flavourings, oils and other carp attractants.

    All these ingredients are mixed and then rolled into balls before being boiled.

    The boiling process gives the bait a hard exterior shell that allows them to spend long amounts of time submerged underwater without breaking away from your rig.

    They also come in a  variety called “pop-ups” that are made up of similar ingredients but have extra ingredients added that give buoyancy to the boilie and allow it to float off the bottom above your rig.

    Boilies are a great carp rig as they appeal to the carp in terms of their flavours, oil content, and high nutritional value.

    Commercial fishery carp will be well accustomed to boilie and will become used to feeding on this tasty and nutritional bait.

    For this post and to keep things as simple as possible, I’ll focus purely on bottom boilie rigs.

    So, now that you know that a boilie rig is any carp fishing rig that utilises a boilie as a hook bait you’re probably wondering what rigs this includes.

    A boilie rig can be as simple as an inline lead set-up with a hair rig hook link.

    These rigs can work effectively if you are able to bait swims by throwing baits into the water, using a throwing stick or sometimes even by spodding but this is seen as a more advanced tactic.

    Boilie rigs can also include the popular PVA bag rigs and method feeder rigs if you choose to use a boilie as a hook bait.

    So essentially, boilie rigs are not so much a specialised rigs on their own, but any carp fishing rig can become a boilie rig if you choose to fish a boilie as a hook bait.

    You can learn more about the PVA bag and Method feeder rig by reading the following posts below:

    How to Set Up a Boilie Rig?

    Setting up a variation of the boilie rig can be straightforward, let’s take a look at how you can set up the most basic boilie rig using a lead set up and a hair rig.

    The lead adds the weight to the rig, allowing you to cast fair distances depending on the weight of lead and rod set-up you’re using.

    The lead also sinks your boilie rig to the bottom, where the bottom-feeding carp may be on the hunt for their next meal.

    The hair rig is an extremely common and effective presentation in the carp fishing world, and it allows you to present a bait without hooking it directly over the hook point.

    The “hair” hangs from the bottom of the hook and allows the bait to act more naturally in the water and usually results in better hook holds if any passing carp decide to pick up the hook.

    This is because no bait is obstructing the point, the hook can move and turn more freely, the bait will taste more “natural” if the carp tastes the bait and also the lead also adds weight to self-hook the fish if it picks up the bait and hook and tries to move away.

    Let’s get into the simple steps of tying this rig.

    The video below provides a great tutorial on how you can set up this most simple boilie rig, and the steps should be easy to follow through with. I’ll also write them out below for you to follow along with.

    YouTube video

    What you’ll need:

    • Hook
    • Coated Braid
    • Lead Clip
    • Tail Rubber
    • Lead
    • Size 8 Ring Swivel
    • Baiting Needle
    • Bait Stop
    • Scissors
    • Boilies

    The Method

    1. Take 12-inches of coated braid and strip back 3 inches using your fingernail
    2. Tie a small overhand loop knot in the centre of the stripped-back section of the braid.
    3. Push your boilie over the end of the bait needle, three this onto the hair by hooking the loop of the coated braid onto the end of the baiting needle and then slide the boilie into the created hair before securing it with a bait stop.
    4. Take your hook and thread this onto the other end of the braid from the back of the eye before pulling the hook rig down before it is nearly touching the hook bait, and then secure this with a knotless knot.
    5. Now tie an overhand loop knot at the end of the braid
    6. Now it’s time to start tying on the lead system
    7. Thread the tail rubber onto your mainline with the large end facing towards the end of your mainline before threading the lead clip-on after this.
    8. Tie the swivel onto the end of your main line using a half-blood knot
    9. Pull the swivel into the lead clip until it is seated in place
    10. Clip the lead of your choice onto the lead clip before securing it with the tail rubber over the top.
    11. Now attach the hook link section onto the rig by threading the loop through the other end of the swivel before passing your hook and boilie through the loop and pulling tight to secure.

    That’s All

    A boilie rig can be any bottom rig you choose to set up that utilises a boilie as your hook bait.

    Many rigs work well with boilies, including the method feeder rig, PVA bag rig and also the most simple that utilises a lead and a hair-rigged boilie.

    This type of boilie rig should be enough to get you into some carp as long as you’re fishing an effective swim.

    As this type of rig doesn’t contain a method for transporting “freebie” into your swim along with your rig, it is common to fish this over pre-bait areas, whether it be from throwing bait into your swim or by using a spod.

    Setting up a boilie rig in this manner should be easy enough and give you a good starting point for using boilie rigs.

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