how to set up a pop-up boilie rig  - Pop-up boilie rig on off white background

Carp fishing comes with many specialised fishing approaches that have developed over the years to target carp based on their behaviours, diet and movements in the water.

Many rigs present themselves on the bottom, where the carp will spend large portion of their time cruising, looking for any natural food sources or anglers’ bait they can consume as a meal.

Although carp are classed as bottom feeders and spend a lot of their time feeding on the bottom, there is plenty of times when fishing bait off the bottom can be more effective.

One of the methods for doing this is by using pop-up boilie rigs that utilise a buoyant bait that floats up off the bottom.

There are many variations of these pop-up boilie rigs that are tailored to specific fishing scenarios, and it pays to know a few of these and when they should best be used.

In this post, I’ll focus on the most basic method for setting up a pop-up boilie rig and then cover the basics of a few other pop-up boilie rigs you can use.

Let’s get into how to set up a pop-up boilie rig.

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  • What are Pop-Up Boilies?

    Even beginner anglers should have a basic understanding of what boilies are.

    They are round hardish balls made up of variations of carp-attracting ingredients such as fish meals, vegetable proteins, milk proteins, seeds or nuts with added flavourings and oils.

    These baits are then boiled to give them a hard exterior coating that allows them to hold firm in the water when you’re fishing them.

    Pop-up boilies are often made up of similar ingredients but with the addition of a buoyant element to make them float.

    Commonly this can be a cork ball that the mixture is moulded around before boiling or the addition of cork dust which is very small pieces mixed in with the bait ingredients to give it buoyancy.

    So essentially, pop-up boilies are made with similar ingredients to boilies, but they will float and pull your hook off the bottom of the venue you’re fishing.

    This can be especially useful when you’re fishing weed or “choddy” waters where the bottom is laden with weeds and other debris that would easily cover standard bottom baits.

    Pop-ups are also a great way to make your bait stand out over beds of pre-bait. They generally come in brighter colours than bottom boilies, so this adds to their attraction when they’re presented above bottom baits with more neutral colours.

    How To Set Up a Pop-Up Boilie Rig?

    When it comes to fishing a pop-up boilie rig, you can use plenty of variations that will determine how far off the bottom you’re fishing and how the hook and bait are presented and move in the water.

    The simplest pop-up rigs you can fish are tied simply with a lead with your hook length attached directly to this lead set-up at a set height.

    The video below will take you through the steps to tie the most simple pop-up rig.

    YouTube video

    You’ll Need the following:

    • Chosen hook
    • Spool of coated braid
    • Lead Clip
    • Tail Rubber
    • Size 8 Ring Swivel
    • Chosen Lead Weight
    • Baiting Needle
    • Bait stops
    • Scissors

    The Method:

    • Take 12 inches of coated braid and strip back 3 inches
    • Tie a small overhand loop knot on the stripped-back braid and snip off the tag end
    • Push the pop-up boilie of your choice over the baiting needle, hook the loop of the braided line onto the baiting needle and slide your bait onto the braided line.
    • Take a bait stop and push this through the end of the loop sticking out of your pop-up boilie and then push the bait back tight onto the bait stop to secure it in place
    • Thread your hook onto the other end of the braid through the back of the eye
    • Pull this right down until it is nearly touching the hook bait, and then tie a knotless knot
    • Tie an overhand loop knot at the end of the coated braid 
    • Thread the tail rubber onto your mainline with the narrow end running towards the tip of your rod; follow this with the lead clip
    • Tie the size eight swivel onto the end using a half-blood knot
    • Pull the lead clip onto one end of the swivel until it clicks and then attach the lead to the clip and then pull the tail rubber over the end to secure it in place.
    • The last step is to attach the pop-up and hook section to the lead setup but threading the loop through the other end of the swivel and then passing the hook and bait through the loop and pulling tight.

    This will give you a complete popup rig, and your pop-up will float off the bottom to the distance between your lead and hook bait.

    You can experiment with the length of your hook link to fish the pop-up lower or higher in the water.

    More Complex Pop-Up Boilie Rigs

    This will give you a complete popup rig, and your pop-up will float off the bottom to the distance between your lead and hook bait.

    You can experiment with the length of your hook link to fish the pop-up lower or higher in the water.

    There are also more complex methods for setting up pop-up boilie rigs that allow you to present your bait differently or give a better presentation with better hook holds.

    Let’s take a look at a few of these below.

    Chod Rigs

    How to set up a pop-up boilie rig - Tied Chod Rig

    The chod rig is a variation of a pop-up rig that is designed specifically for fishing waters with a lot of weed or a lot of debris on the bottom that can easily cover bottom baits.

    Basic pop-up rigs are usually fished a few inches off the bottom, which is enough when fishing over silty bottoms or very light debris or weed.

    Sometimes though, the weed and debris can be dense meaning you may want to fish your bait higher up in the water, and the chod rig allows this.

    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 when 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 at any height.

    Chod rigs are also developed to aid the hook hold if a fish comes along and picks up your suspended pop-up.

    Ronnie Rig

    How to set up a pop-up boilie rig - man holding ronnie rig in hand with pop-up

    The Ronnie rig is another popular pop-up boilie rig and is usually fished as a low-lying pop-up rig.

    The main difference with the Ronnie rig is how it’s tied, which gives a far better presentation and better hooking qualities if a carp decides to pick up your hook bait.

    The rig is tied with a swivel that allows your bait and hooks to swivel, which means no matter how the carp picks up your bait, you are far more likely to get a good hook hold.

    The addition of the swivel also aids in the anti-tangle properties of the rig, so you can be confident that you’re fishing your bait effectively and tangle-free once you’ve cast.

    Zig Rig

    How to set up a pop-up boilie rig - foam rig bait on carp hook

    Zig rigs are another variation of the pop-up rig that are generally used for fishing higher up in the water but usually at a fixed distance, unlike the chod rig, which allows the lead to slide up and down the line, so your pop-up settles on top of debris or weed.

    Although Zig rigs are often fished with imitation foam pieces that mimic natural aquatic insects or larvae that the carp feed on them can also be fishing with extremely buoyant pop-ups.

    Cork balls seem the best choice for Zig rigs as they are the most buoyant and will suspend your rig high in the water for long periods.

    Zig rigs are especially effective in the spring when the carp are commonly up in the water when the waters start to warm after winter, and insect hatches become far more common.

    That’s All 

    Pop-up boilie rigs are common in carp angling that allows you to present a floating bait off the bottom at varying heights.

    These rigs work great and can be tailored to certain situations, such as using a chod rig for fishing over dense debris or weed on the bottom.

    They can also work great fished close to the bottom over beds of bottoms as the buoyancy allows them to be presented just off of the bottom, which can make them stand out significantly.

    The videos and steps provided will teach you the easiest method for setting up a pop-up boilie rig which should be straightforward and fairly quick to set up.

    if you have any questions, leave a comment below, and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

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