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Saturday, 20 September 2008 17:04

Sticky Sharp Rigs

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Pre-tied fishing rigs from Sticky Sharp Rigs - By Marc

Firstly I would like to thank Paul at UK Fisherman & the guys from 'Sticky Sharp' for giving me the opportunity to try out these rigs, I have been carp fishing for many years now & have always tied my own rigs so when the sample rigs arrived I was semi cautious/excited about using them.

Rigs Tested

The Basic Rig, The Blow Back, The Line Aligner, The Withypool & The Combi-Rig

First Impressions

Dont expect any fancy packaging with these rigs. Each rig arrived in a clear logo-less plastic sleeve with just a brief description hand written on the sleeve.** I must say how nice it was to actually see the whole contents of the sleeve laying perfectly within & not a tangled mess you receive from other rig companies. All five rigs looked as if they had been hand-tied using top quality components & they even had the highly fashionable quick release hoops attached to the main line end.

** Please note that the rigs supplied for review were samples and not the finished article. All sticky Sharp Rigs are supplied with full graphic inserts with text on the reverse. (Paul, UK Fisherman)

The Tests

Would these rigs withstand the abuse of everyday carp fishing on the end of my Ballista's? fishing against snags & lily pads? fished with pva bags attached? More importantly would they pass the on the bank knot test?

At this point I must emphasis just how important it is to check all your terminal gear before casting out, knot checks, hook sharpness check etc

The Basic Rig
The Basic RigAs many of you will know this is a no frills rig, simple construction, simple mechanics, a rig found in many carp anglers rig wallets all over the UK/Europe including my own.

The hook was perfectly tied to the soft braided material, the braided material was smooth, kinkless & unfraid. As with any rig tied to my mainline a thorough test is undertaken on all knots. The rig passed all bankside abuse I could throw at it. Laying the rig in the shallow margins of the lake things looked good, hook link camoflage looked good & with the use of a pva nugget on the hook the whole rig came to rest nicely on the bottom.

With bait & pva bag attached the rig was chucked to around 70yds, things seemed to land in a nice straight line & the pva nugget floated up to the surface from the hook below ... I was happy. Thirty or so minutes later I was more than happy when a carp of around 15lb was lying on my mat, the hook had caught hold just off the middle of the bottom lip ... good enough for me. As I do with all my rigs after a capture, I recheck the setup. Bearing in mind the carp did take me through two lily beds all looked very good. I did however slip my sharpen stone lightly over the hook a few times. The rig was rebaited & recast to the same spot. I did get another run on this rig but lost the fish in the lily pads, the rig came back with a slightly fraid hook link, the hook looked good for another carp but was replaced.

The Blow Back Rig
The Blow Back RigThis rig is one of my all time favourite rigs. For many years I have used this type of rig. This is my favoured rig when used in conjunction with pop-ups or snowman baits. The rig was perfectly constructed, the only modification I made to this rig was the length of the hook link. I do prefer my hook links quite short & after some minor adjustments the rig looked good. Once baited & attached to the mainline I again dropped the rig into the margin to check the presentation. Again I was more than happy. It looked very good & blended in very well with the lake bed. A small counter balance was added under the hook just to sink the hook bait down & it was ready for the lake.

Cast out to the already baited area once again the pva nugget popped to the surface & I added a few freebies over the spot. It wasn't long before the delkim alerted me to some action, the bobbin rose then gently slid down indicating a drop back. I tightened to the lead & struck, the battle was short lived. On retreaving the rig Ii noticed the hair had become tangled around the bend of the hook. I'm not sure whether this was down to the length of the hair or rejection of the boilie from the carps mouth?

I shortened the hair & with the use of some pva string I tied the hair tightly down the shank of the hook to the bend, this should keep any tangles down to the minimum while casting out. Just to make sure & give me peace of mind I inserted the hook link into a pva stocking & recast. After three hours I had landed two carp on this rig & after the minor modifications I was 100% confident in the rig. If the hook hadn't felt & looked so dull Ii would of probably left it on!

The Line Aligner Rig
The Line Aligner RigThis is another very popular rig, not too much different from the Basic Rig apart from the use of the shrink tube at the hooks eye. Great looking rig, nicely constructed ... so I thought?

As with all the rigs, I put them under a knot test using the Korda Knot Puller. This is where the hook link parted about half way along its length. I couldn't see any visible fault/damage in the link it just snapped. Sadly this hooklink was taken apart, hook/QR link were saved for later use on my own hook link material.

The Withypool Rig
The Withypool RigPersonally im not a great fan of this rig but I gave it go on my third rod, the rig passed all the knot tests & looked good in the margin with a single 18mm pop-up attached. I was very impressed with the silicon/shrink tube used on this rig. After several pulls & tugs on it, it went back to its original pre-steamed shape ... well impressed. As I said earlier, a single pop-up was attached & cast just off the baited area. The reason for this being I was receiving several liners on the other two rods.

I sat there wondering about the rig, thinking how crude it looked, trying to understand why & how it works so well for so many anglers around the country when to my amazement I was in! Amazed & shocked when laying on my mat was my first twenty of the season & it fell to a rig I had little confidence in. After checking the hook & its components it was re-baited & cast to the same spot with greater confidence & high expectations. Within the hour I hand landed another carp just short of 18lb on this rig & quickly tied up my version of this rig & cast out just before night fall.

Excellant rig, thumbs held up high on this one guys!!!!!!!!

The Combi Rig
The Combi RigThis rig & variations of this rig have been knocking around for years and it has accounted for loads of carp up & down the country. Like all the rigs, it looked the business, nicely tied, hook sharpness 100% and the knot test passed with no problems. Not even any knot slip, which is quite common when using these coated hook links.

One useful tip when using these styles of rigs is to slightly heat the coated area of the link before casting out, just to make the link nice & straight & to stop any coils from occuring during use.

This was a very friendly rig to use, sadly no fish were caught upon it but it didn't tangle, the outer coating didn't start to peel off like some other brands do and it laid nicely on the lake bed. I did add a few drops of Tungsten Putty up the link just for peace of mind. I apply this tactic to most of my hooklinks nowadays.

Conclusion

When asked to test these rigs I was a little reserved as for many years I have tied all my rigs myself.

  • As I said before I liked the way the rigs were packaged, you could see what you were buying, no tangled messes at the bottom of a fancy looking display bag.
  • All the hooks were beautiful & sharp.
  • The addition of the QR hoop at the end of the link was a nice touch as well as the knots that were all shrink tubed.
  • Apart from one of the hooklinks snapping when testing i was pleased with all the materials used.
  • Some of the hook links were a little long for my preference, but easily adjusted.
  • To my surprize the Withypool Rig out fished the other rigs accounting for five carp including a twenty. Two carp fell to the Blow Back Rig & two to the Basic Rig.

So overall i was very impressed with the rigs & would have confidence in attaching them to my mainline.

I highly recommend these rigs. Thanks to the guys at Sticky Sharp for a great product.

Score:

Where to buy the The Sticky Sharp Rigs

Check out their website at www.stickysharprigs.co.uk where you can buy these excellent rigs online.

Submit a Review: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our reviews. To do so, use the comment box below.

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