Anatomy Of A Carp Rig | Dave Levy's Pop-Down Rig

I started using this years ago on Yateley Match Lake, where I watched a feeding fish pick up a stone, swim three or four feet chewing away before it tipped back up and the stone dropped out of its mouth. Clearly what had happened was the stone had been sucked in while it fed and being so heavy, just fell to the floor of the carp’s mouth, an area called the palate, where it stayed while the fish chewed its food, filtering through the smaller particles. This really got me thinking as it’s clear that the stone isn’t edible. Now I’m guessing that the carp knew this, but being heavy it just stayed in the mouth while the lighter bits could easily be ejected.

The longer you can get a bait to stay in the fish’s mouth, especially if it moves, massively increases your chances of hooking a fish. The idea of the pop-down rig is that just like the stone, the overweighted nature of the hook bait means it drops down on to the palate of the carp, where it hopefully avoids ejection.

A real unit of a common at over 40lb taken on the pop-down rig.

The hook lays flat on the bottom with the wafter masking the AA shot.

Now being a particularly heavy bait, I like to use a blow-back rig with tubing positioned opposite the barb to help weight the point of the hook. Initially I used to prepare my hook baits with a cotton bud inside, so that I could push an SSG shot into the base of the bait, but nowadays I simply fish a high visibility bottom bait or wafter, then squeeze a BB or AAA shot on to the hair just below it. By doing so you end up with a hook bait that is much heavier in the water than a standard bait out of the bag.

One additional benefit that I’ve found with the pop-down is that I generally find I get a better stamp of carp. While I can’t be sure exactly why, I like to think that the smaller fish tend to drop the hook bait where they tend to feed with less suction. In contrast, the larger fish have a much stronger sucking force, which allows them to more easily pick up the bait when they’re feeding.

Step-By-Step: Dave Levy's Pop-Down Rig

1. Cut off a 12in length of Rock Bottom coated hooklink.

2. Strip the last few inches of coating.

3. Tie a loop in the end of the uncoated braid.

4. Mount your hookbait and secure with a hairstop.

5. Position a BB or AAA shot (depending on bait size) below the hook bait.

6. Thread on a small section of silicone tubing.

7. Slide on to the shank of a size 4 APEX beaked point hook.

8. Position roughly opposite the barb.

9. Whip the hook in place with a knotless knot.

10. Add a small kicker to the hook.

11. Slide on an anti-tangle sleeve.

12. Tie a small overhand loop to finish the rig