Anatomy Of A Carp Rig | Rex Van Puffelen's Long Kicker Rig (Video)

The long kicker rig is my go-to rig for fishing with popped up hook baits – I use it 90 per cent of the time, occasionally opting for a choddy when I have no idea what the bottom is like. I’ve been using it for a long time now and it consistently produces very strong hook-holds. Although designed to be used as a pop-up rig, it can also be used with wafters and even bottom baits, though I will typically tweak the length of the hair and make the supple section a little longer so that it settles neatly on the lake bed. As the hook link is usually a skinned material it can be used with a variety of lead arrangements, though my favourite is a helicopter setup.

I’m a really big fan of the BCR Rigga hooks; I use them all the time in my fishing, but a Covert Dark Wide Gape Talon Tip hook should work very well too. I really like the very slight beak on both these patterns, which is a nice midway between a really aggressive claw hook and a straight point. This helps keep the hook in place when pricking and penetrating, and then give a strong hook-hold as the angle of draw is positive, minimising resistance to being fully embedded. Both are made with a strong wire so the hook can easily cope with big fish in testing conditions.

I use a long 1in length of Supa-Shrink tube kicked off at an angle to create a very aggressive and fast-reacting rig. I fish this line-aligner style where the hook link exits the shrink tube before the end of the tubing, in alignment with the hook point, which I believe helps make the rig very controlled in where it hooks the fish – nine times out of 10 it is nailed in the bottom lip. Furthermore, the extra-long length of the kicker ensures hook-holds are normally further into the fish’s mouth. Essentially, the pivot point is set at the point that the hook link exits the tube, which is obviously further away from the hook point. The end result is super-solid hook-holds and more fish on the bank.

The short hair is perfect to ensure the hook and hook bait go in together and then the long section of shrink tube stops the hook from turning in the fish’s mouth, so the hook point is always facing back towards the lip/mouth.

I prefer to overweight my pop-up when I’m fishing on a clean bottom or over bait as I don’t want it moving around everywhere. This also helps the hooking efficiency of the rig. However, if I’m fishing over a dirtier lake bed then have it more balanced. Similarly, the length of the hook link is usually 10 to 20 centimetres but this depends on the lake I am fishing at. If it’s hard and clean I prefer a stiffer and shorter hook link, and longer and softer coating when fishing in silt and weed situations.

Watch the video to see how to tie Rex's long kicker rig.