Carp Fishing - How To Tie My Surface Rig

During the warmer months carp will often be hanging around on the surface and although fishing for them using floaters can be extremely frustrating at times, it can also be an awful lot of fun. When feeding on the top carp can be very wary and anything out of the ordinary can end up with them spooking away from your hookbait at the last second. So, with a couple of little tweaks to neaten everything up and getting things sitting correctly in the water, a few extra bonus fish could be yours.

During last summer I spent some time thinking it over and made a few small changes to how I approached mounting my hookbait as none of the conventional ways completely satisfied me for certain reasons and although these may only be little things that most people may not be overly worried about, they always frustrated me knowing that they could be costing me the odd fish.

When using a standard hair I was never happy with how it sat in the water as the eye end of the hook always had a tendency to hang down slightly and no matter how hard you try to tie the hair at the perfect length, you can never get the hookbait sitting right next to the shank. Bait bands solved this issue to a point but would often break and mean that rigs would need changing which isn't ideal if time is short and the carp are feeding well as time re-tying or changing rigs is time that isn't being spent feeding or fishing for them. Supergluing baits to the hook shank makes everything sit nicely but again, it takes a bit of time and isn't an overly secure way of fixing a bait to the hook either, especially if long repetitive casts are involved with soggy hookbaits!

So, after a bit of fiddling around and going back and forth with different ideas, I eventually settled on a rig that worked as I wanted it to and lots of success was had at the back end of last summer whilst using it. I will take you through a step by step guide of how it was tied below and hopefully it will catch you all a few extra fish in the coming months should you choose to use it...



























Step 1

Take a size 8 Fox Edges Zig & Floater hook and around 6 feet of 12lb Fox Zig & Floater Mono and attach the two using a 6 turn knotless knot. Once this is done you will notice that the line is exiting the eye at a bit of an angle which is something I like to try and avoid if possible. With the line coming out in this way it causes a small length to hang under the surface of the water and could result in a cautiously feeding carp turning away from your hookbait at the last second.

Step 2

Next I take a short length of the Korda Super Stiff Shrink Tube and slide this over the eye of the hook. This is then submerged in a mug of boiling water to shrink the tubing down and as I take it out I then squeeze the eye of the hook which helps the mono exit the eye of the hook in a straight line rather than at an angle as it did previously.

Step 3

This next step is rather tricky and fiddly but it is well worth the effort and frustration at the end of it! Take one of the Fox Edges Hair Widgets and squeeze this inside the eye of a Micro Swivel so that it sits in the little groove in the middle of the widget. This can be very frustrating but it is something worth persevering with as it will allow your hookbait to be mounted perfectly flush to the back of the hook every single time without there being any gap or making the hook eye hang down in the water as can happen when using a standard hair rig to mount your bait.

Step 4

Slide the Hair Widget and Micro Swivel combo onto the shank of your hook so it butts up against the top of the shrink tubing.

Step 5

Slide an anti tangle sleeve onto the mono and then tie an overhand figure of 8 loop in the other end of your hooklink so you can then loop it over a quick change swivel to attach it to your mainline / controller float.

Step 6

Cut yourself a length of Bait Floss and double this over through the eye of the Micro Swivel to mount your hookbait.

Step 7

Mount your chosen hookbait onto the Bait Floss using a Baiting Needle and tie a double overhand granny knot over a Bait Stop to hold it in place. My favoured hookbaits are either the CC Moore Duo Floaters or if i'm fishing at range and want something a little more visual to keep an eye on then a trimmed down CC Moore Pacific Tuna White Pop-Up works well also.

Step 8

The finished article with a perfectly mounted hookbait as tight as possible to the hook shank and no annoying angle as the hooklink exits the hook eye!





It's always worth keeping a few hooklinks pre-tied and ready to go when you're floater fishing and the Fox Zig Disc is an ideal storage solution for them. There's nothing worse than trying to tie a hooklink in a hurry with feeding carp munching down your floaters!


I always try to coat my floaters in some sort of oil to help give off a slick on the surface and my preferred one for this is the CC Moore Pure Salmon Oil. This not only adds heaps of attraction to the area but will also create a flat spot if there is a bit of a ripple and this will, in turn, help you keep an eye on your hookbait and see what's going on a little easier.

The use of a Fox Impact Spod also helps massively when fishing at any kind of range and is well worth having in your floater fishing armoury when you get the chance to go!


One of many fish caught last year using this rig and there will hopefully be more to add throughout this summer as the weather continues to improve in the coming months.

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