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Simple Hair Rig – fished for Bottom baits and Pop-ups

By Franna van der Westhuizen

In all my years of specimen angling there’s always been this one rig, this one presentation that never fails me.   In the beginning of my high school career I stumbled upon a book written by a UK angler focusing on rigs and swims during different weather conditions. The book that I never thought would have changed my life forever. Reading this book was exactly where my specimen journey started.


It’s amazing to see how the sport grew and how people invented new ways of approaching carp. All these years have passed and I’m still stuck on the same rig. Don’t get me wrong I can see how different rigs work for different anglers and different venues but I just can’t get myself to the point to change what is working for me.


At one point I fished a 3 rod set-up using my third rod for experimenting with different rigs and baits, exploring all possibilities. I am now back to my 2 rod set-up so that I have more time focused on less rods. I have six working days a week at the moment, meaning most of my sessions are one night sessions fishing wild waters.   To get to my rig of choice, I only use the simple hair rig. There is so much you can do with that simple rig, from fishing bottom baits all the way through to fishing pop-ups, all on one rig. The only change I made in my rig the last couple of years is adding a kicker to the party.


In this image you will see the hair rig with a bottom bait normally fished and the second rig you will see a simple split shot changing the hair rig into the perfect pop-up rig. I have caught plenty of fish on this simple method at a lot of different venues. This truly is a blank saver method for me. For example I have fished Donaldson Dam for a weekend session with my fiance and was blanking on my bottom baits while everyone else caught fish. All I did was look for one fish to show and changed my one rod with a splitshot from bottom baits to pop up and casted a single to the showing fish. Ten minutes later I landed a 11.6kg. In the end it’s all down to what you are comfortable with and what works for you as an angler.

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