Luke Vallory - My Three Rigs
Luke Vallory has been one of the most consistent anglers over the last few years, adding some of the most sought after British carp to his ever growing album. Three rigs dominate his angling, and here, Luke explains what his go to set up is for bottom baits, wafters and pop-ups.
For most of my angling, three rigs pretty much dominate the bulk of my fishing. Chods and zigs are the only exception, in which I’ll use chod rigs when casting to shows in dirty or unknown areas, and zigs, which I favour in the late winter and early spring period.
But, for most of the year, I try to angle on the deck, especially in the late summer and autumn when the fish are really on the feed. For this type of fishing, three rigs dominate my approach.
Bottom Bait Rig - The Flipper Rig
I’ll use this rig on clean, smooth areas, such as sand patches or clean silt and will fish this way whenever I can get away with it. With a bottom bait, with the hook lying flat on the deck, it’s imperative you’re fishing over a clean bottom. I use a big bait (18mm or above) straight out the pack, fished on a long hair offering plenty of separation from the hook, a size 4 Wide Gape X. I position a small piece of silicone right around the shank of the hook, adding weight to the hook point, forcing it to turn down and catch hold. If you run this rig across the back of your hand, it will turn and ‘flip’ every time, hence the name.
A piece of medium shrink tube is then steamed over the hooks eye at a 45-degree angle, closing the gape of the hook and further encouraging it to flip. I use Dark Matter Braid on this rig and set it up around 6 to 8 inches in length. I always fish this with a small PVA stick, which I slide down the hook link and over the hook. This helps protect the point and more importantly, prevents tangles. I use fine boilie crumb in as my stick mix, something I know won’t risk blunting the hook point. When casting this rig, it’s essential you hit the clip just right, which will separate the lead from the hook, preventing tangles.
Wafter Rig – The Spinner Hair
This rig needs no introduction and it’s one that’s served me really well in recent seasons, where it really came into its own fishing Dinton’s White Swan. It’s essentially a spinner rig, but I like to use a Supernatural braided hair, as oppose to the conventional swivel that’s commonly used. It offers less weight/clutter and creates more movement for my bait and hook. Everything else is a standard ‘spinner set up’ with the hook attached via a Spinner Swivel, covered with a small section of shrink tube. I then use a 6-inch IQ2 Boom on a Heli Safe set up. I’ve used this rig with Kranks and Wide Gapes over the years, both to equally good effect.
A lovely rig, enabling me to quickly change my hook when needed, which is a really useful feature. I use this rig for my pop-up work, allowing the hook to just sit off the deck, protecting the point from any debris. Interestingly, I use a size 4 Kamakura Choddy for this rig. I think the out turned eye along with the shrink tube shrunk in, creates a unique angle, which really aids hooking ability. I use a Supernatural section, tied via an albright knot to 6-inches of IQ2 and again, tend to fish this on a Heli Safe set up. A small piece of Dark Matter putty gets moulded around the albright knot, anchoring my hook bait in place.
As with all my rigs, I try to fish a long IQ2 leader of 10ft or above, with a Sub Braid mainline. The IQ2 leader sinks link a brick and is invisible in the water, blending in out of sight.
Braid is my go-to where it’s allowed, as it offers direct contact, maximum strength and enables super accurate fishing, which is perfect for fishing to small holes in the weed, which I love to do. Where braid is banned, a 15lb Kontour mainline would be my next choice. I’m often fishing for highly pressured carp, so a slack mainline is essential in most situations.
I try to keep things as simple as possible, focussing my efforts on keeping in tune with the lake and being on them. Time and Location are without doubt, the two greatest edges we can have, but there’s no point being on them if you’re not presented.
I need to know my rigs are strong enough to safely land any fish in that situation, I need to know my rig is not tangled and is presented on the bottom it is being fished over, and I need to know that hook is razor sharp yet super strong.
I try not to overthink my rigs, using tried and tested components on relatively simple rigs that have all served the test of time. With so many rigs and theories out there, it can be a brainwash at times. Stick to what you know and have confidence in. Make sure your rigs never tangle, your kit is strong and up to the job and always check those hook points.
The above three rigs tick all of those boxes and I never look much further than these.