Make your own safe bent hook rig for carp

Carp hooks
A fish-friendly DIY carp hook you can make yourself (Image credit: Future)

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Looking for aggressive hooking to convert more pick-ups from carp into takes? Long shank, bent hooks offer unrivalled turning when a bait is taken into the mouth, but many fisheries (rightly) ban long shank curved and bent patterns due to concerns over damage.

Here’s an easy way to safely replicate the mechanics of long shank patterns for deadly hooking, yet allowing the hook to straighten during the fight when the angle of pull changes on a fish, preventing any chance of double hooking.

Carp hook

1. Take a length of 15 lb stiff link material such as Fox Rigidity or ESP Bristle Filament, double it back on itself and tie an overhand knot to form a parallel loop 3-4 cm long. Trim the tag ends to a couple of millimetres. (Image credit: Future)

Carp hooks

2. Carefully offer the flame of a lighter to the tag ends of the overhand knot until they melt to form small blobs, securing the loop. Pinch the apex of the doubled line together to form a neat, narrow point. (Image credit: Future)

Carp hooks

3. Thread on a 3 mm tungsten bead found in fly fishing shops, followed by a size 11 ring swivel, threaded through the small eye, then 10 mm of low diameter shrink tubing. (Image credit: Future)

Carp hooks

4. Now push the apex of the parallel stiff loop up through the eye of a short shank curved hook pattern. Once the loop is pushed through the eye, the hook needs be passed between the strands of line and pulled tight to fix the hook in position. (Image credit: Future)

Carp hooks

5. Now slide the shrink tube up over the hook so half of it is along the shank, the other half covering the doubled line. Steam it down carefully and angle the tube at around 45 degrees while it is still soft, blowing on it to ‘set’ it in the right position. (Image credit: Future)

carp hooks

6. Thread a small rig ring around the hook followed by a small rubber rig stop to sit at the top of the point. The hair is tied to the rig ring. Tie the large ring of the ring swivel to your hook length, coated braids or fluorocarbon work best. It’s a larger bait presentation, perfect for boilie work, and turns quickly and makes it hard for head shakers to dislodge the hook when they twig they’ve picked up the wrong one. Try it! (Image credit: Future)
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Running from 1964 until 2020, Angler's Mail was the UK's leading weekly magazine devoted to coarse fishing, telling readers everything they needed to know about which fish to catch, where to catch them, and what kit they needed to do it. Now, loads of the magazine's expert advice can be found on, as a helpful resource for angling newcomers and experts alike.