Darren’s Rig of Choice

The well known Claw rig is my “go anywhere” rig of choice as it’s quick and simple to construct and has been tried and tested and never let me down. The main aspect that attracts me to the Claw is how aggressively it turns! This is all down to the mechanics of the rig and bait working together making the hook point heavy, though the lead is needed to set the hook completely.

I have its effectiveness many times fishing for curb crawlers in clear gravel pits and witnessed fish bolt before any weight from the lead has been felt and I’m convinced this is a result of the hook already making contact. The pattern of hook I like to use is a wide gape with a straight point and super sharp. You should never hesitate to sharpen a hook out of the packet which will maximise your chances and something I do regularly.


There is one more major factor in making the claw effective and that’s how when and where to balance things up and the easiest way to determine this is by looking at the pressure the fish are under. If I’m fishing heavily stocked commercials I use enough putty to pin the pop-up down as in the frantic fight for food your rig can be moved around violently picking up debris masking the hook. However, don’t be shy about the amount of putty as it can help hold the hook low in the mouth giving you a nice hook hold in the bottom lip.


In another venue like that of a low stocked yet highly pressured water this method of balancing will deter fish as it will appear too heavy, too unnatural to take in and ring alarm bells for the fish leaving you “being done” For such a venue the norm would be to go for a critically balanced Wafter to out-wit a wary fish but in my experience it decreases the effectiveness of the claw being hook point heavy, and with so much trust and confidence in the claw I didn’t want to move to another rig and this is when I noticed this simple but massively effective tweak.


By drilling out enough of a pop-up to be able to add some putty direct to the bait I could reduce the amount of putty on my hook link and keep the weight on the hook point and keep the Claw rig in use. An amazing little tweak that is making a substantial difference. In certain circumstances I will use other rigs to better my chances but the Claw rig combined with the Poloni Pop-ups are doing it for me and with summer drawing on and Autumn knocking at the door I’m excited for what Dark scaly warriors await treating me to a visit on the bank.

Darren Attwood
Carp Team

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