The brainchild of specimen carp hunters, the safe bolt rig has found its place with match and pleasure anglers targeting species such as tench and bream on stillwaters.

Semi-fixed bolt rigs have become common in modern angling techniques, not just for those targeting carp, but for anglers chasing many other species too. When a fish moves off with the hookbait, with the lead semi-fixed in place, it soon comes up against the full resistance of the weight and either hooks itself or bolts away giving unmissable bites.

Safety Bolt Rig

Although originally developed for carp fishing, the rig is just as useful for tench and bream in stillwaters, and barbel and chub in rivers. Various baits can be used, from boilies and pellets to worms and maggots. The key, though, is to ensure that the hookpoint is exposed so that there is the greatest chance of it pricking the fish. In the event of a line breakage, it is essential that the lead should be able to slide free from the rest of the rig to avoid tethering a fish that has been hooked. To do this, a lead safety clip should be used with the tail rubber lightly pushed on to the clip so that the lead can come free with the minimum of effort. Follow these simple steps and you will create the perfect safe bolt rig set-up.



1. Thread a tail rubber and safety lead clip on to your mainline. Ensure it will slide off easily

Thread lead clip onto line

2. Tie a rig swivel to the end of the mainline using a four-turn grinner knot or palomar knot

Rig swivel tied to mainline

3. Pull the lead clip over the swivel to hold the clip on to the swivel

Insert rig swivel into lead clip

4. Attach the lead to the clip and lightly push on the tail rubber. Test that the lead ejects easily

Place lead into clip and push rubber sleeve in place

5. Attach your hook using a knotless knot. The hooklink should be weaker than the mainline

Knotless knot to hook

6. Tie the end of the hooklength to the rig swivel using a four-turn grinner knot

Lead clip connection

If you require any more tips or information on carp fishing, please contact the Angling Active team. We are more than happy to help.

This article was brought to you in association with Improve Your Coarse Fishing Magazine.

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