Bolt-Rigging for Pike

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Paul Williams

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Chris, what a thought provoking article, i read it the day Graham released it but i needed to have a think! this deserves a lot of debate, all pike anglers must have had runs that they "knew" were a sure fire thing,when you have pike fished for a few years you can tell there are runs like that, don't ask me why, i don't know, but i do Know there are times i pike up a rod and think " i'm gonna land this one".....are they already halfway hooked? Chris i hope this starts a good debate but somehow i think there may be a lot of lurkers who think it a bit "hot". (with the exeption of Wurzel over on the List, who has made comment before me)
 
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Mike Fidler

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You know I thought about this as well and I'm inclined to give it a go. What is there to lose? Might turn that drop off and then nothing into a full blown run. How many times have I crouched by the rod tugging at the line trying to feel for a fish? P.s Mr Williams when are you going to learn about posting to the correct forum?
 
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Paul Williams

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Mike, i thought about it as soon as i hit send!!!! my only defence is that Graham did it once too! still it'll put the cat amongst the pigieons talking pike on the carp columns!!! i'm just glad Rik and "im" ain't about. Graham, i don't suppose you can switch this thread? you know what happens when i mess!!!!
 

GrahamM

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I've got to hold my hand up and confess that I have posted to the wrong forum before now. The problem is that the drop-down menu defaults to 'carp', so if you don't remember to change it that's what you get.

On the subject of bolt-rigging for pike I don't want to seem like some kind of know-all, but I've been fishing the method for pike for 10 years or more. (And yes I can prove it, I wrote about it in Coarse Fisherman several years ago). But the point I want to make is that from the first time I tried it I knew I was onto something, and the more I tried it the more I liked it. Far fewer dropped runs and a greater number of cleanly hooked fish.

At first I combined it with using the baitrunner facility on the reel, as in carp fishing, but soon found that it was better to have an open bale-arm.

It appears that the pike are encouraged by the semi-fixed lead to accept the bait cleanly and bolt with it, but are more inclined to continue with the run when they're more free to do so after the pick-up.

I now very rarely fish with less than a 2oz lead and almost always prevent the lead from running freely by the use of float-stops about 6ins from the lead.

About the only time I don't leger like that now for pike is when fishing the lift-method for them. Now that's what you call sensitive! But, you must be sat by your rods and strike the moment the float lies flat or disappears.
 
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Chris Bishop

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Sorry Graham - didn't realise I'd nicked your idea. We dreamed up another rig last season then found it in a book a few months later.

Here's a thought: A lot of the takes you get drifter fishing, esp off the bottom, are really violent. The float lifts and bobs a bit when the fish comes up and takes the bait, submerges as it sinks back down with it, then the next thing you know the line's shooting out like mad.

The floats are so bouyant, coupled with the resistance of vane, controller, braid etc; I'm sure most of the fish I catch doing this hook themselves.

Back to the original thought, wouldn't reliable self hooking rigs work wonders for pike conservation..?

I'd love to hear what anyone else reckons.
 

GrahamM

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You didn't nick it Chris. There will be somebody before me who's at least mentioned it somewhere and we can't keep track of everything ever written. And besides, it's good when somebody else brings their way of thinking into any method.

What I've been trying over the last three years, when it's reasonably calm and you can set everything very finely, is the lift-method for pike.

I use a very buoyant waggler float and a heavy lead (2oz usually), again semi-fixed, set the depth about 2ft to 3ft overdepth and tighten up so that the float almost disappears.

You get some amazing takes, from the float disappearing altogether, to it almost jumping out of the water.

Never use a weighted float and whatever the float does it is important to strike immediately. I miss very few takes and I've never yet deep-hooked a fish.

It's almost like the reverse effect of the drift float method, but with the same positive conservation results.

As you said, too many pike anglers don't think enough about how they pike fish.

Here's another thought to chew over and something I've thought about but not tried yet for pike (although I have for other species). I reckon it's got tremendous potential:

A very heavy swingtip set at 45 degrees, and the line clipped up (as light as possible) at the reel. Yes, I know it's only another form of drop-off indicator, but I'll leave you to think about it some more and let your imagination run free.
 
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mark tullett

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Presumably a drop off indicator is no better than any other if your using a bolt rig?, having said that, for a drop-off to give a 'drop back' the fish has to move the lead and therefore feel more resistance???
 

GrahamM

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Exactly! That's the idea of a bolt-rig, so that the fish feels the resistance. The fish does have to move the lead, and if the lead is moved the indicator moves.

As to all drop-off indicators being the same, then no they're not. In the context I'm talking about it's like saying a swingtip type butt indicator is no different than a swingtip indicator at the tip.

No matter how much you line up the rod there is always a subtle difference between a butt indicator and a tip indicator, even when the mechanics of the devices are identical.
 
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Philip Inzani

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I am interested in how much lead is used for these bolt rigs.
Although I dont think many Pikers setup a real -on the bottom fixed lead- type of setup for Pike like they do for Carp I do think that many of the rigs being used offer so much resistance anyway that it must be having much the same effect. For example a patrnernoster with say a 2oz lead and a large float
must have at least 3 or 4oz of resistance in it and in reality when you think about water drag on the line, weed etc etc then its probably a hell of alot more.
Also I think these things go in phases. Its happening with Carp now...a swing back to running leads and light indicators after the bolt rig frenzy. Basically I think each setup has its day.

However how about this...if you HAD to choose for all your fishing either bolt rig/resistance type setups or a setup that minimises resistance then which would you go for ? ... I would DEFINATLY go for the least resistance regardless of the type of fish I was after.
 
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Paul Williams

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Philip, thats as hot a debate as the bolt rig for pike!! you are right bytheway, us pikers have been bolting for years, though mostly for different reasons than carpers, i have regulary used 3oz of lead on a PN rig to hold a lively bait in a good position, but i've got to be honest it was just to hold position at the time. But in answer to your question, i have been trying to decide, but i can't!!! Philip thank's for the samples, i really liked the look of the one.
 
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PETER Waller

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Chris puts a great deal of care and thought into his fishing, far more than most anglers ever do. If he advocates something you can bet its tried to the enth degree. Mind you, he has had the odd blank lately so I don't know when he has done all this testing! I look at this one from a different angle, that of a lure angler. All my fish are hooked on what is effectively a bolt rig. On feeling the bait/lure the pike will either spit it out, if it can when its a slow retrieve, or self hook against the tension of the lure as its being retrieved or trolled. It seems a sensible route to explore with dead bait techniques.
Just as a matter of interest, as a boy I fished with Dennis Pye a few times. He used a dumbel type of float, one reason being that it provided resistance to a taking pike. Granted his bait was free-lined but it was intentional that the float provided resistance. To this day many Broadland pikers use a big float for this same reason.
 
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Andrew Calvert

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As already stated by Paul Williams I find no problem with using a fixed lead PN for livebaits, always with open bail. I don't think this slight "constant" resistance deters the pike at all. Back to the reason why you first used the bolt rig technique I use a rig based on the principle of many rotten bottom rock rigs to prevent lead slide when required. I have the lead free running on a short (3") silicone tube covered link. To the eye of the lead I attach a 2" length of 15lb line with a double overhand loop at the free end. Prior to casting I pass this loop through the eye of the trace swivel and stop it with a floating pin (which can also be attached to the trace swivel if you prefer). Providing you have a smooth casting technique the pin stays in place until hitting the water. This rig can also be used with braid to give a resistance free and extremly long range rig. With a 2oz weight, braid and a fair sized bait (6-8oz) distances over 100 yards are easily possible when required.
 
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Carp Angler

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I suppose that nobody read the articles in C**pworld by Jim Gibbinson about free running leads?
Basically, he set up a free running rig with low res ring in the margins and then simulated a take at 90 degrees to the lead.
Do you know what size lead was required for it to stay stationary and not be dragged bu the take?

7 ounces ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Just a thought....
 

Frank Middlebrook

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I have to admit to being a complete novice when it comes to pike fishing but I am impressed with this particuler thread as it has given me some ideas and plans to try, I have a pike match in Jan and was wondering if anyone has any other advice that keeps it simple - I have the option of fishing a lake or small river for this match
Thanks in advance - Joker
 
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Chris Bishop

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Carpworld - I can well believe this. In fact I suspect even so-called free-running rigs end up being bolt rigs half the time because the fish tows the lead.
 
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Lurking Joker

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having been a carp on the odd occasion, has anyone ever tried using a PVA bag around the deadbait, and if so what results have you had?. I ask this because my mate uses a swimfeeder when pike fishing on rivers, and I was thinking of keeping everything together and hopefully stop the pike from attacking the feeder - make sense??
 
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Chris Bishop

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Never used a bag round the bait but have used PVA with various rigs to keep baits on, tie up tail loops etc. Still use it from time to time, but find it fiddly.

Feeders are an interesting one. We've tried filling them with fish bits, freezing them and carrying out with rest of deadbaitss. As they thaw, they spread a scent-slick, or so the theory goes. I caught fish doing it but not enough to convince me it was a real winner. I know people have also tried fish oil soaked into a cotton wool plug in a mini feeder.

Freeze either to slow release. I never had a fish attack the feeder although other people have.

There were several articles about this a few years back, it's been tried for pike, zander, eels etc.
 
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