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The Balanced Claw Rig itself is not a new concept, but it brings together different elements of other established rigs and presents them in a different way. The aim of the rig is for it to be critically balanced by using a combination of rig swivels, when attaching the pop-ups, and the QC ring swivels, when attaching the hooks, and also in combination with a sinking braid, either with a shot on it or using tungsten putty on the swivel to get the balance right, but the shot and the putty are not always necessary. However, a 25-30lb sinking braid is essential, so be careful what you use; a better alternative is to use a 30lb fluorocarbon boom. Tom, John and Robert arrived for their week’s fishing in May with dreams of landing a 40lb+ carp, something none of them had achieved to date. Up until Friday they fished their own way using red or pink pop-ups and conventional, fully popped up shop-bought rig presentations, but they were unsuccessful, their hopes were not met, the result was just two mirrors at 26lb to Tom. I had first trialled my Balanced Claw Rig in my April session when I had six 40s in a total of 19 carp. The second trial was with Tom, John and Robert when I made up two rods for them on Friday morning using my end tackle, the Balanced Claw Rig, to see if they could actually get one of these elusive 40lb-ers. Early in the afternoon one rod rattled off and a 28lb was landed by John and then later in the afternoon the second rod went for Robert, giving him his 41lb PB mirror, which turned out to be one of the same fish that I had caught in my first rig trial. The rig appears to be proving itself able to catch the more wary carp as all seven of the carp caught on it so far are unrecognised and there is no historic photo evidence that Robert’s and my carp has previously been caught. That does not mean to say that they have never been caught, but regrettably not every angler sends us his photos. See the pictures below for variations on the rig.
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