How To Tie Jim Shelley's Flying Chod Rig
Posted Carp Tactics at Nov 01, 2010
With a CV that includes five 50lb-plus carp Jim Shelley is one of the most successful carp anglers of today. His recent captures have all been caught on a rig known as 'The Flying Chod'. Confused? Well, read on where all is revealed!
Jim Shelley is an angler with incredible carp-catching ability. He has targeted, and caught, almost all of the biggest and most noted carp in the UK, giving him a reputation as one of the best carp anglers currently on the bank. His most recent catch was yet another UK 50lb carp - The Paddle Common at 51lb 4oz. Jim has his own thoughts and styles when it comes to catching big carp, including a special rig. It's very simple and logical, but isn't this how the best rigs usually are!
There's no denying that when Jim Shelley puts his mind to catching a particular target carp, you know that it's only going to be a matter of time before he achieves it. Many of you reading this will be of the impression that Jim's a full-time angler and to an extent that's right, but not in the sense of being able to sit in one swim for days on end waiting for the carp to come to him, far from it.
The chod rig was first developed by Frank Warwick, further developed by Terry Hearn has now been tweaked even further by Jim and is a set-up that he's confident in fishing on the majority of waters that he targets. Many anglers will have taken this approach and altered it slightly to meet the demands of their venue but Jim is one of the most high profile anglers currently catching on it so who better to explain about the adapted Chod Rig, better known as The Flying Chod.
"The longer leadcore leader allows the finished rig to literally fly along the length of leadcore, hence the length of it, precisely 10ft! When I cast out, the chod rig flies to the top end of the lead core and allows me to achieve a presentation where the lead plays no role in hooking the carp. The reason behind this is simple really. I've watched carp eject the chod rig when it's been fished on a short length of leadcore in a conventional manner.
"For example, most anglers seem to set the chod between two beads at a distance of around 10 inches from the lead. In most cases the lead will usually be around three or four ounces in weight. This type of presentation where the hook is so close to the lead, can allow the carp to literally shake the hook out of its mouth once it feels the resistance of the lead!
"To combat this, I use as small a lead as possible, one to two and half ounce being my favoured lead size. You'd be very surprised at exactly how far you can cast a one ounce lead, it just seems that anglers are conditioned into thinking that they have to use a heavy lead to get the required distance. Another thing to bear in mind about the weight of the lead is that you only need to use the right sized weight, why use a three ounce lead at 30 yards when you can get to this distance with a one ounce lead? The other key factor to this rig is in the positioning of the actual chod rig itself and again this is where the long length of leadcore comes into play.
"I set the bottom bead (the one directly above the lead and below the chod hook link) at a distance of one foot away from the lead. The other thing I do with this bottom bead is to fix it so that it doesn't slide down towards the lead. I don't want the chod pulled down towards the lead during the fight as there is a danger that the hook can be twisted out by the lead as it swings around.
"The ring swivel I use is a size 11 and this is also a key element of the presentation. Anything larger will cause the chod rig to sit over at an awkward angle because of the weight of a larger swivel. The bead above is a semi-fixed bead that is positioned at the top end of the leadcore leader at a point of eight to nine feet away from the lead. I must stress at this stage that this top bead must be able to pass over the splice between mainline and leadcore leader to allow a safe set up and one that a carp can rid itself of should the mainline break. This now allows the chod rig to glide freely between the two beads on approximately an eight foot run. Once I've made the cast the chod naturally flies to the top end of the leadcore and when it settles on the bottom it's roughly eight feet away from the lead.
"Getting the chod rig itself right is also key and in my opinion, and from the catches that I've amassed over a long period of time, I've settled with a length of around two and half inches up off the deck. You'll also notice the very aggressive curve in the hook link material, it's intentional as I want the chod to spin around and get a good hook hold as soon as it is mouthed. The curve on the chod allows the hook to be sitting right inside the carp's mouth, in the right position for good hooking.
"Forming the curve is achieved by applying heat through my fingers and I tie the material to the ring swivel using a small overhand loop. Doing this allows me to incorporate a small loop at the back end of the material which in turn becomes a very stiff boom like part of the rig and keeps the base of the chod away from the leadcore on the cast! Hooks are a personal thing and all I would say is pick a pattern that you trust and ensure that they are extremely sharp as you're relying on your hook to prick the carp and catch in the fleshy part of the mouth as soon as it mouths the buoyant pop-up bait.
"Something that's really essential to making this method work to its full potential is to fish with the line in a slack position. This will provide you with instant indication, as once the carp picks up the chod, that movement is transmitted up the line to the rod tip. The lead is the last thing to come into play, so you are relying on movement on the line above the chod rig to give you indication on your buzzers. To maximise on this I always fish with the rod tips positioned high up. People look at my set up and think I do this for the fun of it. They're wrong. It's a key part of successful chod fishing in my book and it amplifies the movement of the line as the carp picks up the chod rig.
"When it comes to bait, bright, highly visual pop-ups score really well during the day and at night it's worth putting on a duller, more food-bait orientated pop-up and fishing it over a scattering of loose fed boilies. The Dynamite Baits Fluro Pop-Ups are, without doubt, the brightest Pop-Ups I have seen and are always my number one choice when fishing with this rig. At night I like the green Mussel & Anchovy or white Coconut Cream. My favourite day-time Pop-Ups are the orange Tutti Frutti or yellow Pineapple & Banana. I always tie the pop-ups on with dental floss. The dental floss is looped around the pop-up and knotted to a micro rig ring which has been attached to the hook on a d-rig set-up. This is the best way to present a pop-up hook bait in my book as it creates the correct angle between the hook bait and the hook point and optimises hooking.
"The great thing about this way of chod fishing is that you can literally cast it anywhere. You don't need to worry about what you're fishing over as the leadcore will sit over the top of weed and the light lead won't bury into deep silt. More importantly the way it's set up in this flying manner will not allow the carp to use the lead to eject the hook!"
Well there you have it, a great insight into the flying chod, a rig that Jim has tweaked to suit his own style of carp fishing, a style that's produced countless big carp for him in recent years.
Jim's Flying Chod Rig Top Tips
Tip 1 - Make sure the bottom bead is large enough so that the ring swivel cannot pass over it. The top bead needs to be loose enough so that it can slide off the leadcore under pressure to prevent tethered carp.
Tip 2 - Slide on a small length of silicone tubing below the bottom bead to lock it in place, about 12-inches above the lead.
Tip 3 - Curve the hook link by sliding your thumb and forefinger up the line to create heat. The line will naturally curve itself if you create the angle.
Tip 4 - This is what the end result should look like. All you need to do is attach the pop-up and cast it out!