LEWIS READ BREAKS DOWN THE HISTORY OF THE FAMOUS RONNIE RIG AND HOW TO GET THE BEST FROM IT.

LEWIS READ BREAKS DOWN THE HISTORY OF THE FAMOUS RONNIE RIG AND HOW TO GET THE BEST FROM IT.

Some presentations, like God’s own ‘Hinged Stiff Rig’ were just right to start with, with the term ‘timeless classic’ quite justifiably applicable in that case. How long has it been since the new rig on the block was released? It must have been at least 5 or 6 years since the Ronnie was ‘outed’ by now. Where has the time flown…

Since those crazy days there’s been more than the usual rig histrionics, but long after the radioactive fallout has slowly settled, dusting across the carp angling landscape, the Ronnie/Spinner rig is still there catching LOADS of carps, and it doesn’t look like it is going to stop any time soon. That in itself begs us to ask the question, why? After taking into account just how many fish have been caught on the presentation and just how much they have been used, it makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Critical to its success is certainly the fact that the pop-up is fished very low to the lake bed – and with those big bulbous eyes positioned on either side of the carps head it’s unlikely that the (big) fish can visually inspect a hookbait – at least certainly not when they’re on the final approach- those big rubbery lips and extendable mouth tentatively snuffling forward, nearer and nearer until the rig wafts inside. Bingo!

There is an element of the hookbait being kept tight to the hook too so no matter how tentatively the fish creeps in and mouths the hookbait there is an extremely strong likelihood that the hook point will be within the carp’s mouth far enough and for long enough to have a very good chance of hooking it.

Part of the Ronnie’s popularity must undoubtedly be linked with the ease of uniform construction. There are no tricky knots to learn, bits of line to burn or curves to form. It’s almost like Carpy Meccano, and consequently it’s hard not to put it together correctly! As long as the components that you use are reliable what can go wrong! In essence, not a lot…

The necessary flexi hook swivel should be reliable/strong, and just as importantly offer minimal resistance to rotating. This is where PTFE coated swivels inch ahead of standard black coated components, as the finish ensures the rotation is smooth and slippery – even when twisting under tension. Of course, it’s a relatively small detail and easy to overlook compared to the position of the hook Bead or checking the hook point is exquisitely and superlatively sharp, but if a small incremental improvement catches you the occasional bonus fish, then it’s a no-brainer!

Some presentations, like God’s own ‘Hinged Stiff Rig’ were just right to start with, with the term ‘timeless classic’ quite justifiably applicable in that case. How long has it been since the new rig on the block was released? It must have been at least 5 or 6 years since the Ronnie was ‘outed’ by now. Where has the time flown…

Since those crazy days there’s been more than the usual rig histrionics, but long after the radioactive fallout has slowly settled, dusting across the carp angling landscape, the Ronnie/Spinner rig is still there catching LOADS of carps, and it doesn’t look like it is going to stop any time soon. That in itself begs us to ask the question, why? After taking into account just how many fish have been caught on the presentation and just how much they have been used, it makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Critical to its success is certainly the fact that the pop-up is fished very low to the lake bed – and with those big bulbous eyes positioned on either side of the carps head it’s unlikely that the (big) fish can visually inspect a hookbait – at least certainly not when they’re on the final approach- those big rubbery lips and extendable mouth tentatively snuffling forward, nearer and nearer until the rig wafts inside. Bingo!

There is an element of the hookbait being kept tight to the hook too so no matter how tentatively the fish creeps in and mouths the hookbait there is an extremely strong likelihood that the hook point will be within the carp’s mouth far enough and for long enough to have a very good chance of hooking it.

Part of the Ronnie’s popularity must undoubtedly be linked with the ease of uniform construction. There are no tricky knots to learn, bits of line to burn or curves to form. It’s almost like Carpy Meccano, and consequently it’s hard not to put it together correctly! As long as the components that you use are reliable what can go wrong! In essence, not a lot…

The necessary flexi hook swivel should be reliable/strong, and just as importantly offer minimal resistance to rotating. This is where PTFE coated swivels inch ahead of standard black coated components, as the finish ensures the rotation is smooth and slippery – even when twisting under tension. Of course, it’s a relatively small detail and easy to overlook compared to the position of the hook Bead or checking the hook point is exquisitely and superlatively sharp, but if a small incremental improvement catches you the occasional bonus fish, then it’s a no-brainer!

Ronnie Rig Components

1.Perfect Positioning

The hook bead should always be positioned opposite the barb.

2.Free Turning

A PTFE hookbait swivel ensures the hookbait can both spin but move up and down the shank effortlessly.

3.Smooth Rig Putty

Just the right amount, all lovingly moulded around the shrink tubing.

4.Hooklink Choice

You know the drill by now: long or soft hooklinks on lead clips, and short mono/fluorocarbon hooklinks on Helicopter arrangements.

Ronnie Rig Components

1.Perfect Positioning

The hook bead should always be positioned opposite the barb.

2.Free Turning

A PTFE hookbait swivel ensures the hookbait can both spin but move up and down the shank effortlessly.

3.Smooth Rig Putty

Just the right amount, all lovingly moulded around the shrink tubing.

4.Hooklink Choice

You know the drill by now: long or soft hooklinks on lead clips, and short mono/fluorocarbon hooklinks on Helicopter arrangements.

“Part of the Ronnie’s popularity must undoubtedly be linked with the ease of uniform construction. There are no tricky knots to learn, bits of line to burn or curves to form”

“Part of the Ronnie’s popularity must undoubtedly be linked with the ease of uniform construction. There are no tricky knots to learn, bits of line to burn or curves to form”

The original rig, devised by Ronnie and the Apache on Elstow, utilised a very strong/heavy braid to tie the hook to the swivel together and to form a slip-D style loop of braid to mount the hookbait onto. How things have changed, as the Quick Link swivels meant that join could be made bomb proof – which is an important consideration when we elected to publicise the rig. To be brutally honest, I was a little scared at the potential consequences of poorly tied on hooks, held on by a couple of granny knots. If 99% went out tied perfectly alright, that would have still left a lot of questionable strength rigs that could potentially leave a hook in a fish’s mouth (avoidably). Who says the industry has no morals…

So in the context of the metal-Micky version of the rig there’s really only a few areas related to the construction that need to be covered, as there’s not a lot that can go wrong!

If you consider the sheer volume of instruction and information available, related just directly to the Ronnie then it’s hard to understand how it is possible to get one wrong. The slight variation that I see is mainly in terms of small issues, such as the position of the Hook Bead.

In finite terms, the final position of the hook stop is largely dictated by the pattern of hook, the size of hookbait (IMPORTANT) and the size/type of swivel (or Hook Ring Swivels) being used to mount the hookbait. If you’re using a standard small swivel on the hook shank, then the hook stop should probably be positioned a little further up to the bend than would ideally be required with the ringed version. This is not only because of the extra length of the Hook Ring Swivel, but also because the angle between the hook shank and the standard swivel acts as a lever – literally pushing the hook over and accentuating the aggressive claw action...

I have always considered the way the Ronnie sits like a claw to be one of its greatest attributes, and quite possibly the very reason why the rig seems to remain effective even once the hookbait is past its prime in terms of buoyancy. Quite honestly, there are hookbaits that I will happily use for Ronnie’s that I wouldn’t dream of putting onto a Hinged Stiff Rig or Chod, as I know the higher hook section will be leaning like the Tower of Pisa in a few hours, whereas I’ll happily put one of those out on a Ronnie and leave it out for 24/36 hours. It seems there is a direct correlation between pop-up height and buoyancy with most rigs, with high pop-up rig mechanics requiring more buoyant hookbaits. Come to think of it, I know anglers who catch well using the straight Ronnie with wafters – though I prefer the similar mechanics but more controlled layout of the German and Turbo German.

Small hookbaits seem to rule, at least if you fish the hookbait close to the hook, and when you play with the rig it’s clear to see why. Larger hookbaits can impede the rotation and free movement of the hook, so my go to is 12 or 14mm hookbaits on a lovely size 4 Curve Shank. It’s a combo that just works, and the small hookbait is helpful if you’re fishing at maximum range, reducing air resistance and helping add a few valuable feet to your screaming banshee long chuck…

Hooks don’t have to be Curve Shank patterns; for instance, our Oz loves a Beaked Point, so in reality you can construct the old Ronnie with almost any hook pattern (as the angle is set with shrink tube). Whatever you choose I would say go big on hook size if you’re fishing for chunks. If you’re predominantly fishing for fish in the upper-double to mid-twenty bracket, then the general consensus is certainly that dropping down to a size 5 or 6 hook helps create more consistent secure hook holds.

The original rig, devised by Ronnie and the Apache on Elstow, utilised a very strong/heavy braid to tie the hook to the swivel together and to form a slip-D style loop of braid to mount the hookbait onto. How things have changed, as the Quick Link swivels meant that join could be made bomb proof – which is an important consideration when we elected to publicise the rig. To be brutally honest, I was a little scared at the potential consequences of poorly tied on hooks, held on by a couple of granny knots. If 99% went out tied perfectly alright, that would have still left a lot of questionable strength rigs that could potentially leave a hook in a fish’s mouth (avoidably). Who says the industry has no morals…

So in the context of the metal-Micky version of the rig there’s really only a few areas related to the construction that need to be covered, as there’s not a lot that can go wrong!

If you consider the sheer volume of instruction and information available, related just directly to the Ronnie then it’s hard to understand how it is possible to get one wrong. The slight variation that I see is mainly in terms of small issues, such as the position of the Hook Bead.

In finite terms, the final position of the hook stop is largely dictated by the pattern of hook, the size of hookbait (IMPORTANT) and the size/type of swivel (or Hook Ring Swivels) being used to mount the hookbait. If you’re using a standard small swivel on the hook shank, then the hook stop should probably be positioned a little further up to the bend than would ideally be required with the ringed version. This is not only because of the extra length of the Hook Ring Swivel, but also because the angle between the hook shank and the standard swivel acts as a lever – literally pushing the hook over and accentuating the aggressive claw action...

I have always considered the way the Ronnie sits like a claw to be one of its greatest attributes, and quite possibly the very reason why the rig seems to remain effective even once the hookbait is past its prime in terms of buoyancy. Quite honestly, there are hookbaits that I will happily use for Ronnie’s that I wouldn’t dream of putting onto a Hinged Stiff Rig or Chod, as I know the higher hook section will be leaning like the Tower of Pisa in a few hours, whereas I’ll happily put one of those out on a Ronnie and leave it out for 24/36 hours. It seems there is a direct correlation between pop-up height and buoyancy with most rigs, with high pop-up rig mechanics requiring more buoyant hookbaits. Come to think of it, I know anglers who catch well using the straight Ronnie with wafters – though I prefer the similar mechanics but more controlled layout of the German and Turbo German.

Small hookbaits seem to rule, at least if you fish the hookbait close to the hook, and when you play with the rig it’s clear to see why. Larger hookbaits can impede the rotation and free movement of the hook, so my go to is 12 or 14mm hookbaits on a lovely size 4 Curve Shank. It’s a combo that just works, and the small hookbait is helpful if you’re fishing at maximum range, reducing air resistance and helping add a few valuable feet to your screaming banshee long chuck…

Hooks don’t have to be Curve Shank patterns; for instance, our Oz loves a Beaked Point, so in reality you can construct the old Ronnie with almost any hook pattern (as the angle is set with shrink tube). Whatever you choose I would say go big on hook size if you’re fishing for chunks. If you’re predominantly fishing for fish in the upper-double to mid-twenty bracket, then the general consensus is certainly that dropping down to a size 5 or 6 hook helps create more consistent secure hook holds.

“Larger hookbaits can impede the rotation and free movement of the hook, so my go to is 12 or 14mm hookbaits on a lovely size 4 Curve Shank”

“Larger hookbaits can impede the rotation and free movement of the hook, so my go to is 12 or 14mm hookbaits on a lovely size 4 Curve Shank”

Booms and hooklinks should, as in all angling scenarios, be dictated by the nature of the lakebed, presence of weed and linked to that the lead arrangement you choose for that specific situation… *You know the drill by now – long or soft hooklinks on lead clips and short mono/fluorocarbon hooklinks on Helicopter arrangements.

Just like the hinged stiff rigs I also think there are benefits for having the Ronnie on a loop to allow greater movement, which is a particularly important consideration, especially when angling for big fish that’s often overlooked… Mounting the hook on a Quick Link Swivel (without the redundant ring) makes a lovely clean clutter free presentation with plenty of movement. As a good starting point, I’d suggest sticking with your favorite sized loop - and if you haven’t used looped rigs either then I would suggest that loops about 10mm long is a good starting point. Smaller loops seem to look more balanced with the low pop-up, but if you like big loops try them anyway – as they say there’s always more than one way to skin a can…

There seems to be a couple of distinct schools of thought with regards to the positioning of the counterbalance putty – on the hook itself or on the hooklink side of the swivel. It’s one of those minor details that I could claim is right or wrong. In reality it is personal choice and I genuinely do not think it makes that much difference! The only real difference is the finite height of the hookbait. If the rig putty is moulded around the shrink tube the hook will naturally settle down a couple of mm lower than it would with the counter weight the other side of the Ringed Quick Link Swivels. So, theoretically, the later could theoretically have a slight advantage when it comes to fishing over particularly dirty spots, where having that little increase in height might help – but in all honesty if it's that bad then a higher pop-up presentation may actually be a better alternative.

Having fished Ronnie Rigs for so long I have already gone through my ‘bored of this rig’ stage - after using it a hell of a lot for several years – and after briefly flirting with all sorts I now find myself back on the Ronnie and it’s performing absolutely perfectly… Yes, it is a hugely popular rig, but there is a very good reason for that. It’s bloody awesome…

DON’T STRESS TOO MUCH ABOUT PUTTY PLACEMENT, IT DOESN’T MAKE THAT MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE.

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