Oz Holness talks about one of the most popular pop-up presentations of the modern era, the spinner rig!

You cannot fail to have noticed the impact on the rig world the Ronnie/Spinner has had over the past few years. A different spin, if you excuse the pun, on the uber-efficient 360 rig, without the pitfalls of having to correct the sometimes awkward and slightly agricultural nature of the 360. You certainly had to be ultra-cautious once a hooked fish was in the net using a 360 arrangement, waders were always required to unhook the fish quickly, ensuring the swivel didn’t catch in the net, potentially causing mouth damage.

It was the efficient rotation and low-lying presentation that was always so appealing, and they never seemed to fall off once hooked! Of course, the fact that the swivel rotated with the movement of the fish helped keep the hook neatly in place, aiding the hooked to landed ratio immensely. The setup really relied on a very specific pattern or shape of hook for its effectiveness due to the fact that you were threading the hook through the eye of a small swivel creating an angle, so for me this was another of its limitations.

I was immediately impressed with the Spinner style of setup, but was not entirely convinced it was any better than the pop-up arrangements I already used, and why fix what isn’t broken! I had read a lot of literature surrounding the use of the Spinner setup and had a lot of friends who used it in its various forms. The biggest thing that put me off using it extensively myself, was the amount of losses that seemed to occur on this particular setup. This could have been down to a number of reasons. Obviously, the swivel allows the hook to spin through 360 degrees and when fished on a big ring swivel there was always the chance of a hook-hold in less than ideal areas of the mouth. With the pattern of hook being championed for use with the rig being a swept shank and straight point, this could possibly have led to the fish being ‘bumped’ off. It seemed that losses either occurred very quickly after the take

or worse still, right at the end of the fight. For whatever reason, it seemed that there were a few issues that were not so prevalent with a 360. With a less than ideal hooked to landed ratio I steered clear and used my trusted arrangements.

The thing that eventually changed my mind was when a few friends and TA consultants began toying around with the same swivel arrangement, but they had changed the swept shank hook for our Curve Point pattern. A wide gaped hook with a subtle in-turned eye and a wickedly sharp claw-like point. The results were outstanding, and hook-holds bulletproof! Losses were almost unheard of and one of our team members landed upwards of 40 fish without a hook-pull. It was time to take another look!

I was immediately impressed with the Spinner style of setup, but was not entirely convinced it was any better than the pop-up arrangements I already used, and why fix what isn’t broken! I had read a lot of literature surrounding the use of the Spinner setup and had a lot of friends who used it in its various forms. The biggest thing that put me off using it extensively myself, was the amount of losses that seemed to occur on this particular setup. This could have been down to a number of reasons. Obviously, the swivel allows the hook to spin through 360 degrees and when fished on a big ring swivel there was always the chance of a hook-hold in less than ideal areas of the mouth. With the pattern of hook being championed for use with the rig being a swept shank and straight point, this could possibly have led to the fish being ‘bumped’ off. It seemed that losses either occurred very quickly after the take or worse still, right at the end of the fight. For whatever reason, it seemed that there were a few issues that were not so prevalent with a 360. With a less than ideal hooked to landed ratio I steered clear and used my trusted arrangements.

The thing that eventually changed my mind was when a few friends and TA consultants began toying around with the same swivel arrangement, but they had changed the swept shank hook for our Curve Point pattern. A wide gaped hook with a subtle in-turned eye and a wickedly sharp claw-like point. The results were outstanding, and hook-holds bulletproof! Losses were almost unheard of and one of our team members landed upwards of 40 fish without a hook-pull. It was time to take another look!

I spent the winter looking at all the variables and tested the setup with different sizes of pop-up until I came to a finished rig that I was happy with for my style of angling. For my spring fishing, I rely mainly on single hookbaits for visual daytime angling, spotting and casting at showing fish. The nights are spent fishing over lightly baited areas of small food items, mainly crumbed boilie, chopped nuts and small particles such as corn and hemp. Very often in these scenarios I use a small pop-up of around 12mm in size to match the food items on offer. I found the size five hook perfect in this scenario, a beautiful balance of strength, subtlety and gape, plus visually it just looked right for the job. My swivel of choice was the PTFE Size 11 Quick Link that offered a really subtle, stealthy look to the finished rig and suited the way I would tie the hooklink. Camsoft is my hooklink of choice in 25lb. It’s a thin diameter coated braid that I could utilize a loop knot at both ends with, but without the coating breaking. This was the key; I wanted the loops to add extra travel and movement to the rig wherever it had settled and

I wanted the loops to add extra travel and movement to the rig wherever it had settled and I wanted to be able to add my own critical amounts of putty to the knot of the loop to fine tune how the pop-up sank as I didn’t want this to be dictated by the weight of the swivel. For instance, if I was fishing over light new weed growth, particularly silkweed, I wanted the pop-up critically balanced and the bead on my Heli arrangement pushed well up the leader. If I was fishing my baited spots at night and early morning, I would overweight the pop-up to pin it down on the harder areas and stop it being moved around in an un-natural manner. Of course, with the Camsoft, I could match the colour to the substrate being angled over; it is all about those percentages of course! This arrangement was fished on my favourite helicopter leader system and was full of travel and free movement whatever way I chose to fish. For later on in the year, when I prefer to use more of a boilie focused approach and the weed is up, a size four hook and a 16mm ‘match the hatch’ pop-up really does look the one!

I spent the winter looking at all the variables and tested the setup with different sizes of pop-up until I came to a finished rig that I was happy with for my style of angling. For my spring fishing, I rely mainly on single hookbaits for visual daytime angling, spotting and casting at showing fish. The nights are spent fishing over lightly baited areas of small food items, mainly crumbed boilie, chopped nuts and small particles such as corn and hemp. Very often in these scenarios I use a small pop-up of around 12mm in size to match the food items on offer. I found the size five hook perfect in this scenario, a beautiful balance of strength, subtlety and gape, plus visually it just looked right for the job. My swivel of choice was the PTFE Size 11 Quick Link that offered a really subtle, stealthy look to the finished rig and suited the way I would tie the hooklink. Camsoft is my hooklink of choice in 25lb. It’s a thin diameter coated braid that I could utilize a loop knot at both ends with, but without the coating breaking. This was the key; I wanted the loops to add extra travel and movement to the rig wherever it had settled and I wanted to be able to add my own critical amounts of putty to the knot of the loop to fine tune how the pop-up sank as I didn’t want this to be dictated by the weight of the swivel. For instance, if I was fishing over light new weed growth, particularly silkweed, I wanted the pop-up critically balanced and the bead on my Heli arrangement pushed well up the leader. If I was fishing my baited spots at night and early morning, I would overweight the pop-up to pin it down on the harder areas and stop it being moved around in an un-natural manner. Of course, with the Camsoft, I could match the colour to the substrate being angled over; it is all about those percentages of course! This arrangement was fished on my favourite helicopter leader system and was full of travel and free movement whatever way I chose to fish. For later on in the year, when I prefer to use more of a boilie focused approach and the weed is up, a size four hook and a 16mm ‘match the hatch’ pop-up really does look the one!

Step-By-Step
The Subtle Spinner Rig

Without a doubt, the PTFE swivels enhance the mechanics of the rig with their super slick rotation, and the loops at either end of the Camsoft seem to really allow that built in free movement to gain the best hook-holds – a bit like a

looped Hinge Stiff Rig. But the real game changer for me was incorporating that beak point hook, the Curve Point. As my mate Ben says: ‘Like a bramble; you can’t go past without it grabbing you!’

Without a doubt, the PTFE swivels enhance the mechanics of the rig with their super slick rotation, and the loops at either end of the Camsoft seem to really allow that built in free movement to gain the best hook-holds – a bit like a looped Hinge Stiff Rig. But the real game changer for me was incorporating that beak point hook, the Curve Point. As my mate Ben says: ‘Like a bramble; you can’t go past without it grabbing you!’

LATEST ARTICLES

Thinking Caps – September

In this latest instalment of Thinking Caps, we ask Jonny Fletcher, Mitch Hammonds and Lewis Read how their autumn approach differs from other seasons.