Want to catch those very rare bankside visitors in your lake? Joe Hubble has developed a rig that can put those extra-wary fish in your net.
I first heard of Triggalink in about 2007, one of the other lads from Nash had a sample of and I had a bit of a play around with it, like you do. It looked the business to me, certainly very different from anything else that was available then, or now for that matter. The only trouble was I had to wait a few months before I could actually get my hands on some! For those who don’t know, the beauty of Triggalink is that it is a stretching link material. It’s like any other braid to tie and work with when rig making but because it contains PVA fibres once it gets into water it becomes stretchy, like a mini bungee. Amazingly, reel it in, towel it off and it reverts back to its original state. The advantages in terms of loading up pressure on a hook point or preventing carp shaking hooks out are just the start.
First time back on my syndicate in June I had three fish in three nights - a really good result on a tough lake. I had a fish called the First Forty at a spawned-out 33lb, one called Split Barb, which is well known as a once a year fish, (and normally a winter capture) plus a double. I used it right through that year and ended up with five thirties a quite a few twenties on the rig. Whether I would have caught the same using other rigs I just don’t know, but I certainly had a lot of confidence in what I was doing.
“I was getting some unusual bites when using the Triggalink”
As you do, over the next few seasons I drifted in and out of using it. One thing that I did begin to notice though was that I was getting some unusual bites when using the Triggalink. Most still took off on the take, but every so often I would get these twitchy bites with just the odd beep and the bobbin ever so slightly moving up and down. I came to the conclusion that these could well be bonus fish - the ones that often get away with it, the carp that don’t tear off, but just sit there and try to get rid of the hook.
I guess I am like most anglers, even though the Triggalink rig was working well, I tended to drift off and use other rigs, before swapping back to it every now and again. Often it would be starting on a new venue that would see me swapping the rods back to the Triggalink, as I felt that it was unlikely that the fish would have seen it before. I think by swapping my rigs around I do get a better idea of what does and doesn’t work, and it became apparent that many of my better fish and the ones that are infrequent visitors to the bank have come to the Triggalink. It’s really odd, but a definite pattern has emerged.
“…the ones that are infrequent visitors to the bank have come to the Triggalink”
Kevin Nash invited me to fish his Church Lake in 2011 and I knew that it was weedy, so I decided to fish with Triggalink but with a long shrink tube extension on the hook shank to beat the silkweed. With a slow-sinking pop-up this rig sits perfectly over silkweed. That session I had ten bites and landed six of them. The best fish was a 45-pounder, along with three thirties and a couple of twenties.
When I left the rigs were still attached to my rods, and so when on my next session back on my regular water I arrived in the dark I decided to keep the same rigs on as the hooks were still nice and sharp. It was a venue that I knew really well and I know all of the fish. The next morning though I had a 31-pounder which I didn’t recognize at all. Eventually one of the other lads found a picture of the same fish, last caught about six years previously at 26 lb. Once again it was weird how this rig had caught me one of the really rare fish.
At the start of this season I said to Alan Blair that I was going to go back onto the Triggalink and give it a really good go to finally work out what was going on. Well, to cut a long story short, on my third night fishing on my syndicate lake I caught one of my target fish at 47lb. Then the weed came up and I stopped using, because I prefer it over a clean bottom or low-lying weed. Then I went back to Church, put the Triggalink back on and caught The Big Simmo at 49lb.
So, I have caught three 45 lb-plus fish on it and I wonder now why I haven’t used it more! I believe Triggalink has certainly brought me some bonus fish that I might not have otherwise caught. The stretch in the hooklength helps to cushion the effect of a carp swinging its head to dislodge the hook. In fact, if you try it on your finger with a light lead you will find that it is almost impossible to dislodge the hook, thanks to the stretch. I think that is the main reason that it catches out the odd fish that are more accomplished at getting rid of the hook.
I’ve developed and refined a rig tied with Triggalink that used with a scattering of boilies and over a clean bottom or light weed will often deliver a nice bonus that I might not otherwise have caught. If you want to see how to tie it – click the link below for a full step by step picture sequence.