One of carp fishing’s most essential end tackle is the boilie stop. While it is something most carp anglers take for granted, many beginners and people who are not familiar with the sport often wonder what this tiny piece of plastic or rubber actually does and how to use it. That is why I decided to answer the commonly asked question: what are boilie stops?
Boilie stops, which are also called hair or bait stops, are inserted into the loop at the end of the bottom rig’s hair in order to literally stop the boilie, which is also threaded onto the hair, from falling off. Boilie stops are usually made of plastic or rubber. While being extremely tiny and easy to miss, they are a highly essential part of your carp rig.
This article will tell you what exactly boilie stops are, how to actually put them on and which types you should use for your carp fishing.
What Exactly Are Boilie Stops?
Boilie stops are very small and short pieces of plastic or rubber that are inserted into the hair loop of your rig in order to prevent the boilie from sliding or falling off. This can happen when:
- you cast out your rig
- you reel in your rig
- a carp is picking up your boilie from the bottom
- bait-thieving crayfish are in your swim
- you are using a pop-up that eventually slides off your hair due to its buoyancy
As the name so aptly suggests, a boilie stop effectively stops the boilie from sliding and keeps it on the hair. Even though it is such a tiny detail, it is an extremely smart invention that has improved carp fishing immensely.
Due to their short length and flexibility, boilie stops will fit the curved shape of any boilie or pop-up and will be barely noticeable.
Underwater, they will merely look like a tiny dot on your bottom bait and won’t cause any suspicion among the feeding carp in your swim.
How Do You Use a Boilie Stop?
The way to use a boilie stop is as simple as it is effective! All you have to do is to put your boilie or pop-up on your hair, using a bait needle.
Step 1) Simply put your boilie onto your needle, hook the needle to the hair loop, and then pull the hair all the way through the boilie so that the hair loop becomes fully visible.
Step 2) Now, take a length of attached boilie stops and insert one of them into the hair loop.
Step 3) Next simply pull the boilie close to the stop so that the loop tightens around it and cut off the remaining length of boilie stops.
And there you go, all done! You have now successfully attached a bait stop to your carp rig!
What Boilie Stops Should You Use?
While being a very essential part of carp fishing, boilie stops are not really advanced or high-end tackle. Most conventional plastic or rubber stops that can be bought in most fishing stores will do a perfectly fine job.
Of course, there are plenty of very low-quality alternatives out there as well. I have had boilie stops which broke into two pieces after a short period of time, which were far too flexible and bendy, or which were just too small or too big for my hair loops.
The latter can be extra annoying when trying to put on that stop in the middle of the night and it just won’t fit!
This is why having a variety of boilie stop shapes and sizes is the best way of ensuring that you will always have the right stop for your hair and bait.
It can be a smart move to bring stops that are suitable for both normal conditions (simple dumbell rubber stops) and tougher ones, for example crayfish that can actually take off the boilies top and steal your bait or far way swims that require long-distance casts (extended plastic stops that will go into the bait for extra security).
As there is so little material involved, you can buy a great number of boilie stops for very little money. Just put them into your carryall or tackle box so that you will always have them with you when fishing. This way, you won’t have to think about buying or bringing them for years to come.
A complete set of high-quality bait stops that will fit any type of boilie or pop-up can be found on Amazon (UK): here
Do You Always Have to Use a Stop When Fishing With Boilies?
As boilies, or pop-ups, are almost always fished on some type of hair rig, you will have to use boilie stops when fishing with them.
Otherwise, you will always have the risk of losing your bait underwater or when casting out your rig. A boilie stop is simply a part of the hair rig set-up and needed in order to ensure an optimal bait presentation.
Exceptions can be rigs such as the D-rig, chod rig, or Ronnie rig, which instead are used in combination with bait floss or bait screws in order to keep the bait in place.
Can You Put A Boilie Directly on The Hook?
While you could technically put your boilie on your hook, it would serve little to no purpose, as boilies are rather hard baits that tend to crack open very easily.
This makes it both very difficult to put a hook through it and for the boilie to actually remain on the hook for long.
It would be equally pointless to bury the hook point in the boilie, as you sometimes do with sweetcorn or other softer baits, as it simply couldn’t penetrate through the boilie and into the fish’s lip.
Instead, you should always out fish your boilies on a hair.
How Do You Tie a Basic Hair Rig?
The hair rig is one of carp fishing most commonly used rigs and a perfect fit for beginners, due to its simplicity. However, this does by no means imply that it won’t catch you a ton of carp!
To this day, I am fishing the conventional hair rig whenever possible, as it is so versatile, effective, and time-saving. Never underestimate simplicity when it comes to carp fishing!
In order to quickly learn how to tie the hair rig, you can either check out this YouTube video:
Or read the helpful guide article I have written on the topic: How to Make a Hair Rig (An Illustrative Guide)
Either one will help you acquire the necessary skills to tie perfect hair rigs, and together with this article on boilie stops, you will be ready to catch plenty of carp.