Combine fake with real maggots on the rig
This is another version of the maggot carp rig but, it uses fake maggots to achieve the buoyancy. In certain situations this type can work best as the fake maggots are held more securely and the carp rig will last much longer. I never have to worry if the maggots have been pulled off by any smaller, nuisance fish. Also, the maggots cannot bury themselves into any silt and become hidden from any passing carp.
The beauty in using a critically balanced carp rig is that it becomes easier to shoot into a carps mouth when it sucks at, or around the rig. This makes it a little easier to catch wary carp. If you use a standard bait then the carp must suck up the bait plus the weight of the hook and clip. This does make a big difference to some carp and they will often know it's different to the surrounding free bait, this can be enough to spook some of the wiser, and bigger carp away from the baited area.
The sponge can also be used to add liquid smells to the rig for additional carp attraction.
You may find it better to make the hair shorter than shown in the illustration above!
Thread the fake maggots onto the clip. You can use varying colours to match the free maggots.
I always trim the sponge until I get perfect balance. Although, remember to test while the sponge in wet, in other words don't dry it after each test. A dry sponge is more buoyant than when its had chance to take on water. I often squeeze the sponge fully then gently release it under water in order to draw the water in. This is much quicker than leaving it to soak.
In the above photo you can see how it looks in water, the fake maggots are a few millimetres off the bottom. The rig is so buoyant that if any carp sucks at the bait or near it, the rig will fly into its mouth. If the hook is made to turn efficiently it will make this carp rig very effective for catching carp.
I always like to soak the rig in a liquid attractant for a few days so that the sponge absorbs plenty of flavour. I find an oil based flavour is best, especially one with light oil to make the flavour to travel upwards through the water and attract any carp passing above.
Or if you don't like using fake baits, why not combine them. Instead of all fake maggots why not add a little movement to the carp rig by adding a few real maggots.
In the photo above I added one red maggot on the left, it changes the buoyancy a little, but this can be best in certain situations, the real maggots enable the rig to sink that little further to touch the bottom. This can be much better if you spod out free maggots to induce the carp into feeding.