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Carp Fishing

Making a Helicopter rig

The Fox helicopter rig - Part 1 | Part 2
Ken Townley
Fox Pro-Consultants team
The helicopter rig is ideally suited to long range fishing. Acknowledged distance casters have long been firm favourites of the set up and it is often the helicopter rig of choice when an exceptionally long cast is called for. In practical terms it's a bolt rig as the fish has to pull against the lead to get the bait. This usually causes it to bolt. Of course, you can use long confidence set ups helicopter style, but long braided hook lengths are very prone to tangling even when fished on a helicopter set up. For this reason I do not advise you to use a helicopter rig if you want to fish confidence rather than anti-eject rigs. Nor do I recommend them for margin fishing as a running lead will be much more effective under these circumstances. The one exception to this is where deep silt is experienced. The helicopter rig can then be used to place a hook bait on top of the silt by positioning the Helicopter bead anything from 6 inches to several feet above the lead prior to casting.

It is a good idea to attach a length of either heavy nylon, 45lb Quicksilver or 35lb/45lb lead core to the reel line. I do this for the simple reason that during the fight the knot that connects the lead to the line comes under considerable pressure. This pressure is exerted in such a way that your main line becomes considerably weakened, possibly by as much as 25%. By adding a stronger braid or nylon to absorb this pressure you build in a safety net against the knot becoming weakened.

Personally I prefer to use Fox Lead Core as this not only serves the purpose just outlined, it also pins down the all important length of line in the vicinity of the lead and hookbait, thus preventing the line from coming into contact with the carp as it approaches the hook bait. In these photos the lead cores in question are either the 35lb or the 45lb versions from Fox International. First you need to remove some of the lead core so as to leave behind the braid outer. In this photo you can see the section of lead core that I have taken out and you will find this is very easy to remove simply by sliding the braid along the inner core of lead. The lead can then be cut or broken off with your finger nails.
Take a splicing needle and carefully nick the curved point through the outer braid about 2.5cm from the end of the braid. Push the needle through so that it runs through the centre of the braid until it comes out of the end of the braid. Use a match to singe the end of the braid while it is still in place on the splicing needle. This will stop the end from fraying. Make a loop in the end of your main line, catch it in the lip of the splicing needle, and pull it through the braided outer of the lead core. With the lead removed this is very easy to do.

PLEASE NOTE: I have used red Fox Magic Marker here simply for photographic clarity. The knot is very easy to form.
First take the lead core and make a turn over the loop in the nylon. Now take the end of the lead core and pass it twice through the loop. Moisten the nylon and braid and gently pull on both parts of the nylon. The knot will snag itself down. Now slide the braid back on itself to bunch up against the knot prior to cutting away the tag end of the nylon. One trimmed, the braid can be slid back from the knot. The knot thus formed is no thicker than the braid itself and the Helicopter bead can now be slid down the main line onto the lead core.

You will note how thin the knot is and the Bead will pass completely freely over it. In the event of a break the upper Teardrop Bead will pull off the spigot and, along with the hooklink swivel, will pass freely over the Keith Moors Knot that joins the nylon to the lead core. The Fox Helicopter Bead comes with a Speed Link which allows you to change the lead where necessary or remove it entirely to protect the rod in transport.

helicopter rig READ Part 2

Ken Townley
Fox Pro-Consultants team
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