The helicopter rig can help you catch fish in some situations. It is commonly used for carp fishing in the United Kingdom and Europe. But it has applications for different species all around the world. The helicopter rig is best when you want to fish on the bottom but the lake floor is made up of silt or weed.
With a standard slip sinker rig, your weight slides on the line and the hook and bait are on the terminal end. This works well in most situations. But if you throw this sort of rig out into silt, sludge or weed, there is a good chance your bait will get buried.
With a helicopter rig, your weight is attached at the end. Then the hook and bait slide freely along the main line. If you cast onto a soft bottom the weigh might become submerged, but the bait and hook will slide up the line so that they stay on top of the substrate. That wait the fish can still find and eat your bait.
Helicopter rigs do work great for carp. But they can also be used to catch catfish and other bottom dwellers in similar soggy conditions. All you really have to do is match your hook and weight to the conditions.
You can purchase ready made helicopter rigs like this Cuticate Helicopter Rig online. They’re not always easy to find in the United States, but if you look around they are available. Most times the pre-tied rigs like this ESP 1 M Helicopter will lack a sinker. But all you have to do is snap or tie a bell sinker onto the end. You can also use sinkers like grabber leads that are specially made for carp fishing.
Component kits for helicopter rigs are a little easier to find. Then you have to put the rigs together yourself. The truth is that it is not very difficult. And you don’t need to make rigs as complicated as the helicopters they use in the United Kingdom.
If you want to tie your own helicopter rigs you really only need a few things. First you need a hair rig or a simple hook on a leader. You attach that to a swivel. Then you run your main line through the swivel so that the hook can slide up and down freely. Next you slide a bead on your line. Finally you attach a fixed sinker at the end of your main line. And that’s really it.
You can add more things to fit a given situation. For example, you can add silicon tubing to keep a piece of the rig straight, or to prevent tangles. You can add more beads to protect knots or aid in sliding. And you can try different kinds of sinkers. You have to tinker with this rig to find what works best for you. But that’s true of many fishing rigs we use.
The helicopter rig is nice to have around for specific situations. If you are bottom fishing and you find your bait sinking into the substrate, try using one. You might find that you catch fish instead of just reeling in a hook covered with much or rotten leaves.