The Helicopter Carp Rig




About: I am the Managing Director of Angling Lines. We offer carp fishing in France at 36 lakes.

Chas Cook is the owner of Vaux French carp lake.  This is the 5th article in an excellent series which gives you instruction on how to construct a series of carp rigs he’s used to great effect for his carp fishing in France. You can read all the articles here.

Both of the following rigs have, once again, been used to great effect when fishing to open water marks using the bag and double foamed hook length, so that neither rig sinks into the silt.  They are particularly effective when fishing to far banks, islands and lily pads over lake bottoms of sand and gravel.  Takes result in drop backs on swingers and single beeps on buzzers as the carp leave the bank and islands on the reverse.  The weight of the lead rapidly transfers to the point of the hook; in these situations 12lb fluorocarbon mainline is used, 30lb low profile leaders and semi tight clutches – not bait runners.

Bottom baits are used when carp are feeding along the far banks, but in the summer when  temperatures are higher, they spend more time in the pads or on the surface under the trees along the far bank and so 40-60mm pop-ups are used on a chod set-up.  Zig rigs can also be used off both helicopter set-ups, fishing to variable depths of water wherever the carp are lying in the lake and using 30-50mm pop-ups apple core shaped.  The zigs are designed to put the rigs as close as possible to the basking carp;  even if they are not feeding, carp at rest will naturally try to take a pop-up if a zig drops close to them.

Step 1:

In-line Lead Helicopter Rig (set up retaining the lead)

Component Parts

*  3oz – 5oz inline lead

*  Standard tail rubber cut @ 450

*  Swivel with wide bore one end

Step 2:

*  Standard reverse inline lead helicopter set-up

*  Swivel placed onto extended sleeve

*  3oz inline lead

Step 3:

*  Tail rubber placed on lead sleeve but NOT pushed tight

Step 4:

*  30lb low profile fluorocarbon leader with swivel already attached passes through the centre of the lead

*  Q ring attached

*  Longer hook length (shown) is a bottom bait set-up

*  A shorter hook length (not shown) would be a helicopter or a chod set-up

Step 5:

*  Hook length attached to Q ring

*  Funnel web bag attached to Q ring

*  Bottom bait of hook length set up

Step 6:

Distance Lead Helicopter Rig (set up dropping the lead)

Component Parts

*  Lead core leader

*  Rubber bead

*  Wide bore swivel

*  Extended tail rubber

*  Inline 3oz-5oz distance lead

*  Standard size 8 swivel

Step 7:

*  Wide bore swivel goes over the end of the tail rubber

*  Rubber bead is pulled/pushed on to the end of the extended tail rubber

Step 8:

*  Greased tail rubber pushed onto the sleeve of the distance lead

*  Lead core leader is drawn over the outside of the distance lead and passes through the tail rubber

Step 9:

*  Swivel goes into the bottom of the distance lead

*  Leader is then drawn tight over the profile of the lead

*  Q ring attached to the eye of the swivel at the same point as the lead core is attached

Step 10:

*  Rig set to show a bottom bait

*  PVA bag containing carp and trout pellets attached to the Q ring

Step 11:

*  On the take from the fish the lead is dropped, the helicopter component parts slide down over the leader onto the leader swivel

Fishing Holiday in France at Vaux

Step 12:



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    20 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    FYI in EUROPE Carp fishing is 'THE" sport fish. Similar to bass tournaments in the states...few years ago I read about it in "In-fisherman" magazine. guy won serious money (like 50K) for the bounty fish (biggest of the tourney)..a 40lb'r...not bad for a garbage fish....oh and try fighting em on some 8lb test of lighter...more fight than that bass, thats for sure...dont knock em till you rocked em...


    6 years ago on Introduction

    In Europe, Carp are served as Christmas dinner in several countries. My wife is from Slovakia and as a guest, at her parents home, I have been served carp many times. I see no real difference in carp and catfish as far as "clean" fish as both are "bottom feeders". Bones? well a good fillet knife can take care of most of that. Oily? Most carp is fried as far as I know, anyway.
    My suggestion? Well, eat them. Could help with overpopulation problems and
    help fill a few plates for hungry mates. So go "menace" a few and try it. You just might like it.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I'm not a fan of carp. I just put corn on a weighted hook and reel them in when they try to get away with it. Since I did not have the correct .lb test line, I just drug them up the boat ramp where we would let the vultures eat their carcasses. They have been quite invasive in our lakes and are destroying the natural habitat of our bass, perch, and other local fish. I can't imagine eating them, they seem to have a lot of bones in their meat and it is extremely oily.

    That being said, I like the rig you made and will build it for some other bottom feeders such a catfish.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Yep, corn is the best bait I've tried for carp. Where I live in Australia the carp are an introduced menance so we catch them to feed to the local goannas.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I was expecting some remote helicopter fish/range finder but this is just as cool. Thanks

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Me too! I thought maybe an RC rig or something like that. :>) I've actually thought about making something like that for surf fishing. Great way to get the bait out exactly where you want it. :>) Lots of crap to haul out to the beach though!


    7 years ago on Introduction


    I took the liberty of improving the look on your face, making it more suitable to catch on.

    2 replies

    Carp are excellent in a fish soup or fish stew. You're right, though, they can be garbage fish, but this is more dependent on the waterway you're getting them out of than it is on the fish itself.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Down here on the bayous we catch carp by placing a football helmet on our heads and running a flat boat as fast as you can. They just leap in the air with many landing in the boat. Sometimes upside your head before landing in the boat.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Darn, I was really looking forward to the flying fish!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Where I grew up, carp were fish we wouldn't dare eat, given their own eating habits. Maybe these are different fish altogether? It doesn't look that way though.There were lots of other fish to enjoy - rainbow trout, perch, sunfish, pike, etc.