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davehazell

Is the helecpter rig a "death rig"

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I started carp fishing this season and I am learning all the time. The big topic is always the "death rig" and I am just learning the different techniques to make rigs safe. The most confusing rig for me is the helicopter rig used by many carp fisherman. The rig looks like a typical death rig as the lead is fixed to the end of the leader. There also does not seem to be any suitable quick release products for this type of rig. The traditional safety clip is in line and facing away from the hook line so the lead stays on when casting. If the line then breaks and and it gets snagged by the carp, the lead pulls off easily. even if you adapt it for an end of line weight it's the wrong way round.

 

I can see it's a nice rig to use with PVA but it certainly does not comply to the safety rules. Any suggestions/comments?

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My understanding of the helicopter rig is that it don't a death rig and dosnt need a safety clip on the end. As the hooklink is on a link to the mainline, if the main line was to snap then the hooklink should be and to slide back up te mainline until the link from your hooklink runs off the mainline. The fish is then trailing a couple of inches of hooklink and the lead stays on the ground of the lake. Again, of your hooklink snapped, the fish would trail around the hook and you would real in the lead.

 

Hope this makes sense as helps you?

 

Ross.

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as cc said your hooklength is free running on your mainline so if your mainline snaps the length can slide off. alot of people use leadcore leaders and if thats the case then you must make sure the bead and your hooklength can freely pass over the knot that joins the leadcore to your mainline, make sense? :D

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the helicopter rig is probably the best rig to use with leadcore, especially if you splice a loop in the end you attach your main line to. leadcore should NEVER be knotted to the mainline, unless you are using a needle knot which is small enough to allow the hooklink swivel to pass over safely.

 

the hooklink swivel needs to be a "big bore" variety, preferably one with a large ring on it which you pass down the leadcore. there was a "fashion" for a time, to thread the top bead onto the leadcore sideways using a baiting needle, now THIS IS dangerous as it cannot pass freely up the line. which will tether the hooklink to the leadcore.

 

i use leadcore often, always with a helicopter rig, i dont agree with leadclips and leadcore, as i dont think this is safe, as regardless of whether the lead has ejected or not, the carp is still attached to a length of hooklink and a length of leadcore. when you consider the average hooklink breaking strain for braided hooklinks is about 20lb, and the average leadcore leader breaking strain is double that, at about 40lb, (ESP being 45lb) this is quite a substantial strength "tether" should a trailing carp become snagged - yet the lead may have ejected as designed.

 

the most common length for leadcore is usually several feet, so if you picture the scene, you have a leadcore leader of several feet with a leadclip and a coated braided hooklink, a common enough rig i'm sure you will agree. you get a take, you snap off, the lead ejects as designed, the carp heads for the safety of the snags, as they do, (the leads gone, remember) the carp makes it inot the snag, thick branches, weeds etc, trailing a 20lb hooklink and several feet of leadcore, which snares on the snag as it passes, (no lead remember!) the fish panics, becomes tangled and is now stuck. with a "fish safe" leadclip...

 

with the helicopter rig, the line snaps, the lead, securely tied to the end of the leadcore, snags up, the top bead pops off under the pressure and the hooklink slides up the tethered leadcore and slides off the end, now the carp swims off with just a hooklink to get rid of. - provided the helicopter rig is tied properly to begin with.

 

when i tie mine, i get a length of leadcore, tie on a lead to one end, splice a loop in the oter end. i then slide a helicopter buffer bead down over the lead followed by my rig, tied to a ring swivel, but the hooklink NOT tied to the ring, but to the other end. as the ring will be going down the leadcore leader. once the hooklink is threaded on the leader, i then thread on a 1cm length of shrink tube, and shrink it down about 1-2" above the top of the buffer bead. once this is shrunk down, i slip another 1cm length of shrink tube over the 1st, and shrink that down too. then finally, i slide the top bead down it sits on the shrink tube.

 

the safety test is simple. hold your hooklink in one hand and your lead in the other. drop the lead and if the bead pops off and the hooklink travels up the leadcore leader and over the top, then its ok to use. if the hooklink hits the top bead and does not move, then find a top bead with a larger bore, until the merest jarring of the hooklink causes the top bead to pop off.

 

then if/when you snap off, when the carp picks up the bait and shakes its head, the top bead pops off and leaves the hooklink to travel freely up the line.

 

there is one very simple rule, if you are in ANY doubt, dont use the rig, if you are not used to leadcore or are in any doubting your rig, use tubing. there are many varieties of tubing that is as good as leadcore, anchor rigtube being one.

 

never put the fish at risk because you are unsure to the rigs "safetiness"

 

:roll:

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I had actually converted my helicopter leadcore to slider but having read all this, I just converted them back. Makes me feel a lot better and knowing that the helicopter is actually the safer option. Makes a lot of sense now.

Thanks for all your help

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To be fair no rig or leader of any kind is 100% safe we use rigs leaders as what we see fit to be safe.

 

Rigs/leaders are only death rigs if tied incorrectly its that simple.

 

But any rig with a leader and the hook-link fixed directly to the end of that leader becomes a dangerous rig. There is no way that the fish is left with just a hook-link to tow along, it will have the leader to deal with as well.

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Moorsey I hear what your saying I now only use rig tubing but as I have said no rig or leader is a 100% safe not even when fishing mainline straight through as the risk of flipping scales and cutting fins and the body of our fish is always there. There are pro and cons of both methods

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I agree that no rig is 100% safe but it is our responsibility to try to make each rig that we cast out as safe as possible.

On the "lifting scales" argument, I can honestly say that in over 15 years of using main line straight through and now watching our customers using exactly the same tactics for a number of years, I have never seen scales lifted by it. I have seen scales and fins damaged in the landing nets and tails snapped by anglers leaving the arms of the net beneath a flapping fish but never during the battle.

My worst discovery was the fish that I often write about, which was an upper twenty with a broken jaw because of a leadcore leader [no lead, just the leader]. To have to kill and bury such a fish makes you consider the risks of your rigs.

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Looking at the excellent responses I decided to experiment with the tubing method. I made up a stand alone rig with a loop to attached to the main line but that does not look right. I am now guessing that the tube should be threaded onto the main line with no knots or loops above it. This means more tying on the bank but seems logical to go this way.

 

Sorry for all these questions but I do want to want my rigs to be as safe as possible. I did look at different articles on the web but while they showed the lead end, none mentioned the rod end.

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Looking at the excellent responses I decided to experiment with the tubing method. I made up a stand alone rig with a loop to attached to the main line but that does not look right. I am now guessing that the tube should be threaded onto the main line with no knots or loops above it. This means more tying on the bank but seems logical to go this way.

 

Sorry for all these questions but I do want to want my rigs to be as safe as possible. I did look at different articles on the web but while they showed the lead end, none mentioned the rod end.

 

Two things:-

1. If you insist on using tubing it must NEVER have a separate length of line through it and then this tied to your main line. That is actually worse than using a leader.

2. Your rigs will work much more effectively without it if you try running rigs and, in the event of a snap off, the fish should be left with just a hook link.

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just to add theres now a lead system available from avid called the choppa droppa which allows the lead to be dropped on the take when using helicopter or chod rigs

 

I'm not 100% on dropping the lead on a heli setup. I work on the assumption that the lead dragging on the lakebed will allow the rig to slide up and off the mainline at the "broken" end, using the weight to make the rig safe.

 

I know the theory that the rig can then slide off either end, but it still doesn't quite sit right in my limited brain power. The rig could be halfway up the leader or line and both ends are trailing with "equal" pressure, and so the rig is trapped until one or both ends snags, which could actually be as fatal as having a rig that couldn't slide off the line anyway.

 

I don't particularly like helicopter set-ups, especially its current favourite Chod. Helicopter set-ups on many occasions have a swivel rubbing over the line which can lead to your mainline (or leader) being abraded by the swivel. It doesn't take a nick or mark in the swivel to wear line, the metal itself could be enough to eventually break the line, usually under pressure of a fish.

 

Properly fished with a helicopter bead or a version I came up with years ago using a short length of rigid tubing the helicopter set-ups should be as safe for fishing, but they DON'T necessarily give full bite indication at the rod end.

 

The most important part is that the rig CAN slide off the mainline or leader, so that the most a carp (or any other fish) is trailing is just a short hooklink.

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Now this is only my personal opinion but the heli rig is by far the easiest for a beginer to make a balls up of more so if they go down the leadcore route. I really cant see past a running rog for 99.5% of my fishing.

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I agree Jez.

How would the tackle companies ever exist if all anglers thought like we do? :lol: There's only so much "innovation" that can be built in to a run ring and a buffer bead. Mind you my tackle bag now fits in my pocket.

Keith

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For what's its worth...these are the two rigs I've been using this season.

 

When I'm wading my baits out I use a running rig on a Flouro line.

 

When I'm casting; Helicopter on normal mono. The lake I'm fishing has got some soft patches and a lot of the fish get caught at v. long range- I think a helicopter allows the lead to crash in to soft patches and still leave the hooklink in good shape.

 

One of the reasons that they have gone out of fashion is that the firms can't make a lot of money from two rubber beads and a length of tubing.

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