When it comes to surface fishing, the best way to do it is to keep everything simple. Always feed the swim first, get the carp taking your baits confidently and only then introduce your hook bait. Surface feeding carp are cautious at the best of times; feed them in to a frenzy and you can almost cast right on top of them!
Always cast your rig past the feeding fish, then slowly draw the hook bait back in to the feeding zone. Carp are not the best at taking baits from the surface so you need to keep a keen eye on the line and not always the hook bait. It’s best to keep the line fairly tight to the controller, not allowing for any bow in the line, therefore you’ll be able to hit takes a lot easier. It also pays to use either a floating mainline or grease your line to ensure that the mainline floats; this will also help you to hit takes swiftly.
Another tip is to use a slightly different hook bait than your loosefeed. A little edge is to use a floating pellet when feeding Chum Mixers, attached to the back of the hook using a bait band.
The rig I use is semifixed. The two John Roberts’ rubber beads used to fix the hooklength are pierced through the side using a baiting needle. The mainline is then looped over the needle and pulled through the bead. This locks the swivel in place, but if a breakage occurs the carp will easily be able to pull the hooklength from the mainline.
Give surface fishing a go as it’s the most exhilarating way of carp fishing - the anticipation is intense!