The helicopter feeder rig

The helicopter feeder has become a mainstay for a great many anglers fishing for species as diverse as specimen roach, tench and carp. 

This rig has two main advantages. It is very tangle-proof, especially when higher diameter line is used for the hooklength and also an effective bolt rig, meaning that most bites will be very positive. 

Coupled with a maggot feeder, this is an excellent set-up for big roach. With a larger oval maggot feeder, it lends itself well to fishing for tench. The hooklength should be as short as possible, generally around 3in-6in, which can be quite tricky to tie, but persevere, because the resulting rig is well worth the effort. 

The hooklength should be stopped just above the feeder, although not so close that the hook can accidently foul the feeder on the cast. As a general rule, the closer the hooklength is to the feeder the more bites you will get. 

This is the ideal rig to tie if you plan to fish a ‘sleeper’ rod while float fishing, because generally the bites are unmissable. For this reason, it pays to use a reel with a freespool facility that can give line when a fish bolts away. 

How to tie

Cut off 20cm of Power line. This hooklength should not be too fine to avoid tangles

Tie on the eyed hook using a through-the-eye whipping knot with 12 turns, for a great angle

Thread a Rig Sleeve on to the other end of the hooklength, tapered end towards the hook

Tie on a Micro Rig Swivel using a twice-through-the-eye four-turn grinner knot

Thread a soft Line Stop on to the mainline, which should be at least 6lb to avoid breakages

Thread on the hooklength swivel, followed by a second Line Stop leaving a 5mm gap

Thread another Rig Sleeve on to the mainline. Tie on swimfeeder using a four-turn grinner


Slide the stops and hooklength into position so that the hook rests just above the feeder