The snowman rig is a hugely popular rig for big carp. It’s one I use regularly to mix it up when the bites are hard to get. But I’ve got some tips and tricks to get even more bites from this rig – plus videos of each of these variations underwater on my youtube channel.
What is a snowman rig?
A snowman rig is a 2 boilie setup with a standard boilie at the bottom and a smaller pop up at the top. It makes the presentation standup odd at the bottom and looks just like a snowman, hence the name.
Here’s the idea of how they should look
There is also a reverse snowman with the smaller popup on the bottom and the main boilie above. This does not look like a snowman but is quite an effective presentation when fished correctly. It really helps if you have some boilie extenders to hand in to make the presentation better.
You can see my guide to the best carp boilies and popups here to help select the right bait.
Snowman rig fishing tips
1 – Practice & test them every time
This rig takes a little time to perfect. Where possible I’d always put the rig in a clear margin so you can see how it’s set up. If it’s not balanced right the popup can pull the whole rig up and that’s not the idea. In this case, you can add some tungsten putty by the rig to hold it down, or use a different popup – preferred way.
You can test them at home in a bucket of water to make sure you get the balance right. I’d advise checking every rig when you’re on the bank just to make sure they are balanced perfectly. It is simple to either add more putty or trim them slightly to get them sitting perfectly.
2 – Snip them a bit
This is a tip I picked up from a carp mag a few years ago (I read a few so I can’t remember the exact one). Snip the ends of each boilie to make a smother presentation rather than 2 balls on top of each other. This really sleeks up the presentation and can help you get more bites.
If you want to really mix it up then you can trim the baits to be random shapes and sizes but still act in the same way. Chopped baits can be a real edge on some waters.
3 – Mix it up
You don’t have to stick to the standard rigs, sometimes it’s worth mixing up your snowman rigs to get a bite. Try different sized boilies and see how they sit in the water. I occasionally use what I call the “fat snowman” rig with is a 14mm dumbbell with a 12mm popup on as below. You’ll need to use a Boilie extender for some of these depending on your hair length.
You can also mix up the colours and set up. The same rig metrics can be applied to a rig with buoyant corn on the top of a boilie. Here are some colour examples –
My personal preference is to fish a lighter colour bait on the top. This has always done me well in the past and seems to catch the carps attention.
To test things before I go to the lake I also have an old fish tank with some gravel filled with water. I’ll quickly add the bait to the hair rig at home and sit it in to see how it looks. This saves lots of precious time on the bank and means I can repeatedly test rigs and setups.
I’ve also been playing around with a carp fishing wafter snowman. This plays differently in the water due to the added buoyancy of the wafter. I carve a small opening in the bottom of the wafter ad add some putty once the hair is in. This helps keep it upright but get is moving up and down in the water more than a standard snowman.
You can pick up old tanks on eBay really cheap and as long as you have the place to store them it’s a good way to test things out where you can see the rig/ bait.
Here are some of the rigs filmed underwater on my Water Wolf HD – see review here. (I know the hair is too long, you don’t need to point it out!)
There are loads more videos on my YouTube channel, just search “Casual Carper” to see them all.
4 – Fish it over a lot of bait
In the warmer months, I think the snowman rig is the perfect option to fish over the top of a large bed of bait. The presentation keeps it sitting proud and means it can be one of the first things they see when they come in to feed.
In the winter months, I’m happy to fish a snowman as a single in a tiny solid back of pellets. This gives a good level of attraction and still has the visual appearance underwater. For an extra bit of attraction glug the bottom boilie in advance.