What is Snowman Rig - Man holding snow man rig with liquid

The snowman rig is commonly classed as one of the best rigs for catching carp throughout the year on many venues.

With its simple presentation and irresistible bait it’s no surprise that it has no problem catching carp session after session.

This post is going to be focused specifically on the snowman rig, exactly what it is, how you can set up a snowman rig, common fishing approaches with the snowman rig, tips, tricks and more for the beginner and experienced anglers a like.

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  • What is a Snowman Rig?

    Put simply, a snowman rig is a variation of a long hair rig. In itself, hair rigs provide the best approach for fishing hard baits such as boilies and pop-ups.

    By presenting your baits independently to the hook, the baits react in the most natural way possible when carp come to check out your bait.

    It’s common for carp to suck in baits and blow them back out to check for anything abnormal. When the bait is presented in this manner the carp find it hard to detect anything wrong and will consume the bait.

    This results in the hook being sucked into the mouth along with the bait where it will hook the carp’s mouth.

    The snowman rig variation of these hair rigs is a two bait set-up of a boillie and a pop-up to give the “snowman” appearance of a large round body and a smaller round head.

    The boilie is attached to the hair closest to the hook and the smaller pop-up fixed on the end. When done right, this approach balances your rig perfectly in the water.

    When balanced correctly, the pop-up boilie should pull the rig slightly off the bottom but it should not pull the full rig upwards.

    Another variation of this rig is the reverse snowman. Instead of placing the small pop-up on top, furthest away from the hook, the boilie and pop-up are arranged in the opposite way.

    The snowman rig allows your bait to sink slowly to the lake bed which can even entice a passing carp into picking up the bait as it drops.

    The addition of the pop-up not only raises the bait slightly off the bottom but it will also allow the bait to fly-up quickly into the mouths of any investigating carp.

    When to use a Snowman Rig?

    The snowman rig is lacking popularity these days from commercial fishermen, in fact you might not even of heard of it.

    In the world of big carp and specimen carp anglers, the snowman rig is a standard rig that is widely used with great success.

    The large bait will deter smaller fish into lifting your bait and it also won’t appeal to any nuisance fish in the water. There’s nothing worse than hearing your alarms go off consistently bream or silver fish, especially if it’s at night.

    The snowman rig works great in situations where you are fishing over beds of standard carp baits. The rig allows you to combine savoury baits like boilies with bright high attractive, typically sweet, pop-ups.

    Also, if you are fishing over beds of boilies, the addition of the pop-up to your boilie on the hair rig is also a great way to make your hookbait boilie stand out among the others.

    The rig will not only stand out significantly over the other bait due to it being lifted off the bottom slightly but the mixtures of flavours is also generally hard for the feeding carp to avoid.

    These snowman rigs also work really well over beds of silt. The dark coloured silt can mask the hook colour and the addition of the buoyant boilie means the hookbait is not disguised in the silk as it pops up off the bottom.

    What Colour of Boilie and Pop-up?

    What is a snowman rig - picture of snowman rig

    As we’ve mentioned previously, a major benefit of fishing a snowman rig is the contrast of the common sweet flavours of pop-ups with the typically savoury boilies.

    Although any combination will catch fish, there’s a few things to consider when thinking of what colour and flavour to use that can greatly increase your catch rate.

    Typically, white and yellow are hard to avoid when selecting a pop-up colour. The colours provide a great contrast with the more neutral colours of typical feed that makes them hard to avoid.

    The striking appearance of them under the water can also strike interest from non-feeding perusing carp.

    When it comes to boilies, reds seem to work well.

    Although these colours have proved to work extremely well in the past you can and will still catch fish on other colour variations.

    Most of the time it’s all going to come down to trial and error depending on the venue, the time of year, the weather and even what bottom composition you are fishing over.

    Yellow and white pop-ups with a red boilie is definitely a good place to start though, so keep this in mind.

    Another way to add spice up your hookbaits to make them stand out from the surrounding feed is to soak them in liquids. This will allow your boilie to ooze carp attracting flavours into the surrounding water to give it that added edge.

    How to Tie a Snowman Rig?

    The snowman rig is actually a simple one to tie with nothing fancy at all. This is due to it being a simple hair rig that you experience carp anglers should be extremely familiar with.

    The video below does a great job of explaining in detail how to tie the snowman rig, take a look.

    YouTube video

    Snowman Rig Tips and Tricks

    If you’re planning to get out on the water and give the snowman rig a go then you’re to want to take a read at the following tips and tricks.

    Test The Rig

    One of the main benefits of using a snowman rig is due to the way it reacts in the water. There’s no point casting out your freshly tied into oblivion if you don’t actually know how it’s acting under the surface.

    If the rig is not balanced perfect, the pop-up can lift the full rig off the bottom, giving an unnatural presentation. On the other hand if the boilie is too heavy the bait can sit flat on the bottom which takes away one of its attractive properties.

    Once you’ve tied your rig and attached your bait, test the rig in the margins, or even at home before your session.

    If your bait sits slightly off the bottom with the hook still resting on the bottom then your rig is perfectly balanced. If the bait lies flat on the bottom then considering using a bigger pop-up or trim some of the boilie away.

    If the pop-up raises the rig too high in the water, try adding a larger boilie or some tungsten putty to weigh it down slightly.


    Although we’ve touched slightly on what colours and flavours work well the answer isn’t set in stone. The best thing you can do when fishing new venues is to experiment to find what works.

    There is no clear answer to what colour or flavour is the best as some will work better on different days.

    This also goes for which size of pop-ups and boilies to use. It is essential you experiment to find the perfect balance in the water and find exactly what the hungry fish are looking for.

    Trim Them

    If you want mix up your presentation and avoid your rig looking like the thousands of rigs that the carp have seen under the water then you can try trimming your boilies slightly.

    This gives a smoother more natural presentation than the two perfect balls positioned on top of each other. In some cases this will also trim off some of the harder outer shell of the boilies to let all the flavours leak out into the water to aid in attraction.

    That’s All!

    Although the snowman rig is not the most common across commercial water’s specimen and big carp anglers still have plenty of success on this rig.

    I’m sure you can now see the benefits and why more people should be giving it a go. If you have any experience fishing the snowman rig or have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

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