Dave Barham explains why using this set-up can pay dividends when fishing for the likes of cod and bass in fast tides
You may have guessed by now that I like to keep my sea fishing simple. I enjoy light-tackle fishing, basically using the lightest rod and reel (not mainline) set-up I can in any given situation to catch a half decent fish.
This can be anything from using a 7g spinning rod for targeting black bream and mackerel, to using a 15lb class rod for tope and conger eels. I really don’t mind, as long as I get my ‘fight fix’.
One of the rigs that has helped me catch a number of species in recent years is this Uptide/Downtide Bolt Rig. It’s a variation on a simple running leger boom rig, but it has proven itself to be much more effective – especially in fast running, shallow water.
By shallow I’m talking 10-40ft, like most UK river estuaries. This is my ‘go to’ rig when I’m targeting winter cod in the Bristol Channel or River Mersey, where the tides can be fierce.
HOW IT WORKS
Unlike a normal running leger rig, which allows a fish to pick up your bait and swim off as far as it likes, this rig limits the process due to there being a swivel in the mix that prevents your lead weight from sliding up the mainline.
Theoretically, a fish that has picked up a bait on a running leger can move 10 feet and then spit out the bait. The mechanics of this bolt rig prevent that from happening.
Fish feeding in fast tides often take anything that flashes past. They grab it and ask questions later. If a cod finds your bait in a two-knot tide it will pick it up, but by the time it has decided whether or not to swallow it the chances are that the tide will have moved the fish a few feet away from the original pick up point. That’s where the bolt rig comes in.
While the fish is moving away from your lead weight, the hook has a chance to grab hold. Unlike a running leger rig where the hook and hooklength would move with the fish, in this rig they are fixed in place with just a few inches of movement allowed. As a result the hook actually gets dragged out of the fish’s mouth, which in turn gives a far better chance of finding a hold rather than if it were just sitting there in the same place.
Try it next time you fish for cod or bass in fast-running water. I think you’ll be impressed with how many more fish you catch.
Tying the rig
There's no doubt that booms improve bait presentation and help eliminate tangles. Here Paul Kerry shows how to make a mono twisted boom that can be fished as either a flapper or clipped down rig...
HERE’S ANOTHER VARIATION of the blood loop used as a fixed position hook snood connection point. What you end up with is a very flexible, thin boom that has enough stiffness to hold the snood clear of the trace line for flapper rigs, but is fl exible enough to use clipped down as well.
Its nylon construction keeps weight down and minimises trace costs. It is most effective with short hook snoods. In fact I have used it with a worm bait filling a very short hook snood so it hangs directly off the end of the boom. That makes it almost totally tangle free.
The two-hook flapper follows the traditional monofilament paternoster design, which can be constructed with one, two or even three hooks.
For big fish or rough ground, one hook is the logical choice while for small fish taken over clear ground three hooks offer better odds of successful fishing.
Two hooks are a popular compromise and very often the choice of the freelance angler for runof- the-mill venues and also mixed species fishing.
The term flapper refers to the fact that the hook snoods hang loose and flap during the cast, so obviously, it is not the rig to choose if you need to fish a long-range.
When distance is a priority clip down the bait close to the main trace line. We have shown you how to do this in earlier rig building sequences in this series.
For uncomplicated short and middle range casting from piers and beaches and for a host of species, the two-hook flapper is hard to beat.
● The rig’s overall length can be varied to suit particular venues, conditions or species. A short, stubby 3ft long rig is ideal for fi shing from high piers or rock marks because it puts bait closer to the sea bed. A short rig with short snoods can also be cast further.
● Longer 5ft-plus rigs spread hook baits over a wider area and are the ideal choice for surf or estuary fi shing. In surf a longer rig increases the chances of placing bait where the surf gouges the sand and marine life, a notorious hot spot.
● Longer snoods are usually favoured for some shy-biting species, but if they are used remember to extend the overall length of the rig body.
● If fi shing at short range from high venues like piers, the top hook is likely to be lifted off the bottom by the angle of the mainline. Make the top snood slightly longer than the bottom snood to allow for this.
● Beads or sequins are optional attractors on the hook snoods and can be held in position by adding a bait stop above them. Make these from 1cm length of silicon sleeving. Pass the line through the sleeve twice and then pull the line tight to form the stopping device.
● Snood line breaking strain depends on what the rig is being used for. In general 25lb is the choice in winter because it can cope with the teeth of small fi sh.
A shorter rig casts further and is easier to cast in a restricted space or from a standing start - ideal for the pier.
If you fish from a high venue, like a pier or cliff, the angle your line enters the water is much steeper than if you are fi shing from a fl at beach. This means that the hook snoods on a normal paternoster rig, which has snoods up the line, can be off the sea bed.
Most sea fish will not take a bait well off the sea bed, so you can rectify this with a stubby paternoster with its snoods close to the lead weight and nearer the sea bed. With the stumpy snoods and shorter rig body, it is more practical from a crowded pier and more suited to the overhead, offground or standing start cast. It is also an ideal pier scratching rig for early in the New Year when the small species remain.
The three-hook paternoster was shown in this series in its longer form (February 2005) and this is basically the same with the rig body and snood lengths shortened. Other rigs shown in the series, including the loop rig (August 2005 edition) are suitable for the stubby build.
RIG MAINLINE: Minimum 60lb for use with 5oz lead.
HOOK SNOODS: 20-25lb copolymer, such as Amnesia.
● 1 x Gemini Genie lead link. ● 1 x 80lb swivel for the top of rig connection (connect this to a Genie link on the end of your mainline). ● 3 x 45lb swivel. ● 6 x micro rig beads. ● 5 x crimps (the shortest crimps are suitable). ● 3 x hooks (size 1 or 2 for general fishing, size 1/0 for bigger species). ● 1 x lead weight.
THREE TOP RIG TIPS
1. A shorter rig may involve more of your shockleader off the reel when casting. Make sure your leader is long enough with the knot at least six turns on the reel spool.
2. Using a large swivel on the top of the rig adds weight and helps to keep the top hooks near the sea bed if you are fishing close in.
3. Clipped-down versions of stumpy rigs are perfect for strong wind because the shorter snoods do not release too early during the cast adding vital yards to casting range. It is also the answer to off-the-ground casting when hooks fall off bait clips because their shortness keeps the hook snoods taut.
Do you fish into rough ground and get fed up losing your tackle? Then you need to gear up with a Pennell pulley rig, a firm favourite among specimen hunters who risk all over demanding ground…
THE PULLEY RIG, sometimes called an up and over, is the ultimate rock rig for big fish taken at long range. There are a couple of variations of the pulley, but essentially this trace is for fishing over extremely tough ground. During the retrieve the weight of a hooked fish allows the sliding design to lift up the lead weight, ahead of the fish, which makes it very effective for beating bigger species that feed over rocks and thick seaweed.
However, before we get into its construction you need to get real about terminal tackle. The word terminal is important because eventually you are going to lose it.
No matter how clever or complicated a terminal rig design, it is often the angler's skill that ultimately determines that a rig is retrieved cleanly or not.
Losing rigs and lead weights is the risk of fishing heavy ground, but the reward is maybe a better fish. However, by choosing the right rig and retrieval technique your tackle losses can be reduced.
RIG BUILDING TIPS
The length of the main body of the pulley rig can be anything from 2ft to 6ft depending upon the length of the hook snood required.
Begin by tying a lead link at the end of a 3ft length of 60lb+ mono. Then slide on a bead and the large swivel or a Fox Pulley swivel (shown in our diagram) that connects to the mainline. Add another bead and then a crimp, finally tying off the end of the line to an 80lb swivel.
From this swivel tie on the hook snood length so that the hook will clip to an Impact lead attached to the lead link. Instead of an Impact lead you can use a Breakaway Imp clip (shown in our diagram) which is a bait release clip that enables you to use any lead weight you like.
Alternatively you can save on rig costs by using a lead link with built-in bait clip, but these do not release the baited hook so efficiently and are not as reliable as a Breakaway Imp.
Construct the hook snood from 40lb+ mono because it is under pressure during the cast; for power casting a 60lb hook snood should be the minimum used.
The crimp added to the rig body takes the major strain and is used by anglers wishing to us a lighter hooklength line. You must close the crimp next to the swivel and bead when the snood is clipped to the Imp, so do this last.
Apart from the single hook pulley the rig is often fished in a Pennell rig format. This involves two hooks on the one hook snood, one fixed to the end of the snood line, the other sliding above it.
The two hooks increase the chance of a hook up when using a big bait and also help to prevent the bait from slipping around the hook bend and masking the point during the cast.
The sliding hook on a Pennell is easier to adjust if the hook has an offset eye. It is either held in the right position by a short section of rubber tube or by the snood being wrapped around it.
Another variation is the two-hook wishbone snood offering the chance of two separate hook baits instead of one.
Type of fishing: Designed for use over very rough ground, but also a favourite among big-fish anglers because it is a simple clipped rig that is easy to make. Its design is basically a sliding or running mono paternoster and it's a rig that doesn't tangle.
Types of venues: Suitable for the most extreme rough ground. The rig is often used in conjunction with a rotten bottom or weak link system that allows the lead weight to break free if it gets snagged, allowing the rest of the rig and the fish to be wound in successfully.
Species: Cod, smoothhounds and rays.
Hook sizes: Larger sizes from 1/0 up to 6/0.
MAKING THE PENNELL
Today's wreck angler fishes light and deadly with long snoods worked off stiff plastic booms and shads replacing the artificial sandeel. Our boat expert, Dave Lewis explains how to tie up
TRADITIONALLY ANGLERS DRIFTING wrecks and reefs using artificial sandeel lures would use a fl ying-collar rig, which incorporates a stiff wire boom to attach the long trace. These days the majority of anglers I see fishing wrecks use either soft shads or jellyworms, which can be worked off a more basic, but just as effective rig.
The rig is a version of the running leger in its most simple form. You begin by sliding a long plastic tube boom onto a mono leader if you are fishing braid, but directly on to the mainline if not.
The boom should be as long as possible, a 10-inch boom works exceptionally well and helps to reduce angles to a minimum. The boom not only carries the lead weight, which is hung from a snap link attached to the boom swivel, but keeps the lure streaming cleanly away in the tide when the rig is lowered down to the wreck.
Following the boom, slide a small bead on to the leader to act as a buffer against the knot,. Then tie a tiny, but very strong, swivel at the end. I use a Mustad size 6/0 and find bigger swivels have a negative impact on presentation.
The trace line should be around 8-12 feet of good quality, limp, clear 20lb to 30lb mono; I use Amnesia. Many articles preach the virtues of tying a second swivel midway in the trace line to prevent tangles, but in my opinion this second swivel is entirely unnecessary and rather than prevent tangles, it causes them...however, it's your choice.
Lead weight shape is critical for this style of fishing. It is essential you use a bomb-shaped sinker that will fall smoothly down through the water, again minimising the risk of tangles.
Flat-bottomed leads tend to tumble and roll and will cause problems. The weight of lead will be dependent on water depth and the speed of drift, but 8-12oz is about right for most British wrecking situations I have encountered.
HOOKING A JELLYWORM
Feed the needle-sharp hook through the jellyworm just like you would a natural worm. Try not to burst the hook out through the jelly. Aim to finish with the hook coming out a third of the way down the worm, with the head of the worm sitting firmly behind the hook eye.
A jellyworm should last for up to six fish, after that they can look a little battle weary and should be changed. Once split and chewed they won't wobble so enticingly in the tide.
The hook size depends on size of lure, but must be needle-sharp and very strong.
I favour Mustad 34042BLN Worm hooks; size 6/0 is a great starting point.
The small barb ensures maximum penetration, while neat little shank barbs help secure a soft rubber lure in position. Storm shads come ready rigged with a perfect hook. The high quality, short-shank carp hooks are perfect for presenting a live eel.
TYPE OF FISHING
This is the definitive rig for presenting a shad, jellyworm or artificial sandeel over wrecks and reefs. It is also perfect for drifting a live sandeel.
TYPES OF VENUE
Typically deep and shallow water wrecks and reefs, but ideal for open ground fishing over sand banks with a live sandeel.
Wrong - a bell lead with a flat bottom.
Wrong - a watch lead.
Correct - a bomb shaped lead works best
Step-by-step guide to hooking a shad
Spreading their bets is something lots of anglers want to do as they seek the best of both worlds and try to tempt both big and small fish at the same time.
The wishbone is the ideal rig for doubledealing; it's a rig for all seasons and one of the most practical clipped rigs to use for big or small fish with mixed sizes and varieties of baits fished at extreme range. The rig is popular, especially with the novice anglers, because it is easy to construct. In case you didn't know, the wishbone rig gets its name from the single Y (wishbone) shaped snood with one hook tied at the end of each leg.
There are two different ways to tie this rig. The original and most basic design is with the Y being tied in the monofilament snood with a hook at each end of the Y. Both hooks then clip on to the bait clip behind the lead - the Breakaway Impact lead being the perfect sinker for this rig because it has a built in bait release system. The only problem with this original rig design is that the hooklengths must be identical in length so they both fit snugly in the bait clip.
A simpler method, and the most popular, is to tie on the main hook snood, cut it half the length between swivel and bait clip and tie on a small swivel. Then run a length of snood line through the eye of the swivel and tie a hook at each end. The two hooks can then be clipped to the bait clip and will adjust to fit automatically.
The body of the rig can be any length between 3ft and 6ft, the longer body allows a longer snood to be used. Basically the design of the rig body is exactly the same as a standard single hook mono paternoster.
The length of the snoods should be such that it cannot reach the top clip of the rig and tangle. This is easy to set by placing the snood swivel slightly lower than the centre of the rig length.
Most anglers prefer to tie the swivel that holds the running snood more than halfway down the overall snood length, although this is not critical to the rig’s overall performance. If the length of the running snood is longer that the upper part of the snood it could spin and tangle.
However, in most cases it is during the retrieve that the rig spins and tangles. What is very important is that the hooks do not come unclipped during the cast because this produces the same tangle effect as the rig drops through the air and water.
A Gemini SRT spring fixed beneath the snood swivel tensions the hooks when they are loaded with bait and this helps prevent premature release.
There is a neat twin wire bait clip that fits the Breakaway Impact lead that supports both hooks neatly either side of the Impact lead's bait clip. If you use the Impact lead’s single clip for both hooks the baited rig will wobble when cast and is more likely to release early.
There are a couple of variations in the design of the running snood. If you are using long running snoods bait stops are essential, as they are in all clipped rigs, to unsure that the bait cannot travel up the snood away from the hook during the cast. Normally a stop knot and sequin are used, but because the snood is running through a swivel on the wishbone this can allow a hooked fish to jam the other hook in the swivel. To prevent this you can include a crimp and bead on the hook snood, either side of the swivel to prevent the running snood from moving too far.
Using a heavier diameter line for the top section of the snood helps deter tangles, and a different colour line helps sorting out tangles.
For fishing at long range with large or small baits for plaice to dogfish and, although developed for cod and whiting, its versatility for other species like smoothhounds, rays, whiting, dabs, dogfish and codling is what makes it popular.
The key to using this rig is fishing a big and small hook at the same time. But sod's law says you will catch a big fish on the small hook and a small fish on the large hook, so it is best policy to always use strong quality hooks.
The rig’s one fault is that it can spin and tangle and in all but extreme range situations. It performs best in tide.
FOUR WINNING WAYS WITH A WISHBONE
It is important to remember that conger eels have strong jaws and sharp teeth, so they will make short work of a normal hooklength. That means you need a strong hooklength and Malcolm suggests 150lb mono.
The actual rig is a simple running leger with the 150lb hooklength carrying a size 8/0 or 10/0 O’Shaughnessy pattern hook. The lead weight is clipped on a simple zip slider, which is threaded either directly on the reel’s mono mainline or on a mono leader tied to braid mainline. Make sure you place a bead either side of the swivel. The mainline and hooklength attach to a strong rolling swivel, so choose a quality brand with a breaking strain of at least 100lb.
You'll need size 8/0 or 10/0 hooks, strong swivels and zip sliders
This is probably the most highly-developed trace in the beach angler's armoury. It is certainly very efficient at delivering small baits big distances without splattering the load across the sky.
THE CLIPPED VERSION of a three-hook mono paternoster rig offers increased casting distance as well as bait care during its flight out to sea.
Hook baits are clipped close to the bodyline of the rig to make the overall trace streamlined. Construction is more complicated because dimensions of each snood needs to be precise so that the hook can be clipped tightly to the clip below.
There are a host of clip systems available, although by far the most efficient and fail safe is the combination of a Breakaway Impact lead and the Breakaway Cascade swivels - no other hook bait clip device comes close. This system clips the lower hook to the Impact system built into the lead and then the hooks on the snoods above clip into a small hook on the Cascade swivel below.
On impact with the sea the lead releases the lower hook, which in turn releases the hooks above in a cascade affect. Other bait clips can jam up and remain clipped up during the duration of the cast.
Competition anglers often use this rig because it offers maximum distance with multi baits. Triple hook baits produce a large scent trail and let the angler try a range of different baits.
The rig is also a favourite among pleasure anglers fishing for smaller species like dabs, whiting, pouting, soles and flounders.
The dimensions of the rig have an effect on how far you can cast and a short stubby rig with all three-hook baits spaced over 4ft will cast further than a rig with three hooks spaced along a 6ft trace.
Hook baits clipped closer to the lead will improve the balance and aerodynamic shape of the rig and that's why the next step for increased distance is the two-up, one-down clipped rig.
However, each rig design and its dimensions offer separate advantages and these should be considered in relation to conditions, venues and the species sought.
RIG BUILDING TIPS
Hook snood dimensions are critical because if the hook is loose on the bait clip it will fall off too early while it is flying through the air and sometimes before you even cast.
Replacing the crimp below each snood swivel with a mono stop knot or Power Gum stop knot allows the snood to be adjusted up or down the trace body to alter the length and tension, and also makes it far easier to replace your hook snood.
The addition of a Gemini SRT Spring below the top hook snood swivel brings increased tension to all three clipped hooks preventing premature release.
If using crimps to secure the hook snood with swivels and beads make sure the micro beads you use have the correct size hole to allow just the line to pass through them and not the whole crimp.
To tie hooks to snoods lengths accurately, thread on the hook and position where you want it to be after the knot is tied - then move it one inch up the snood and tie off with a five-turn half blood knot. The extra inch allows for the take up of the knot.
Alternatively you can tie hooks to the snoods and then crimp them in position or move the stop knots on the rig body to complete the rig.
Because the hook bait will be forced up the snood during flight each snood needs a bait stop. The most efficient is a 1cm diameter sequin or bead stopped by a tubing stop or stop knot. It can then be adjusted down or up the snood to clamp the bait in position prior to casting.
Hooks between size 2 and 1/0 are best; larger size hooks and bigger baits will make the rig top heavy and force it to spin and wobble during casting.
Type of fishing: Medium and long range. Suitable for all casting styles, although take care if casting off the ground because hooks can come off their clips. SRT Springs help prevent this. Especially effective for casting delicate baits, which can get ripped off the hooks during power casts.
Types of venue: Ideal for clean beaches, piers and estuaries for smaller species, match fishing and general all-round fishing when bites are important.
Species: Pouting, whiting, dabs, flounders, soles, codling, dogfish and other small fish as well as match fishing.
Hook size: Size 2 up to 1/0 (strong long shank pattern)
Looking for those extra vital yards with three hook baits? Then try the clever loop rig, which puts bait so far out you'll wonder why you never used it in the first place
IF ULTIMATE RANGE with triple baited hooks is essential to you then this clipped two-up, one-down rig, often called the loop rig, is what you need. For freelance fishing it can be adapted to a one-up, one-down rig, that is suitable as a long distance winter choice for all species that forage for food well out from the breakers, including codling and cod.
The design of this three-hook terminal rig ensures that the lower two baits are clipped directly in line astern of the lead weight. This reduces drag and enables the rig to be cast as if it were a two-hook clipped rig rather than a more unwieldy three hooker.
There are a host of bait clip systems available, although by far the most efficient and fail-safe release, especially suitable for this rig, is the pairing of a Breakaway Impact lead and two Breakaway Cascade swivels.
A Cascade is placed in the lower hook snood (2in to 8in from the hook) and it's the loop of line produced when the one-up hook is clipped to this Cascade that gives the rig its popular name.
Some anglers seem paranoid about the loop, but it doesn't impede or restrict the rig’s performance in any way.
The dimensions of the rig are important as a short stubby rig with all three hook baits spaced within a 2ft length will cast further than a rig with three hooks spaced over 4ft or more. Hook baits clipped closer to the lead weight will improve the balance and aerodynamic shape of the rig and that's why the loop rig works so well, especially when used in a shorter length.
● This is a powercasting rig, so the rig body line must be strong enough to withstand power casting. Use 60lb as a minimum, 70lb is better.
● Snood lengths are crucial to the rig's antitangle performance and should not overlap too far. The lower snood does overlap the first hook length, but they only tangle during the retrieve which makes it ideal for fishing in strong tide. However, variations with very long overlapping snoods are used by match anglers for shybiting fish, while a stubby version with short hook snoods is far less prone to tangling and will cast even further because the hook baits, including the top hook, are closer to the lead.
● The addition of a Gemini SRT spring is crucial to this rig, as it is with many other extreme range clipped rigs. Placed under the top snood swivel, it provides the tension that prevents any of the bait clips from releasing early in flight. It's only when the impact lead hits the water that the Cascades release simultaneously.
● Using a thicker diameter snood line for the longest, lower snood helps prevent tangling. You can return to a lighter hooklength for the line between Cascade swivel and hook. The length of this hook snood can be adjusted to suit the bait being used; 6in+ for two lugworms, 1in for a peeler crab bait.
● Crimps can be used but the bottom stop on the middle swivels and SRT spring are better constructed from Power Gum or mono using a four-turn Grinner knot. This allows snood tension to be adjusted or repositioned.
● Using a particular coloured bead holding the lower snood helps you identify the rig when sealed in a wallet.
WHAT CAN I USE THE RIG FOR?
Type of fishing: This rig and its variants, including the one-up, one-down, are perfect for both the match or freelance angler who wants to put his baits on clean ground at long-range. Species: Suitable for codling, whiting, dabs and dogfish, while the two-hook version is for cod, plaice, rays and smoothhounds.
Hook type and size: Aberdeen hooks work best and the hook size generally governs the type and size of fish you seek. Use size 1 or 2 for match fishing and taking small species. For bigger species a size 1/0 upwards to a 3/0 is more suitable.
Sea conditions etc: The loop rig is rated best for use in strong tide because its design allows an overlap between the two lower snoods, which can tangle. However, it is generally accepted that tangles only occur when the rig is retrieved. On impact with the sea and sea bed in tide it should stay untangled.
● 60lb mono for the rig body
● 18-25lb mono for snoods
● 1 x 60lb swivel
● 2 x 40lb swivels
● 4 x beads - any size can be used, but most shore anglers prefer micro beads because they tend to catch less weed
● 2 x size 4 to size 1/0 hooks
● 1 x Gemini Genie lead link
● A short length of telephone wire
Standard telephone cable contains various thin coloured plastic coated wires, which can be cut with scissors, cutters or nail clippers.
If you are looking to place several baits at extreme range, you need the Bomber rig…
The bomber is one of the only terminal rigs which requires a Gemini SRT spring on each hook snood. This is because both hooks are clipped down to the same clip on the Impact Lead. With other rigs snoods are clipped to the Cascade swivel below and the tension of one SRT spring on the top snood is transferred through the rig. On the bomber the snoods are independently dipped to the same bait clip and both require tension.
-Breakaway sell a BB clip that allows two hooks to be clipped to an Impact Lead more efficiently. Without this clip, two large baits on an Impact Lead can wobble during the cast or release prematurely.
-You can make the rig using an Impact Shield, but the Impact Lead’s is better.
-When you clip the baits to the Impact Lead to cast, make sure they are balanced and as streamlined as possible. Use similar-sized baits, lugworms are ideal, for the best effect. Two over-large or bulky baits can cause the lead to tumble or spin.
-The bomber rig can be constructed with a Cascade swivel tied in the lower snood, loop rig style, so that the top and bottom hook can be staggered behind the Impact Lead. This is the answer to using very large crab or squid baits.
-Constructing the hook snoods of different colour lines helps untangle them.
THE GREAT DESIGN feature of the Wishbone rig is that it tucks two baited hooks close behind the lead weight creating minimum drag for maximum range.
This rig has various uses and while it is the perfect solution to fishing far off with two single baits it also allows a combination of baits or cocktails to be used in tandem. It is recognised as the perfect bait delivery system for all maximum range fishing challenges.
It is also a match fishing favourite for taking dogfish and whiting as well as rays, smoothhounds and other summer species that feed at long range.
The Wishbone’s one restriction is that it is easily tangled and is therefore best suited to strong tide situations, although this trace tangles more often during the retrieve.
Components you need
This is a power casting terminal rig so top quality components must be used throughout. Rig bodyline must equate to 10lb breaking strain for every ounce cast. This means a 5oz lead should be cast in conjunction with 50lb mono and a 50lb leader. In fact, we would recommend you raise the safety factor by using 60lb line.
● Rig body line - minimum 60lb
● Hook snood - 20lb and 30lb Amnesia or similar memory-free snood line
● 70lb-plus swivel for top of rig
● Gemini Genie lead link for bottom of rig
● 2 x 45lb swivels
● 4 x micro rig beads
● Rig crimp
● 15lb Power Gum or tubing for stop knot
● Silicone tubing
● 2 x size 2-1/0 hooks
● Breakaway Impact Lead
1. Tie a 70lb+ swivel to the top of a 4-5ft long piece of 60lb line. Cut the other end at an angle and thread on a crimp, micro bead, 45lb swivel, and another bead
2. Add an SRT spring below the lower bead, then another bead and fi x its position with a Power Gum stop knot. Add a Genie link at the bottom. Tie a short length of snood line (orange used here) to the swivel
3. Tie a 45lb swivel to the end of the snood line. The rig body length should be twice that of this snood to prevent the hooks tangling with the top swivel
4. Run a length of 20lb line through the lower eye of the swivel. A bead and stop knot are added on either side of the swivel before the hooks are tied on
5. Stop knots can be made from a 1cm length of silicone tubing. Pass the hook snood line through the tubing twice and pull the line tight to form the stop knot
6. Beads and sequins can be included on each arm of the Wishbone in any combination required before your hooks are tied on
7. The hooks are clipped on the Impact lead. The snood length between swivel and lead clip is 1-3ft. Adjustment for clipping down is by moving the stop knot below the spring and securing the crimp
8. Two bulky baits clipped on a single clip can fail to release or they can wobble and rotate during the cast, cutting distance. Breakaway Tackle produce a small double wire clip that fi ts the Impact lead and separates each hook
● Using three different colour lines for the hook length (black), the main snood (orange) and rig body (white) makes untangling easier. A thicker 30lb line for the main snood (orange) also helps prevent any line twist and tangles.
● The overall length of the hooklength and the hook snood on the Wishbone is optional, but the rig performs best with the snood containing the hooks one third of the length of the total snood length when the rig is clipped down.
Flatfish are often sought at short range with light tackle and small hooks, but it is the addition of sequins, beads and small spoons that really attracts these inquisitive fish.
Luminous floating beads will lift baits clear of bait-robbing crabs, while poly balls are becoming a feature of summer rigs aimed at surface species, such as garfish. Rattle beads can be used, while heavy plastic or metallic beads will pin the baits to the sea bed to combat tide.
The number and sequence is a matter of choice, but a common choice is to thread on a sequin, then a small luminous bead, another sequin and another bead onto the hook snood.
The normal rig body rule is to use 10lb breaking strain per 1oz of lead being cast, but this rig can be made lighter when fishing at short range with light tackle or casting gently overhead.
This rig is a flapper, meaning the hook snoods dangle when you cast rather than being clipped up or down for aerodynamic purposes. If you need to cast long for flatfish, use the one-up, one-down clipped rig (January issue) or a wishbone rig which will appear in a later issue.
This rig can be converted to two-up, one-down) by the addition of an extra snood at the top.
● Rig mainline - minimum 30lb for a 2-5oz lead.
● Hook snoods - 10-20lb low memory copolymer or fluorocarbon (a rig incorporating booms is recommended for using lighter snoods).
● 1 x Gemini Genie lead link.
● 1 x 60lb swivel for the top of rig.
● 2 x 30lb Berkley, Mustad or similar snood swivels.
● 4 x micro rig beads.
● 3 x crimps (the shortest crimps are the most suitable for this rig).
● 2 x hooks (size 1 or 2 Aberdeens are best for flatfish, size 4-6 or smaller for catch and release.
● Assortment of coloured beads and sequins in different sizes.
● Rig tubing.
1. Thread on a crimp, bead, 30lb swivel, bead and crimp. Add another crimp, bead, swivel and bead. Then tie on a Genie lead link
2. Measure the length of the rig body between 3-5ft and tie on a 60lb swivel, which is eventually used (as shown) to attach the rig to a leader clip
3. Next position the lower snood swivel close to the Gemini Genie link and, using crimping pliers, close the crimp above it lightly
4. The second swivel should be crimped on the rig body far enough above the lead to allow for your chosen length of snoods (say 2ft)
5. Tie snoods on the swivels using a three-turn Grinner knot
6. Pass the snood twice through a 1cm piece of sleeving to make a stop
7. Pull the line tight to form the stop and add the bead(s) and the hook
8. Make sure the hooks do not overlap the swivel below
Rocks or kelp ground that snag your lead weight or hooks can be expensive in lost rigs and sinkers. You need a method of getting your rig and, hopefully, a hooked fish back, but you have to accept you may lose the lead weight.
Rotten-bottom or weak-link rigs come in various guises, including some simple systems sold in tackle shops. You need something that will not release during the cast and it is not difficult to make your own for short-range fishing into rocks or kelp.
I use an upturned Gemini Genie clip at the bottom of my main trace body; the snood connected to the trace body will hold one hook or a Pennell. Never use this system for power casting.
Like all release rigs it needs to hit the water as close as possible to the vertical and there must be some slack in the line to allow the lead weight to come off the Genie clip. If you keep the line tight during the final stage of the cast, I cannot guarantee that the weight will release at the moment of impact wth the sea.
The simplest rig for fishing on rocks is a single paternoster carrying one hook. Uncomplicated and simple to make, the single hook means the minimum chance of snagging. However, if you are using a large bait then the two-hook Pennell rig arrangement is superior. Here I’ll show you how to make a simple Pennell rig with a weak link.
1. Components are a size 2/0 oval split ring, Gemini Genie clip, 60lb trace body, 6-10lb line for the weak link, 25lb line for the hook snood, two beads, two crimps, snood swivel, two size 1/0 Kamasan B980 hooks and some rig tubing.
2. Tie the oval link to one end of the trace body. Slide on a small piece of rig tube to protect the knot, a crimp, bead, swivel, bead, crimp and another piece of tube. Now tie on the Genie clip, but attach it to the bottom rather than its top eye. Push the rig tube down to protect the knot. Tie on a weak link of 6-10lb line.
3. Nowposition the snood swivel. With a 24in snood, place the swivel about 28in up from the Genie link. Nowtigthen the crimps to fix the position, then tie on a length of 25lb snood line to the swivel. Slide on the top hook then tie on the lower hook.
4. Using the rig is simple. Tie the lead weight to the weak link, then slip the loop of the lead weight over the Genie link. It can be used for light overhead casts with the sinker releasing from the Genie as it hits the water.
What is it for?
Fishing with three hook baits at any distance increases the odds of catching something and it is the chosen method of the match angler or the freelance anglerwho wants continuous rod-tip action.
The large scent trail generated by multi-bait rigs grabs the attention of all fish in the vicinity and the tactic is especially popular in February and March when most shore venues are short on big fish and become scratchy for species.
Cast accurately and you can get the small fish regularly rattling the rod tip. Three hooks are generally considered the maximum or the most allowed undermatch rules. They are preferred for fishing at close range because on a majority of occasions and venues the small species targeted, especially in the first fewmonths of the year, are found close to shore.
Wire booms bring two specific advantages to this hard-fishing situation. The big plus is that lightline hook snoods can be used for a more refined and delicate bait presentation without tangling.
The second is that the weight of the booms helps keep the bait close to the sea bed. There is also an opinion that the water’s reaction to metal creates a small electrical field that the fish are aware of, even attracted by, and this has been a theory aboutwhy metal booms sometimes mysteriously outfish all other rigs.
The standard mono paternoster is also effective for short-range scratchy match fishing, but if ultra-light snoods are used, they twist and tangle around the body of the rig with 20lb breaking strain about the minimum thatwill not tangle.
Using wire booms fitted with a tiny swivel at the end allows longer and lighter snoods to be used, sometime down as low as 5lb. This has an impressive effect on the number of small fish you can catch.
It is especially noticeable in catch-and-release events or Continental match fishing, where smaller minimum size limits are employed allowing anglers to target small fish or even mini species.
Another advantage of wire booms is that they improve the tangle-free presentation of three hooks close to the sea bed making them especially effective for pier fishing, as well as inshore dinghy sport.
●60lb mono rig body.
●1 set of Gemini Genie rig. booms. There are enough beads, crimps and springs for three rigs. Available in plain or clippeddown versions.
●3 x 30lb swivels. Use the smallest/strongest available. These are fitted to the eyed end of each boom.
●2mm rig tubing.
●10-15lb hook snood line.
●1 x 60lb swivel for top of the rig.
●1 x Genie lead link.
●1 x Breakaway Impact Lead (or Impact Shield).
●Three size 1 to 4 hooks.
●Power Gum for stop knots.
1. The first step is to fit the small swivels to the end of each of the three wire booms. Cut three lengths of 2mm rig tubing 2-3cm long and slide one on each of the booms. Then open up the eye of the boom with long-nose pliers and fit the swivel.
2. Close the eye carefully and then slide the rig tubing along the boom onto the eye and body of the swivel. The rig tubing supports the swivel and helps position the hook snood out from the end of the boom.
3. Next, cut the main rig body line at an angle with line clippers, which helps when threading on the components. Then slide on a crimp, SRT spring, bead, boom, another bead and finally a crimp.
4. Repeat for all three booms. Beware when sliding booms on the rig body line that the bait clip wire is positioned towards the top of the rig. When clipped down the clip on the boom is then in position ready for the hook above.
5. Once all the booms are on the rig body, tie on a Genie lead link to the end of the line using a three-turn Grinner knot and measure the rig line to the correct length, which is usually the span of an outstretched arm.
6. Next tie the large swivel to the top of the rig, again using a three-turn Grinner knot. Positioning of the booms is then a matter of spacing them equally over the length of the rig. Close crimps gently, so that they can be moved when snoods are set to fit the bait clips.
7. You can also use Power Gum stop knots on the lower side of each boom to allow for final adjustment.
8. Next tie the hook snoods to the small swivels, add the hooks and hang the rig via the top swivel with an Impact Lead on the lead link. Now you can finally adjust the positions of the booms and tighten crimps.
9. It is very important to tension the SRT springs under each boom because it keeps the boom at right angles to the rig line.
10. This photograph shows how the hook links with the boom clip directly above it.
This two-hook rig is your best possible configuration for achieving maximum casting distance. The one-up, one-down loop arrangement places two baited hooks directly behind the lead weight for minimum drag so the sea angler can gain those extra yards.
Also known as the one-up, one-down clipped rig, Loop, Portsmouth rig and the Golds rig after matchman Ian Golds of Portsmouth, who first came up with the idea of using an inline Cascade swivel on the lower hook, snood.
So what was the rig designed for? It is primarily for fishing at extreme range with fairly large baits so it can be used for cod or freelance fishing situations when a bait has to be fished that little bit further out.
It can be made in a two-up, one-down format for match ishing; we will show you how to make this particular rig a little later in the series.
The rig is so streamlined it can beat the weather, making it particularly effective for punching baits into a strong head or side wind.
As with all clipped rigs in this series, a Gemini SRT spring is included in the rig below the top snood to tension the clipped down baits. This is very effective when the wind is buffeting the cast and you need to keep the baited hooks in their clips.
This configuration of two hook snoods is fairly tangle-free and enables you to space several hooks further apart than most other rig designs.
Made with long snoods, this rig is the perfect answer for your long-range match fishing for dogfish or ray using a frozen sandeel for bait.
Components you will need
As with all of the power casting or long-range rigs in this series we recommend you only use top quality components, especially those that are under stress during the cast.
Rig body - minimum 60lb Ultima mono; better to use 70lb if you are power casting
Hook snood - minimum 25lb
Amnesia or similar copolymer no memory line
I x Gemini Genie lead link
1 x 80lb swivel for top of rig
2 x 45lb swivels
1 x Breakaway Cascade swivel
5 x micro rig beads.
2 x crimps.
3 x 15lb Power Gum stop knots
1 x Gemini SRT spring
2 x 1cm lengths of Gemini silicone rig tubing and sequins for creating bait stops
2 x hooks (Size 1 for general fishing, up to size 3/0 for cod)
1 x Breakaway Impact lead or wired sinker with Impact Shield
1. Thread on a crimp, bead, 45lb swivel and another bead. Follow this with the Gemini SRT spring and another bead. This is for the top snood
2. Now thread on another crimp from the bottom followed by a bead, 45lb swivel and another bead. Tie the Genie lead link to the end of the line and attach Impact Lead
3. Measure out the length of the rig, which can be between 4-6ft depending on the snood length required, then tie on the top swivel
4. You can now tie a Power Gum stop knot, using the fourturn Grinner knot, belowthe bead that holds the SRT spring and upper swivel
5. Close the crimp at the bottom of the rig, so that it secures the lower swivel between the beads close to the lead link
6. Tie a 2ft length of 25lb mono to the lower swivel, which will then hold the Cascade swivel
7. Tie the mono on the Cascade swivel via the curved loop, then tie on another 6in of line to the Cascade swivel eye
8. The top snood consisting of 2ft of mono is tied to the top swivel, located above the SRT spring
9. Add a 1cm length of silicone tubing to each hook snood. Pass the line through the silicone tubing twice and pull so it locks on the line to form the bait stop
10. Add a sequin to each snood and then tie on each hook. Note: The snood positions should be adjusted to allowthe rig to be clipped up properly
Clipping the hooks for casting
The top snood hook clips into the Cascade swivel on the lower snood and the lower snood hook onto the wire hook on the Impact Lead.
You will see there a loop of line left hanging and this is where the rig gets its name. It does not restrict the rig.
It is essential to include a Gemini SRT spring on the top hook snood to tension the snoods and counter any chance of premature release in a buffeting wind.
Size 1 swivel to top of the trace
Two size 3 swivels for attaching snoods
Four micro beads
Two size 1/0 to 3/0 Kamasan B940
60lb mono for trace body
25lb mono for hooklengths.
This rig is the simplest of the paternoster family and generally used in clear ground situations - the rule being more hooks carry more bait and catch more fish.
The term flapper refers to the fact that the hook snoods hang loose and flap during the cast. Clips can be added to hold the bait and snoods close to the rig’s main bodyline to improve the aerodynamics. We will show the three-hook clipped trace later in the Big Rigs series.
The large scent trail and a chance of catching more than one fish every cast makes the three hook flapper the ideal rig for match fishing, or for whiting, pouting, coalfish, pollack, dabs and codling when casting range isn’t critical.
It is a great rig choice to keep the action going in February. The rig’s length can be varied to suit venue or conditions. A 3ft rig is ideal for fishing piers because it puts the baits closer to the sea bed. A short rig with short snoods casts better.
A longer 6ft-plus rig spreads the baits over a larger area and is the ideal choice for surf fishing. The addition of coloured or floating beads and sequins as fish attractors is optional. This rig can also be constructed using wire or plastic booms for fishing at close range for flounder, or alongside a pier wall for pollack and scad.
The formula for trace body line is 10lb mono for every ounce of lead cast. A 5oz lead weight would require 50lb line as a minimum, plus 10lb extra for security, making it 60lb.
● Rig mainline – minimum 60lb for use with 5oz leads
● Hook snoods - use 15lb to 25lb low memory copolymer line or fluorocarbon
● I x Gemini Genie lead link
●1 x 80lb swivel for the top connector to the shockleader
● 3 x 45lb Berkley, Mustad or similar swivels
● 6 x micro rig beads
● 3 x crimps. Use the shortest snuggest fitting crimps possible
● 3 x hooks. Try size 1 or 2 for general fishing, 1/0 for bigger species, and size 4 for the smaller species
Snood line breaking strain can depend on the season. Use 25lb in winter to counter teeth of small fish and the harsh environment. It also tangles less.
In summer you can try lighter line, especially when fishing in clear water.
1. Cut a length of rig body. Thread on a crimp, then a bead, a 45lb swivel and another bead. Repeat twice more
2. Check that you have the correct number of components, then tie the Genie lead link to the end of the trace body line
3. Measure out the length of the rig. This can vary between 3-6ft and depends on how long you want the hook snoods. Then tie on the top swivel or clip
4. Position the swivels equally along the rig and secure in place by lightly crushing each crimp. Add a Power Gum stop knot under the lower bead to allow adjustment
5. The three snood swivels in position and fixed underneath by a stop knot, which is shown on page 42
6. Tie a hook snood to each swivel using a three-turn Grinner knot. Allow enough line for tying on a hook
7. Do not allow the hooks to touch or overlap the swivel below it or the lead link at the bottom of the rig body
8. Now tie a hook on each snood using the three-turn Grinner knot
● If fishing at short range from high venues, such as piers, remember that the top hook is likely to be lifted off the bottom by the angle of the mainline. Make the top and middle snoods longer than the bottom snood to allow for this.
● Beads or sequins, right, can be held in position on the snood by adding a bait stop above them. Make these from 1cm length of silicon sleeving. Pass the line through the sleeving twice and then pull the line tight to form the stop. This can then be moved up or down the snood to hold the beads etc in the position required.
● Using 60lb-plus mono for the rig body allows it to be re-used simply by renewing the hooks and snoods.
The basic rig making tools
Simplicity is the secret of most terminal rigs, and the basic tools required to construct your own rigs are few and uncomplicated.
The most essential tool of the rig maker, a pair of nail clippers, ensures that all knots are trimmed close. Hooks and swivels that sprout a long tag of monofilament are not only unsightly to the rig purist, but they put fish off the bait or collect weed on the rig. Fish bumping into the short spike of mono may not be deterred from eating the bait, but if they are, then that's a fish missed – better to trim knots close after they have been fully tightened. The clippers can also be used to cut the end of your mono at a sharp angle to assist with the threading of beads, crimps etc. They will also cut wire line, although this tends to wear them out quickly.
Available in several sizes, the largest clippers are the most efficient. They are, though, made mainly in the Far East in cheap chrome plate steel and tend to rust, blunt and get lost in the tackle box. Look out for a tough new set of stainless clippers from Fox!
Special rig jigs are available, or you can use a tape measure to set the length of your rig and keep snoods uniform. However, a measure is not essential in rig construction. Experience allows you to judge lengths of snoods etc so that they do not overlap or tangle. The overall length of a rig, for instance, can be 6ft – the length of your outstretched arms. Snoods can vary between a few inches and several feet long. The rules on this are simple – there are no rules!
Crimping pliers and pliers
Crimping pliers ensure that crimps are closed, but not crushed too tightly. If they were, they would damage the rig’s main line, a point to beware of when using other types of pliers. Crimping pliers can also be used for pulling knots tight on hooks and swivels – especially hooks, which can slip if you hold them in your fingers. Never hold hooks in your teeth or mouth to tension knots, this is asking for an accident! Pliers are also ideal for opening the eye of a lead link or metal boom so that a swivel can be added; offsetting hook points; or bending the eye of a hook for use with a Pennell rig.
Cigarette lighter: Used to blob/melt ends of knots, joints to braid line etc.
Braid scissors: These are essential if you are using braid, which is difficult to trim close with ordinary scissors or clippers.
Side cutters or pliers: Strong side cutters may be required for cutting stainless steel wire, etc.
Hook puller: A safer way of pulling knots tight. Avoid putting hooks near your mouth to tighten knots – it’s Russian roulette, and sooner or later you will get a bite!
Leatherman-type multi-tool: Useful for odd angling jobs. The best ones are stainless steel which resist corrosion if left in the tackle box.
Felt tip pen: Used to permanently mark rig bags with the contents.
Others: Other essentials for shore angling include a sharp filleting knife and a pair of rust resistant scissors.
Rig wallets and storage
Detachable terminal rigs offer the shore angler a way of overcoming several problems encountered when fishing. First, if terminal tackle is damaged, tangled or lost it can be replaced in an instant – simply clip on a new rig. This saves lots of time when the fish are feeding, because a spare rig can be ready baited prior to each cast, while the option to change the rig type, number and size of hooks etc also brings advantages.
Two efficient ways to store terminal rigs include the popular rig wallet and the increasingly popular foam winder which comes from the Continent.
Rig wallets come in a range of sizes and designs, some with extra compartments for your terminal accessories, line and rigmaking tools. You can expand the capacity of a rig wallet by storing each individual rig in a sealable plastic bag. This keeps the wallet clean when you return a used rig to it. Coiling the rig around your hand is a popular way to store it in a rig bag, although it is likely to tangle unless removed with care. Wrapping the rig around a piece of card can improve ease of removal. Marking your rig bags with the content, such as number of hooks, size, rig type etc improves efficiency. Some anglers use coloured beads of snood line to relate to rig type etc.
Growing in popularity are the Continental rig winders. These are particularly efficient for storing the longer, lighter line rigs used by match anglers, and are far less prone to tangling than conventional rig bags.
Some basic rig components
Terminal rig components and accessories are forever changing, with new ideas coming to the sea angling scene regularly. The rigs in this book include the latest ideas and options, but first here are a few terms and names to help you along.
Rig body line: Specialist co-polymer rig lines are becoming more readily available. These have less coiling ‘memory’ and often more knock strength, and are smoother for knot tying.
Snood line: Similarly, special snood lines are produced that combat the twists and damage caused by small fish and the marine environment.
Swivels: There are a range of types and sizes, with some having a mix of round and diamond eyes specifically for use tying rigs. A minimum of 60lb-plus is recommended for joining rigs to main line etc, while 45lb swivels are standard for hook snoods. Lighter, smaller swivels can be used on some terminal rigs when required. Swivel selection includes round and diamond eye, black and stainless from Fox, Berkley, Mustad and Gemini.
Clips and lead links: Gemini Genie lead links are required for sinkers and main line quick links.
Crimps: These come in a rage of styles from lots of manufacturers. Short, soft copper crimps or stainless steel are preferred because they do not corrode or damage the line. Plain steel crimps tend to rust.
Beads: Small micro beads are available from manufacturers like Fox and Gemini, and various tackle dealers. Larger beads can be used as snood stops, or to add attraction to bait. Float beads can be used to raise baits clear of crabs, or to add buoyancy to a bait.
Sequins and blades: 2cm-plus sequins and Fox blades in a range of colours can be used for bait stops, or as fish-attractors on hook snoods.
Power Gum: This stretchy material in 15lb to 20lb breaking strain, and in many colours, is used to form a stop knot on the rig. Drennan and Fox brands are preferred. Power gum stop knots have a number of uses on the rigs shown here. Mono line can also be used. Telephone wire is a stop gap for an emergency stop knot – available in lots of colours, it is simply twisted around the hook snood.
Rig tubing: Fox Silicone tubing has a host of uses, from making rigs, to bait stops, to snood stand-offs, in all colours.
Bait clip swivels: Fox and Breakaway (Cascade) swivels with built in bait clips are used for all clipped rigs. In multiples they release simultaneously.
Bait clips: The Breakaway Bait Shield and the Imp Clip are considered the two best bait clip devices after the Impact lead.
Breakaway Impact Lead: Considered the most efficient and fail safe of all bait clip devices – the release clip is moulded into the lead.
Snood clip: This is small clip device takes the place of a swivel on rigs. It is used to secure a hook snood via a short length of tubing.