How to Rig a Surf Fishing Leader

How to Rig a Surf Fishing Leader
Surf fishing is often all about seek and find. Waves, currents and undertow can combine to make surf fishing a challenge. However, there are some time-tested methods for finding fish along breakers and drop-offs. A wise surf angler rigs his rod so that a wide area can be fished if necessary rather than focusing on one spot. By using lures and baits rigged to be mobile rather than stationary it is possible to locate groups or schools of fish that may otherwise have been missed.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Two-hook bottom rig
  • Snips
  • 4-ounce pyramid weights
  • Lures
  • #3 spinner blade hook
  • Cut bait (shrimp, menhaden or mullet)
Step 1
Attach the main fishing line to the two-hook bottom rig. Locate the swivel attached to the top of the bottom rig. Use an improved clinch knot to tie the main line to the bottom rig.
Step 2
Form the clinch knot by passing 3 to 4 inches of the main line through the eye of the swivel at the top of the bottom rig. Wrap the tag end of the line around the main line for six to seven turns. Pass the end of the line down and through the small loop formed above the swivel eye. Next, pass the end of the line through the larger loop formed along the side of the knot. Moisten the knot, pull tight and trim excess with snips.
Step 3
Follow the main line running from the swivel at the top of the rig to the snap located at the bottom of the rig. Open the snap and attach a 4-ounce pyramid sinker. Close the snap to secure the weight in place.
Step 4
Locate the dropper lines located at the midpoint of the rig. There will be two lines extending on either side of the main rig line. Attach a #3 spinner blade hook or a lure to the snaps on each dropper line.
Step 5
Select a bait such as cut shrimp, menhaden, mullet or squid depending on the fish species and time of year. Attach the bait to the hooks securely so that it will not be easily removed in the surf.

Tips & Warnings

Choose lures for the rig such as spinner blades that feature a bead body and spinner blade hook. Spinner blade hooks have a longer shank that make removal from the mouth of a fish easier.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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