How to Tie a Fishing Rig

How to Tie a Fishing Rig
Fishing rigs involve the use of terminal tackle such as hooks, leaders, swivels and weights. Anglers assemble the various terminal components into a rig to help present bait in a particular manner or at a determined depth. Freshwater and saltwater anglers use many different rigs, but most rigs have similar ways of attaching the various components. With a basic understanding of how to assemble these components, most anglers can effectively set up their own fishing rigs.


Difficulty: Easy

Texas Rig (Freshwater)

Things You’ll Need:
  • Monofilament line
  • Weight (bullet and pyramid)
  • Hook (3/0 extra wide gap and No. 4 circle)
  • Soft plastic bait
  • Bait (cut shrimp, sand fleas, squid or menhaden)
  • Snips
Step 1
Slide a bullet weight onto the tag, or free, end of the fishing line so the nose of the bullet points up the line. Select a bullet weight in the 1/8 ounce to 1/4 ounce range depending on the line weight and personal preference.
Step 2
Attach a 3/0 extra wide gap (EWG) hook to the line with an improved clinch knot. Form the knot by passing 4 to 5 inches of line through the eye of the hook. Wrap the tag end of the line around the main line for six to seven turns beginning near the eye of the hook and working up the line.
Step 3
Turn the tag end down and feed the end through the small loop formed in the line just above the eye of the hook. Pull the line through but do not pull the knot down tight. Feed the tag end through the large loop that was just formed along the side of the knot, pull the knot down tight and trim excess line from the knot with snips.
Step 4
Hold the hook by the shank so the point of the hook is on top. Position the point of the hook at the nose of a soft plastic bait such as a worm or other creature bait.
Step 5
Insert the point of the hook into the head of the bait for about 1 inch. Turn the point downward and then out the bottom of the bait.
Step 6
Turn the point of the hook back toward the body of the bait. Insert the hook through the body of the bait and out the top. Slide the nose, or front, of the bait toward the eye of the hook so that it covers the bait holder bend. The bait holder bend in the hook is designed to hold the bait in place while fishing.

Dropper Rig (Saltwater)

Step 1
Select a dropper rig that meets your fishing needs. Most rigs feature a main leader with a dropper line extending out from either side. However, there are a variety of rigs available to meet the needs of a fisherman.
Step 2
Attach the dropper rig to your main line with an improved clinch knot. Tie the main line to the swivel of the dropper rig. Refer to steps 2 and 3 in the first section for information on tying the improved clinch knot. Make sure to pull the knot down tight and trim all excess line from the knot with a pair of snips.
Step 3
Attach a pyramid weight to the main dropper line running through the rig. The main line will extend directly down from the swivel. Use a 1 ounce pyramid weight as a starting point if you are uncertain about weight size. Open the clasp by pressing the U-shaped wire inward and attach the pyramid weight by the eye on top of the weight. Secure the U-shaped wire closed by pressing in and latching the wire behind the small keeper.
Step 4
Select a No. 4 bait holder or circle hook to use on the offset dropper lines. Open the U-shaped clasps as previously described and attach the hooks. Make sure to secure the U-shaped wires closed behind the keepers.
Step 5
Place a variety of cut bait including shrimp, sand fleas and menhaden onto the hooks of the dropper rig. Insert the hooks securely through the bait to ensure it is not easily removed while fishing.

Tips & Warnings

Also consider trying soft plastics especially the Gulp saltwater line of soft plastic baits developed by Berkley. These baits are treated with an attractant that often proves effective on a variety of saltwater fish species.

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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