Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Making Your Own Rigs

I've put off writing this article for quite a while because I'm a horrible photographer. I've decided to do it today because bottom fishing rigs are one of the most effective surf fishing rigs and every surf fisherman will use them at some point. Monofilament is hard to take pictures of so the rig shown here is tied with 60 lb. line. I normally use 30-40 lb. test for these rigs and have never had any problems.

To start you'll need a 5' piece of mono , a pyramid sinker and a swivel.

The main part of this rig is the Dropper Loop knot. I've never been satisfied with the way online sources show how to tie it , so I'll go through the way I tie it. Begin by making a loop and wrapping the line around itself.

Continue wrapping the left hand side around the loop for a total of 3-4 wraps , more for lighter lines. Pull the line up to make a smaller loop and then make 3-4 more wraps to the left of the smaller loop. It should look like this when you are finished :

Next pull the main loop up through the smaller loop like this :

I normally use my teeth to hold the loop while I pull the knot tight , but you can have someone help you or put the loop over something. You'll want to pull the loop out as far as you want it , before pulling it tight. I like mine to be around three inches. It should look like this when you're done :

You can tie two or even three of these on your rig. Personally I use three. When tying the second and third loops , you can adjust their position by pulling on the left hand side of the loop to move them closer to the first knot and then resizing your loop by pulling on the free end on the left side. Once you have your loops finished , you can tie a swivel to one end and a pyramid sinker to the other. Alternatively , you can put a snap swivel at the bottom so you can change the sinker if you need to.

Now you'll need to add hooks. I use 1/0 stainless O'shaugnessy hooks for most species. I also use fluorescent plastic beads. First pinch the Dropper Loop between your fingers and thread it through the bead and then the eye of the hook.

Now pull the hook back through the loop.

After you pull it tight you should have something that looks like this :

I like the fluorescent orange beads for a lot of species because they closely resemble the color of sand flea eggs. They seem to attract more strikes than other colors , but you can also experiment. Dark red would be good as would blue , purple and chartreuse. After you have hooks on all of your loops , you should have a bottom fishing rig that looks something like this :

This rig easily produces over half of the fish I catch. You can use the basic principles shown above to tie several other rigs  , like the Straw Rigs used for Spanish Mackerel and Sabiki Rigs used for catching bait. You can also use Surgeon's Loops to tie this rig , but the Dropper Loop makes a better rig in my opinion.

Have a great week!


  1. WOW!! Great info, you make look so easy....

  2. Nice article - pictures are great! Thanks for sharing your knowledge!


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