Rigs are very important in fishing and different ones should be used for different types of fishing. The first couple of rigs on this page are the basic rigs and the last couple are the basic rigs applied to certain types of fishing. For example, a flounder rig is based on the principals of the versatile bottom rig and the spreader bottom rig.
Pyramid Fish Finder Rig
This rig is very similar to the rig below. Both use a pyramid sinker. This rig however allows the weight to move up and down the main line. You can accomplish this by using a two way swivel which is then connected to the hook. When connecting the swivel to the line make sure you thread the main line through the loop the holds the weight, allowing the weight to move up and down. A quick tip: Use a sinker slide. This is a much easier way for the weight to move. It has an attachment for the weight and a little hollow tube in which you thread the main line through. You can use a variety of knots for this rig, but the most popular is the clinch knot (see knots).
Pyramid Sinker Rig
This rig is mostly used when fishing in surf or on a pier. The rig is used to hold bottom mostly on smooth surfaces, such as sand in the surf or under a pier. The rig consists of a pyramid weight connected to a three way swivel. The other side of the swivel is connected to the line that holds the hook. The last side of the swivel is then connected to the main line. Use the same knots as you would use for the Pyramid Fishfinder Rig.
Versatile Bottom Rig
This rig is most commonly used when flounder or blackfishing. However you can use this when fishing for many other types of other fish. You can use this when fishing from the beach, pier, or boat (party boats use a lot of these). This rig uses two three way swivels, two hooks, and one bank sinker. Use any knots.
Spreader Bottom Rig
This rig is most commonly used when fish for flounder or fluke in bays. However, you can use this for any other type of bottom fishing. Many fisherman including myself purchase these rigs already put together. You can still make your own by following the picture above. Use clinch knot (see knots).
This rig is a very simple rig and can be made by anyone with ease. This rig is mostly used for beginners because of the very simple structure. This rig is targeted at top to medium water level fish. Don't expect to have a flounder hop onto the rig because it just won't happen. However if rigged right it can possibly yield good results. I remember I once caught good sized bluefish from a pier once, so don't underestimate this rig too much.
The above picture is a striper rig most commonly used to catch striped bass from the surf. The rig is outfitted with a no. 5 hook, 18-20 in. of monofilament leader, and a three way swivel with a sinker attachment. This rig works best with pyramid sinker or pyramid fish finder rigs (bottom of the page). The rig can be baited with all striper baits including sandworms, clams, and even crabs.
The above picture is a snapper rig most commonly used to catch snapper or small bluefish from docks or bulkheads. They can however be used from boats. The rig is outfitted with a removable two way hook at the end, a 5 in piece of wire leader (connects the hook to the main leader), a shiner, 10-18 in of monofilament leader, and a two way swivel at the end. To add weight to the rig tie one 1/2 split shot to the main line about 12 in above the snapper rig. To bait the hook, remove the two way hook by sliding the hook off the end swivel (Note: the two way hook is able to slide off without any cutting or manipulating of the hook). Next, slide the bait (mostly a minnow or mullet) on the wire leader so the wire leader goes through the bait. Finally, reattach the hook to the end swivel.
Fluke (Summer Flounder) Rig
The above picture is a fluke rig most commonly used to catch fluke. This rig can be used with the pyramid sinker rig or the pyramid fish finder rig. When drifting for fluke it is common that fishermen use the pyramid fish finder rig because it allows for the bait to drift with the current. The rig is outfitted with 18-24 in of monofilament leader line, a no. 3 fluke hook, and a three way swivel with a sinker attachment. This rig can be baited with all of your favorite fluke baits including clam strips and killes.
Fluke (Summer Flounder) Rig with bucktail and shiner
This rig above is the fluke rig except it has a bucktail, shiner, and no three way swivel. Which rig you chose to fish with for fluke is up to you. I have heard that some people swear by the bucktail and that it catches more fish. However, the more conventional way is to go with the regular fluke rig. My suggestion is to ask around, see what is working, and use the rigs and baits that the fish are being caught on.
Winter Flounder Rig
The winter flounder rig is most commonly used for catching winter flounder primarily in bays, rivers, and near shore fishing spots. This rig is special from the other rigs because it uses the two hook system. The flounder rig consists of one 18 in and one 10 in monofilament leaders, a three way swivel with sinker attachment, two colored beads, and two no. 1 flounder hooks. The hooks used in this flounder do not use long shank hooks, however both hooks can be used in all flounder rigs. This flounder rig can be baited with all of your favorite flounder baits including sandworms, bloodworms, and clams.
Blackfish (tautog) Rig
The rig above is the blackfish rig which is most commonly used to catch blackfish on offshore wrecks. I probably use this rig the most because I love to blackfish and I will suggest it to anyone. This rig as well uses some characteristics of the versatile bottom rig, however this rig uses two 18 in monofilament leaders in stead of one. The rig also consists of a three way swivel with a sinker attachment and two no. 3 hooks. The rig can also use optional colored beads near the hooks. This rig allows you to use your favorite blackfish bait, green crabs.
This bluefish is special in particular because it uses almost none of the basic rigs, however there are some similarities with the float rig. When fishing this rig most people fish with no sinker off the boat. Fishermen sometimes use little clip on weights and glow sticks to help entice the fish into biting. This rig is outfitted with a no. 5 hook, steel or wire leader, and a two way swivel. The wire leader is there so the bluefish's sharp teeth do not penetrate the line. This rig can be baited with all bluefish baits including bunker or menhaden chunks, and fish fillets.
Copyright © Evan Stewart 2001-2003