Rig making can be a therapeutic and enjoyable way to spend some time. On top of that, it should be your number one consideration ahead of a planned trip to the beach. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail and if you arrive at the beach badly prepared, chances are that you’re not going to have a great days fishing. So what should we consider before we even tie that first knot?
The primary concern should be the species of fish you are hoping to target. Are they big or small and so will you need to upscale or downsize your choice of hook? Do they have teeth and so could they potentially bite through monofilament? What bait will you be using? Will the ground you’re fishing over be rough and so will you need to factor in some kind of weak link system to reduce tackle losses?
Once you have run over this basic check list, you’ll have some idea as to just which of the many rig types would suit your fishing.
Before you begin tying your rig of choice, it is essential to be sure that you have all of the components and tools to hand that you will need. Small ‘bits boxes’ or lure boxes that segregate tiny components are invaluable and will ensure that you can see exactly what you have there.
Ten rigs is a good number to aim for, so make sure you haven’t run out of any particular clip, swivel or bead that will leave you frustratingly unable to complete the set. Useful tools include a small, sharp pair of scissors, round nose crimping pliers, a knot pulling tool and a lead to attach to the finished article so it can be given the once over before it is stowed away.
Lay out all of the components you will need so that they are within easy reach.
Where to begin?
It’s always best to start any rig by tying the chosen type of lead link to the rig body. Decide, based on the design of the rig whether or not this should feature a bait clip and/or a rotten bottom clip.
Slide on the other components and once all are in place, tie an appropriate sized swivel to the opposite end. This is what would then be referred to as a ‘complete body’. Follow exactly the same procedure for consecutive rigs until you have your batch of ten. Hooks and snoods can then be added later. Having a big batch of bodies in storage is good practice and ensures that based on the species of fish you choose to target at any one time, the hook size and snood diameter/breaking strain can be decided closer to your session. If you tie hooks on to every single rig, the one size you choose will mean that your rig’s potential is limited. That is of course unless you like to fish at the same place for the same type of fish, week in, week out.
Other tips for successful rig making
Ensure that you have a clear work space available such as a desk in the spare room or a garage work bench. A bit of peace and quiet helps you to focus, though a radio is always welcome.
Have everything to hand and make a note of the time when you start. Once you get in to the swing of making a rig you’ll get faster at it. If something goes wrong and a rig won’t clip down properly or a knot looks suspect, reject the rig. It’s not worth arriving at the beach and not having 100% confidence in what you’re using.
To start with, keep things simple and opt for a tried and tested rig design that has been around for years such as the two hook clipped down or the pulley rig. There are dozens of variations out there but most are derived from these simple designs that have caught a lot of fish in their time.
Once you have a few of these under your belt, you can then begin to experiment with more exotic designs which adds an element of fun to things. Store your finished rigs in polygrip bags within a trace wallet or on foam winders within a storage box.
If you’re in any doubt about what to tie, take a look at the diagrams of our Premium Rigs or use a purchased one as a template.
Knot pulling tools are fantastic, but chances are you will still need to be pulling monofilament with the other hand which can start cutting in to you fingers when the rigs pile up. A couple of wraps of insulation tape wrapped around your fingers will assist you in pulling knots tight and prevent line from cutting you.