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An Introduction And Guide To Boat Fishing Rigs

Two men sea fishing
Sea fishing Boat

A rig is simply the end tackle (hooks, swivels, links and so on) that is attached to the line and cast into the sea. Rigs come in various shapes and sizes. They are usually simple to tie after some practice. Although, advanced rigs can pose a challenge to new anglers. To ensure you have a strong rig, you should become an advanced knot tying. A strong knot is crucial to hold your rig together.

Being able to tie the correct knots is only one part of perfecting a rig. Boat rigs will be much different to other rigs with different purposes. In today’s article, we will break down the best boat rigs and how they are tied.


When setting up boat rigs, you will need a large amount of equipment. Rig tying is relatively simple. The materials are small and cheap. They can be stored in any small compartment box. The slightly more expensive part of rig fishing is purchasing heavyweights. Any heavy metal weight usually costs significantly more than all of the rigs together.

Below is a list of items you may need:

● Hooks

● Floats

● Weights

● Line

● Swivels

● Links

● Traces

● Zip slider

Types Of Rigs

Wrecking rig (Heavy scratching rig)

A wrecking rig is explicitly designed for wreck fishing when out at sea. They are fabulous for catching larger species such as ling and conger.

You start by tying a double loop at the top of the line. It is essential to wet the knot before tightening. This helps to avoid too much friction building up. Friction can break the line. Your saliva will act as a lubricant for the line.

You should create two loops within the middle of the line. Each loop should have ¼ of the total length of the line distance between each. Two to three feet distance is recommended for the overall rig. Ensure all the ends are snipped off the loops and tie. Luminous squid lures work great, as well as standard baits such as Mackerel on this rig. Sliding Ledger Rig

A sliding ledger rig is one of the simplest rigs to tie when boat fishing. A sliding ledger rig is brilliant for the down tide. It sits on the bottom of the sea bed. It is specifically targeting rays and conger species.

Use a zip slider. Slide the line through the holes on the zip slider and add a bead to stop it from moving too close to the hook. Attach a hook to the end of the line. Add a weight onto the zip slider. Zip sliders are designed to hold heavier weights. Therefore, they can be fished at more profound destinations with heavy currents.

Conger Rough Ground Boat Rig

Start and end with a strong ball bearing swivel. Add a snap link to the end of the line. Attach a lead to the snap link. Place 200-pound mono onto the mainline using a zip slider. Use a 10/0 meat hook for enormous conger/ling/shark etc. It is recommended to use a small line distance with this rig. When fishing in deeper water, the smaller distance will allow you to feel a take easier.

Direct Contact Live Bait Rig

The direct contact live bait rig is primarily used for boat fishing. Although, it can be used from the shore. The rig closely resembles a floating live bait rig. You use a bullet leading on 8 to 10 inches of 40 to 50-pound mono. Add a bead onto the line. Then place the weight onto the line and add a second bead. The beads will prevent the weight from moving too far up and down the line. Place a swivel on top of the rig to attach to the mainline. Then add your hook line under the last bead. Add a hook onto the hook line. 30 pound + line is recommended at all times.


Lead weights are usually the cheapest type of weights you can buy in fishing stores. A selection of leads from 8oz to 2lb will be needed depending on the depth and tide when fishing on a boat. If you are using a braided line, you will usually be able to use less weight than when fishing with mono. Some lighter leads or around 4oz to 6oz will also be needed when feathering for Mackerel or other shoaling fish such as pollock. When targeting larger specimen fish, lead weights may need to be more than 8oz.

Finishing Notes

If you decide you do not want to tie your own boat rig, any large tackle store will sell pre-made rigs. Purchasing pre-made rigs will be more expensive than making them on your own. They are reusable and will usually be around £3. Overall, there are a large number of boat rigs. In today’s article, we have covered the very basics of boat fishing rigs. Many people will use the above rigs as a basis to create/develop their own to suit their one purpose. Customizing rigs can be challenging but rewarding. It is recommended to become very good at tying the listed rigs before trying to customize one for yourself. It would help store a small box with all the necessary building parts when you go fishing. If your rig breaks, it can be easily fixed out at sea using your box of parts. Take a selection of weights with you and learn basic knots to help improve your rig’s strength. It is expected to lose rigs when fishing. Do not be disheartened if this unfortunately happens.

by Daniel ONeill

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