5 Steps to Rigging a Line

As I anticipate warmer weather and long, sunny days on the boat, I thought it would be helpful for all my wild women out there to have a crash course on rigging a saltwater fishing line.

Fishing Pole

Fishing Pole

Read on and get excited about catching those fantastic finned friends with a line you didn’t have to have assistance to cast out into the big blue.

Before we begin, here’s what you’ll need:

-braided fishing line

-leader line

-saltwater sinker

-saltwater hook

Step 1– Loop a braided mainline through the guides on a fishing pole.  Be sure the line is guided UNDER  the bail before through the pole’s guides!  Using braided line is important because it doesn’t stretch when a fish is on the line.  Be sure that there is about 12 inches of line to tie the leader to.

Step 2– Cut about 2 feet of leader.  The next step is to tie the line and leader together.  Not only does this technique of using two different types of line strengthen your rig, but it also insures the fish doesn’t damage the line being reeled in as well as giving the fisherman or woman the ability to reuse the rig set-up again with another pole.  I recommend using is a uni-to-uni knot.  The steps to tying this knot are shown step-by-step in the photos below.

Step 1 Uni-to-uni

Make a loop with the braided line FIRST. Then lead the mainline through.

Step 2 Uni-to-uni

Loop the braided line around the mainline 5 to 8 times. Be sure both lines are being wrapped around at the same time.

Step 3 Uni-to-uni

Pull it tight to form a knot.

Step 4 Uni-to-uni

Repeat steps 1-3 using the mainline as the first loop instead.

Step 5 Uni-to-uni

Pull the knots together by pulling the tag ends tight.

Step 3– Attach a steel saltwater hook to the end of the leader.  I suggest using a loop knot so that the hook doesn’t snag a fish that will be able to swim off because of a poor tie job.  It’s important that the hook is a saltwater hook or else it can be weakened by the high salinity of ocean water.  The size of the hook you choose will be determined by the type of fish you’re intending to catch.  I suggest a 4/0 circle hook if you’re bottom fishing in Florida.

Step 4– Secure a weight to the line near the top of the leader.  This weight will keep the bait on the hook in the spot which it was casted and won’t make it move too much in a way that might scare the fish.  The type of weight you use depends on the water current and how close to the bottom you prefer your hook and bait to be.

– Bait your hook.  Once again, this depends on the fish you intend to catch.  When I want to catch grouper, snapper and grunts when I go to the Keys, I prefer live shrimp or thawed out squid that comes in a box at the bait shop.  Make sure the hook is secured in the bait and thoroughly hidden.  The shine scares most fish!

Special Thanks to Jonathan Turner for his knot tying instruction.


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