Sea fishing Casting, and Rig making

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Fishing Match on the Wirral Mersey


How to make a "Pennel Rig"

This is a nice rig because I've found it doesn't tangle as easily as other rigs do.

For this rig you have a large hook on the bottom of the line and a smaller hook above.

This is a good rig to use for three main reasons:

  1. The extra smaller hook means you have a chance of also catching the smaller fish.

  2. Large fish don't always bite where the hook is and by having the two hooks you increase your chances.

  3. Bigger fish will sometimes get hooked on both which greatly increases the chances of it not coming off.

Fish will not always strike the bottom of a bait and you've bound to have seen bait eaten from the middle or the top of your presentation. By placing the smaller hook in the middle or the top of the bait you've just increased the chance of catching those type of bites.

The Pennel rig is one of the most popular rigs used by fisherman and can be used in conjunction with any type of rig setup. As an example what I normally do is feed 2 or 3 rag worm up a size 1/0 or 2/0 hook and tie the smaller hook just above the bait. I then secure the top worm to the smaller hook.

This rig is also great when you're using large baits like whole squid because you can hook the top and bottom of the squid giving a much more streamlined and attractive bait for long distance casting.

If you're fishing a location you haven't fished before this rig is also good because you can use 2 different baits to find out which bait the fish in that area are going for.

How to tie the top hook on a pennel rig

For the top, smaller hook the simplest and most used method to keep it secure is just to wrap it around the line 2 or 3 times. An example can be found on the right.

The benefit of this set-up is you can move the smaller hook up and down easily and quickly when the size of your bait changes with each cast.

There are other, more complicated methods for securing the top hook
like this method here but I really don't think it matters which one you use. I like to keep my rigs as simple as possible and I know the method I've shown you here works really well. As long as you're catching more fish than normal and are having fun what does it matter?  

Pulley Pennell Rig

How to tie the Pennell pulley rig

09 April 2010 10:53
Do you fish into rough ground and get fed up losing your tackle? Then you need to gear up with a Pennell pulley rig, a firm favourite among specimen hunters who risk all over demanding ground…

THE PULLEY RIG, sometimes called an up and over, is the ultimate rock rig for big fish taken at long range. There are a couple of variations of the pulley, but essentially this trace is for fishing over extremely tough ground. During the retrieve the weight of a hooked fish allows the sliding design to lift up the lead weight, ahead of the fish, which makes it very effective for beating bigger species that feed over rocks and thick seaweed.

However, before we get into its construction you need to get real about terminal tackle. The word terminal is important because eventually you are going to lose it.
No matter how clever or complicated a terminal rig design, it is often the angler's skill that ultimately determines that a rig is retrieved cleanly or not.
Losing rigs and lead weights is the risk of fishing heavy ground, but the reward is maybe a better fish. However, by choosing the right rig and retrieval technique your tackle losses can be reduced.

The length of the main body of the pulley rig can be anything from 2ft to 6ft depending upon the length of the hook snood required.
Begin by tying a lead link at the end of a 3ft length of 60lb+ mono. Then slide on a bead and the large swivel or a Fox Pulley swivel (shown in our diagram) that connects to the mainline. Add another bead and then a crimp, finally tying off the end of the line to an 80lb swivel.
From this swivel tie on the hook snood length so that the hook will clip to an Impact lead attached to the lead link. Instead of an Impact lead you can use a Breakaway Imp clip (shown in our diagram) which is a bait release clip that enables you to use any lead weight you like.
Alternatively you can save on rig costs by using a lead link with built-in bait clip, but these do not release the baited hook so efficiently and are not as reliable as a Breakaway Imp.
Construct the hook snood from 40lb+ mono because it is under pressure during the cast; for power casting a 60lb hook snood should be the minimum used.
The crimp added to the rig body takes the major strain and is used by anglers wishing to us a lighter hooklength line. You must close the crimp next to the swivel and bead when the snood is clipped to the Imp, so do this last.
Apart from the single hook pulley the rig is often fished in a Pennell rig format. This involves two hooks on the one hook snood, one fixed to the end of the snood line, the other sliding above it.
The two hooks increase the chance of a hook up when using a big bait and also help to prevent the bait from slipping around the hook bend and masking the point during the cast.
The sliding hook on a Pennell is easier to adjust if the hook has an offset eye. It is either held in the right position by a short section of rubber tube or by the snood being wrapped around it.
Another variation is the two-hook wishbone snood offering the chance of two separate hook baits instead of one.

Type of fishing: Designed for use over very rough ground, but also a favourite among big-fish anglers because it is a simple clipped rig that is easy to make. Its design is basically a sliding or running mono paternoster and it's a rig that doesn't tangle.
Types of venues: Suitable for the most extreme rough ground. The rig is often used in conjunction with a rotten bottom or weak link system that allows the lead weight to break free if it gets snagged, allowing the rest of the rig and the fish to be wound in successfully.
Species: Cod, smoothhounds and rays.
Hook sizes: Larger sizes from 1/0 up to 6/0.


1 Slide the top hook of Pennell and a short
piece of tubing onto the snood
2 Pass the tubing over the hook point
3 Push the tubing up to the hook’s eye
4 Tie on lower hook of the Pennell rig
5 There is an alternative method of making
a Pennell without the use of tubing. This
is simply done by wrapping the snood line
around the top hook to hold it in position

Rotten Bottom Rig

How to tie the rotten bottom rig

Beach rigs
24 July 2009 08:00
Rocks or kelp ground that snag your lead weight or hooks can be expensive in lost rigs and sinkers. You need a method of getting your rig and, hopefully, a hooked fish back, but you have to accept you may lose the lead weight.
Rotten-bottom or weak-link rigs come in various guises, including some simple systems sold in tackle shops. You need something that will not release during the cast and it is not difficult to make your own for short-range fishing into rocks or kelp.
I use an upturned Gemini Genie clip at the bottom of my main trace body; the snood connected to the trace body will hold one hook or a Pennell. Never use this system for power casting.
Like all release rigs it needs to hit the water as close as possible to the vertical and there must be some slack in the line to allow the lead weight to come off the Genie clip. If you keep the line tight during the final stage of the cast, I cannot guarantee that the weight will release at the moment of impact wth the sea.
The simplest rig for fishing on rocks is a single paternoster carrying one hook. Uncomplicated and simple to make, the single hook means the minimum chance of snagging. However, if you are using a large bait then the two-hook Pennell rig arrangement is superior. Here I’ll show you how to make a simple Pennell rig with a weak link.

1. Components are a size 2/0 oval split ring, Gemini Genie clip, 60lb trace body, 6-10lb line for the weak link, 25lb line for the hook snood, two beads, two crimps, snood swivel, two size 1/0 Kamasan B980 hooks and some rig tubing.
2. Tie the oval link to one end of the trace body. Slide on a small piece of rig tube to protect the knot, a crimp, bead, swivel, bead, crimp and another piece of tube. Now tie on the Genie clip, but attach it to the bottom rather than its top eye. Push the rig tube down to protect the knot. Tie on a weak link of 6-10lb line.
3. Nowposition the snood swivel. With a 24in snood, place the swivel about 28in up from the Genie link. Nowtigthen the crimps to fix the position, then tie on a length of 25lb snood line to the swivel. Slide on the top hook then tie on the lower hook.
4. Using the rig is simple. Tie the lead weight to the weak link, then slip the loop of the lead weight over the Genie link. It can be used for light overhead casts with the sinker releasing from the Genie as it hits the water.

The 3 Hook Flapper Rig

The three hook flapper gets it's name simply because it present the bait on three hooks which flap around. This is one of the simplest rigs to make and gives you three shots with each cast.. This rig does not lend itself to distance casting as the bait is "Flapping Around" as the rig fly's through the air, reducing distance and damaging the bait. However the rig is ideal for fishing of Piers and Jetty's where you can experiment with different baits on different hooks at different depths.
As a lad I can remember when you could fish three hooks and pull in three flatties, but unfortunately those days seem long gone. 

Technical Info
Sinker Snood Line 60 lb
Hook Snood Line 30 lb
Main Trace length 1000 mm - 1500mm
Hook Snood Length 100mm to 650mm
Recommended Hook Size 1 - 2/0

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