How to Tie a Fishing Rig

••• female fishing image by JulianMay.co.uk from Fotolia.com

Rigging a line for fishing can be as easy as tying a hook on a line or as complicated as tying dropper loops, Bimini twists and joining lines with a blood knot. However, to get on the water and start catching fish there is a very easy rig that can be set up for fishing in both fresh and saltwater conditions. A fishing line, some terminal tackle and the know how to tie a knot or two is all that is needed.

Cut an 18 to 20 inch length of line from the end of your main fishing line. Use sharp scissors to cut this line that will be used as a leader.

Attach a hook to the one end of the leader with a Palomar knot. Form the knot by passing the line through the eye of the hook so it exits on the hook side. Double the line and feed it back through the eye so you have a loop on one side of the eye and a double line on the other.

Tie an overhand knot with the loop and doubled line. Pull the loop through the knot and down around the bend of the hook. Moisten the knot and pull tight. Trim excess line from the knot with scissors.

Attach the opposite end of the leader to a barrel swivel with a uni knot. Pass the free end of the leader through the eye of the swivel and pull up along side the main line. Hold the doubled line just above the eye of the hook and turn the free end down forming a loop along the doubled line. Wrap the free end around the doubled line and through the loop three times. After the last turn, pass the free end through the small loop formed above the eye where you are holding the lines. Moisten the knot and pull tight.

Slide a weight onto your main line. Attach the main line to the eye on the opposite side of the swivel using another uni knot. Trim any excess line from both uni knots tied to the swivel. Leave about 1/8 inch of line extending from the knot.


  • This rig is perfectly at home in fresh or saltwater and can be used for trout, bass or salt species such as whiting in the surf.
  • Adjust the pound test line, hook size and weight you are using according to the type of fish. For example, mountain trout fishing will dictate 4-pound test or lighter, size 10 or smaller hooks and 1/4 ounce or lighter weight. Bass will require 8-pound test or heavier, 1/0 sized hooks and 1/2 ounce or heavier weight. Salt water will require the use of a weight slider to be attached to the line that a bank or pyramid weight will then attach to.
  • This rig can be tuned and customized but is well suited for a variety of situations.


About the Author

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

Photo Credits

  • female fishing image by JulianMay.co.uk from Fotolia.com