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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been experimenting with tying my own rigs and have a few questions...

1) I've noticed that some people use very short dropper loops...some as short as 2-3 inches. But some recommend long dropper loops up to 12-14 inches. Which is best? What are the pros and cons of each? Or should I just go with a medium length somewhere in between? I will be attaching the hooks directly to the dropper loops and these rigs will be used for surf fishing (not piers).

2) Does the length of the dropper loop depend on what type of fish I am targeting...for example, should it be shorter/longer for whiting versus puppy drum?

3) What is a good length for general purpose surf fishing if no specific species is being targeted?

4) Is there a real advantage to having two hooks versus just one? I assume the perceived advantage is that you have twice the amount of bait/scent in the water and therefore you increase your odds, and if one bait gets stripped the other hook still has bait, etc. However, there have been times when I have been short on bait and I have removed one hook in order to conserve bait...and I have not noticed any decrease in bites or fish caught when doing this...so I'm wondering if the two hook/bait thing is a real advantage or just in our minds?

5) Is there a real advantage to tying your own? I have caught tons of fish on the store bought "tourist" rigs with all the snaps, hardware, etc...that stuff has never seemed to bother the fish.
 

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I'm not good at tying dropper loops so I just tie a surgeons knot and cut the loop to snell the hook. I tie about four inches. Too long and it gets tangled up. I've seen really short loops and they catch too. I tie four hooks to a rig when spot fishing. Seen guys with six hooks.

Sometimes the fish are biting in different water columns so have two or more baits is better.

I still use the wire bottom rigs too. They work. Snell all my hooks. Got a 50 pack of rigs for cheap online.
 

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1) I keep mine fairly short, 2-3 inches. I don't tie them every day so some times they are longer or shorter. I find the longer ones tend to wrap around the main line more or tangle with each other.

2) Not in my mind. If I want the bait to have a a lot of action I'll use a fish finder or Carolina rig with a single hook. I use 20 lb flouro leader so they stand out pretty well from the line. The waves do the rest.

3) I tie my rigs between 18-24 inches in length from the swivel to the sinker and put the droppers so there are 3 (fairly) equal sections of line. This puts the bottom hook around 6 inches off bottom and the top around 12 inches. If I'm in deeper water I'll sometimes go longer and add another at 18 inches.

4) Probably not, but when the bite is strong, doubling up sure is fun! Also, if you are only using one rod, it's nice to try different baits at the same time to see what's hot.

5) If the bite is strong, it won't matter what you throw out there. On the slow days or if the water is clear, less hardware is better. I've caught fish on slow days with my naked rigs surrounded by store bought rigs with snaps and beads that were doing nothing on the same bait.
 

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number and size of hooks will vary,as well as leader length depending in water clarity and longshore current are taken into account when i go to rig tying. i rarely use dropper loops, preferring a perfection loop for top hook reasoning that the line from the loop stands out at 90 degree angle from the loop. a double surgeons loop with snap swivel(optional) for attaching weights works twofold because the bottom hook is tied to the tag and the line angles up as to raise the bait from the botton. If you are just starting out i will strongly suggest learning to tie the "Earl Brinn"rig.
 

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fishing mortician on this site came up with a much better version of the earl brinn rig, google it, posted on other forums. i usually just fish 2 dropper rigs wih surgeons loops, drops are 6-8". when i am not lazy and if real clear i will fish FM rig with lighter snoods. river rig is also excellent.
 

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I like a longer drop on the bottom and shorter on top. I take 3' of Flouro and snell a hook on each end and tie 2 surgeon loops in the middle ( place knots according on how long you want each drop ) little bigger loop for my sinker and a shorter loop to tie mainline too
 

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Here is my 2 cents.

I usually rig up based on my hook and bait. If the hooks and bait are small then I use 2 loops. If it is bigger I use one. I usually make them between 3 and 5 inches depending on location that I'm fishing at. If there is a lot of movement or I'm casting into the wind I keep it shorter. Ok here is what I do:

Large perfection loop at the bottom for weights. That way I can pull the loop through and wrap it around so that I can change out the weights if I need.

Then I make the loop. Double up the line to the length I want then overhand knot it. Then over hand knot it again with the top or bottom line so that the line doesn't pull out. Repeat if you want two loops. Then you can just pass your hooks through the loop and bring them back through and you have a hard pass that is as strong as your line. Just make sure that it will fit through your hooks doubled or you will want to put your hooks on before you make your perfection loop.

Then go up to the top and add a swivel. I don't add but about 6 inches at most here. I try to make the whole thing about 16 and 28 inches depending on depth and where I'm fishing.

That is what I have been making since I was a kid. For anything under or equal to 30 pound line and fairly light weight this is what I always go with. The store bought drop rigs are good for heavier material and more flash but if you want to go light and stealthy they don't have anything that is that minimal.

Just what I do.
 

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You could just make it easy on yourself and buy a RiverRig and copy it. Better yet try different versions of it and maybe come up with the nest BEST thing...
 

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greg looks like the FM rig is quite like the texas flapper rig without all the hdwe...
That Texas Flapper Rig is also known as a trapped swivel rig. The idea being that the leader can twist and spin around the main rig body. It is a great rig if you anticipate rough conditions. Handy for bluefish and redfish because your chunk-o-mullet can spin in heavy current, and it is easy enough to attach steel leaders.

My rig allows the leader to spin around, but not twist because there is no swivel. It is designed for fishing in clean water for leader shy fish. It is not for fishing chunk-o-mullet, but rather baits like shrimp, clam, fleas and such. It will cast for distance as it has a strong main rig body and the leaders will lie along the main rig body during flight. Presents the baits in a stealthy fashion as you can use light leader material. Very tricky for a fish wanting to sample the baits, as once tasted they are on. It is strong enough for most any fish you are likely to hook. The fact that the leader can spin around reduces the tangles you would get with Earl's rig.

The OP was asking about leader lengths. I like about 5-8 inches for any of my double dropper rigs.

I pierce a FishBite about 1- 1/2" long at one end, letting the remainder hang down from the hook. Baited this way the bait can lazily "swim" like a paddle tail bait. Not like a lure swims, but just a little movement.

The fish love this setup. I went Monday and the slot reds liked it.





Fished again on Thursday and the Pompanyo liked it.





I have received very good feedback ever since first sharing the design. I have not had any complaints. Let me know if you would like me to post a How To here.
 

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Stew,
That is exactly what it is. I've gone pretty much exclusively over to the FM rig and love it.
I use a swivel at the bottom for the weight to keep the whole thing from twisting up when retrieving,
I tie up a bunch in different #s and put them in bags, tie up a bunch of different sized hooks/snoods and leave the end untied so I can decide on bead color/type on the beach...
Then it is just slip on a bead or two, a perfection loop at the end of the snood, loop it on the rig and you are good to go.

greg looks like the FM rig is quite like the texas flapper rig without all the hdwe...
 

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tom, even better than bags for holding your FM snoods is a spring loaded snell holder, get one for 3$ at walmart, holds 16 snoods if i remember correctly, when i fish FM rigs i just throw my snell holder in my surf cart with my main rig bodies already rigged up on my rods.

I have fished a hybrid FM-river rig where the drop length and configuration is the same as river's but the main body is out of a heavier fluoro to allow one to use a heavier sinker, don't know that it was better than either original but always like to experiment
 

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paul, good work on those pomps...put a hurting on some nice fish from the surf yesterday with your sinkers, double drop rig (was stirred up, no need for your rig), live fleas....caught 4 citation mullet, nice reds, black drum up here in outer banks...some grass in the water, n-s current, fishing braid yet 3oz held no problem, did not even have to uptide it...
 

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paul, good work on those pomps...put a hurting on some nice fish from the surf yesterday with your sinkers, double drop rig (was stirred up, no need for your rig), live fleas....caught 4 citation mullet, nice reds, black drum up here in outer banks...some grass in the water, n-s current, fishing braid yet 3oz held no problem, did not even have to uptide it...


Thanks.....glad you are into them ......Old Man Winter will be here soon enough.
 

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on my favorite spot on pea island. was planning to fish pups with cut bait but as soon i came over the dune saw a single pod of fleas, no others up and down the beach as far as i can see (i think it was the "descendents" of the left over fleas i dumped at that spot last fall), grabbed a handful and set up with all 4 rods with live fleas, the mullet were all slightly over 2lbs, only caught 4 of them but they were quality, one took a giant flea on a 5/0 circle fishfinder rig i had set up in the slough for pups. only fished 2h on the falling tide. tried fishing with cut bait but gave up b/c taylor blues were so thick, get tired of catching those things and wreak havoc on your fluoro leaders after a bunch of fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I pierce a FishBite about 1- 1/2" long at one end, letting the remainder hang down from the hook. Baited this way the bait can lazily "swim" like a paddle tail bait. Not like a lure swims, but just a little movement.

The fish love this setup. I went Monday and the slot reds liked it.

Fished again on Thursday and the Pompanyo liked it.


I have received very good feedback ever since first sharing the design. I have not had any complaints. Let me know if you would like me to post a How To here.
FishinMortician - would you mind sharing what flavor/scent of Fishbites you were using for those slot reds? I fished a few days ago using cut finger mullet and caught several slot reds. A friend of mine was fishing right next to me with Fishbites and didn't catch any reds, just a couple of whiting. I'm not sure what flavor he was using. I was using a simple double dropper rig that I tied using 30 lb. Vanish flourocarbon. The only hardware on it was the two hooks. It was the first time I had surf fished with a double dropper rig that I tied myself, and it was one of my personal best days of fishing...not sure if it actually had anything to do with my rig, or if I just happened to hit a good hole on a good day. But it did give me confidence in the rig, and I doubt if I'll ever go back to using the store bought "tourist" rigs with all the hardware. I would love for you to post a How To here...I'm interested in learning how to tie your rig.
 
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