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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know I'm in the DIY section, so answers might be a little biased (LOL), but I'm curious if it's worth my time to tie my own bottom rigs? FWIW, this will be only for a weeks worth of fishing in the OBX (Nags Head) area with my 6 year old during our annual vacation. I'm proficient at knot tying and rigging from my freshwater fishing and don't necessarily mind taking the time to do it, but am I'm really gaining much by tying my own versus buying reputable ready to go rigs? If not, please share what ready made bottom rigs you guys like.

If I do tie my own, what material(s) do you all recommend? I've got my hook sizes (#4, #2, 1/0 & 2/0) and style (Owner Mutu Light Circles) sorted out as well as my line (20# Berkley Big Game Mono). I see some, like the Sea Striker, use wire forms for the drops, while others do not. I also see some use floats and beads, while others do not. I've read on here that using shiny tackle, specifically shiny swivels, leads to some fish hitting the swivel versus the hook. Is this a concern for bottom fishing the wash and first cuts and holes? Just trying to make sure I don't tie a bunch only to find out I'd have been better off using different swivels, floats, etc., etc.

Plan is to have 2 rods rigged for bottom fishing with the ability to quickly tie on a spoon or plug if something is breaking in the surf. We'll also have a little heaver setup for getting a bit further out. Fishfinder rig for this setup. What swivels do you all recommend for tying these? How about the sliding sinker holder? Any specific brand/style you all like?
 

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I always make my terminal rigs, easy to do, customized configurations, cheaper that buying ready-made rigs

Firstly, all main line gets a shock leader for casting, test weight dependent on the main line test and the fish types targeted. For the heavies and sharks it's 80# mono, about 30' so that it'll go around the spool 3-6x - this is for both spinners and revolvers, but NOT level wind reels as the main to shock knot will interfere with the level wind guide ... level wind reels get a shocker length that allows a good drop off the tip but never gets past the LW guide. For smaller reels the shocker can be 60# down to 20#, all depends on the main line test and diameter.

I almost always use a Spro Swivel #5 tied to the shock leader - it's super small enough to feed through #10 and #12 rod guides, is 120# test, and just makes setting up the rod at the beach/boat easier. Hook leader rigs are clipped to that swivel and are typically floro or mono, dependent again on species targets and water clarity. For toothy critters like sharks, the rig leader is 6' of 200# mono (where the sliding sinker rides on, fish finder style) to a foot of wire that's haywired to the circle hook. For most other fishies the hook leader is tied directly to the hook.

I use clips and swivels on the hook leaders for easy swapping out or replacing. Sinkers are sputniks that I cast up and range from 2oz to 8oz. Hooks sizes from #4 to 7/0.

To avoid helicoptering out weigh 'n' bait, I'll use a clip down rig, or and over/under rig, or just slip the baited hook over one leg of a sputnik sinker. The clip down and O/U rigs allow the bait and sinker to be more inline for longer casts.

Font Slope Twig Art Fashion accessory


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My sharking rig ...

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I always spike a hefty rod/reel for weight 'n' bait, and a much lighter rod/reel for smaller fishies that can be cut up for bait, usually casting spoons and paddle tails.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@BeachBob Thanks!!

What are your thoughts on floats and beads for both double drop bottom rigs and fishfinder rigs? What length do you like for shock leader to first drop and length of drops? How about length of fishfinder rig after swivel from main line?

FWIW the double drop bottom rigs will be for up close fishing the suds/wash. The fishfinder rig will be on a slightly bigger setup for getting out a bit further, but nothing close to the heavy duty 8 n bait type setups that many use for slinging cut bait as far as possible.
 

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Almost all my rigs with have main line tied to a 30' shock leader that has a swivel tied to its end. This allows a payload drop off the tip that could be the length of the rod. My fishing cast technique is a modified Hatteras, or more recently a South African Pendulum. Casting technique is very important for maximum distance. Too often the critters are feeding in a sandbar trough that could be 100yds or more out. You could cast all day to 70yds and barely catch anything whilst guys around you are scoring at 100yds or more.

Rigs are clipped to the Spro #5 swivel tied to the shocker's end. Rig leader lengths will be from 4' to 8' and may be single mono to a hook, where the sinker will ride that leader length. For sharking the leader is 4' to 6' of 200# mono crimped to a foot of solid steel wire that's haywire twisted to a 5/0 to 7/0 circle hook.

SO, there could be ... the main line, the shocker leader, the terminal hook leader, the terminal bite leader.

I use floats on some baits, but mostly never bother and just check bait regularly - floats can rob casting distance for really big baits. I never use multiple hooks. For smaller fishies the mono leader is my fish finder where a 2oz to 4oz sputnik slides - so when casting out, the sinker butts the bait and eliminates distance robbing (and losing baits). I usually put a bead on either side of the sinker slide, too, for knot protection. Sometimes I'll put a fish finder on the shocker rather than the leader.

Knots are super important. I have a few staples where it depends on what needs joining - whether it's to join main to shock, and whether it's mono to mono or mono to braid, or braid to braid.
 

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Bigterp, make your own, google, the sinker guy on YouTube. He teaches you several different ways to make one. I like the mortician rig, but to each there own.
Floats help, don’t need big ones like they have on blue fish rigs. Use 1/0 or 2/0 hooks.
Less metal in the water the better.
 

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For close in(15'-50') I go 17 to a 20 leader. Tie dropper knots directly into the 20. Then either A-cut one end of dropper loop and tie hook directly to the long end or B- tie some 15 flouro to the dropper loop and then the hook. Use an 11' rod to keep the lines out of the breakers. The thought of a swivel going through an eye makes my teeth grind. Small hooks with a 1/4"x 1.5" sliver of cut bait(with skin) is deadly right behind the waves. Bigger rods have 17 to a 50 leader with either A-100lb line connonball rig, 10/0 Owner or B- dropper loop with a 15 flouro drop to a 3-4/0) to give the bait more action, not specifically targeting big fish. Best of luck.
 

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I had some old posts about fishing with kids but these two sum them up.

Now days 30 lb flouroclear or fluorocarbon is the lightest I use for double drop rigs. Most of our hooks were small circles or gold kahles, from size 8 to 2. Top hooks often have floats tipped with blue/mullet/spot for the small blues. I always have a few wire snelled hooks in case the >14 inch blues are running.

The most important thing?
Make a big deal of never putting the reel down in the sand. Then repeat a few dozen times. :)
Short attention span?
We make catching bait a very noble cause. Sand fleas are great bait (but only stay alive if your bucket does not have any water in it, just wet sand and some shade). Small fish make great bait.
In the evening, I have never seen the kids have more fun than catching ghost crabs. (I've never caught anything on a ghost crab.)
Rigs?
I like #2 gold kahle, but am moving to more and more size 4 circle hooks. Also some 50 lb line for double drop rigs, 0/1 hooks with floats for bluefish.
Best invention?
First place, a pier cart.
Second place, Fishbites bag-o-worms. We also use shrimp, sand fleas, squid, bloodworms, strips of smaller fish, we try them all. But if you are bringing in doubles of a decent sized fish, the fishbites (pre-cut with scissors) is sometimes the only way to keep up. A piece of fishbites helps keep sand fleas on longer.
Casting Lures?
Yes, easiest for the kids will be the double bucktail “trout” rigs (ask the local shop what size and color tubes or curly tails to use as trailers). Also get a few of glass minnows. You may need 30 – 50 lb shock/bite leader for the glass minnows, for blues short wire leaders and spoons. Local shops can help.

I also see some use floats and beads.
The best part of beads and floats is watching that 6 year old, being so serious, as he/she decides what colors to use, how many, and in what order. Okay, maybe it’s when they catch something on a rig “they” made. Good Times!
 

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Sputnik sinker are not necessary on the OBX, only on extreme current conditions .... fishing in close 3 ozs. will normally hold are it'll wash into the lip where most fish feed .... Beads do work on occasion but I prefer naked .... no beads, swivels ... no bling. Tie your own rigs using 25 or 30 lb fluoro and #4, 2 or #1 circle hooks, preferably Owner Mitu light circle ... use surgeons knots and loop knots to ty a 2 drop rig, no need for fancy knots ..... make your drops 10" to 12" long .... this works for me, I've caught lots of Citation Sea Mullet and Pompano along with plenty of Slot Drum on this plain and simple rig using Sandfleas ... Good Luck !
 

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I know I'm in the DIY section, so answers might be a little biased (LOL), but I'm curious if it's worth my time to tie my own bottom rigs? FWIW, this will be only for a weeks worth of fishing in the OBX (Nags Head) area with my 6 year old during our annual vacation. I'm proficient at knot tying and rigging from my freshwater fishing and don't necessarily mind taking the time to do it, but am I'm really gaining much by tying my own versus buying reputable ready to go rigs? If not, please share what ready made bottom rigs you guys like.

If I do tie my own, what material(s) do you all recommend? I've got my hook sizes (#4, #2, 1/0 & 2/0) and style (Owner Mutu Light Circles) sorted out as well as my line (20# Berkley Big Game Mono). I see some, like the Sea Striker, use wire forms for the drops, while others do not. I also see some use floats and beads, while others do not. I've read on here that using shiny tackle, specifically shiny swivels, leads to some fish hitting the swivel versus the hook. Is this a concern for bottom fishing the wash and first cuts and holes? Just trying to make sure I don't tie a bunch only to find out I'd have been better off using different swivels, floats, etc., etc.

Plan is to have 2 rods rigged for bottom fishing with the ability to quickly tie on a spoon or plug if something is breaking in the surf. We'll also have a little heaver setup for getting a bit further out. Fishfinder rig for this setup. What swivels do you all recommend for tying these? How about the sliding sinker holder? Any specific brand/style you all like?
I tie my own bottom rigs (2 hook) and Spanish rigs (dropper loops with 6 hooks/flies). It let's me customize my rigs. In addition, I find it therapeutic. I will often give prototype versions to my fishing rigs to friends and ask them to try them. I use their feedback to determine colors, spacing, hook size, etc. It's become a hobby. Recently, I started using fluorocarbon. I think it's more durable than mono. I typically use Owner hooks (#4) on my bottom rigs. They are on the pricy side, but they are defiantly sharp. I use the whatever fly tying material Bass Pro has on the shelf. It's not an expensive hobby. When you fishing with store bought rigs, take note on what you think needs to be improved. Tie a few of your own and give it a try. You might find out that you like it.
 

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Build your own rigs. You sound like you know what you’re fishing for, so tailor your rigs to your needs. Sizes, lengths, drops, hooks, beads, etc are all tailored toward your specific game fish. If a rig fails, you know who to blame.

Store bought rigs from big box stores are great for the guy who takes his kid(s) fishing once or twice a year. Much like everyone, I’ve used them in the past & have no intention of doing so ever again. I’ve had them fail in all sorts of ways. Most notably, I despise the “interlock” type clamp.

I use clip down pulley rigs 95% of the time. I use 17-20 lb mono & a 65-70 lb shock leader (about 45 ft) in the surf so your needs may not be the same. I generally use 1/0 - 3/0 circle hooks. This works out really well for me & my purposes.

Eleven foot rods? Why so short?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sorry, I missed a bunch of these over the past day. MUCH appreciated!!! Got a bunch of great ideas. You all convinced me to tie my own. I've tied enough fishing knots and catfish rigs over the years that it won't be a problem. Just wasn't sure if the majority preferred a specific store bought brand or not. Plan is to keep it simple and functional. So I like the idea that @River had about no beads, floats, swivels, etc. But I'm sure I'll incorporate many others ideas and might even tie a variety of different bottom rigs (naked, beaded, floats/beads, etc.). I've only got 7 months to get them tied though, LOL!! I'll be sure to share some of what I get tied up over the winter with you guys.

Last question, many of you mentioned hooks sized #2 and smaller. I planned to tie some with 1/0 and maybe even 2/0. But is it that overkill for double drop rigs that we aren't heaving as far as the eye can see?
 

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Sorry, I missed a bunch of these over the past day. MUCH appreciated!!! Got a bunch of great ideas. You all convinced me to tie my own. I've tied enough fishing knots and catfish rigs over the years that it won't be a problem. Just wasn't sure if the majority preferred a specific store bought brand or not. Plan is to keep it simple and functional. So I like the idea that @River had about no beads, floats, swivels, etc. But I'm sure I'll incorporate many others ideas and might even tie a variety of different bottom rigs (naked, beaded, floats/beads, etc.). I've only got 7 months to get them tied though, LOL!! I'll be sure to share some of what I get tied up over the winter with you guys.

Last question, many of you mentioned hooks sized #2 and smaller. I planned to tie some with 1/0 and maybe even 2/0. But is it that overkill for double drop rigs that we aren't heaving as far as the eye can see?
Match the size of your bait to the hook. ... if I'm using two large sandfleas back to back for big Pomps, I go with a 1/0, in the winter when slots are in the surf, I use half a 21 count Greentail shrimp on a 2/0 circle.
 
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