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Fishing Knots

With so many knots you need to learn to tie several knots that you have confidence in and can tie with confidence that you tie it correctly every time. The weakest link between the fish and you is the knot. So take the time to practice, practice, practice long before you get to your favorite fishing hole. While the following knots are by any means all the fishing knots for you to use when fishing, these are the most popular. Again, practice before you get on the water will ensure that you will make a strong and secure knot every time. You just never know when you might hook into the trophy of a lifetime! You certainly don't want your knot to fail. Loop | Clinch | Jansik Special | Palomar | Hangman | Scaffold Snelling | Uni-Knot | Surgeon | Spider Hitch | End Loop Off-Shore Swivel | Blood Bight | Dropper Loop | Float Stop Tuck Sheet Bend | Turle Knot | Double Turle Knot

The Loop Knot can be tied readily in the dark, and equally readily attached to swivel and hook. If fishing for flathead, you may have more confidence in your gear if the loop to the hook is made about 12.5cm long, thus taking the fish on a doubled trace.

As experience is gained, you may wish to move on from the Loop Knot to knots that lie closer to hook and swivel. One of these is the Half Blood Knot, which is more correctly half of the Barrel Knot. THIS KNOT WILL SLIP. It has cost me more fish than I want to remember.

If you must use it, then you have two choices: a) Stop the end of the line with a simple Overhand Knot, and draw it against the turns of the knot.

b) or make the Half Blood Knot into a Clinch Knot.

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Clinch Knot

1. Pass the line through the eye of the hook, or


2. Double back. make five turns around the 3. 4.

line. Pass the end of the line through the first loop, above the eye, and then through the large loop. Draw the knot into shape. Slide the coils down tight against the eye.

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Jansik Special Another beautifully simple knot that can be tied in the dark, The Jansik Special is a high strength knot tied as follows:

1. Put 15cm of line through the eye of the


2. Bring it around in a circle and put the end 3. 4. 5. 6.

through again. Making a second circle, pass then end through a third time. Holding the three circles of line against each other, wrap the end three times around the circles. Either hold the hook steady with pliers, or make it fast to boat's rigging or safety lines. Holding strain on the hook, pull on both ends of the line to tighten.

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Palomar Knot The Palomar Knot is another very simple knot for terminal tackle. It is regarded by the International Game Fish Association consistently as the strongest knot known. It's great virtue is that it can safely be tied at night with a minimum of practice.

1. Double about 12.5cm of line, and pass

through the eye.

2. Tie a simple Overhand Knot in the doubled 3.

line, letting the hook hang loose. Avoide twisting the lines. Pull the end of loop down, passing it completely over the hook.

4. Pull both ends of the line to draw up the knot.

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Hangman's Knot There are at least 6 variations of the Hangman's Knot, - all of them excellent for terminal tackle, swivels and hooks. The "standard" Hangman's Knot holds only five turns when tied in monofilament nylon. If tied in rope, and used for its stated purpose, it takes eight turns.

1. Pass a 15cm loop of line through the eye. 2. Bring the end back on itself, passing it under
the doubled part.

3. Make five loops over the doubled part. 4. The formed knot is worked into shape. 5. The knot is sent down the line, against the
eye of the hook or swivel.
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Scaffold Knot This is a much simpler variant. In all likelihood, this Grant's Uni-Knot. I have used it for more than fifty years and it has never failed me, whether tied in 1kg or 50kg monofilament. It was taught to me by the late Wally Kerr, a top flathead fisherman.

1. Pass a 15cm loop of line through the eye. 2. Lock the upper part between thumb and
forefinger, making a loop.

3. Make two more loops over the double part, 4. 5.

holding them too, between thumb and forefinger. Pass the end through the two loops just made, plus the first loop made in step2. The formed knot can now be drawn into shape, and worked down against the eye of the hook or swivel.

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Snelling A Hook One small problem is the variety of names that mey be applied to the one knot, for examle, a Granny is a False Knot, a Clove Hitch is a Waterman's Knot, an Overhand Knot

is a Thumb Knot. But when we come to snelling a hook, the length of nylon attached to the hook may be a snell or a snood. I now find that the actual job of tying the snood may be called snoozing, while snelling is often jealously thought of as an art restricted to the fly fisherman. I have fished with bottom-fisherman on the Great Barrier Reef who routinely snell their hooks. Restricted to lines of breaking strength less than about 20kg, the process is a simple one.

1. Pass the end of the line, trace or tippet 2. 3. 4.


through the eye twice, leaving a loop hanging below the hook. Hold both lines along the shank of the hook. Use the loop to wind tight coils around the shank and both lines, from the eye upwards. Use from 5 to 10 turns. Use the fingers to hold these tight coils in place. Pull the line (extending from the eye) until the whole loop has passed under these tight coils. With coils drawn up, use pliers to pull up the end of the line.

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Blood Knot - Joing Line To Line There are two top grade knots used to join one line to another, where these are approximately of the same thickness. These are the Blood Knot and the Hangman's Knot - also called the Uni Knot by the International Game Fish Association. Where there diameters are very dissimilar, either the Surgeon's Knot should be used, or the thinner line should be doubled where the knot is formed.

1. Lie the ends of the two lines against each 2. 3.

4. 5.

other, overlapping about 15cm. Take 5 turns around one line with the end of the other, and bring the end back where it's held between the two lines. Repeat by taking 5 turns around the other line, bringing the end back between the two lines. These two ends should then project in opposite directions. Work the knot up into loops, taking care that the two ends do not slip out of position. Draw the knot up tightly.

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Uni-Knot Version Of The Hangman's Knot A better join can be made using one of the Hangman's Knots, known to the International Game Fish Association fisherman as the Uni-Knot. This is a knot used for attaching the line to the spool of the reel.

1. Overlap the two lines for about 15cm. 2. Using one end, form a circle that overlies 3. 4. 5. 6.

both lines. Pass the end six times around the two lines. Pull the end tight to draw the knot up into shape. Repeat the process using the end of the other line. Pull both lines to slide the two knots together.

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Surgeon's Knot Earlier mention was made that if the two lines to be joined vary greatly in their diameters, the lesser line may be doubled at the knot, or the Surgeon's Knot may be used. In the latter case, it will probably be necessary to have one of the lines rolled on a spool, or perhaps wrapped on a temporary card, so that it may be passed through the loop.

1. Lay the two lines against each other,

overlapping about 22.5 cm.

2. Working the two lines as one, tie an

3. 4. 5.

Overhand Knot. It will be necessary to pull one line (say the leader) completely through this loop. Pull the leader through this loop again. Pass the other end through the loop. The formed knot can now be worked into shape.

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Spider Hitch The offshore fisherman often have a need to tie a double line - a long loop of line that is obviously stronger, and easier to handle, than the line itself. In accordance with International Game Fish Association Rules, the double line may be up to 4.5m long in lines up to 10kg, and as much as 9m in heavier lines.

The double may be tied by means of the simple Spider Hitch with lines to 15kg. The big game boys use the Bimini Twist, a double that is normally formed by two people who make the intitial twenty twists. The Bimini is obviously beyond the scope of this little book. It's smaller brother, the Spider Hitch, is a much faster and easier knot for the light tackle fisherman.

1. Form a loop of the desired length, say


2. Twist a section into a small loop. 3. This is the only tricky part - hold this loop

4. 5. 6.

with thumb and forefinger, the thumb extending above the finger, and with the loop standing up beyond the tip of the thumb. Wind the doubled line around the thumb and the loop 5 times. Send the rest of the long loop through the small loop, and pull gently to unwind the turns off the thumb. The knot is now formed and worked into tight coils.

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Offshore Swivel Knot This is a special knot used for attaching a swivel to a double line.

1. Put the end of the double line through the eye

of the swivel.

2. Rotate the end half a turn, putting a single 3.

4. 5. 6.

twist between the end of the loop and the swivel eye. Pass the loop with the twist over the swivel. Hold the end of the loop, together with the double, with one hand, and allow the swivel to slide to the end of the double loops that have formed. Continue holding the loop and the lines with the right hand. Use the left hand to rotate the swivel through both loops 6 times or more. Keep pressure on both parts of the double line. Release the loop. Pull on the swivel and loops of line will start to form. Holding the swivel with pliers, or (better still) attaching it with a short length of line to the rigging, push the loop down towards the eye while keeping pressure on the double line.

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Surgeons End Loop Loops are made for the purpose of attaching leaders, traces or other terminal tackle. They have the advantage that they can be tied quickly and in the dark. The Surgeon's End Loop is an easy way to go.

1. Take the end of the line and double it to form

a loop of the required size.

2. Tie an Overhand Knot at the desired point, 3. 4.

leaving the loop open. Bring the doubled line through the loop again. Hold the line and the end part together, and pull the loop to form a knot.

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Blood Bight Knot Another end loop can be tied quickly and easily using the Blood Bight Knot.

1. Double the line back to make a loop of the

size desired.

2. Bring the end of the loop twice over the

doubled part.

3. Now pass the end of the loop through the

first loop formed in the doubled part. pressure on both lines.

4. Draw the knot up into shape, keeping

The Blood Bight Knot is often used for attaching a dropper when fishing deep water with several hooks. Some anglers attached the hook directly to the end of the loop, which should be at least 30cm from the end of the line. This is not a good practice, especially when the fish are shy. Far better to attach a single strand of nylon to a short Blood Bight Knot, using another Blood Bight Knot, or a Surgeon's Knot.

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Dropper Loop A better method of forming a loop, or loops, in the line above the sinker is to use the old Dropper Loop. This draws into a knot that stands out at right angles to the line. If desired, the loops can be made long enough to have a hook set on them. And once again, this is not a good practice unless the fish are biting-mad, which they rarely are.

1. Form a loop in the line. 2. Take hold of one side of the loop, and make 3. 4. 5.


6 or more turns around the line itself. This is the tricky part - keep open the point where the turns, or twists, are being made. Take hold of the other side of the loop, and pull it through the centre opening. use a finger in this loop so that it is not lost. Hold this loop between the teeth. Pull gently on both ends of the line, making the turns gather and pack down on either side of the loop. Draw up the knot by pulling the lines as tightly as possible. The turns will make the loop stand at right angles to the line.

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Tucked Sheet Bend Usually employed by the fly fisherman, the Tucked Sheet Bend is commonly used for joining the backing line to the tapered line. It is not an especially compact knot, but has a very strong attachment which cannot be said for the more aesthetically pleasing Perfection Loop.

1. Make a Blood Bight (see above) at the end of the backing line. 2. Take the end of the tapered line. Pass it through the Blood Bight and make a
simple Sheet Bend. Bend.

3. Now pass the end of the tapered line back through the closed loop of the Sheet 4. Hold both ends of the tapered line to tighten and draw into shape.

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Float Stop The float fisherman uses a running float for casting and general handiness, and stops the float from running up the line by using the Float Stop. It has the advantage that the stops moves readily over the rod guides, but grips the monofilament nylon so tightly that it will not slide over the line. It should be made with about 12.5cm of nylon, usually the same diameter as the line itself.

1. Take 2 turns (3 if necessary) around the

main line at the chosen point.

2. Bring both ends around to form a Surgeon's 3.

Knot (see above). Tighten into shape bringing the coils close together.

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Turle Knot I have included times sake. Also Major Turle's but is one of the It should never are better knots the still-used Turle Knot for old known as the Turtle Knot, and Knot, it is simplicity itself to tie, weakest knots. be used for light lines, and there for use with heavy ones. line through the eye of the hook. simple loop. end of the line on to make a Overhand Knot upon the loop. loop over the hook. into shape.

1. Pass the 2. Make a 3. Carry the


4. Pass the 5. Draw up

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Double Turle Knot

Tied in monofilament nylon, the Turle Knot may slip unless another Simple Overhand Knot is made at the end of the line where it leaves the Turle Knot. It is improved substantially by using the Double Turle Knot.

1. Pass the line through the eye of the hook or


2. Make two simple loops, and carry the line on 3. 4.

to make a Simple Overhand Knot around both loops. Pass both of these loops over the hook or swivel. Pull on both parts of the line to draw the knot up into shape against the eye of the hook or swivel.

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This document is Chapter 1 of "Grant's Guide - Fishing Knots & Rigs" by Ern Grant, and is available from Herron Publications Pty Ltd, Fortitude Valley, Queensland. Ph: (07) 3257 1711 Fax: (07) 3257 1686

Tying Fish Hooks - Snelling Fish Hooks Paul's Fishing Kites have conducted extensive research on fish hook types, hook sizes, and the effects of tying fishing hooks versus snelling fishing hooks in the New Zealand snapper fishery. It was found that the type of fishing hook knots used has a significant effect on catch rates. Circle hooks with a snell knot were found to have the highest catch rate by a considerable margin and caught more than twice as many fish as either O'Shaugnessy and Octopus patterned hooks of the same size. Circle hooks have to be snelled as shown to get the better catch rate. The method of tying fishing hooks was also investigated and a difference in catch rate between tying a circle hook versus snelling a circle hook was determined to be around 20% in favor of the snell knot. See the diagrams below on how to tie a fishing knot to attach the

hook to the trace. Snelled fishing hooks Besides improved catch rates, the snell knot takes only seconds per hook to tie. The resulting attachment is one of the strongest fishing knots around, whereas tying to the eye of the hook weakens the trace by as much as 40% (depending on the knot used and the skill of the fisherman tying the knot). The best snelled fishing hooks found in the extensive sea trials (over 10,000 hooks were set) are available from Paul's Fishing Kites. The snell is the easiest fish hook tying knot around. There are two types available

Nickel Teflon : 4/0 & 5/0 For conventional fishing with rods and reels from boat or shore. Seaguard Coated : 4/0 & 5/0 These have a smaller eye for tighter snelling and are best for longlines, kite fishing and kon tiki rigs.

Paul's Fishing Kites full range of hook products can be found here

Knot Tying Illustration-How to Snell a Fishing Hook

Fishing Hook Knot Tying Snelling is a very simple method of fishing hook knot tying and the snell knot is the strongest of all saltwater fishing hook knots. Tying fishing hooks

First pass the trace through the eye of the hook from the front of the hook. Only pass it through about half an inch. Hold the shank of the hook and the half inch tab end and wrap the trace around both the shank of the hook and the tab end 7 or 8 turns. Pass the trace back down through the eye of the hook from the back of the hook.

Pull the trace tight while holding the hook to set the snell. There should be very little or no tag end protruding when the knot is set.

If the hook curls up towards the trace you have snelled the hook correctly. We believe that snelling a hook like this makes the trace act as a spring and improves the hook up rate and also prevents the fish from throwing the hook.

Knot Tying Illustration-Two Hook Rig

How to Tie a Two Hook Pilchard Rig Once you have perfected snelling a hook, it is very simple to make up a two hook trace. Simply snell the first hook on, then pass the end of the trace through the back of the second hook and you're ready to snell the second hook on. Set the distance between the hooks at about two thirds of the length of the bait fish you intend to use before snelling the second hook.

The finished two hook pilchard rig When tying a two hook pilchard rig, we have found that keeping the hooks in line further improves both your catch rate and the ability of the rig to hold soft baits or live baits. NOTE : If using whole fish baits, put one hook through the head and the other hook through the body behind the gut cavity and make sure the second hook goes around the spine of the bait fish. The head of the bait should be on the bottom hook.

How to Tie Hooks for Fishing


Aug 24, 2010 | By Jonathan Croswell

Photo Credit fish hook image by Bruce MacQueen from Most anglers tie their own hooks to their fishing lines. It's an essential skill since you're bound to lose hooks to underwater snags and aggressive fish. The most common type of knot used for fishing hooks is the Palomar knot. This is a simple knot that is effective because it disperses weight and pressure evenly throughout the line in the knot, rather than centralizing the pressure on one location and increasing the risk of a line break. The Palomar knot is also considered one of the strongest types of knots of any kind.

Step 1
Double over your fishing line at the end of it so you have 5 to 6 inches of line double-wide. Feed this loop through the eye of the fish hook, positioning the hook in the middle of the doubled-over line. Industrial Abrasives Proudly Australian Manufacturer & Distributor Of Industrial Abrasives Sponsored Links

Step 2
Tie an overhand knot in the doubled-over line. The overhand knot is the first knot tied when you tie your shoe. It is made by making a circle or oval out of the line, then taking the free end of the line, folding it over the line it crosses and through the loop you have just made. Leave the knot loose and so that the hook hangs freely from it.

Step 3

Take the free end of the loop and pull it down and over the fish hook.

Step 4
Pull the hook and the line between the knot and the fishing rod to tighten the knot. Use a knife to cut off any extraneous fishing line hanging off at the end of the knot.

Things You'll Need

Fishing line Fish hook Knife


My OAN: Fishing Knots and How to Tie Them Paul's Fishing Kites: Tying Fishing Hooks The Jump: Fishing Knots

Article reviewed by Tad Cronn Last updated on: Aug 24, 2010

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How to Sharpen a Fishing Hook

0 Comments Sep 28, 2010 | By Sommer Leigh

Photo Credit fish hook image by Bruce MacQueen from A sharp fishing hook is so sticky that a fish will easily hook itself, possibly making your fishing excursions even more successful, but fishing hooks can lose their sharpness by hitting rocks or rubbing against one another in your tackle box. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recommends sharpening hooks after purchasing as well as after use; most hooks are not sharp enough even when new from the store.

Step 1
Hold the hook in one hand and the hook sharpener in the opposite hand. Move the hook sharpener downward along the top and bottom toward the fishing hook's point a couple of times. Sanding Belts Proudly Australian Manufacturer & Distributor Of Industrial Abrasives Sponsored Links

Step 2
Move the hook sharpener downward along each side of the fishing hook toward the point a couple of times. Move the sharpener along the hook until it appears sharp and shiny.

Step 3
Test the hook's sharpness by drawing it across one of your fingernails. It should stick when it's sufficiently sharp.

Tips and Warnings

Use an emery board, stone knife sharpener or fine diamond file if you do not have access to a hook sharpener.

Things You'll Need

Hook sharpener


Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission: Care and Feeding for Fishing Tackle Orvis: Beginner's Corner: How to Successfully Sharpen a Hook

Article reviewed by Shawn Candela Last updated on: Sep 28, 2010

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Hook Setting
When and How to Set a Hook on a Fish

Hook Setting
When and How to Set a Hook on a Fish
By Ron Brooks, Guide It doesnt take very long for an angler to realize that hooking a fish that bites is sometimes a lot harder than it might seem. Sure, there are times that a fish inhales a bait and setting the hook is a moot point, but there are many more times that an improper or untimely hook set produces little more than a bare hook and a frustrated angler. Several factors are at play when a fish takes a bait. Fish species, hook type, bait, water depth, and pure physics all play a part in deciding when and how to set a hook.

Saltwater fish can be generally divided into two categories. They are either nibbler/crunchers or they are predators. Predators can be further delineated to identify the billfish as a separate category. Nibbler/crunchers include the Atlantic sheepshead and members of the porgy family.

All of these nibbler/crunchers have small mouths and all of them tend to peck at or crunch the food they eat. Sheepshead and porgies tend to take their food into their mouth and crunch or grind it before actually eating it. Their mouths are lined with crusher teeth that they use to chew or crunch their prey into small bits. Sheepshead got their name from the upper and lower front teeth that so closely resemble those of a sheep. They like to eat crustaceans crabs, shrimp, barnacles and the like. he bite from these crunchers tends to be light and subtle. Setting the hook when you first feel a bite will leave you with a bare hook. Try to picture the fish taking your bait into its mouth and then slowly crushing it. These guys will sit in one place crushing your bait, usually without you even feeling them. A slow upward pressure of the rod will tend to make the cruncher pull back or swim away from the tension of your pull. This is where physics plays a part and this is when you need to continue lifting and start reeling. Only after you feel the full pressure of the fish should you actually set the hook. Sheepshead and porgies are known as bait stealers. One old timer says he sets the hook before they bite. Knowing how these fish take a bait will help you increase your hook set ratio. I break predator fish into two categories eaters and runners. Some fish, like a snapper or seabass will readily eat the bait in front of them. Others, like a grouper, take a bait and then run to the nearest hole or rock. If you are pursuing the larger fish, like a good red snapper or grouper, be prepared to be surprised. Snapper often have a subtle bump and swim type of bite. Dont set the hook on that first bump. Wait until the fish is moving with the bait and then set the hook hard and swift. Grouper present a unique problem in that they tend to grab a bait and run hard to nearby cover. Anglers refer to being pinned to the rail as a grouper takes their bait and heads off. Light line and light drag settings will usually result in lines being broken off in the bottom structure by grouper who have made it to cover. Some grouper anglers tighten the drag literally with a pair of pliers. A good stiff rod, heavy line, and a heavier leader are the order of the day when bottom fishing over structure for grouper. Hook setting is almost automatic when your bait gets eaten. Many anglers simply lay their rod on the rail of the boat, point it at the fish and reel. Sometimes its the only way to keep the grouper out of the bottom. Billfish present another even more unique problem. Their feeding habit is to swat a baitfish with their bill and then come back around to swallow the dead bait. Hook setting with billfish takes place only after the fish has come back and swallowed the bait. Sometimes billfish get bill hooked when swatting at a trolled bait, but most often, they will hit the bait with their bill, pulling the line from the outrigger clip. As the bait drifts down, the fish eats and swallows the bait. The thickness and size of a standard billfish hook requires that significant power be applied to bury the hook.
Suggested Reading

The Right Hook Circle Hooks to the Rescue

Fish Hook Gallery of Pictures - Types of Hooks

Hook Types
With the exception of circle hooks, the hook setting effort is roughly the same on all hooks. Circle hooks brought a revolution of sorts to the fishing industry. They are curiously curved back on themselves and are advertised to hook fish "in the corner of the jaw". Most anglers using circle hooks agree that they do prevent a swallowed bait from becoming a gut hooked fish. They have decreased the catch and release mortality rate significantly. These hooks work without a hook set. As the fish takes your bait, simply wait until the fish is moving away from you. Start reeling slowly at first, increasing the speed as the fish applies pressure. The design of the hook allows it to be slowly pulled out of the throat of the fish and to the side of the jaw. As the hook shank comes to the mouth of the fish, it turns, allowing the point of the hook to penetrate the jaw. No hook set is required! Because billfish swallow the bait, billfish anglers have gone almost exclusively to circle hooks, allowing a clean catch and release and very low fish mortality. Setting a circle hook when the fish bites almost always results in a missed fish. The re-curve of the hook point prevents it from encountering a solid surface, and the bait is simply pulled from the mouth of the fish.

Anglers need to size the bait to the fish they pursue. A large dead bait will only be cut to shreds by smaller snapper or bottom fish. That peck, peck, peck indicates smaller fish tearing away at your bait. If these are the fish you want, move to a smaller hook and smaller bait. Then, as they swim away with the bait, set the hook and reel. Artificial baits - lures - usually have more than one hook and those hooks are often treble hooks. With the exception of deep-water jigs, these hooks are smaller than the conventional bait hooks you might be using, and consequently they can be ripped out of a fish if too much pressure is applied. They will generally hook themselves at the strike of a fish, and playing the fish with a proper drag setting becomes very important. Live bait is just that. These baits are usually hooked so they can swim freely, and that usually means a smaller hook than you would use for dead or cut bait. When this bait is taken - when you get a bite - you need to hesitate a few seconds to allow the fish to get the entire live bait into its mouth. In general, only when you feel the fish swimming away from you should you set the hook. If you are using a circle hook with live bait, simply begin reeling a few seconds after the bite. Dead and cut bait are used with slightly larger hooks than those for live bait. Once again, wait until the fish is moving away from you to set the hook.

Water Depth

Line stretch is an issue that escapes most anglers. With the exception of several brands of "no stretch" braided line, all fishing lines have a stretch factor. Monofilament line, the line most commonly used, has a significant amount of stretch and the longer the line, the greater that stretch. Fishing in deep water, water over 50 feet, requires that hook sets on standard hooks be significantly more powerful than those in shallower water. The angler must make up for the line stretch. Many times an angler will set a hook on a deep water fish, reel several cranks and set the hook again. The idea is to apply enough pressure to overcome the line stretch and allow the hook to penetrate the jaw of the fish. Sometimes a sinker weight of twelve ounces or more is required to get your bait to the bottom. That sinker, coupled with the line stretch will absorb the hook set pressure, and that means a missed fish. When fishing in deep water, be prepared to hit the fish hard and heavy to overcome the stretch factor.

Pure Physics
In all of this discussion, the physics of line, hook and direction are at play. Setting the hook on a fish moving toward you will almost always result in a missed fish. Additionally, when the fish is moving away from you, that movement adds to the power of the hook set. Line stretch, water depth, bait size, and hook type all have an effect on how the hook will penetrate the jaw of a fish. It takes practice to "feel" the fish and know when to set the hook and when to let the fish run. Many anglers say, "It's a small fish pecking around" on a bite because they have experienced the difference between a good sized fish and those little bait stealers. It takes practice and time to tell the difference. The great part about gaining this experience is that you have to fish to learn!

Fishing with Hooks, Sinkers, Bobbers & Basic Rigging

With all of the advancements made today in the fishing world with new lifelike fancy expensive lures that flash and swim on their own sometimes just a plain ol' hook, weight and bobber with a hunk of worm, minnow or leech will catch more fish. One of the biggest mistakes made by the novice angler is over rigging, using too large of a hook, heavier than needed weight with a oversized bobber presenting a unnatural look, reduces the ability to detect fish strikes in their fishing presentation. The best application is to select the lightest possible terminal tackle suitable for the condition and the species of fish. In this section we will review Terminal Tackle: Hooks, Weights, Bobbers (Floats) and Swivels. How they are used and properly rigged for a successful set-up.

Carry your Terminal Tackle Get organized with a rig box with small compartments. That way you can find the appropriate hook, weight, bobber for most fishing situations.

Fishing Hooks As a rule, use the smallest hook possible. Small hooks allows the live-bait presentation to look natural. Small hooks also penetrate quicker than larger hooks upon the fish strike. Always test your hook for sharpness. Sharp hook points will catch more fish than dull hooks. To test your hook simply draw the hook point across your fingernail, a sharp hook will leave a light scratch and digs in to your nail. A dull hook will skate across your nail with out digging in. When necessary touch up the hook point by using a hook file or sharpening stone, simply draw the hook sharpener against the point of your hook a few times (parallel to the shank) on the bottom, and then take a couple of quick strokes to each side of the hook Dont be misled that new hooks out of the box are always sharp especially the cheap hooks that are made of soft poor quality steel. Even high quality hooks will dull over time and use by hitting rocks and debris in the water. Another option is to use chemically sharpened hooks. Many quality hook manufactures offer a line of hooks that are made of higher grade steel and then dipped in a chemical bath which gives the hook a super sharp hook point. These hooks can be expensive compared to conventional hooks, but the advantage is a super sharp hook right out of the package. The bottom line is always use a sharp hook. Hook Sizes When it comes to hook sizes it tends to be little confusing. There is no standard when it comes to classifying a hook size, generally when a single number is used such as size 12 verses a size 8 the higher the number the smaller the hook. The classification system ranges from 1 largest to 32 smallest. To make it more confusing hooks that are sized using a fraction type, for example 5/0 ( pronounced five - aught) compared to a 1/0 the sizing system is reversed so the higher the number the larger the hook. 1/0 is the smallest up to the largest hook at 19/0 The Anatomy of a Fish Hook The parts fish hook are referred as: Its point- the sharp end that penetrates the fish's mouth or flesh; the barb - the projection extending backwards from the point, that secures the fish from unhooking; the eye the end of the hook that is connected to the fishing line or lure; the bend and shank - that portion of the hook that connects the point and the eye;

and the gap - the distance between the shank and the point.

Popular Common Hook Types:

Aberdeen Light wire long shank hook, perfect for Panfish, Crappie and light biting Walleyes under a slip bobber or attached bobber rig. The light wire limits excessive puncturing on minnows which helps them live longer on the hook, the long shank allows the angler easy removal of the hook from panfish that tends to swallow the bait.

Bait Holder The bait holder hook is one of the most popular live bait hook styles today, the additional barbs on the shank holds the bait more effectively, such as night crawlers leeches and red worms.

Circle Circle hooks are a excellent choice for live bait catch and release anglers. Upon a fish swallowing your bait, the inward bend of the hook point allows the hook to slide along the inside of the fishs throat until it reaches the mouth. A sharp pulling hook set is not required, just maintain

tension and the fish will hook itself in the corner of the mouth as the fish moves away. The lip hook rate using a circle hook is about 95% it also reduces the mortality rate of fish to be released to fight another day. Very popular hook for Catfish, Sturgeon and Muskies anglers.

Egg Commonly called salmon egg hook, designed with a turned up eye and offset bend, so the hook rides upward along with the placement of a barb on the shank which holds the bait. The salmon egg hook is used primarily for drift fishing along current by using natural or imitation salmon eggs, spawn sacs, worms and grubs for Salmon and Trout.

Octopus The extra gap and rounded shape of Octopus hooks are very popular and used for most species of fish. The Octopus is ideal for rigging cut bait for Catfish or Salmon, minnows for Bass, Pike and Walleyes and are good choice for building crawler harnesses. They are available in a assortment of painted or metallic colors.

Rotating A special compound curve on the offset/rotating hook automatically turns when a fish bites on the bait. The sweeping rotational curve places the point in position for penetration from any angle. The offset/ rotating hook twists, holds bait better and hooks fish better.

Treble Treble hooks are a single eye of three hooks fused together with three shanks evenly spaced. The treble is mainly used on artificial lures and

spoons attached by using a split ring. Treble hooks today comes in a assortment of colors as well as feathers tied on as a trailer/teaser hook on lures.

Weedless The weedless hook has a light wire wrapped on the shank formed in a loop that covers the point of the hook. This allows the hook to be fished in weeds logs, trees, stumps, rocks and lily pads. Upon a fish striking the bait the wire compresses exposing the hook point.

Offset/Worm Worm hooks are used for fishing soft plastic's lures. The front bend on a worm hook is used to lock lures such as worms and lizards from moving down the shank by simply inserting the hook point into the head of the lure down about a 1/4 inch. Bring the hook point out of the lure, and pull the shaft of the hook through until the eye is at the head, turn the hook straight and insert the hook point into the body, adjust the eye so it is just inside the lure. Used on Texas and Carolina Rigs.

Texas Rig The Texas rig is adaptable to all types of soft plastics from worms to lizards and grubs that can be fished in extremely dense vegetation and

brush. To learn more about how to rig and fish the Texas Rig please Click Here Fishing Weights (Sinkers) Fishing weights (sinkers) are made from two basic materials lead and steel. The two types of sinkers are: attached on the line by pinching, twisted on using rubber insert or tied directly to your line (Bottom Bouncers / Bead Chain Sinkers). The other is sliding: which allows the fishing line to slide or pass through the weight from a hole or a eyelet. The same principle applies in using sinkers for your set-up use the lightest possible sinker in order to detect fish strikes. Popular Common Sinkers / Weights Types:

Split Shot Pinches easily onto your line where you want to set depth at. Removes just as easy by pinching the other end. Used for live bait and lures.

Split Shot Rig This is about as basic as you can get on a rig. The nice thing is, you don't have to retie any knots to change the sinker position on the line; just pinch it on and off. To learn more about how to rig and fish the Split Shot Rig please Click Here

Stream Rig The stream rig also known as a drift rig are used commonly by steelhead, salmon and walleye anglers in certain situations, such as in small streams with light current or when drift fishing in relatively shallow water. To learn more about how to rig and fish the Stream Rig please Click Here

Rubber Core Attach to line thorugh the slot in the sinker and twisting the inner rubber core around line to secure it. Used when heavier weight is required.

Drop Shot Many tackle companies manufacture designed drop shot weights, round or rectangular of lead or tungsten and come with a tie on clip on the top. The weights range from 1/8oz to 1/2oz.

Drop Shot Rig The drop-shot rig is a finesse technique that has been made popular by the bass fishing community, walleye and panfish anglers as well are now using the drop shot with many successes. To learn more about how to rig and fish the Drop Shot Rig please Click Here

Bottom Bouncer The bottom bouncer is an effective rigging tool while trolling or drifting presenting the lure/bait rig above snag laced bottom of small rocks, logs, over mud/sand flats, or open basins. A weighted wire feeler arm minimizes hang-ups while riding upright across underwater structure deflecting snags. To learn more about how to rig and fish the Bottom Bouncer Rig please Click Here

Bead Chain / Trolling Great for trolling lighter lures with out having to use lead core line or downriggers

Bank Similar to the walking sinker but comes in heavier weights 1oz-6oz Squared edge design helps you keep your bait where you want it.

Bullet As the name implies it is shaped like a Bullet used on Texas rigs in front of the worm, lizards

or on Carolina rigs, with its pointed nose it slides easily through the weeds or wood with out getting snagged. Weight Sizes 1/8 oz to 1 oz.

Carolina Rig The Carolina rig is a popular and effective way to rig for bass. Just about any soft plastic can be used when Carolina rigging. To learn more about how to rig and fish the Carolina Rig please Click Here

Casting All around general sinker used on many rigs, the top loop makes it easy to tie on or let the weight slide up and down the line. Weight Sizes 1/8 oz to 1 oz.

Three Way Rig The three way rig receives its name from the main swivel used on the rig. It is also

recognized as the wolf river rig. To learn more about how to rig and fish the Three Way Rig please Click Here

Disc Used in fast water currents lays flat on the bottom where snags are a problem. Weight Sizes 1/2 oz to 4 oz.

Egg The egg sinker is used on multiple rigs, as a sliding sinker or pegged to function as a stationary weight. Weight Sizes 1/8 oz to 1 oz.

Flat Also known as a No Roll this flat sliding sinker planes right to the bottom and hold for use in heavy current. Weight Sizes 1oz to 8 oz

Pyramid Great sinker for fishing swift rivers and heavy surf that have a soft bottom (mud and sand) the corners dig in keeping the weight stationary. Weight Sizes 1 oz to 8 oz.

Walking A very popular walleye angler sinker. A rectangular sinker with rounded

outside edges a top eye for the line with the bottom slightly wider and larger in size than top, holding more weight. The bottom is also rounded and bent upwards. This allows the sinker to walk on the bottom over rocks and rubble reducing the chance of snagging. The semi-flat design also prevents it from rolling in faster currents. Weight Sizes 1/8 oz to 1 1/2 oz.

Sliding Sinker Bottom Rig The sliding sinker bottom rig is the most popular and versatile rig for live bait fishing. Dependent on what part of the country your from and the species of fish youre targeting it has many names the most common is the trade name Lindy Rig. To learn more about how to rig and fish the Sliding Sinker Bottom Rig please Click Here Swivels Swivels are a simple but yet important part on your fishing gear when it comes to rigging. The swivel keeps your line from twisting, acts as a weight stop on your line along with spreading bottom rigs ( 3-way swivel) for proper presentations. Swivels are also used as a component on a leader to attach your line.


Ball Bearing

Three Way

Snap Swivel Fishing Bobbers (Floats) Fishing with a bobbers is one the most common and simple set-ups. The bobber or float presents the bait at a pre set depth and acts as a strike indicator when a fish bites. There are a variety colors, shapes and size bobbers available today, lighted or glow for night time fishing, slip bobbers that the fishing line passes through for deep water fishing and the fixed bobber that uses a spring lock or snap for shallow water fishing. Popular Common Bobbers (Floats)

1. Round Attached 2. Lighted Slip 3. Weighted Spring Attached 4. Glow Slip 5. Slip 6. Antenna Slip 7. Shy/Light Bite Slip 8. Waggler Slip 9. Large Bait Slip

Sliding Slip Bobber Rig The slip bobber can be fished at any depth, it is designed to move (slide) up and down the line and will not interfere with casting or landing a fish.
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How to Tie a Swivel to a Fishing Line

Sep 28, 2010 | By William Machin

Photo Credit Examples of medieval knots image by Maro... Markovi from

The basic styles of fishing swivels are designed for use in particular situations. Barrel swivels are used to connect one fishing line to another, such as a fishing line and leader. Snap swivels have an eye at one end for attaching the fishing line, and a clasp at the other that connects to sinkers, lures and jigs. Three-way swivels have one eye to attach the fishing line, a second for a sinker and a third eye for a fishing leader. The improved clinch knot is the best all-around attachment to tie a swivel to a fishing line.

Step 1
Hold the swivel between your thumb and forefinger with one eye of the swivel exposed. Insert the end of the fishing line into the eye. Pull about 8 inches of line through the eye as the tag end that is used to make the knot. Wrap the tag end of the line over the fishing line five times, starting next to the eye and working away from the swivel. Wrap without creating tension on the line in order to form a loop near the eye of the swivel. Insert the tag end through the loop near the eye of the swivel and pull it through a few inches without tightening the knot. This will form a second loop atop the wraps you've made along the fishing line.

Step 3
Make an additional wrap and insert the tag end through the loop atop the wraps. Pull the tag end until both loops close. Hold the tag end firmly and pull the swivel in the opposite direction to tighten the knot.

Step 4
Cut the tag end about 1/16-inch from the knot using nail clippers or small scissors. Hold the fishing line in one hand and the swivel in the other. Pull the line and swivel in opposite directions to make sure the improved clinch knot is secure.

Tips and Warnings

Make the wraps and passes through loops in the same rotational direction. Use the improved clinch knot to tie fishing line and leaders to lures and hooks.


My Fishing-Guide: Choose the Right Fishing Swivels Take Me Fishing: Knots You Need To Know

Article reviewed by Mary Branham Last updated on: Sep 28, 2010

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BASIC FISHING RIGS [anent sinkers]

Author: Katarina Mikic

Taking up fishing is one of the most rewarding things you can ever do, however it can also be very overwhelming and extremely frustrating, especially for those who haven't been fortunate enough to be taught the basics from a more experienced angler. When first starting out there is always a lot of trial and error, you will find you will over time be constantly improving your skills and be absorbing knowledge from all over the place. Once you have started out and mastered the basics progression will come naturally. When selecting line to use as leaders and terminal tackle to configure your rig keep the following points in mind. - If using a small hook use a lighter leader because if you use a really heavy leader your hooks can tend to straighten; however there is a range of smaller stronger hooks available if you need to use a smaller hook and stronger line for live baiting etc just be sure to make sure the hooks are a good quality more solid hook; - Don't use too big of a hook on a lighter leader as this can cause your rig to snap when you try to hook a fish and it also makes it difficult to set the hook in the fish's mouth as you are not able to apply enough pressure when you jag. - Make sure you don't use too heavy a sinker on your rig as if you over weight your rig with too much weight when you let rip a cast the whole thing will snap and you will have to start again! Not much fun when the fish are biting around you! - Use the lightest line possible for the fish you aim to catch. Over the course of this article I am going to cover a few basics rigs that you can start off with and explain a little bit about them, so hopefully this will help you out a long the way. The first rig I will talk about is probably one of the most universally used rigs, it's certainly one of the most popular rigs used in Australia and can be adapted to suit most fishing conditions, it's of course the Running Sinker Rig. The Running Sinker Rig - Sinker under swivel This is a pretty deadly rig which can be used for most types of fishing, from light lines to heavier lines. The beauty of this rig is that by running the sinker under the swivel it makes the rig somewhat more snag resistant, which is good for when fishing in snaggy country. Sometimes if you do get snagged and the rig isn't coming off, if you leave it sitting for a while and there is still bait on it if you wait a little while fish may pick the rig off from where it's stuck, if they do this be sure to wind your rig in quickly to prevent it getting snagged again. With this particular rig your ideal sinkers would be a ball, bean or barrel sinker. You can either thread one sinker on or use two smaller sinkers; sometimes this is a better option as they are less visible. The sinkers will rest nicely on top of your hook for the cast, but once your rig hits the water the sinkers will end up further up your leader away from the bait, this will allow the fish to pick your bait up without feeling immediate weight, do keep in mind

though as soon as your sinkers reach the swivel they will stop and fish will feel weight, so be sure to be swift when setting the hooks. You would use this style rig when fishing over snaggy ground and for live baiting.

The Running Sinker Rig - Sinker under swivel

The Running Sinker Rig - Sinker above swivel This is very similar to the above rig, however the sinker sits on top of the swivel. This is a better option for when you want to keep you sinker away from the bait. This is probably more commonly used than the sinker under swivel rig. It's a very versatile rig which you can use for almost any types of fishing. By using this rig you effectively allow your rig to be held under water with your bait floating above the rig, this type of rig can often be better for finicky fish.

The Running Sinker Rig - Sinker above swivel

No sinker rig This is probably the simplest of all the fishing rigs there are! All as it is your main line connected to a swivel which is connected to your leader which is connected to your hook! As a rough guide you wouldn't tie your swivel any more than a meter away from the hook as it can make casting a little more difficult and can cause problems if you wind up too much line and get the swivel caught in the eye of your rod, not only is it frustrating it can cause a lot of damage to the eyes on your fishing rod. Basically you can either use a rig such as this on heavier gear if you're using pretty heavy baits or on lighter gear if you are only have to make short casts to get to where the fish are. It is an ideal rig for fishing freshwater, lakes, quiet estuary backwaters and shallower grounds. Adding a swivel to this rig gives you a little bit of extra weight and will assist in getting a little bit of extra distance with your casts. Alternatively for surf casting I use an improved Albright knot to join my leader and main lines together then use a heavy bait such as a whole mullet which is how I get the extra distance on casts. However you will usually not get much distance without a sinker. When selecting line strength finer line is better for aiming at catching smaller species, whilst a heavier line will reduce bust offs and bite offs from fish.

The main things to consider when using this kind of rig is the strength of currents as if the current is too strong your bait will end up every where but where you want it, In which case you would end up using a running sinker rig. The no sinker rig is a great rig to use for finicky fish such as bream, trout and whiting or even for live baiting for bigger fish such as barramundi and threadfin salmon.

No sinker rig

Paternoster Rid / Dropper Rig This is a perfect rig for when you want to keep your bait away from your sinker and when you want to use more than one hook to either test out what the fish are feeding on or just to increase your chances of getting a hook up. These rigs are most commonly used for bottom fishing and surf casting. When tying these rigs you can either tie dropper loops into the line and connect your hooks directly to the loops or use swivels such as a 3 way swivel and tie your hooks to the swivel. A good point to bear in mind when using these rigs is to keep your sinker attached to the rig by using a lighter line, this way if you get snagged you only lose the sinker and not the whole rig! These rigs are great for catching fish such as salmon, tailor and mulloway from the beach as you can make the rig extra strong and heavy to contend with the rough ocean conditions you most often encounter when targeting these species. They're also great for using when bottom bouncing as you can have quite a long rig which is streamlined, great for fishing deep water as your hooks can sit quite away above the sinker which is better as the fish do not feel any weight.

Paternoster Rid / Dropper Rig

More important points to consider.

- Wait until you get to your fishing location to select a rig to use, otherwise more often than not you will get to your chosen spot and the rig you've carefully constructed will be wrong for the ground you are looking to fish. I.e. the wind/current may be too strong and you will need to change the rig. - Tie all of your rigs as if they're going to catch you the fish of lifetime! Occasionally a bigger fish will pick up a bait that's meant for a smaller fish, if you've taken care with your preparation you will optimize your chances of landing that monster! - Take time when tying your knots. Always check your knots by grabbing each opposite end of your rig and giving your rig a couple of sharp jerks just to make sure that you have tied them correctly. (if using really light line be a little more gentle when testing as you don't want to snap your rig!) and finally - Frequently check your rig during your fishing session. Check your lines for nicks and abrasions, if you find deep cuts in your leader or main line change your leader and if they're in your main line cut your rig of and cut off above the damaged line and then re tie your rig, it may be annoying but it's much better to be safe than sorry, because guaranteed, that one time you get lazy and don't change it, the fish of a life time will swim by and pick up your bait, then bust you off at the weak part of your line! It's not worth the risk and you will kick yourself for a very long time!

How to Tie a Sinker to a Fishing Line

Jun 14, 2011 | By Donivan Gillis

Photo Credit tackle box image by jedphoto from Sinkers and weights are some of the most important pieces of terminal tackle in fishing, according to Sinkers are used to get bait to a depth where the fish you are trying to get live or are biting. Sinkers come in many different varieties depending on the type of fishing you're doing, whether it is live-bait, fast current, or shore-based.

Slip Egg Weight Rig

Step 1
Feed your fishing line through the slip egg weight. Slip your fishing line through a plastic bead with a small hole. Give yourself some slack by running the sinker and beat a foot or two up the line.

Step 2
Tie a barrel swivel onto the end of your line using a uni-knot. Cut the excess line from the knot using a pair of scissors.

Step 3
Tie your leader to the barrel swivel using another uni-knot if using a monofilament leader. Use a haywire twist knot if using a wire leader.

Step 4

Tie your fishing hook to the end of your leader using a uni-knot for monofilament line or a haywire twist knot for wire leader line.

Rubber Core Weight Rig

Step 1
Tie a barrel swivel on to the end of your line using a uni-knot. Cut the excess line from the knot using a pair of scissors.

Step 2
Tie your leader to the barrel swivel using another uni-knot if using a monofilament leader. Use a haywire twist knot if using a wire leader.

Step 3
Tie your fishing hook to the end of your leader using a uni-knot for monofilament line or a haywire twist knot for wire leader line.

Step 4
Above the barrel swivel, slip your line down into the weight so that it runs along the rubber in the middle. Twist the rubber tabs on the ends of the weight in opposite directions so that the wire wraps around the rubber, making the weight secure.

Tips and Warnings

Be sure to use the proper lead line when fishing, and always aim to have the lightest lead line possible to make the line harder to spot for fish. Always be aware and careful of fishing hooks. Fishing hooks can cause injury.

Things You'll Need

Scissors Barrel swivels Egg slip weight Rubber core weight


BassPro: Introduction to Fishing Sinkers Combat Fishing: Useful Fishing Rigs

Article reviewed by WilliamS Last updated on: Jun 14, 2011

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How to Put a Sinker on Your Fishing Line

By Howard Altman, eHow Contributor Sinkers are lead or brass weights used to get bait to the bottom of a body of water. Sinkers come in a variety of sizes and styles. Some sinkers are tied securely to the line, others are threaded on so they can slide freely. Each type of sinker has a specific application. Some sinker types include egg, bullet, bell and split shot. Sinkers are used in both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

Instructions 1. Carolina Rig


1 Thread the line through an egg sinker. Use the lightest weight sinker possible. Heavy sinkers will prevent you from feeling a fish bite.

2 Thread on three to four plastic beads. The beads protect the knot and make noise while fishing the rig.

3 Tie on a swivel using a strong knot. Attach the hook to the swivel with a 2 to 3 foot length of line. Plastic worms are the preferred bait for a Carolina rig.

2. Slip Sinker Rig


4 Thread a bell type sinker onto the fishing line, then a plastic bead or two. Like the Carolina rig the beads will protect the knot from the sinker.

5 Create a leader by tying a hook to 12 to 18 inches of fishing line.

6 Tie the hook line to one loop of the swivel. Tie the main line to the other end of the swivel.

3. Drop Shot Rig


7 Tie a hook about 18 inches from the end of the line. The tag end will be used with a sinker.

8 Crimp split shot on to the tag line. The position of the sinker will determine how high the bait will run in relationship to the bottom.

9 Start with the least amount of weight and add split shot as needed. Trim any extra line from the tag end.

4. Texas Rig

10 Thread a bullet sinker onto the main line. Be sure to thread the line through the small end of the sinker.

11 Tie a worm hook to the line. Always use a sharp hook to help with hook set.

12 Trim any excess line. Use a 6-inch or longer plastic worm as bait.

Read more: How to Put a Sinker on Your Fishing Line |