The Best Fishing Rigs For The Fish You Want

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There are around 20,000 species of fish in our oceans, and although we don’t target all of them, there is a lot we do. It seems that for every fish we target, there are different Fishing Rigs we could use.

The Best Fishing Rig For Whatever Fish You Want

Trying to use the same rig to catch all fish is like painting an entire house with a small paintbrush. Sure it might work, but it isn’t the best option for the job. You need to use the Best Fishing Rigs for each different species you target.

In this post, I will talk about some of the best fishing rigs out there, what fish they are best used on, and most importantly, how to tie them. There are many fishing rigs out there, and most of the work, but might not be the best for the fish you are targeting.





Bottom Rigs


Bottom fishing is one of the most common fishing methods out there. It can be done by boat, jetty, pier, or wharf. And as such, there have been many rigs developed to use in these conditions to target specific fish species.

Deciding where you are going to fish will go a long way in deciding the rig you will use. Is it sand, reef, weed, wreck, or a combination?


Paternoster Rig (snapper or drop rig)


  • Maybe one of the most popular bottom fishing rigs that catch just about everything.
  • Can be used with 1 of 2 hooks
  • Sinker on the bottom to minimize snagging and keeps bait off the bottom
  • Can be used in many situations, but great for drifting and surf fishing
  • Good for most species especially Snapper

Running Sinker


  • Good when little current or swallowing water
  • Good on sand or rubble bottom
  • Free running so fish doesn’t feel the weight of the sinker
  • With a stronger current need to have a longer trace and attach the sinker to run on a swivel
  • Good for Snapper, Shark, or Jewfish

Single Hook Running Sinker


  • Single hook with free-running sinker down to hook
  • Good for heavy reef country
  • Needs to be used with a heavy line
  • Easy to de-snag
  • Good for reef species like Trout and Emperor


Where are all the fish

Simple One Hook


  • Just one hook tied to the line
  • Very natural, lets bait float in current
  • Work just about anywhere
  • Attach a very small swivel if the line starts to twist
  • Can be used for most species


Beach and Surf Fishing Rigs


When fishing from the beach, you can still make use of your paternoster and running sinker rigs. However, there are a few others to make use of. Using live bait from the beach is always going to increase your chances, though an oily fish like pilchard can also work fine.

Tailor Rig


  • A paternoster rig with at least one set of gangs, 2 is better if using dead bait
  • Use a flat or star sinker and wire to avoid bite off, though decrease bite strike amount
  • Use pilchard, mules, garfish, or live bait
  • Target species Tailor, Salmon, Shark, Mulloway

Running Sinker


  • Running sinker down to swivel, 400-500mm leader
  • For whiting, use a long shank hook with worms or yabbies for bait
  • For Bream, 3.0 suicide hook with worms, yabbies, pilchard, strip bait
  • Add a stinger or keeper hook with the stronger leader for Bream, Flathead, Snapper, Tailor
  • Shorter leader, gang hooks for Tailor, Salmon, Mulloway


Excuse me, your in my spot


Trolling Rigs


Trolling is a great way to catch fish, You can cover a lot of ground, and the boat does all the work so all you have to do is reel in the fish. One thing you need to make sure of is that your gear is up for the challenge.

Most people when they go out trolling will only target one species (usually Mackerel) but there are many other species you can target and catch when trawling. Though lures are becoming more popular these days, your always going to have more success with bait.

Targeting Mackerel


  • Be sure to use a wire trace as they have a nasty set of teeth and will bite through mono in the blink of an eye
  • The tried and true method of a Garfish on a set of gangs with a pink octopus lure
  • Deep diving lures around the 5-8 meter mark.
  • Try running 2-4 different lures at different lengths and depths at the same time
  • Use a teaser to bring more fish up to your rigs

Targeting Dolphin fish (Mahi Mahi)


  • No need for wire as they won’t bite off, though you may also hook mackerel with this rig
  • Around 3 feet of 100 – 150 pound leader with a crimp-on  loop to attach a snap swivel
  • Crimp-on 8.0 hook with 100mm of copper rigging wire
  • Run a soft head chugged down to the hook
  • Garfish bait, with wire to hold still and close mouth (break garfish back in a few places to help swim better)
  • Can troll at high speed with this rig
  • Also great for Marlin

Targeting Coral Trout


  • Shorter rod and overhead with at least15kg braid and 24kg leaders recommended
  • Slow trolling speed of around 5 knots
  • Use diving minnow lures and poppers
  • Run a couple of different lures at the same time at different depths and distances from the boat
  • Get ready to lose a few lures as they love to take you straight into a hole if given the chance


Trolling for the big stuff


Float Rigs


Floating rigs are great for set-and-forget. They also have the potential to catch many species of fish. These are great if you are fishing from a boat, jetty/pier, or even from the shore They can also be set up on any type of gear be it overhead, spinner, or even hand line.




  • Great for getting the bait further out, setting depth, and easier to see than cork or bopper
  • Make sure to use biodegradable balloons, with bright colors
  • Can be tied using a rubber band, slip knot, or a balloon to line the tool
  • Great for mackerel, Billfish, Tuna, Cobia, and many more

Float or Cork


  • Most of the setup is on the mainline
  • Start with a stop knot, then add float, weight, swivel then a short leader down to hook
  • Can run beads between stop knot and float and underweight to swivel
  • Float should be able to run a couple of feet up and down the line
  • Can adjust float height to different heights depending on the depth you want
  • Good for many species throughout water collum (adjust float height and hook size accordingly)
  • Can be used from a boat, Jetty/Pier, or shore



  • Very simple and very effective
  • Can use swivel and leader, or mainline straight to hook or gangs
  • Bait floats naturally through water
  • low cast distance
  • not good in a strong current
  • Great for just about any fish

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Getting the job done


No matter what fish you are targeting, and where you are fishing, make sure you have good-quality equipment. Not just rod and reel, but all your gear from hook to swivel and line.

There are a lot of great brands out there that won’t break the bank, and it sure beats the heartbreak of losing a good fish because of faulty equipment.

I hope you enjoyed reading my post, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below. As Always

Tight Lines

Tony Creator of Get Reel Fishin

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