5 Essential Holderness Sea Fishing Rigs


Always use a shock leader. 10lb breaking strain per ounce of lead is the minimum required to keep other beach users safe. With this in mind the rig body you choose should be at least the same breaking strain of your shock leader.

Component quality

Using quality rig building components is essential. Search the Internet and you’ll find no end of stories where someone has lost a good fish due to a cheap Aberdeen hook snapping or a dodgy swivel giving way. We spend fortunes on gear and bait, so why skimp on the bits that directly connect you to the fish?

Hook Clipping Systems

In the diagrams below I’ve shown 3 different systems for clipping down the hooks. These are the Breakaway Impact Shield, Breakaway Imp and Breakaway Impact Lead – and before you even think it…I don’t work for them! All 3 will give a 100% release rate if used correctly. My preference is the Breakaway Impact Lead purely because I like to keep things simple, but you could use any of these systems on any of the rigs.

Scratching Rigs


2 Hook Cascade Rig


This is a long range scratching rig that will deliver 2 worm baits in perfect condition as far as you can cast them. The rig can be made without the use of the Gemini SRT Spring, but this helps to tension the whole rig and prevents snood stretch.

Tip – On the bottom snood leave about 10mm between the top and bottom crimp. This allows the required ‘slack’ for the SRT Spring to also tension the lower snood correctly.
Tip – Making the top snood slightly longer than the bottom one will ensure that both baits are fishing tight on the sea bed.


1 x size 1 rolling swivel
2 x size 6 rolling swivel
4 x crimp
5 x bead
1 x Gemini SRT Spring
1 x Breakaway Cascade Swivel
1 x Breakaway Fast Link/Gemini Rig Clip etc.
2 x size 2 – 2/0 hooks







2 Hook Wessex Rig


A close to mid range rig which offers superb bite detection. The lower snood is fished hard on the bottom and the top snood just off the bottom. Because the lower snood is a running leger the fish feel very little resistance and the bite is transmitted straight to the rod tip, which isn’t always the case on rigs such as a one up one down rig.

Tip – Add sequins and coloured beads to attract flatties and whiting.
Tip – A plain lead of 3-4oz will allow the rig to slowly move around and find the fish.


2 x size 1 rolling swivel
1 x size 6 rolling swivel
1 x safety snap (or size 1 swivel with lead link)
2 x crimp
3 x bead
2 x size 4 – 2/0 hooks



Pulley Pennel

pulley_rigThe pulley pennel is probably the most widely used big fish rig on the Holderness coast and has landed some very big cod, ray and bass. The pennel hook arrangement easily takes full squid or bulky cocktail baits, while the pulley system lifts the lead out of the way of the grabbing clay beds and rocks, that can be found anywhere from Aldbrough to Spurn, when retrieving a fish.

Tip – A Fox Pulley Bead distributes the load on the rig body during the cast far more effectively than a swivel can.
Tip – Instead of struggling to slide tubing over the top hook to old it in place simple wrap the snood 3 times around the shank of the hook. It’s just as secure and easier to adjust.


1 x size 1 rolling swivel
1 x Fox Pulley Bead
3 x bead
1 x crimp
1 x Breakaway Impact Shield
1 x Breakaway Fast Link/Gemini Rig Clip etc.
1 x size 1/0 – 3/0 hook
1 x size 2/0 – 4/0 hook


Single Hook Clipped Down

clipped_down_rigDeliver medium sized baits at extreme distance with the single hook clipped down rig. The Gemini SRT Spring keeps everything tight on the cast and prevents snood stretch. The Breakaway Imp keeps the bait tucked tight behind the lead to improve stability, and ultimately, distance.

Tip – Add a bait stop above the hook to stop the bait blowing up the snood during impact.


1 x size 1 rolling swivel
1x size 6 rolling swivel
3 x bead
2 x crimp
1 x Gemini SRT Spring
1 x Breakaway Imp
1 x size 2/0 – 4/0 hook


Long and Low

long_low_rigThe long and low rig keeps a bait nailed to the sea bed during big tides and also allows the bait to move in a more natural way. A pennel setup can be used to accommodate the biggest baits.

Tip – Because of the design of this rig a fish must dislodge the lead for a strong bite to be registered. This could pull the tip over or cause a drop back bite. To spot drop back bites wind down the tip of the rod, then watch for it springing back.


1 x size 1 rolling swivel
1x size 6 rolling swivel
2 x bead
2 x crimp
1 x bait clip or Gemini Pulley Clip
1 x Breakaway Imp
1 x size 2/0 – 4/0 hook

24 Responses to 5 Essential Holderness Sea Fishing Rigs

  1. Glenn Kilpatrick November 24, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    An absolute quality article Mike. I am sure this will be beneficial to many site readers. You are a real asset to the site.

  2. Bassman November 24, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    First class article Mike thanks for posting,

  3. Ray Maddison November 24, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Great info Mike! Clear instructions on how to make rigs. All the rigs shown are tried, tested and failsafe. All are made with quality accesories too. Stick with these rigs for beach work and you won’t go far wrong.

  4. chris November 24, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    TOp work mike lad

  5. ohmycod November 25, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Quality information and diagrams.

  6. Jellyworm November 25, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Nice clear diagrams there…….for those who are not making their own rigs and relying on bought rigs you now have no excuse. Thanks for sharing Mike.

  7. miker November 25, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Thanks for the comments lads. Much appreciated.

  8. Fox November 25, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Great article and diagrams Mike. Very useful and good of you to take the time!

  9. frank ,leeds November 26, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    great info and diagrams,new most of it but picked up some good tweaks for my end tackle ,were always learning and people like you that take the time to show others ,well done its great

  10. jacfodder November 27, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Hi mike just seen your site today. This really is the best rig site I have ever seen. 100 percent. Just one thing errr, where do I hang the little sign free dinners this way:) all the best.

  11. clonker March 17, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    A very good article with clear illustrations. Could do with a bit on snood and shocj leader length for those just starting with the sport.

  12. beadle April 28, 2010 at 11:46 am

    great rigs and cleer diograms and fallowed moast of then n cout fish or two of then so grat work mike :)

  13. Keith May 26, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Never used the pully pennel or the long and low, but thanks to your article I will soon rectify that. Many thanks for posting such a well thought out article.

  14. SheffSean September 17, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Awesome post mate, i`ll certainly be trying at least 2 of these rigs, thanks.

  15. al November 24, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    brilliant post, i am new to the fishing and this has helped me a lot.
    thanks for bringing this to us
    all the best

  16. Ian August 20, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Hi this is an excellent site and I am new to this, took my son who is six to Wales and somehow caught a Bass. He is six and we’re both hooked so to say. We are now looking at more of this, might sound silly but what is a shock leader?

  17. Bassman August 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Safety First – Shock Leaders for Sea Fishing

    When fishing from a beach or pier and casting 5 or 6 oz of lead its vital to yours and others safety that you use the correct tackle.

    This begins with a shock leader and rig body made from line strong enough to withstand the extra strain caused when casting, as the rod is brought round in the cast and the line is prevented from leaving the reel, a vast amount of force is exerted on the line, if the line is not strong enough it will break and can often cause the entire rig with weight to fly off at an angle up the beach, if this hits someone it will seriously hurt them!

    A shock leader is a length of line strong enough to take this added pressure, that generally when casting runs from the rig top through the rod rings and then 6-10 turns around the reel spool, in general around 30ft in length is plenty.

    Both the shock leader and the rig body should be at least 10lb breaking strain for every 1oz of leader being used, ie 50lb for a 5oz lead.

    As a chain is only as strong as its weakest link its also just as important when shore fishing that the knots you use do not reduce the strength of the line, a 50lb shock leader is no use if a poor knot is used and reduces the b/s to 20lb. Either Blood knots or Grinner knots are best for attaching swivels and clips to the rig or leader, and these should be wet before pulling tight to prevent any burn damage.

  18. Doug September 1, 2011 at 11:35 am

    I tried the Pulley Pennel rig this year shown in your artical on a fishing trip in July this Year and caught my first Smooth Hound. Thanks without your advise I wouldn’t have had a clue.

  19. Digger October 27, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    As a novice can i ask the question why do people gut lug worms surely this adds to the bait attraction or is it a pre freezing requisite.

  20. Woodoil June 19, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Ye just prior to freezing , also slaps they are gutted blacks they stay fresh longer , u slap them hard on a box , and even tho they are dead there muscles contract and they go hard like there alive and satay on the hook better

  21. steven hollingworth August 30, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Great rigs they have helped allot as i am a new commer to the sport

  22. Andrew Ellard September 4, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Spot on information especially the Wessex rig it really helped
    My catch rate cheers

  23. bigsi October 15, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Great rigs & diagrams & very informative,I’m sure a lot of people will try the rigs in your article,especially the newbies even the experienced among us can’t fail to learn something from these detailed diagrams.

  24. DISCOMICK January 13, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    Brilliant article,,nice to see the Wessex rig included one of the most underused rigs…yet one of the deadliest rigs out there…try it once and I’m sure you’ll return to it……

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