Best Surf Fishing Rigs

Knowing how to cast and reel in isn’t enough to catch bait. That’s why you’d better have a well-equipped surf-fishing rig to guarantee your trip’s success. 

And because no one likes to be put in a situation where they have to choose between various options, anglers tend to buy ready-made surf-fishing rigs that are made to suit different needs. However, some anglers like to customize their own. 

Keep reading, and by the end of this article, you’ll be able to choose the best surf-fishing rig or even customize your own.

Best Surf Fishing Rigs

Ready-made surf fishing rigs are found at different fishing stores. Some anglers prefer to learn the rigging up techniques and do it themselves. Others prefer buying a previously-rigged set to save their time and energy.

Fish Finder Rig

Fish Finder Rig

The fish finder rig is one of the most basic surf fishing rigs. It includes a small plastic sleeve, through which the mainline passes. Also, the plastic sleeve comes with a clip to which we tie the pyramid sinker. That way, we can make sure that the sinker won’t slide down the line or the sleeve.

Moreover, the rig comes with a barrel swivel. The first end of the swivel is tied to the mainline, and the second is linked to the leader. 

Most anglers turn to the fish finder rig when they’re using large, live bait. Of course, you’ve to adjust your leader’s length and hook’s size according to the type of fish you’re after and the length of your cast. 

For instance, if you’d like to make a long accurate cast, you’d have to choose a short 6-inch leader, as the wind will fight your line if you used a longer leader, and the bait won’t settle down at the desired position.

However, if you’re targeting fish that are close to the shore, you can use a 30-inch leader, which will float on the water’s surface, and keep flattering till your fish gets hooked.

The fish finder rigs are good enough to catch both flukes and brown sharks, yet they are perfect for grabbing flukes as they’re usually swimming around near the shore, so you don’t have to be a pro to catch one. You only need to use a 30-inch long leader, and the fluke will grab right on!

If you’re seeking fish with sharp teeth, you may need to replace the monofilament leader with a wire one because species like bluefish and sharks could bite off a monofilament line.

Some fishers aren’t fans of fish finder rigs because they need to tie about 3 knots, and if the knots weren’t tied carefully, the line would break and you’ll lose your catch.

Fireball Rig

Fireball Rig

Unlike the fish finder fishing rig, the fireball one is hard to rig up, so you should buy a previously-rigged one to save time and energy. 

This rig is perfect for bluefish seekers, but you need to get your fighting skills ready. If you adjust your hook and bait, you can catch almost every fish in the ocean. A fireball rig supports long casts and gives the bait a colorful, natural look that will entice most fish.

The rig comes with two hooks attached to two bright floaters that are extended from two dropper loops. These floaters are used to prevent the resting of the two hooks in the sea bed, to stop sea dwellers like a crab from wasting your bait.

Since you have two hooks, you can use two baits, which will give you a bigger chance of catching fish. You may need to choose your bait’s weight carefully because if the weight is too heavy, your cast won’t be accurate.

When using a fireball rig, anglers usually use circle hooks or J-hooks to catch trophy bass and bluefish.

The fireball rig has two swivels: a regular one connected to the mainline, and a snap swivel attached to a pyramid sinker. The snap swivel is always a smart choice because it prevents line entanglements with the sinker.

When anglers choose fireball as their rig, it probably means that they’re after sharp-toothed fish. That’s why you should avoid using braided lines and monofilament leaders. Instead, you should go for wire lines and leaders to give you the upper hand when fighting a bluefish.

However, some anglers may not use the fireball rig because pyramid sinkers build up tension along the line, which scares off fish.

How to Tailor-make Your Tackle


If you don’t have a target fish in mind, you should have a set of different-sized hooks. Your choice of hook changes according to the type of fish you’re seeking.

For instance, if you want a sneaky, rapid prey, you should consider circle hooks, especially when catching redfish and mullet.

But if your target is a slow-moving one like striped bass, you may need to consider J-hooks, which aren’t recommended by pros. Anglers noticed that J-hooks are too sharp, as they can kill the fish once the fish grabs the bait. Of course, you may need to choose another hook, if you’re following catch-release techniques. 


Most anglers go with monofilament and fluorocarbon leaders; however, sharp-toothed fish would easily bite them off. That’s why you should consider wire leaders if you’re targeting bluefish and sharks.

You need to adjust the length of your leader according to your casting distance. If you’re seeking a long cast, shorten your leader as much as you can, as leaders might be driven away by the wind.


Pyramid sinkers are the most commonly used sinkers by anglers, particularly in calm water. They come in different sizes and shapes, and they’ll help you catch different types of fish. 

A pyramid sinker won’t destroy your cast and will help you land your cast in the right place. Also, it won’t cause any harm to your lure and will prevent any line entanglements.

Sometimes, the waves aren’t very calm. In that case, you may need to go for a sputnik sinker.


There is no textbook to follow when choosing your bait, but I could give you a brief about what pros do.

Usually, when pros are surf fishing, they choose live-bait like squid, mackerel, flees, and clams. 

Others pick naturally-colored lures, which are sometimes an excellent option to grab a fish’s attention.

Final Thoughts

You can catch the biggest trophies when surf fishing. You only need to choose the right tackle. 

The best way to choose a tackle is to learn from experience. As time passes, you’ll know what a fish likes and what would get the fish to grab a bite.

By rigging up an excellent tackle, no shark can stand in your way!