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Snapper fish in sea with sharks

5 tips for making your own surfcasting rigs and traces

You know the way fish tend to like shiny stuff that floats around in the sea? Well the same principle applies when a keen fisherman or woman walks into their local Hunting and Fishing shop and sees all the amazing equipment lining the shelves. Before you know it, you are exiting through the sliding doors with a surprisingly small bag off stuff for the couple of hundred dollars you just left behind with the shop.

So here are my 5 top tips for making your own surfcasting rigs and traces:

1. Learn to do a few knots, but don't get carried away!

Don't forget that the main thing you are trying to do is have fun fishing and hopefully catch a feed for the family. So unless you want to spend hours perfecting all sorts of different and complicated knots, just learn a few of the main knots that will help you put a rig together and leave it at that. I would recommend learning the clinch knot, the uni knot and a dropper loop. The Spot X How To guide on Fishing Knots and Rigs is a good start, as are the videos on Ultimate Fishing TV

2. Have a think about your hooks

If you are surfcasting into more rocky ground and are finding that you get snagged a lot, then changing over to "circle hooks" can be a helpful tactic as the "pointy bit" of the hook curls back and isn't as exposed. Likewise, the type of sinker that has metal arms sticking out of it will not help you much in rocky terrain as these are intended to hold your rig in the sand. Also, consider buying decent quality hooks even if they cost a bit more. A bite from a decent sized snapper will severely damage or even destroy a hook made of cheap metal and then it will be no use to you at all.

3. Use additional attractors

You can add things like fluorescent tubing or beads to your surf fishing rigs to help the fish find your bait just that little bit more easily. There are a number of "secret sauce" options as well to give your bait some added scent.

4. Look after your rigs

It's always a good idea to give your rigs and other fishing gear a good wash after use. This can be as easy as sticking it all in a bucket of fresh water when you get home. You can always come back to it the next day if you haven't got time to sort it all out on the day of your trip. Unwashed gear starts rusting away really quickly and then you will soon be back to square one having to tie up new rigs and waste precious material making them. A product like Salt-Away can help to shift the salt from your precious rigs, reels and fishing lures.

5. Remember it's not just about distance

Shore fishing and surf casting isn't just about flinging your bait out as far as humanly possible. I have had many an occasion while beach fishing with my son when I have caught nothing with my 7ft surfcaster while he has had success with his little Shimano kid's rod. As long as your rig has a hook and bait on it, and is in the water, you will have a chance of catching some fish - so don't stress about your rigs and have fun!

Thanks for reading and be sure to check out our awesome waterproof fish stickers here!

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