Latest Posts

How to Tie a Pompano Rig

Pompano, whiting, croaker and sheepshead fish can often be caught using single hook jigs fished under a popping cork; however many surf and pier anglers prefer pompano rigs with two hooks, dropper loop knots, sinkers and snells as these setups provide greater opportunities.

A simple rig can keep bait away from the bottom and increase chances of success when fishing from beach, channel or pier.


A pompano rig is a type of saltwater fishing rig designed for bottom fish near beaches, channels or piers. These devices help anglers catch whiting, pompano, tablefish and more with minimal effort and planning. There are a number of varieties of pompano rigs to select from – finding one suitable to your fishing needs requires careful thought and consideration.

Before embarking on any fishing trip, it is essential that you consider which bait you will use and the style and size of hook that would best complement it. Your decision will depend on whether you’re targeting easier-to-catch species like whiting or harder-to-capture pompano; choosing the appropriate size and style of hook could make all the difference in terms of having an enjoyable fishing adventure.

Once you know which hook type you will use, the next step should be deciding where you will place it on your rig. Some fishermen prefer placing one hook at the end of their leader while others like attaching two. You can purchase pompano rigs in many fishing shops or online; alternatively you could create one yourself at home.

As with all rigs, tying a pompano rig starts with creating a clinch knot at one end of your line. Take about five feet out from where your knot begins and tie a clinch knot, leaving space for other dropper loops. After creating this initial knot, add the snap swivel. It keeps the rig from becoming tangled while providing you with access to attach bait. With your bait connected securely and an anti-tangling snap swivel in place, slide your float over one dropper loop while simultaneously adding barrel swivels on two others dropper loops – and you have yourself an established pompano rig ready for action!


Pompano rigs provide an ideal starting point for new saltwater anglers. Easy to tie and versatile enough for many uses, all you have to do is determine which works best on any given day and make adjustments as conditions evolve.

Selecting an effective pompano fishing leader is crucial to successful pompano fishing. While fluorocarbon line is preferable, large amounts may prove expensive; for those on tight budgets with more modest gear likely yielding the best results. Light yet strong leaders are recommended, and brightly-colored beads or floats may make more visible marks for wary pompano fisherman.

In murky or wavy waters, pompano rigs with stealthy components are more likely to attract fish than those with flashy components. Smaller and shorter leaders also tend to do better. A basic setup consisting of an unhooked hook attached to one short length of monofilament or fluorocarbon line should suffice; adding barrel swivels and snaps may reduce line twist and increase hookup rates further.

As anglers gain experience tying pompano rigs, they may begin experimenting with more elaborate designs. Jig fishermen may favor a single-drop rig consisting of a hook attached to one end of a short segment of fluorocarbon line and a bead that mimics sand flea eggs – an irresistible meal for pompano and other bottom fish species.

Redfish anglers in local waters sometimes employ a similar rig consisting of a snagless hook attached to two-foot lengths of monofilament or fluorocarbon fishing line – perfect for targeting redfish and other species while jigging channel edges or pilings with this technique.


Pompano rigs consist of hooks, beads or floats and sinkers connected to fishing line. A basic pompano rig requires monofilament or fluorocarbon 20-60lb test line and one to four-ounce sinkers that hold bait at the bottom to attract pompano and other surf going species like whiting or black drum. There are different kinds and sizes of sinkers available and each works better with certain bait types.

Sinkers come in various types, some designed to sit flat on the bottom while blending with a weed bed or beach channel edge, while other styles are created to bounce or roll across it while attached bait is suspended above on several feet of leader line. Some have grooves for holding line in place while others feature tabs (sometimes known as ears) that twist together to hold onto it.

A sliding sinker rig, commonly referred to as a dropper rig, is one of the most effective strategies used when targeting pompano in surf conditions. The goal is for the sinker to rest on the bottom while a 2/0 circle or kahle hook dangles above – simulating a fleeing sand flea trying to escape predators and find shelter from them.

To assemble this rig, start by threading a snap swivel onto your main line near the end of your hook using either a clinch or palomar knot. Next, tie a second dropper loop 10 inches above your sinker so that you can switch baits depending on weather and tide movements during surf fishing sessions. Pre-tied pompano rigs with snap swivels and droppers can be purchased at bait shops or online.

Dropper Loops

The Dropper Loop knot is a multipurpose knot designed to allow you to add additional hooks, bait or flash. To form one, pass one end of line from one end through multiple twists in its standing part (ie: not attached to hook) until reaching its opposite end – this creates a strong yet stiff loop which sits right angles to the mainline. Depending on which knot you use to tie this loop will determine its strength; typically longline knots work best due to being easy and quick ties that hold fast against water resistance.

Your choice of loop size depends on both the weight you intend to put behind it and hook size you intend to use, with smaller hooks suitable for smaller bottom fish such as pompano while larger hooks should be targeted toward larger predatory fish such as sharks. When choosing leader lines for pompano fishing, lighter and clearer leaders are often less “leader shy” and provide higher hookup rates than heavier and duller lines.

As soon as you’re ready to assemble a pompano rig, begin by cutting a 15″ length of 12 lb. monofilament or 20 lb. fluorocarbon and tying it onto your swivel. Next add your pyramid weight and 2/0 circle hook, along with some sand flea bait (available at most tackle shops) along with your sinker attached via its sliding clip; slide in your yellow float from Wally World or J & M and finally add red or orange bead earrings – and start fishing!

Barrel Swivel

Barrell swivels are an often under-appreciated piece of equipment in pompano rigs. Their role is twofold, protecting lines from frustrating tangles while eliminating twisting which reduces casting distance and leads to premature tackle failure.

Barrels swivels not only keep lines clear of tangles, they make connecting leaders and sinkers to main lines easier for beginners. Knotless connections may be difficult for newcomers; with barrel swivels offering an easier connection point. Tie or crimp them onto your line – these connectors are especially beneficial in connecting super braid fishing lines to monofilament or fluorocarbon leader material.

To tie a barrel swivel, create a loop at the end of your line and pass it over the eye of the swivel. Wrap one end around both swivel and loop five times with moistened line before pulling to tighten loop and swivel together. Finally, slip end through small opening between eye of swivel and wraps while moistening again and tugging to test strength of knot.

Barrels swivels come in all sorts of sizes, making selecting one for your pompano rig an important task. To help make this easier, the chart below offers recommendations for every weight of line to help ensure you select a swivel that serves its purpose without becoming too large or small – too small may allow the line to slip through it easily while too big will create unnecessary tension in terminal connections and put strain on terminal connection points.

Latest Posts

Featured Posts