Striped Bass Rigs for Surf Fishing

Striped bass is one of the most sought-after massive freshwater and saltwater fishes. Anglers, from beginners to having years of experience, love to catch this predator fish. It can get as long as 30-40 inches long, making it a sight to behold if caught in the hook. Striped bass generally is found in abundance in saltwater, but when it’s their spawning season, they migrate to freshwater sources. So, depending on the season, one can find and hunt for striped bass anywhere in the water body.

The condition is to know which location will be the best to get these carnivores. When it comes to angling striped bass, getting it could be a challenge as it provides the anglers the toughest of fights. And when it is surf fishing, the adventure knows no bounds due to the requirement of patience while you wait at the shore prepared with your rods and rigs, which by the way, is a blessing for the anglers.

Best Rigs for Surf Fishing the Striped Bass

There are quite a few striped bass rigs for surf fishing that can get you your striper way quicker. Successful surf fishing of these giant stripers results from the combination of location, these rigs, and the striper’s favorite baits. Here, let us help you know what types of rigs we are talking about, and depending on the components and how easy they are to prepare, you decide which one you will use to catch your striper during your next surf fishing adventure.

Striped Bass Rigs for Surf Fishing
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Choosing The Fishing Line and Leader Line

As the striper is a big fish with a massive capability of putting up a hard fight, we require the sturdiest mainline. So, for us, the best will be to spool up your fishing reel with enough braided line. The braided fishing line is thinnest; thus, you can wind up comparatively more fishing line. Hence no matter how far the striped bass tries to take you while trying to escape, your line will not end up and taut all of a sudden. Take the 60-100lb test braided line.

And with the braided fishing line, we will add up the fluorocarbon leader, about 15-20 inches 100lb test, or you can increase the length depending on your knowledge and need. If you think of using a sturdier leader line to make the rig much more durable and deadly, use a 20 inches 100lbs test steel leader. Such leaders are the best in resisting abrasion the best, which you will require the most during saltwater fishing.

Striped Bass Rig #1 – Fish Finder Rig

You can ask anyone who at least has some knowledge about striped bass and its rigs, or you can read tons of books or articles about it; the one rig that will always get highlighted is the fish finder rig. It’s known as the best rig for surf fishing, and we are talking about surf fishing the striper. So it obviously will be the most effective rig in surf fishing some of the giant striped basses. However, looking at the components that make the fish finder rig doesn’t even give away how effective and effortless it makes the striped bass angling. Once you apply and successfully hook your striped bass, only then do you know this is what you need, and there is no looking back or looking for an alternative.

Preparing The Fish Finder Rig

To prepare the fish finder rig, along with the fishing lines, leader, and a size 6 or 8 circle hook you will require –

  • Sinker slider
  • Glass beads, if not then plastic beads
  • Barrel swivel
  • 3-5oz pyramid sinker

Step by Step Instruction

  • The sinker slider, beads, and pyramid sinker will be connected to the mainline, and the rest will link the leader to the fishing line with weight.
  • Take your mainline through a plastic bead.
  • Slide the sinker slider through the fishing line and lock the pyramid sinker on its snap clip.
  • Then again, take the mainline end through a glass bead. You can use multiple beads, but we are using one on each side of the sinker slider. Beads will help avoid the breakage of the line and its knots due to the constant abrasion with the sinker slider. Also, these colorful beads work to attract the striper through its color and noise it creates upon collision.
  • Take the leader and tie its one end with one side of the barrel swivel. You can tie it with any knot you enjoy, but a uni knot is our favorite.
  • Tie the mainline end on the other side of the barrel swivel with the same knot. Your mainline and leader are now connected.
  • As the final step, take the hook and tie it to the leader with a sturdy snell knot. Hook some shrimps, small crabs, clams, and even wriggly red worms. But the best is to offer them bunker, herring, or mackerel chunks and pieces. And your effective fish finder rig is well-prepared to lure some massive stripers.

Striped Bass Rig #2 – Carolina Rig

Another rig that is as effective as the fish finder rig, if not more, is the Carolina rig. The concept is the same, you add weight to the mainline, but instead of natural baits, here you can also use plastic lures like, say, a swimming mullet. But that doesn’t mean you cannot use the striper’s favorite natural baits. They always work the best. However, when it’s tough to arrange live or natural bait, artificial lures always come to the rescue and are reasonable in angling multiple fishes as well. Carolina rig is the best in handling the harsh water conditions you face during surf fishing your stripers. The weight takes the hook close to the bottom, and when it comes to giant stripers, they are generally found at the bottom.

Preparing The Carolina Rig

Your Carolina rig will require –

  • A bullet sinker, 3oz
  • Glass or plastic beads
  • Barrel swivel

Step by Step Instruction

  • Your fishing line, leader, hook, and bait remain the same as the fish finder rig, so do the beads and barrel swivel. Only the bullet sinker replaces the pyramid sinker, and there is no sinker slider in the Carolina rig.
  • The bullet sinker goes right through the mainline. But before that, insert a glass bead to protect the fishing line.
  • Now insert two glass beads, or one will also do, through the mainline. The two glass beads will create better noise colliding with each other attracting the stripers much better, hence the mention.
  • Tie your mainline end with one side of the swivel with a Palomar knot. Apply the same knot to tie the leader line with the other side of the swivel. That’s how your leader is tied to the mainline.
  • Take your size-6 or size-8 hook and tie it to the other end of the leader through a snell knot. Your rig is ready.
  • To start angling, hook the swimming mullet properly on the fishing hook. Or just use your regular live baits.

Striped Bass Rig #3 – High-Low Rig

The last rig we have for surf fishing the striped bass is the high-low rig. This rig is totally different from both the fish finder rig and the Carolina rig. The sinker or weight is tied right at the end of the leader line in place of the hook, and on the leader, you have two dropper loop knots where two hooks are tied. The purpose of such rigs is to increase the chances of angling striped bass. Two fishing hooks double the chances of catching stripers, and on top, you do not have to worry about the lost baits too.

Preparing The High-Low Rig

Make your high-low rig with a –

  • Barrel swivel and
  • 3-5oz pyramid sinker

Step by Step Instruction

  • Just like the other two rigs, keep your fishing line and leader the same. If you think the two dropper loop knots will require a longer leader, increase its length through your own understanding, perhaps take the leader length to 40-50 inches.
  • And in this case, instead of one size-6 or size-8 hook, you will require two fishing hooks. Keep both the hooks the same size.
  • You will have to tie two dropper loop knots on the leader now, keeping a reasonable distance between the two. You can tie the two dropper loop knots on the same side or keep one at one side and the other on the opposite side of the previous dropper loop knot.
  • Create a loop, hold the two top lines, and start twisting both around each other about 5-6 times. Take the bottom section and bring it through the loop, and that step creates another loop which is basically your dropper loop. Now keep your one finger in that loop and pull the lines from both sides to tighten the loop, and your first dropper loop knot is done.
  • Tie the other dropper loop knot the same way. Now take your hooks and tie them to the dropper loop knots. Take the loop through the hook eyelet and then take it right over the shank and bend, basically tightening it to the eyelet.
  • To attach the pyramid sinker, you will need to tie a surgeon’s knot at the end of the leader. Tie the surgeon knot and lock the pyramid sinker to the leader.
  • Now tie your mainline and leader through the barrel swivel. Apply a uni or Palomar knot or any other knot you like.
  • By hooking the natural baits on both the hooks, double your chances of striking some massive stripers.

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Surf fishing amplifies the challenge of angling stripers multifold as the slothful wait and equally anxious thrill of getting the striper hook is something that induces a great adrenaline rush. With the right rigs like the ones above, you can experience the thrill multiple times in less period.

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