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Just started fishing a couple yrs ago and I need some ideas on rigs for surf fishing. Nothing too complicated, just the basic four or five most common, versatile rigs for the surf. I'll be in S. Nags head for 2 glorious weeks starting 9/15 and my casting arm is starting to twitch uncontrollably already!. Thanks in advance for your help, this is great site.
 

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Red X Angler
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Welcome aboard! There has been alot of past discussion about surf basics so I recommend you try the "search" feature in the blue banner above... There is a ton of good info there!!
 

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Red X Angler
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Thats a great site! Thanks backlash!
 

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Welcome to the site. The most commonly used surf fishing rigs are: the two hook rig, the fishfinder rig, The carolina rig (often seen abrieviated as C-rig), the 3-way rig and the lure with a bite leader.

The two hook rig is the most useful for smaller fish. It is fairly compact and cast well. there are several ways of tying it but it is best to use the minimum amount of hardware. Most store bought 2 hook rigs have shiny crimps and snaps for hook attachment and a metal sinker connector and a shiny swivel. I tie mine with no hardware other than hooks and attach it to the line with a small black coastlock snap swivel. search this site for "double hooker" to see the easy way to tie this rig and ways that it can be rigged. 2oz-4oz pyremid weights are normally used in the surf with this rig. Also search two hook rig for variations.

The fishfinder rig is most often used as a big fish rig. For fish other than drum you may want to use a longer leader and/or a J hook but for 90% of the fishing on the OBX the best rig is the full drum rig listed under Knots and rigs at the following site. Make sure to check out the casting videos liste under "links" while you are there.Hatteras Outfitters

The Carolina Rig is simply an egg sinker of appropriate size threaded onto your running line then a bead a barrel swivel and a leader. This is commonly used to catch flounder in the surf with a live minnow or a strip bait. an 18"-24" 20lb leader with a #2-2/0 kahle or circle hook is used to liphook a live minnow or a white piece of belly meat from another fish. (Scale it if it has large scales)

The three way rig is normally used for big blues and small sharks. To make it: attach one end of a size 3/0 3 way swivel to your shock leader. The middle leg gets 24" of #5 single strand coffee colored wire and a 7/0 xlong shank offset Kirby hook. (Bantam egg sized floats in flourescent orange or chartreuse are often threaded onto the wire to float the bait above the bottom to slow the crabs down.) to the bottom attach a 100-150lb coastlock snap swivel to a piece of 50 lb mono. Measure the mono with the swivel using the wire to measure by. You want the top of the swivel to be even with the very bottom of you hook when attached. Attach the measured line to the bottom of the 3 way. A 5oz-8oz pyramid sinker and a chunk of cutbait and you are ready for jumbo bliues.

Lure and leader: 12" to 24" of 20-30 lb mono attached to lure with a Rapala knot or other loop knot and attached to the line with an albright special.
Recommended leader sizes: 10-15 lb trout, whiting, spot
20lb pompano, flounder,blues<12"
30lb medium size spanish and blues<2lb.
40lb flouro for big spanish and 2-3 lb blues.
#5 wire for bigger blues.
 
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