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You can buy those two-hook rigs in wire instead of mono... And if you're don't recognize what SinkerMan suggested, take it to a tackle shop at the beach and ask them to put a shock leader on it for ya.

The first purpose of the shock leader is to stand up to the stress that comes from the cast -- you're hurling maybe 4 to 8 ounces, but when you sling the rod, that weight multiplies by the length of the moment arm and a variety of other physics questions. So it's not that tough to break 20-lb line on the cast. The second purpose of the shock leader is to resist abrasion from oysters and rocks on the bottom.

Bluefish and sharks have very sharp teeth -- if you want to catch them, or if you want your rigs to survive when they're around, your terminal tackle needs to be wire. Again, if you're uncomfortable with it, the tackle shop can help you out.

Finally -- losing hooks, rigs, and weights (and baits for that matter) is a part of the game. If you ever go out with a single hook, a single weight, and a single lure, and you bring it all home, you didn't try hard enough. If you're gonna be on the pier for a few hours, get maybe five or six rigs... You might not use but one or two, but they're pretty cheap. Get a few sizes and shapes of weights -- take what the shop recommends, and pick up one a size smaller and one a size bigger (if it's not too big for your gear). It's really an eye-opener when you develop enough of a feel for your tackle that you can tell the difference between a pyramid weight and a teardrop weight, and when you can feel it dragging in the sand and then hitting a rock. You don't have to go all-out and buy the whole tackle shop, but if you don't want to cut your outing short, you'll probably do better with about five bottom rigs than you will with one or two.

Whatever you do, enjoy it, come back and tell us about it, and then go do it again!!
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