A basic guide to making a pole rig

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Proud to be a.....
May 26, 2006
Hi guys,

Well, after seeing a few posts on here asking how to make a pole rig from scratch, I thought Id put up this post to give a basic understanding and a rough guide to how simple it can be.

We all start somewhere in our sport, and with many newcomers to the site, and the art of Pole Fishing, understandably, there are a few out there that either havent got the first clue how to go about setting up a rig, or just arent quite sure on the ins and outs of it.

Many people I have come across that are new to Pole Fishing, ask about how I tie a hook on, "Is it done any differently?"


You can use either a standard hooklink, or if you prefer to fish straight through, you can use a very simple way of attaching a hook called the "Hook In The Loop".
Rather than me go through all that on here, take a look at this short video made by MAP's Giles Cochrane:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srxnpogkKg0

I think you ll agree, its extremely simple to tie, and very effective.

To show how easy and simple a pole rig can be, here is my guide to a basic, typical commercial fishery type rig.

I would suggest a mainline of around 5 lb, with a hooklink of 4 lb, and a size 14 or 16 hook. This should cover you for most commercial carp you will encounter, and handle fish up to around 7 lb or more, and with a 14 or 16 hook, you can use most larger baits such as corn, meat and pellets.

Please note, I have used over sized hooks, line and float rubbers for ease of illustration[;)]

Step 1

These are the basic items you will need for each rig you make:

2009128125240_step 1.jpg

Your chosen float, your chosen mainline, float silicone (make sure these are tight on the float stem, but also loose enough to alow you to pull the line through aswell), or rubbers, hooks, and a winder to store your rig on once completed.

Step 2

Take your line, and spool off around 6ft and trim off.
(6ft of line should cover you for most commercial venues, and you will more than likely end up cutting some line off to adjust for the swim you are in)

200912813433_step 2.jpg

Cut three peices of silicone (or 3 suitable sized rubbers)
Then push the line downwards through the float eye, threading on the three rubbers below the float. Then push the rubbers onto the float stem and space them out evenly:

200912813555_step 3.jpg

Step 3

Now you have attached the float to the mainline, you need to decide if you are going to be using a hooklink, or wanting to tie a hook direct to the line.

For this guide, Ive used a standard hooklink and attached it via a simple loop to loop (obviously below the float[;)]), as you would with any rod and line set up.

Step 4

Next, you need to create the loop that is needed to attach the completed rig to the pole.
Assuming that you are using a standard connector on your pole, I use a double over hand loop of around 1/2 - 1 inch in length, at the end of the line above the float:

2009128131642_step 4.jpg

Tighten up and trim off the tag end:
2009128131758_step 5.jpg

Well, thats pretty much it[:0]

You ve now made a rig, the only thing left to do now is shot the line to suit the float, but if you are unsure of the shot needed for it, dont worry, you can do it on the bank when you use it.

2009128134151_step 7.jpg

All thats left to do now is put the completed rig onto a winder and stick it in your box until you are ready to use it[^][^]

I like to use what are known as "Slide winders", as these have a sliding hook up on the side of the winder, thus eliminating the need for any rubber winder anchors.

Simply place the hook through the small hole in the winder, and wind the line around the winder, adjusting the float until it sits neatly in the deeper groove of the winder (make sure the body of the float is in the deeper side of the winder, or if the body is sticking out above the winder sides, you could crush it if if anything lays on top of it[;)]), and when you reach the top loop, hook it over the sliding hook up, and pull tight.

2009128134219_step 8.jpg


Once you get to the bank, shot the float, plumb up and adjust the float accordingly to the depth, then if you find you are left with loads of line between float and pole tip, just cut the line at around 8-12" above the float and re tie a double overhand loop, stick on a bit of bait, and you re fishing[:D][:D]

Hopefully thats help a few out and shown them that its NOT difficult to make a pole rig.
Infact, in my experience, simplicity is key.


The shot patterns for pole rigs can vary a lot depending on the float, conditions of the day, depth of water, and also how the fish are feeding a the time.

The way I look at things, again is keeping things quite simple, and as long as you have the float shotted correctly in the first place, then really its just a case of trial and error and seeing which way you position your shot works best on the day.

As a general rule, the way you shot a pole float is not any different to any other float rig. They just tend to be alot lighter, so smaller shot is required.

I also must point out that for 99% of my rigs, I use the Preston Stotz, which are a cylindrical shaped shot, rather than your average rounded shot.
I find these are easier to put on the line, and also to remove and slide up and down the line without damaging your line.

As an example.
Say the swim was 4ft deep.
If my float needed 4X No.8 Stotz, then I would put on 3 No. 8's around halfway down the rig quite close together as the main bulk, and see how the float was sitting. Then to dot the float down to how I wanted it to sit, I would add a number 10 Stotz around halfway between hook and the number 8's. Again, I would test how the float is sitting, and if more shot is required, add another No.10 next to the other No.10.
We all know that pole floats stated shot capacity can be vastly different to reality, just the same as running line floats can.
So you may have to keep adding or taking shot off to get it to sit nicely.

This is normally how I start off, and then its just a case of moving the shot around a little and seeing which way produces the most bites.
After a while, things become second knowledge, and you will soon find a patterns that you become comfortable with.

Distance between Pole tip and Float

Again, this becomes a personal thing, and some anglers prefer to have a longer line between float and tip, where as others will have what seems a very short line.

For a start, and until you get used to holding the pole for long periods at longers lengths, then really, a distance of around 12" should be just about right when starting out on the pole.
As you become more confident with shipping in and out with a pole, you will notice that you wont be bouncing the tip around so much, and then you can start to experiment with different lengths of line, and find how you like to do it[;)]

Things like wind, and flow of the water will mean that you need to experiment with differing lengths of line to suit the day, and I have often ended up with 2ft of line on really windy days, when others seem quite happy with alot less[;)]

Thats the beauty of fishing. There are no hard and fast rules as to how you do things. We each have our own little ways, and thats not a bad thing. We are all continiously learning, and sharing information on how we have been doing things, whether it works or not, is the best way to learn[:T]

Thanks for looking.

Happy rig making[:W]

Last edited:

little roach

Aug 1, 2009
Thanks for that, the length of line between pole and float, can this be any length or should it be about 12"


Proud to be a.....
May 26, 2006
Originally posted by little roach

Thanks for that, the length of line between pole and float, can this be any length or should it be about 12"

Alot for me depends on the day.

In calm conditions, I use around 6"- 8", but in windy weather (and if theres a bit of tow on the water and the fish are prefering a moving bait) I ll go longer to around 12" or even more if the poles being blown about in the wind. The reason for going longer is purely to stop the pole whipping about and constantly pulling the float out of the water.

Just remember, the longer line you have, the more lne you have to pick up on the strike before you make contact with the fish.

But for starting out on the pole, 12" should be plenty.[:D]

I should add that the above is really for still waters.

If you re fishing canals or rvers, then you can have the line as long as you feel is needed to keep up with the float, and the current.
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Regular member
Aug 14, 2006
great thread steve, nice one. Would the shotting patterns be the same on a commercial for most rigs and conditions and is this also an important part of the rig?


Proud to be a.....
May 26, 2006
Originally posted by mechmanuk

great thread steve, nice one. Would the shotting patterns be the same on a commercial for most rigs and conditions and is this also an important part of the rig?

Its a difficult one to tie down regarding shotting paterns Mechman.
But as a general rule, yes, you ll find that most "standard" type shotting patterns will suffice on most commercials, and its just a case of playing around on the day to see what works best.
Ive edited the main thread to give an example.

The thread was mainly intentioned to be a "rough guide" to the make up of a basic rig, and I have now realised that it probably needs a bit more detail adding[:T], regarding shotiing patterns, and a few other things, like length of line between pole and float, etc... so I will add some things as I think of them.

Thanks for the replies chaps[;)]
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Baggin Machine
Feb 8, 2007
Thumbs up Steve great post. Definately should be a sticky

Neil ofthe nene

Doing things differently.
Site Supporter
May 4, 2009
One point to remember is that some fishery rules require "at least 12 inches of line between pole and float". Decoy near Peterborough is one.

I am one of those who have traditionally preferred a longer length of line between pole and float, I measure it as hand to armpit. Don't know why, I just feel more comfortable. I will shorten that if the situation dictates like needing to drag the float close to reeds or I am missing bites due to the slow pickup.

Good article though Steve. I think once newbies have got the basics they can then experiment with their own ideas. If you get too detailed then it can become hard and fast and not a guide.


Proud to be a.....
May 26, 2006
Good point Neil about some fishery rules.....[;)]

Although its one of those things that Ive never really got my head around.

I cant think of any other reason for it other than the fishery just making things up for the sake of it.

Is it for fish welfare?
If so, why?

I ll be honest, I cant see how having a fish tethered to a longer line can be safer??

Is it purely down to trying to make sure everyone is uniform in their fishing, in some sort of futile bid to make things more even?

Either way, I really cant see the point.
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