Leger End Rigs

I’ve never shown my standard end rig I don’t believe… so here it comes now 🙂

IMG_0491

Steve’s Standard Leger Rig


I.     OK… starting from the hook, which in this case is a size 6 barbless. Barbless by necessity as my main club allows only those… by choice these days I’d opt for a micro-barb as I believe they are far less damaging to fish in all aspects.

Barbless once they penetrate they penetrate right to the bend as there is nothing to prevent that happening and so the bend of the hook acts as effectively as a cheesewire especially if excess power is applied (eg a ‘stop and hold’ situation when trying to prevent fish entering a snag). Also there is nothing to prevent the hook coming loose and re-engaging and thus starting perforating the mouth tissue like a stamp – which is made so for the ease of ripping from a sheet. Also, the hook can disengage and re-engage externally to the mouth ie foul hook the fish or just disengage completely (‘hook pull’) and in my experience the number of foul hooks and hook pulls increases measurably with barbless compared with barbed. In fact, for me, the only redeeming factor of a barbless hook is the ease of removal.

Barbed hooks – as in ‘standard’ barbed hooks – are TOO much of a good thing and most of fish damage with these hooks is due to bad handling/removal by the angler due to the unnecessarily large barb. With barbed hooks, rarely does the hook point enter the flesh of the fishes mouth than the end of the barb – and even more extremely rarely does the fish sit on the bend of the hook – and so the contact is a ‘point’ contact whereby on the angle of pull changing the hook simply rotates around a point and there is no cheesewire effect and the barb also prevents hook pulls and consequently the number of foul hookings too.

Microbarbed hooks seem to be the best option AVAILABLE currently – the advantages of a barbed hook with the tempering of the size of the barb making the hooking/holding qualities of a par with the fully barbed hook whilst removing the bad qualities of the barbless – and the smaller barb leads to easier removal and thus less chance of damage being done at the unhooking stage.

Note that I said best ‘AVAILABLE’ above… to me there would be an even  better option – and one propounded many many years ago and possibly by the angling guru himself, Dick Walker, {head bowed in reverence}. And that is that a hook does not require a barb in the normal sense at all ie a sliver of metal shaved upwards from the body of the hook’s wire and protruding such that a POINTED end that catches the flesh and prevents the hook reversing out. It was said that all that was needed was a small ‘bulge’ (no sharp edges) to replace the sharp ended barb. The hook’s bulge on entry into the flesh would stretch the flesh around it and, due to the inherent elasticity of the flesh, it would close around the bulge holding the hook in place as the fish was played… thus, as for barbed hooks, the penetration is limited so no ‘cheesewire’, the hook is held in place by the bulge as much as it would be by a barb…. And unhooking is no longer a problem as hook removal is just as easy as barbless as the bulge simply re-stretches the flesh on its removal with no tearing caused whatsoever.

II.      A 4” braid hooklength – breaking strain matching the main line or slightly lower, tied to the eyed hook with a 5-turn-half-blood-with-tuck knot and having a small loop at the other end. I use braid due to its suppleness and believe a fish is more spooked by a stiff material it can see less clearly than a thicker more visual yet soft (weed like) material. The length is kept short because (a) I can’t see the point of having it longer, the last few inches are what matters to a fish’s perception of how naturally a bait moves (b) being so supple braid tangles easily – the shorter the length, the less chance of tangles and (c) I don’t use hair rigs… so a short length is easy to thread bait on to with a baiting needle. With worms I thread them on with a needle inserted in the head and threaded straight up the centre of the body and emerging at the tail and so there is no ‘bunching’ as per multiple hookings, worms do not escape from barbless hooks even without pieces of rubber band and as the braid is so supple the worm movement is perfectly natural. Another reason for the short hook lengths is that I use the same lengths for laying-on/lift-method float fishing which requires the main weight on the line to be very close to the hook – and if threading baits on the hooklength then you do not wish that weight to on there otherwise you need to remove and replace each time you rebait – solution is short length so that weight can be attached above the length.

III.      A spring link clip with a short piece of silicone rubber sleeving is attached to the end of the main line – the silicone rubber acting to protect the knot. Note that I use this kind of spring link which I find far more robust …

Link 2
than this type with which I have had several failures with either the top/swivel attachment loop pulling from the crimped sleeve or the bottom sprung attachment loop pulling free due the bad design in respect of the forces that get applied in use..
Link 1

Obviously this is the attachment point for the short hooklength and allows quick removal for baiting and reconnecting of the baited length.

IV.       Next up is an Enterprise Adjuster Stop…the only leger stop really worth considering in my opinion. Easily adjusted to desired position, will not slip,  no knots or pinched line to weaken your setup. So…say no more!! 🙂

V.      Next up the line is my link leger setup that comprises of a leger bead that runs freely up the line, and stopped by the adjuster stop at its desired distance from the hook… connected to the leger bead is a piece of 6lb BS feeder line mono (ie stiff line), threaded though the bead’s eye so it is used double but without increasing the overall 6lb BS of the link as would happen with knotting 2 pieces of 6lb line to the eye (ie then BS would increase to 12lb) as I want this to be a ‘weak link’ that fails in event of the lead snagging. On to this double line are threaded 2 wooden cylindrical beads which are locked on to line with an old version ‘peg and tube’ type leger stop up against the leger bead’s eye – 3 reasons for these (a) help prevent tangles whilst in the air and (b) work like the flight of a dart as the weight falls through the water and keep the mainline apart from the link line and (c) once the lead hits bottom it ensures that the leger bead is held up from the bottom and above any silt that the lead sinks in to. And finally at the end of the doubled link line is a swivel and spring link (of the second type – failure just adds further ‘weak link’ protection really in this case) which allows the desired weight (or swimfeeder, etc) to be fitted,  removed or replaced easily – and, of course, on the link sits the desired weight/feeder.

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