Go To The Homepage
Features
Articles

THE IMPROVED SNAFU RIG

The deadly effective snafu rig has earned a serious reputation as a big blackfish killer and is responsible for besting Kenneth Westerfeld’s 28.80-pound pending World Record white chin.
By Capt. Joe Wenegenofsky

When it comes to togging, there’s a seemingly endless plethora of rig variations to choose from. Be it the most minimalistic, stripped down single hook rig to ornately arranged tandem hook combinations, you’ll find a blackfish setup to match any given situation and angler preference. One particular rig, however, has gotten a lot of press in recent years and is highly touted for good reason.

The deadly effective snafu rig has earned a serious reputation as a big blackfish killer and is responsible for besting Kenneth Westerfeld’s 28.80-pound pending World Record white chin. Specifically designed to fish large whole crabs, it’s no wonder why monster white chins take a shine to them. If you’re unfamiliar with how a snafu rig is tied, its basic composition is as follows.

A hook is snelled to both ends of a short piece of leader material. Centered between them is a small dropper loop which allows the snafu to be married to your main leader (i.e. the piece attached to the sinker and your running line). This main leader typically has a perfection loop at the bottom holding the sinker and another little dropper loop slightly above it. That dropper is what allows the snafu to be connected via a loop-to-loop or handshake knot.

Fishing traditional snafu rigs for years, I eventually came to the realization that they have a few critical flaws in need of amelioration. First off, whole crabs have a tendency to twist and knot the rig in heavy current. Second, suspending the snafu above your sinker, if even a short distance, can cause the bait to lie unnaturally off the bottom and hamper its effectiveness. Think about it logically. Green and white crabs cling to structure; they aren’t equipped with finned legs with which to swim like calicos or blue claws. Therefore, why would either ever find themselves hovering over structure? Fortunately, I was able to devise an easy fix for both of these issues.

The solution begins by adding a barrel swivel to the snafu. Before snelling the second hook, thread the barrel swivel onto the leader (it should be approximately 18 to 20 inches long prior to snelling); this will ultimately be sitting inside the dropper loop tied between the two hooks. Once completed, tie the snafu’s barrel swivel directly to a straight piece of leader material via a clinch knot. Next, run up about 8 inches from swivel and tie a large dropper loop; this will hold your sinker. Then pull off another foot or two of leader, tie on another barrel swivel to the tag end and you’re finished.

These aforementioned adjustments virtually eliminate any element of rig twist and keep your bait lying flat on the bottom in-line with your leader; the ideal presentation. Whether you’ve hung up your gear for the season or still fishing hard, this is definitely something you’ll want to add to your arsenal as an avid togger.

Explore Product Partners: