Inshore: The Belmar Rig - The Fisherman

Inshore: The Belmar Rig

Bullet proof, dependable, easy to tie with cold, wet hands

Take a look at the rigging of the best “Big Fish” togger that you know. How does he tie his rig? Chances are, he ties his leadered hook directly into his top shot via a Belmar Rig. This rig has been misrepresented by some well-meaning folks who simply don’t know the real deal; but this is not my version of the rig, but rather it’s the original as confirmed by speaking with local charter captains and mates.

It’s not a hook, or a special tricky shiny trinket. It is, however the most secure way of tying your tautog rig into your top shot with an adjustable, very strong connection that I have never seen bested. While it might sound difficult to tie, it in fact is very easy. It may of course be difficult to describe in writing without making it sound more intimidating than it actually is.

The beauty of the Belmar Rig is that you can adjust it for the structure that you are fishing; for example if dropping on top of a barge and you’re moving your sinker until it drops into a hole. Get tight and be ready quick, you have one shot to very quickly turn a big togs head. The double line at the end of your top shot can be made over 6 feet in length for added protection if you like. You can also adjust the distance from the bottom that your leadered hook is tied in, as you wish.

Inshore Belmar Rig Chris Shoplock
The Belmar Rig put Daiwa’s Chris Shoplock into business while fishing off the Jersey Coast aboard the Long Island based party boat, The Osprey.

How To Tie

Start off by making a double line in the end of your top shot. A loop of 1 to 3 feet is the norm; Make this loop by tying a two-turn Spider Hitch at the top of the loop. Hold both the tag end and the running line together between your thumb, and your first two fingers with the tag end facing away from you.

Take the double line and make a wrap around your two fingers, then remove your middle finger and make another wrap around your first finger. Put the end of the loop through this loop; pull snug and trim.  Pass the end of the loop through the sinker eye, then pass the sinker back through the loop locking it onto the end of the loop. Be sure that the sinker is centered and both “legs’ of the double line are exactly the same length.

Your pre-tied leadered hook should have a loop on the end opposite of the hook.  With the double line hanging straight, take the double line in your hand so that the sinker hangs just below your pinky finger. Fold the double lines onto themselves making a small loop four fingers above the sinker. Put this loop through the loop on your leadered hook and pass the hook through the double line loop and snug down.

Next, take your sinker hanging on the double lines, tie two overhand knots with the double lines around your leader loop. Pull hard on this connection. If the leader does not lay perfectly at a 90-degree angle away from your double line, pull the leader away from the double line and re lock the double line knot so that the leadered hook sticks out directly away from your double line.

Believe me, it is much more difficult to put down in words how to tie this rig than it is just to show you. It is efficient and dependable, making it on one of the favored rigs of the captains and mates who’ve been targeting large blackfish for a living for a number of years.

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