Simplify your rigging for live bait

Split shot, a kahle hook and a fluorocarbon or monofilament leader are all that’s needed for an effective live bait rig.

Split shot makes life easier

Erik Rue’s live-bait rig is simplicity itself.

It consists of a 6-foot length of 20- or 25-pound-test monofilament or fluorocarbon. Monofilament is a little softer and easier to deal with, but fluorocarbon is more abrasion resistant when fishing around the rocks.

He uses either, but notes that he always uses fluorocarbon when money is on the line in a tournament.

The business end of the leader holds a 1/0 or 2/0 kahle hook.

Rue uses just enough weight to get to the bottom, typically ¼- to ½-ounce. Instead of a barrel sinker, he prefers the use of large split shot. Multiples are used if more weight is needed.

He doesn’t use a swivel between the leader and his main line. Rather, he uses a double uni-knot to tie directly to his line, which is 30-pound Sufix braided line on his casting reels and 20-pound line on his spinning reels.

Rue said he used 10- or 12-pound-test lines all his life until he started tournament fishing for redfish.

“That wasn’t enough,” he said, adding that “changing to heavier braided lines has not affected my trout catch a bit. I just don’t have to re-tie as much.”

His choice of rods is Quantum 6 ½ or 7-foot medium-light sticks. For casting rods, he prefers the Energy series. His preference for spinning rods is either the Boca or Catalyst series.

About Jerald Horst 47 Articles
Jerald Horst is a retired Louisiana State University professor of fisheries. He is an active writer, book author and outdoorsman. Jerald may be reached at

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