Fishing Rigs, surfcasting information, Fishing Tackle and Components and Fish species

Livebait Rig (Floated)

This rig is used to fish a live bait fish close to the surface for species such as kingfish that will rarely take dead baits. The bait can be hooked on through the back as shown or alternatively via a bridle rig through the fishes nose. Livebaits will usually be taken head first so it is important to ensure you place the hook so that it is orientated as shown in the image. This will help ensure a good hook up and prevent the  fish from disgorging the bait.

Materials Needed

  • 80 – 150 pound line for trace
  • 15-24kg mainline
  • 1 x ball bearing swivel
  • 1 x livebait hook 7/0 – 12/0 depending on bait size


Step 1

First tie the doubled section in you mainline using a plait/braid knot or bimini twist. These two knots both create a large loop which will not slip, it is this loop that is used for the double section of line The double section of line creates a bit of extra safety as the fish you are likely to target with livebaits will generally try to dive into any reef or structure when hooked in attempt to break the line and free themselves.


Step 1

Tie a swivel to the loop/doubled section of line you just created in your mainline using an offshore swivel knot or similar. Ensure that you use a good quality ball bearing swivel.

Step 2

Tie one end of the trace to the swivel and tie the livebait hook to the end of the trace.

Step 3

Finally you will attach your balloon to the eye on the mainline side of the swivel. The amount you inflate the balloon depends on the size of you bait. You don’t want it so big that the wind drags the bait around but also not so small that the bait can pull it under. Some people use the smaller ‘water bomb’ balloons as a fully inflated party balloon is often too big.   How you attach the balloon to the rig is up to you, but, the key idea is to have it break off when the bait is taken by a fish. Because of this you want to use something that has a relatively low breaking strain. Once again it is a matter of finding that balance between where it is too weak and the bait fish causes it to release and where it is too strong and the pressure of the balloon causes the biting fish to reject the bait. People use things such as cotton, dental floss, light mono eg 6 pound or so and rubber bands to make this connection. Whatever you end up using make sure you connect it to the swivel eye that is on the mainline side so that the swivel is free to work properly on the trace side.

The Finished Livebait Rig (Floated)

Have you tried this rig? Let us know how you got on

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