Pulley Rig for Surf Fishing

If you’re fishing the surf near rocks, weeds, and other structure, there may be no better rig to use than the pulley rig. It may not be the best rig for every fishing scenario, but this setup definitely has its place in your toolbox. Here we will show you how to set up the pulley rig.

Why Use the Pulley Rig?

The pulley rig is a genius way to avoid snags when you’re fishing in messy areas. It does this through it’s pulley mechanism. When the fish is hooked, the fish pulls the weight off the bottom which prevents your gear from getting snagged in the bottom. If you’re fishing near rocks, heavy weeds, grass, or kelp this can be a serious problem when fishing nearshore.

The pulley rig also allows you to cast long distances with ease because it can travel through the air quite easily. It’s not the be-all-end-all of fishing rigs, but as we stated previously, it definitely has its place as a great surf fishing rig.

How to Setup the Pulley Rig

What You Need to Make the Rig:

Breakaway Weight
Impact Shield
Circle Hook
Snap connectors

Set up this rig according to the diagram. We recommend using Palomar knots for all the ties.

Pulley Rig Diagram

Setup Tips

Essentially this rig is a pulley system made of two leaders attached to the main line. The top of the pulley system can be made using a pulley bead, barrel swivel, or snap connector to get the desired pulley effect.

Since you have 2 leaders (one attached to the hook, and one attached to the weight) it’s important to keep the lengths optimal for the fish you are catching. Bottom feeding fish you want your hook side leader shorter so your bait stays on their level. Same with fishing shallow waters, keep your hook side leader short so your bait stays at the level you want it at.

A good general rule of thumb is to keep the weight side leader around 30 to 40 inches with the hook side leader around 26-35 inches. From here you can adjust depending on the conditions.