How to tie the three-hook clipped trace rig

Beach rigs

23 September 2009 11:22

This is probably the most highly-developed trace in the beach angler's armoury. It is certainly very efficient at delivering small baits big distances without splattering the load across the sky.

THE CLIPPED VERSION of a three-hook mono paternoster rig offers increased casting distance as well as bait care during its flight out to sea.

Hook baits are clipped close to the bodyline of the rig to make the overall trace streamlined. Construction is more complicated because dimensions of each snood needs to be precise so that the hook can be clipped tightly to the clip below.

There are a host of clip systems available, although by far the most efficient and fail safe is the combination of a Breakaway Impact lead and the Breakaway Cascade swivels - no other hook bait clip device comes close. This system clips the lower hook to the Impact system built into the lead and then the hooks on the snoods above clip into a small hook on the Cascade swivel below.

On impact with the sea the lead releases the lower hook, which in turn releases the hooks above in a cascade affect. Other bait clips can jam up and remain clipped up during the duration of the cast.

Competition anglers often use this rig because it offers maximum distance with multi baits. Triple hook baits produce a large scent trail and let the angler try a range of different baits.

The rig is also a favourite among pleasure anglers fishing for smaller species like dabs, whiting, pouting, soles and flounders.

The dimensions of the rig have an effect on how far you can cast and a short stubby rig with all three-hook baits spaced over 4ft will cast further than a rig with three hooks spaced along a 6ft trace.

Hook baits clipped closer to the lead will improve the balance and aerodynamic shape of the rig and that's why the next step for increased distance is the two-up, one-down clipped rig.

However, each rig design and its dimensions offer separate advantages and these should be considered in relation to conditions, venues and the species sought.




Hook snood dimensions are critical because if the hook is loose on the bait clip it will fall off too early while it is flying through the air and sometimes before you even cast.

Replacing the crimp below each snood swivel with a mono stop knot or Power Gum stop knot allows the snood to be adjusted up or down the trace body to alter the length and tension, and also makes it far easier to replace your hook snood.

The addition of a Gemini SRT Spring below the top hook snood swivel brings increased tension to all three clipped hooks preventing premature release.

If using crimps to secure the hook snood with swivels and beads make sure the micro beads you use have the correct size hole to allow just the line to pass through them and not the whole crimp.

To tie hooks to snoods lengths accurately, thread on the hook and position where you want it to be after the knot is tied - then move it one inch up the snood and tie off with a five-turn half blood knot. The extra inch allows for the take up of the knot.

Alternatively you can tie hooks to the snoods and then crimp them in position or move the stop knots on the rig body to complete the rig.

Because the hook bait will be forced up the snood during flight each snood needs a bait stop. The most efficient is a 1cm diameter sequin or bead stopped by a tubing stop or stop knot. It can then be adjusted down or up the snood to clamp the bait in position prior to casting.

Hooks between size 2 and 1/0 are best; larger size hooks and bigger baits will make the rig top heavy and force it to spin and wobble during casting.



Type of fishing: Medium and long range. Suitable for all casting styles, although take care if casting off the ground because hooks can come off their clips. SRT Springs help prevent this. Especially effective for casting delicate baits, which can get ripped off the hooks during power casts.

Types of venue: Ideal for clean beaches, piers and estuaries for smaller species, match fishing and general all-round fishing when bites are important.

Species: Pouting, whiting, dabs, flounders, soles, codling, dogfish and other small fish as well as match fishing.
Hook size: Size 2 up to 1/0 (strong long shank pattern)


Swivels trapped between beads and stop knots are moveable so snoods can be snugged up tight on their bait clips

Close-up of a Cascade swivel - note that the handy bait clip is built into the swivel

Baits are prevented blowing up the snood by a sequin stop, again adjustable due to a Power gum stop

The bait clip built into the Breakaway Impact lead holds the bottom hook of the rig in place

A Gemini SRT Springs tensions the snood so the hook does not slip off its bait clip