Paternoster Rig – How to & components required

February 18, 2021

Paternoster rig


The paternoster is an extremely simple rig. It only has four components which are a hook, swivel, line and weight. Because of this it can be tied very quickly. It’s a very adaptable rig as-well as you can change the hooks without having to cut the line. A paternoster rig usually consists of one or two hooks that are tied directly to your main line above your weight.

The paternoster rig is designed to fish just off the bottom of the seabed. Although a float can be added to allowing you to fish with multiple hooks at what ever depth you wish to fish at. This method is a popular method for fishing for fish like wrasse around very rocky out crops.

In this article you will learn how to tie a paternoster rig through the use of video created by “The Fish Locker” on YouTube. He will take you through step by step of how to tie the rig and what knots and components you will need.

The paternoster rig that you will learn how to tie in this article is the traditional paternoster rig. There are more modern versions now that use a lot more components but the simplicity of the traditional version is hard to beat.


The paternoster rig is best fished where you can vertical fish from. Places like piers or boats, this way you can fish as it was designed to be fished with the hooks off just off the bottom. Fisherman often use it when wreck fishing at anchor for larger fish such as ling.

The paternoster rig can be fished in a variety of different places though. As mentioned previously, fishing the it under a float can be a really effective method for catching a variety of fish. It can also be effective drifting it over a wreck or over reefs in any sort of depth. This way you can try different baits for different fish if you decide to include two hooks in your paternoster rig.

Also, the paternoster rig can be used for short range casting from the shore. You will catch a variety of fish using this method although I would prefer the wessex rig in this instance as this rig will enable you to target bottom feeding fish as well. If you are to use a paternoster rig for casting it’s better at sub 80 yards especially when using worm baits. Otherwise they will explode during the cast. CLICK HERE FOR WESSEX RIG


Paternoster rig

You can target a massive array of fish using this paternoster rig. It’s most commonly used in Britain to target species such as link, pollack, cod and coal-fish from the boat. However, drifting over reefs and wrecks then who knows what you could catch. This rig has the ability to catch any fish that may be in the vicinity.

From the shore you could target species such as wrasse, bass, pollack and others. But again if it is adapted and fished with a float it can target other fish like mackerel, garfish and pollack more effectively. You’d typically use small strips of mackerel, squid or even sand-eel for this type of fishing. This type of fishing really is an exciting day out as you’ll normally do well in the summer months. If you find a rocky mark there should be an abundance of wrasse, mackerel, pollack and garfish at certain times to be caught.


The traditional paternoster rig has very few components as I have already mentioned. The most challenging part of the rig is learning how to tie the blood loop knot which isn’t that difficult as will be shown in the Fish Locker video. However here are the components you will need below and a basic explanation as to why they are used:


Swivels are very good at stopping twist in your line and should be used as much as possible where necessary. Only one swivel will be required during the construction of this rig. The swivel will be used to connect your main-line to you paternoster rig. These roller swivels that I have included are what my tackle boxes are full of, they have never once let me down and are stronger than you’ll ever need.

Paternoster rig - swivels


J – hooks are probably the most common fishing hook you can get. Again they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. They are only called J hooks because of their shape. They are consistent and are in use for pretty much all types of fishing.

It’s what I definitely use the most of and I find these Kamasan hooks to be fantastic. If I’m going for something a little bit bigger then I will probably use the Cox and Rawle fishing hooks because of their power and strength.

The Cox and Rawle hooks that I have included are 6/0 in size. You will rarely need to go bigger than this for any type of fish unless you’re targeting fish upwards of a 100 lbs. Although as you will see in the Fish Locker’s video he uses 10/0 for when is targeting large ling.


I make most of my paternoster rigs out of 30 to 40 lb line and find this more than enough for almost all species in most grounds. However, if you are targeting larger fish such as ling or conger then it would definitely be worth stepping the breaking strain of your line up. Ling and conger have really sharp teeth and are capable of slicing through line very easily. See the link below for Tronix pro 180lb leader.


paternoster rig - mono line


The bopedo lead is by far the most common lead that is used on boats. Used for all types of fishing on boats. It’s primarily used because of it’s shape, the four flat sides but streamlined body give it stability when dropping it down to wrecks. The four sides will stop the lead from rolling about like if you were to use a standard plain lead. But still a great lead to use from the shore as well, good casting ability.


I’ve included this link swivel to use at your discretion. By tying your main-line straight to a link swivel it means you can have detachable rigs. Instead of your main line attaching straight to a standard swivel and your rig body coming off the same swivel. It just means you can detach a fish if you catch one which makes handling it easier. Other advantages include:

  • Able to change damaged hook lengths quicker
  • Have pre baited hook lengths ready saving time
  • Control a caught fish better

There are other types of link swivels that are cheaper too. But I have found that the cheaper types available will just corrode a lot faster and are no-where near as strong over time. This type of link swivel is often used for lure fishing because they are good quality. I use them for attaching my weights on other rigs too. Because they do a better job and don’t ping your lead off and last much longer.

Running ledger rig


These are called “muppets” and can be added to your hook length for abrasion resistance and added attraction. They are very popular to use when targeting bigger fish such as ling and conger because they have such abrasive teeth. The Fish Locker will show you how to add them to your rigs. Use these at your own discretion, they do not need to be added to the rig.


Se Fish Locker’s video below on how to make a paternoster rig. The fish locker calls the rig his wrecking rig but it is the same as a paternoster rig just with muppets:


Thank you very much for reading this article and I hope it helps you with your exploits. Here at Jake’s Outdoors we are very passionate about our hunting, fishing and all things to do with outdoors. I believe our hunting and fishing community really is special and we experience things that others do not. I think its a very good thing if we can all share out experiences and connect with each other all over the world. This way our community is much stronger and we can better protect each other in this modern society where so many people have lost touch with the outdoors.

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If you would like to learn even more about me and Jake’s outdoors then please read my about page here… Also if you would like to read on about more relatable topics then you can take a look at more of my articles here… And please continue reading to see some of my frequently asked questions on similar topics below.


Question 1:

What spinning rod would you recommend for bass and pollack fishing?

Answer 1:

I have an article on my recommended spinning rods here…

Question 2:

What beach-caster rod would you recommend?

Answer 2:

I have an article on beach-caster fishing rods here…

Question 3:

What fishing seat boxes would you recommend?

Answer 3:

I have an article on fishing seat boxes here…



Jake's Outdoors is a blog for all of your hunting, fishing and general outdoor needs. Jake's Outdoors has created this space to help beginner level enthusiasts find their way into the world of outdoors and will provide advice on how to get started. We'll cover topics like what gear you need, where to go hunting or fishing in your area, how to cook fish/game animals you've caught as well as other general outdoor tips.

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