Wessex Rig – How to & components required

February 16, 2021

Wessex Rig


A wessex rig is a commonly used rig for most sea fisherman. It allows you to fish one hook above your weight and a hook below your weight. The idea of a wessex rig is that it targets both bottom feeding fish and fish that are just off the bottom. Because of the way it’s constructed it really is a great rig to target an abundance of fish with.

The wessex is my go to rig if I just want to catch fish. Or I’m on new ground and want to find out what’s there. The wessex rig is probably one of the rigs that I have caught most fish on. It’s an incredibly diverse rig that is very easily knocked up! If you know what a running ledger rig is then its similar to that just with another hook coming off your main line above your weight.

In this article I will show you how to create a wessex rig. Through the use of a fantastic video created by the Fish Locker. I will also give you step by step guidance and instruction about what every component within the rig is meant to do. If you would like to skip all of this and simply buy a wessex rig then you can do that by clicking the link below:


You can fish the wessex pretty much anywhere for any type of fish. Even for conger and bull huss providing you use thick enough line (start at 80 lb). And have a smaller snood above the weight to have the chance of catching other fish. Predominantly I use about 30 – 40 lbs for my wessex rig as I use it to target smaller less abrasive fish normally.

You will want to use your wessex rig sub 80 yards when casting. It hasn’t been designed to be a long range rig, it’s more for short to medium range. Any more than that and your bait begins to explode or get damaged during the cast, particularly with worm baits. If you’re after a long range rig, then your best bet would be a pulley rig which you can find by clicking HERE.


As I have already mentioned the wessex rig is a great all round rig for targeting a mixture of species. Probably the best all round rig out there in my opinion. But it is predominantly used to target small to medium sized fish. Such as bass, all types of flat fish, Smooth-hound, cod, whiting and even bull-huss and conger. It is good when drifting from a boat as-well, because the bottom hook is a “locked in running ledger” and has a bit of give when a fish decides to bite it. But it also has a hook that is just off the bottom which is essential in my eyes when drifting.


Before we go onto how to create a wessex rig, here are all the components that you will need and a basic explanation. This way, it gives you an idea of what components John is using in the “Fish Locker” video and why he is using them.


High strength snaps such as these will attach your hook length to your rig body. By attaching a snap link like this you can un-clip your hook length when you have a fish on or the hook length is damaged and replace it. It makes life much simpler and gets your bait back out to where the fish are quicker. Also, a snap link attaches your weight to your rig body and allows it to slide up and down on the wessex rig. Allowing your bottom hook to behave like a running ledger to a certain extent.

Wessex rig


Swivels are very good at stopping twist in your line and should be used as much as possible where necessary. Several swivels are used to construct a wessex 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.

Wessex rig


The beads are in use to give the knots in the wessex rig some protection because the weight can slide up and down the rig which can cause damage to your knots.

Wessex rig


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.


I make most of my wessex rigs out of 30 to 40 lb line and find this more than enough for almost all species in most grounds. I have even caught several bull-huss on line of this breaking strain. However, if you are specifically targeting bull-huss and conger eel it would definitely be worth stepping the breaking strain of your line up. Bull-huss and conger will cause abrasion on your line due to their teeth and rough skin.


Wessex rig


Crimps are used on the wessex rig to hold the top hook length in position. You’ll need a pair of pliers to squeeze these crimps into position on your fishing line. Be careful not to squeeze to hard otherwise you can damage your fishing line even though the crimps are made from soft copper so don’t be too worried.


These grip leads are what I would recommend when using a wessex rig. Although there are several different types of leads that you can choose from which can get confusing. If you would like to understand more on what type of lead to choose then CLICK HERE.


Here is the Fish Lockers video on how to create a wessex rig:


You may of heard other names for the wessex rig that are very popular which makes it easy to start getting confusing:


The one up one down rig is the exact same rig but is a completely different name and makes it easy to get confusing


Again this is exactly the same rig it just means an additional hook length is above the weight.


Thank you very much for reading this article and I hope it helps you with selecting the right ones for you. 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.

It’s our job to educate people on why we do what we do and try to keep our passions alive. Therefore, here at Jake’s Outdoors I wont just be reviewing equipment but I will also be creating/promoting ways as to how we can do this. So if you are wanting to join this journey with me then please do enter your email in the footer on my homepage and I will keep you up to date with all things to do with our passions.

Short & Long Term Goals:

My short term aim here is too help you fish and hunt better. I will do this by helping you choose the best equipment for you, whether it be clothing, hunting equipment or general advice. My long term goal is to start inspiring more people to take up hunting and fishing because both are in decline. It’s very important that we start educating this modern society and making them understand why hunting needs to take place. With your support I hope to be able to carry on doing this.

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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