Many sea anglers create their own rigs. This is because a self-made rig can often be designed in exactly the way the angler wants, it is more satisfying to catch fish on self-made rigs. Most rigs used in sea fishing are based on the paternoster rig. This is a simple design where the line terminates in a weight and the hook length (snood) branches off from this further up the line.
Rigs are either flapping (with the snoods and hooks free to flap around during the cast), or clipped down (where the hooks are clipped behind an impact shield or some form of bait clip). Clipped down rigs are used where distance is key, such as when casting on a clean beach where the deeper water is far away, and flapping rigs are used when fishing closer in – for example when casting into deep water from a pier, or when fishing from a beach for species which come close to the shore such as flounder or Dover sole.
When fishing over clean ground rigs can include up to three hooks as this will create a stronger scent trail and allow three different baits to be used.
When fishing over rough ground mark anglers generally use simpler rigs with less components as this means there is less metalwork to get snagged, and if rigs have fewer components they are cheaper to construct and losing a lot of rigs is less costly to the angler. For rough ground rigs the link can replaced with some kind of rotten bottom or weak link, if it is snagged the rest of the rig (and any hooked fish can be retrieved., however a pulley rig is often prefered. This is a rig that cuts down on tackle losses by allowing the weight to break free or lift out of the snag.