In this blog, we’re going to look at how to tie a simple pole fishing rig. You’ll be able to use this rig on a whip or a traditional pole. It’ll work for both, see below how to set this up:

Tackle you need for pole fishing

Step 1.

You’ll need a spool of 4lb line, a spool of 3lb line, a pole float, some pole float silicone, a tub of number eight split shot and a size 16 hook.

Cutting 3lb line from spool

Step 2.

Firstly, let’s tie a hook length. This is a length of lighter line which means that if you get snagged or a fish pulls too hard and breaks your line, you’ll only lose the very last section. Take around ten inches of your 3lb line and cut it from the spool.

Tying a hald blood knot

Step 3.

Now take your hook and tie it to the line with a half-blood knot, other knots will of course work. I like to use a half-blood knot as it’s very simple and easy to tie.
Pass the line through the eye of the hook before wrapping it around itself approximately seven times, with a thinner line, you’ll need to go round more times and with a thicker line, you can use less.

Trimming tag end for a pole rig

Step 4.

Pass the line back through the loop created next to the eye. Moisten the knot to protect it from friction burning the line, pull it down tight and neatly trim the tag end.


Figure of 8 loop knot for pole fishing

Step 5.

At the other end of the hook length tie a small figure of eight loop knot. This loop knot will enable you to attach to your stronger line shortly. Again, wet the knot before pulling down tight and trimming the tag end.

Ready tied hook lengths

If tying small hooks is quite fiddly for you, then you can buy ready tied hook lengths, which is especially helpful for the very thin and small hook sizes.


Threading line onto float rig

Step 6.

Now take your stronger line and pull off a foot or so and slide the float onto this section with silicon tubing. Thread the line down and through the eye of the float.


Sliding tubing on float

Step 7.

Next, take two small sections of silicone tubing and thread them onto the line. If you wet the float stem slightly, the tubing will slide on more easily. I like to position one piece under the float body and one half on and half off the bottom of the stem. This works far better than pushing it right up onto the float as it reduces tangles.


figure of 8 on the end of the float

Step 8.

With the float in position and slid up the line slightly, it’s time to tie another figure of 8 loop knot.

If you need any help tying fishing knots, check out the knot tying section on the website here:


Tighten loop knot

Step 9.

Now you can take your hook length and pass the loop over the thicker lines loop. Then push the hook through the loop in the thick line. Finally, pull this down and your lines are connected.


Connecting loop to the tip of a whip

Step 10.

Now you can pay off around 3 metres of line from your spool, cut it off and tie another loop in the end.
This loop can be used to connect to your elastic or the connector on the tip of your whip. 


Swinging fish with a pole

Step 11.

I like to make each of these pole rigs around 3 metres long because it means when I use a 3 metre pole section I can swing the fish in all the way to our hand. However, if you’re using a shorter top section of your pole, you can tie these rigs up shorter if need be.
I prefer though to use three metres and on the day if I find that the fishing is in quite shallow water and I only need a short length of line, then I’ll cut it down and tie a new loop.


How to tie a simple pole rig

Step 12.

Personally, I prefer to put the split shot onto my rig once I’m actually fishing and after I’ve plumbed the depth. However, if you want to get many rigs tied up before your session, then be sure to use a tank or container of water to test the float to get them shotted correctly. You want just the red bit of the float exposed because if you have it out of the water too much, the fish feel more resistance and you won’t spot bites so easily.

Simple shotting pattern

Step 13.

Where you actually put these split shot depends on the way that you want to fish. A strung out shotting pattern features split shots spread equally apart all the way down the rig. What this creates is a slow, even fall of your hook bait. This is great when you’re fishing for fish that will happily feed up in the water like rudd, roach or even carp if they’re competitively feeding near the surface.

Shotting pattern

Step 14.

However, if you want to get past all those small fish and get your bait right down to the bottom where potentially the bigger fish are, then you want to use a bulked shotgun pattern. A bulk of shot is simply a number of shots that have just been put close together. That’s the best way to get your bait to the bottom quickly away from any small fish that might be trying to steal your bait on the way down.

Tackle you need for pole fishing

Step 15.

It’s also important to mention that on the particular rig that I just showed you, I used 4lb line for most of the rig and 3lb line for the hook length. This is perfect for roach, bream, small carp and maybe tench.

Float fishing

However, if you’re stepping up and you want to catch bigger fish, then you might want to step up the strength of those lines to ensure that you don’t lose any fish. If it’s quite weedy and snaggy, then you might even go as heavy as 10lb mainline and then an 8lb hook length. However, if you’re fishing for small fish and there are no snags around, maybe gudgeon or roach you can find right down to something like 2lb line.

Simple pole fishing rig

Step 16.

You can store your finished rig on a pole rig winder like this when you’re preparing rigs before a session. Hopefully, this blog has helped you and be sure to check out the rest of the fishing tutorials blogs for loads more helpful tutorials to help you catch more fish.

Check out my simple fishing guide book below!

A 100-page guidebook, full of colour illustrations and helpful fishing information.