How to Tie a Continental Style Scratching Rig

by David Proudfoot

For scratching at close to medium distance

Because the construction of this rig can involve figure-of-8 knots it is not suitable for power casting. The glued version is stronger but again is not recommended for power casting.

A detailed tutorial on how to use rig glue and tube stops is available on the site.

This rig also works well from a boat for species such as bream.

Continental Scratching Rig Components

Main Body

1 x Swivel

1 x Lead link clip, a version with a covering sleeve is preferred

9 x Micro beads

3 x Two-way beads

6 x 1cm Sections of plastic rig tube

Approx. 2 metre length 40-60lb BS clear nylon or fluorocarbon main line

Tronix Pro rig glue or Loctite 406 glue
If using fluorocarbon for the rig body it is important to test the glued tube on the line as not all fluorocarbon lines form a good bond with the glue


3 x 300 – 600mm length 5 – 20lb BS flourocarbon snood

3 x 6 to 1 hooks, normally fine wire and should match the size and style both for the target species and the baits used

The Rig Body

  1. Tie on the lead link to the trace body and thread on the rest of the components in the following order – If the two-way beads are oval, then ensure that the main trace is threaded through the shorter sides (see diagram below); Tubing / Micro bead / Two-way bead / Mirco bead / Tubing
  2. Repeat step 1 for the remainder of the two-way beads.
  3. Tie a swivel or a perfection loop at the top of the trace.
  4. Using suitable spacings along the length of the trace body glue the tubing in place above and below the micro beads either side of the three two-way beads to secure them in place. As an alternative the micro beads can be secured in place with a figure of eight knot, or with soft crimps or several stops made from short lengths of silicon tubing.
  5. Tie a hook onto the end of the snood.
  6. Thread the snood through the two-way bead and then place a micro bead behind the larger bead and secure the snood with a figure of eight knot. If using fine line for the snood you may have to use two or more knots or add a length of thicker line alongside the snood before tying to ensure that the snood does not pull through when under pressure. If using a plain figure-of-eight knot I would recommend three turns rather than the normal two. Don’t cut the tag end off until you have applied tension to the knot against the bead by slowly pulling on the snood.
  7. Repeat steps 5 & 6 for the two other hook snoods to complete the scratching rig.
  8. It is possible to obtain clip on two-way beads which allows you to have multiple pre-made spacings with overhand knots and micro beads along the length of the trace body. The prepared snoods with the clip on beads can then be attached at a height where the fish are feeding. This is particularly handy where a long rod allows trace bodies in excess of three metres to be used or the holding points can be on the shock leader for extra height.

Click on image for larger version

continental style scratching rig

There are numerous sources of terminal tackle both locally and on-line, here are a few suggestions –

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