How to Tie a Wessex Rig

by David Proudfoot

The Wessex rig is a one up, one down short to medium distance shore rig in which the bottom hook is free running. It can also be effective from the boat particularly when fishing on the drift.

The bottom hook acts like a running leger reducing the resistance felt by a fish. At anchor a stronger snood line and larger hook allows the angler to target species such as rays while still having the option of smaller fish in the top snood.

Wessex Rig Components

Main Body

3 x 3-4mm Beads

1 x Snood Swivel

2 x Trace Swivels

1x Link Swivel or Trace Swivel with Lead Link

2 x Crimps

Approx. 1 to 1.2 metre length 60-80lb BS main line


2 x 300 to 450 mm length 20 – 30lb BS snood

2 x 1 to 2/0 hook

Beads, spoons or other attractors

The Rig Body

  1. Tie on the trace swivel and thread on a bead followed by the link swivel or swivel and lead link to carry the lead.
  2. Thread on the following components in this order; Crimp / Bead / Swivel / Bead / Crimp
  3. Tie on the top swivel. An oval split ring or a perfection loop can be substituted.
  4. Tie the hook to one end of the top snood length add any attractors then tie the second snood length to the trace swivel and attach the hook.
  5. Additional droppers can be added using crimped swivels.

Click on image for larger version

wessex rig

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

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