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Home » The 3-Hook Stand-off Ghost Rig

The 3-Hook Stand-off Ghost Rig

I never liked the idea of incorporating knots in the ends of hook lengths to secure them inside clear oval 2-way beads. The knots can come undone, or under pressure, simply pull through. A couple of years back I came up with a stronger method to secure the hook length, but also to make it stand off the rig body line for better overall presentation, while still maintaining low visual impact to the fish. I’m not claiming to have invented this rig, but at the same time I haven’t seen other anglers using, nor have I seen it written about in the media by others, so it might be new to you.

Its a versatile rig used for close to medium range shore fishing, or can just as easily be utilized for fishing really tight in along the tide line edge just a few yards out. Its proved a consistent fish catcher for me in daylight and clear, shallow water, especially for plaice and flounder, but is also exceptionally good as a general scratching rig during the late January to early April period when standard rigs struggle to perform due to fish being scarce, and bites few and far between in water that is at its peak low temperature.


  1. Begin with 54-inches of 60lb Fluorocarbon.
  2. At one end tie on a Gemini Lead Link
  3. Slide on three Large clear oval 2-way beads.
  4. To the free end of the Fluorocarbon, tie on a size 4 rolling swivel.
  5. Either side of each bead tie on to the rig body line a 6-turn Grinner knot from 14lb clear Powergum. Position one bead just below the top swivel, the second bead in the middle of the rig, and the bottom bead just above the lead link.
  6. Using 50lb Fluorocarbon cut off three separate 2.5-inch lengths.
  7. Using a cigarette lighter, apply the flame to one end of the Fluorocarbon sections to form a bulb shape.
  8. Slide one of the Fluorocarbon lengths in to the horizontal hole in each 2-way bead, then with the flame, bulb the remaining end.
  9. Using a 7-turn Grinner knot, tie a section of 12lb Fluorocarbon over the short section of the 50lb Fluorocarbon and pull tight up to the bulb. The hook lengths need to be about 14-inches long.
  10. Finish the hook traces with a Kamasan B940 hook size 2 to 6.
Notice the bulbed end of the short fluorocarbon section.
Notice the bulbed end of the short fluorocarbon section.


This rig is designed for short to medium casting distances, and really scores in shallow, clear seas as there are minimal components used in its construction, and all are clear coloured. Even the heavy Fluorocarbon used for the rig body to take the casting pressure is way less easy for fish to see when close up than standard clear mono is. Drop both mono and Fluorocarbon in to a glass of water and you will see the obvious difference. This is why this rig is called a “ghost” rig.

The common way to rig 2-way oval beads is to either use a knot to lock the hook length line in the middle hole, or add a micro bead slid on to the hook length, then knot the line against the micro bead. The micro bead then butts up to the 2-way bead to secure the hook length. Like I said, I don’t trust the knots system, especially if a decent fish is hooked. This rig eliminates the knots so is much stronger because the bulb in the Fluorocarbon sets hard and is totally strong. It butts up neatly to the 2-way bead but cannot pull through, even under heavy pressure.

The hook length, being tied to the short section of Fluorocarbon, and the hook length knot tucking in tightly behind the melted bulb, then again the hook length is as strong as possible and easily capable of landing big fish without fear of knots pulling through the 2-way bead. I’ve had wrasse on the boat to 4lbs, pollack to 4lbs, and even strap conger to maybe 8lbs on this rig without any weakness issues.

Because of the melted bulb on the short section, the tying of very weak hook lengths, such as 6lb Fluorocarbon when targeting very small or very shy fish, is easier and stronger, plus the stiff Fluorocarbon stands off from the rig body reducing the chances of tangles, especially in surf conditions.

The Powergum sliding stop knots allow you to quickly reposition the 2-way beads as conditions and bites dictate. For example if all the bites are falling to the bottom hook, move this down as tight behind the lead clip as you can get it, then move the upper two hooks down as well, but without the hook traces tangling, to get all three baits in or closer to the level the fish are feeding in. The opposite applies and you can move the hooks upwards if all the bites are coming to the top hook. A bigger fish may slide a bead down during the fight, but it is easily repositioned after unhooking.

When fishing at very close range, say just a few yards out and with lighter lead weights of just 1oz to 2ozs, you can streamline the rig even further by reducing the rig body line to 20 or 30lbs Fluorocarbon. I also change to the smaller Medium sized 2-way clear beads. The middle hole usually retains the same diameter as the Large sized 2-way bead, depending on make, still allowing the use of the stiff 50lb Fluorocarbon for the stand-off sections. However the stand-off sections can be made shorter at just 2-inches.

I also make this rig as a 2-hook boat rig using 40lb Fluorocarbon rig body line, and 12 to 20lb hook lengths when targeting bottom dwellers, such as bream, codling, wrasse, shy biting pollack, haddock, gurnards, whiting and even small ling.

It’s also proved to be my most effective offshore light scratching rig for targeting fish less inclined to feed in clear water and bright sunlight conditions. Again if bites are hard to come by, drop the breaking strain of your hook lengths to 8lbs Fluorocarbon and use an 11ft European style soft tipped rod for maximum bite detection, but also to cushion the weaker hook lengths from overload. This light, low visual impact presentation can make a huge difference when bites are not forthcoming to conventional rigs and methods.