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No Swivel Chicken Rig

A quick-tying, stealthy leader solution for all-purpose bottom fishing.

Husky (and delicious) gray triggerfish caught on a dropper, or chicken, rig. A snap swivel attaches rig to line, but leaders are hardware-free.


Among the few axioms in fishing that always hold true: “The less tackle you put in the water, the better.” If you are bream fishing in a heavily fished residential pond, you'll do better with 4-pound test. If you're tournament kingfishing, the smaller the wire and the smaller the hooks, the better.

What makes us think bottom fishing is any different? Why drop a double or triple chicken rig with obvious three-way swivels, when it's easy to tie a rig with no swivels?

Using the “no swivel” rig requires a little preplanning. First, understand this rig is not designed to battle giant grouper. This is a “grocery getter” that can stack up vermilions, mangrove snapper, sea bass and triggerfish. I've found the rig works best when I'm fishing with 40-pound braided main line, and I tie the rig with a single piece of 80-pound mono.

You can hang as many hooks from the rig as you want. Two or three droppers seem to work best for me.

Start by forming a 24-inch loop in your leader. Start wrapping the two pieces of the loop where they cross. I wrap the two pieces of mono around each other eight times. I then take the apex of the loop and push it through the overlaps, leaving four wraps on each side.



Hooking the loop over anything that will hold it tight, pull on both ends to close the wraps. Simply snip one end of the loop and tie on your hook. A surgeon's loop on each end of the leader gives you a place to connect the snap swivel and loop on the sinker.

Captain George Strate of Miss Mayport and Mayport Princess fame would make this double dropper rig and not cut the loops. He would tie a surgeon's loop at the end of a piece of mono with a hook on the other end. He would then use a simple loop-to-loop connection to attach the hooks. If customers caught the ever-present Atlantic sharpnose shark, or got hung, it was a simple matter to cut the short leader and loop on a new dropper. Fast and easy. FS

Published Florida Sportsman Magazine September 2019

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