Fish Finder Rig

So have you ever wondered what a fish finder rig was and how the heck do you use one when surf fishing. Fish finder rig are also referred to as 8nb8 or b8n8 or in simpler terms bait and eight. Which means basically a hook a swivel and a 8 oz pyramid sinker. Now you don't need to use an 8 oz weight in most cases and it' a handful to throw b8n8 into the surf.

Most of the time when fishing the surf with a fish finder rig you can get away with using a 4 or 6 oz sinker and if you use a hurricane style sinker or sputnik style sinker these weights will allow you to hold the bottom better than using a typical pyramid sinker. There are a couple different ways to setup a fish finder rig and even more opinions on the right way on the rig. So lets get right into it.

  • Hook - 6/0 - 8/0 - 9/0 - 10/0 Circle Hook -  Depends on the bait and the size of the bait you are using. A lot folks like to use bunker heads, which would work best with a 8/0 or better hook.
  • Sinker - 4 oz through 9 oz sinker, Use heavier sinker to hold the bottom during rough conditions. Use a hurricane style or sputnik style sinker to hold the bottom better.
  • Slider - Heavy Duty Slider (Not one of the cheap white-sleeved ones or black-sleeved ones the heavy duty ones are usually turquoise in color or a 2/0 McMahon lock snap swivel to attach the sinker.
  • Swivel - The swivel of choice is a 150 # barrel swivel to attach the shock leader and hook to.

Now to put it all together and that's the easy part. The rig is quite similar to a Carolina rig that is used by bass fishermen everywhere.

Now for the fishing rod to chuck these massive amounts of weight out into the surf. You will need at least a 10 to 12 foot surf rod that is specified for 4 to 10 oz of weight. A good solid surf rod that many surf fisherman use is Bass Pro Shops Ocean Master Surf Rods. These rods are built solid and are capable of casting 6 oz of weight with no problem. I also have used Tsunami's Trophy Series Surf Rods and for the money these can't be beat. If you are just looking for the surf rod to take on vacation with you this rod can't be beat.

The fishing reel you choose should be large enough to hold a lot of line and if you are choosing a spinning reel you may want to consider a bait feeder reel. They are not necessary but often I've seen large skate grab your bait and knock a rod down. Another form of reel but isn't for the beginner is the conventional reel, which was made to cast a lot of weight long distances. Just as a note if you do want to take up fishing with conventional reels make sure to get one with a magnet system such as the Penn 525 Mag reel which will help save from picking bird nest in your reel all day long.
As a safety precaution remember when casting these amounts of weight always use a shock leader. Please read our Shock Leader article for more information on shock leaders.