How to Fish :: Knots & Rigs ::


Apollo (Paternoster) Rig


The apollo rig is known to be the universal baiting rig when it comes to bottom fishing, be it fishing from shore or from a boat. The rig usually consists of one to three branches of hook to cover different level from the seabed. Typically, using two branches is a good balance as it provides excellent depth coverage as well as a second chance to hit should the first one misses.

Before deciding on the specifics of the rig, one should take into consideration on the possible condition where it the rig is used and adjust accordingly.


Rig specifications (use default values only if you are unsure)

Section Sugguested Length Default length Remarks
A d + e + f 60cm  
B 10cm to 30cm 15cm  
C 10cm to 30cm 15cm  
d B + (5cm to 10cm) 20cm  
e C + (5cm to 10cm) 20cm  
f C + (5cm to 10cm) 20cm Can be longer if used for surf fishing
Joint Suggested Type Default Type Remarks
i, ii loop or swivel Surgeon's loop If swivel is used, barrel swivel is used for (i) and a snap is used for (ii)
iii, iv line to line knot or 3-way swivel Surgeon's knot  
v, vi Snelling Snell knot  


Tying procedures

1. We start by snelling a hook onto a leader line and cutting at about 20cm from the hook. Repeat this again for the second snood.

2. Take a new piece of of leader line and tie a surgeon's loop and cut at about 80cm from the loop. This will be your main snood.

3. Place one hook snood against the main snood, with the hook just 5cm below the main snood. Now you should have one side with a hook and a loop and the other side with two open-ended lines. Tie hook snood and the main snood together on the two opened lines using surgeon's knot.

4. Take the second hook snood and place it 5 cm below the surgeon's knot you've just formed. Similarly, tie the hook snood to the main snood using surgeon's knot.

5. Lastly, pull down second snood along with the open-ened line and hold the main snood about 5 cm away from the hook. Close up the rig by forming the last surgeon's loop on the line end.

6. The final rig should look like the image below. Use on side to loop through the eye of the sinker and the other to be clipped onto the snap swivel on the main line.


Notes on using this rig

Apollo rigs are generally considered short snood rigs. The advantage of this is that you have stronger feedback from the hook end and fast response time (when striking a fish). But because snood is short, fish may get wary when they take a bite on the bait. You can remedy this by slacking the main line a little.

This rig is particularly effective if you man your lines and provide some line play when a fish attempts to take your bait. Lifting the rig once in awhile to catch the fish's attention and slacking the line a little when they approach will encourages it to take a harder bite.

Timely striking of the line when using this rig is crucial. Because of the short snood, the fish will shortly sense the resistance from your line and attempt to throw the hook. You will have a short time window to execute a strike when the fish attempts to swallow the bait. A quick and well timed strike will ensure that the fish is mouth hooked (instead of gut hooked) everytime.

Apollo rig is also commonly used in surf fishing as well. The overall rig is short and easy to cast, especially for anglers using short rods. When the rod is not held on hand, the main line should be left slightly slack for more natural bait presentation and less likely to spook the fish.

Use of live bait fish is not very suitable on apollo rigs because of the short hook snood. The bait fish will have very little freedom of movement and tires itself out trying to break free.