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What Is A Pompano Rig For Surf Fishing?

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If you’ve ever gone fishing and seen pompano rigs, you must have wondered how to catch pompanos with these. You might even wonder what a pompano rig is, and can you even catch pompanos properly with it?

A pompano rig is also called a chicken rig or Hi-Lo rig. This can be rig with beads, floats, or just the hooks. The Pompano rig is highly effective for surf fishing or pier fishing when targeting surf perch or pompano of course, and other bottom fish.

By learning about it, you will learn how to efficiently use pompano rigs. I will also tell you about different baits for catching pompanos. If you wish to catch fish while surfing, these will come in handy.

Materials Needed For Making Pompano Rig For Surf Fishing

A pompano rig is an arrangement of items needed to catch a kind of butterfish called pompanos. It can include things like hooks, swivels, sinkers, etc.

To make a Pompano rig, you will need some materials on hand. You can easily buy it for about three or four dollars at the store. But if you make it by yourself, you may get a higher sense of satisfaction.

Leader Line

You will need a leader line to ensure that your rig has a base. The fishing line ties everything together and can range from 20 to 30 pounds. 

You must try to get a strong one to ensure that the rest of the materials do not slip or fall off the fishing rod. You can look for it in the market or even buy it online.

Barrel Swivel

You will also need a barrel swivelOpens in a new tab. to make your pompano rig. A barrel swivel is just a small line connector that permits each line section to rotate freely around each other. I must tell you that a barrel swivel is highly necessary, as, without it, the mainline cannot be connected.

Snap Swivel

Snap swivels are a kind of fishing snivelOpens in a new tab.. They are basically devices used to stop your fishing line from getting twisted or tangled when you cast out your bait.

Snell Floats

I should tell you that these instruments are designed to hover with bait. Snell floats are usually ideal for trolling walleyes. 

But you should know that they are also useful for trolling pompanos. You can buy them at stores for about four or five dollars. You can even make them on your own from flip-flops. That way, it will be cheaper and also recyclable. 

Orange Bead

An orange bead is a beat that looks like bait. They can easily copy the look of spawn eggs. You should know that the choice of color of the orange beads is made to match a specific fish species’ eggs. 

These beads are often found at the head of a fly, such as in an egg-sucking leech pattern. Orange beads are also found on spinners.


Fishing hooks are extremely important. This is because, without hooks, catching the pompano can be quite difficult. 

The hooks can be either in circle or Kahle form. The Kahle hook has a more varied range of applications, including fish bites or live bait. 


Leads are very heavy sinkers. I must tell you that they are used to putting the pompano rig in the water. 

The weight of the leads can be adjusted according to the weather. You can even use the leads according to where you live or according to the current of the water.

For example, suppose the current is stronger. In that case, you can ensure the lead is heavier to try to catch a pompano easily.

How To Tie A Pompano Rig?

I should point out that making a pompano rig is not that hard. Once you learn how to do it on your own, you will realize how simple it is!

Step 1

It’s best to use a clinch knot if you can. Firstly, you have to pull out around five feet of the fishing line and then tie the snap swivel to one end of the line. This will ensure your rig has stability. Then, you can attach a sinker to your rig.

Step 2

Tie your first dropper loop right about 10 inches above your sinker. You can then tie your second dropper loop around 10 inches above your first dropper loop. 

Then tie your third dropper loop around 10 inches above your second one. Your dropper loop can be about 3–4 inches long.

Step 3

Next, you can slide your float over your first dropper loop. Then very carefully slide your bead over your first dropper loop. You must do it with caution so that you do not hurt yourself and also so that you can connect the hook to the loop. 

You can make this possible by using a quick switch knot. This will permit a strong bond and allow quick switching of the items.

Step 4

You can now repeat by sliding the float over the first dropper loop and connecting the hook to the loop using a switch knot. Next, tie your barrel swivel to the other two dropper knots. You can then tie your barrel swivel to the top of the rig. You can now finally go catch some pompanos.

Here’s a video you can follow on how to tie a pompano rig, this is my go-to tutorial from Salt Strong.

Video Credit: Salt StrongOpens in a new tab.

Can the Pompano Rig be included in the Best Three Rig Set Up for Surf Fishing?

Yes, the Pompano Rig can definitely be considered as one of the best surf fishing rigOpens in a new tab.s. Its multiple hooks allow for a higher chance of catching fish, and its design works well for catching Pompano and other species close to the shore. Including it in the best three rig set up for surf fishing is a smart choice.

What Kinds Of Baits Can You Use For Pompano Rigs?

You can use many different kinds of baits to catch pompano fish. Starting from artificial to natural baits, many varieties of baits are available. Let’s have a look at the three best ones among them all!

Sand Fleas

I must tell you that sand fleas are also called mole crabs. They are commonly found near the seashore. This is due to the fact that they are frequently observed using their legs to catch planktons.

So if there are lots of sand fleas, then more pompanos can be around as well. You should know that they are not difficult to catch. Sand fleas can be caught with ease using a sand flea rake.


Shrimps are the next best bait for pompanos. You can find them easily at your local bait shop, where they will usually be in frozen form. You can put these shrimp on your pompano rig and send them out into the surf. I should tell you that pompanos are closer to the beach during very high tides.

So, you do not have to send the shrimp that far away during high tides. But during low tidesOpens in a new tab., it is best to send the shrimp as far as possible to catch as many pompanos as possible.

Banana Jigs

Banana jigs are baits that are shaped like bananas. They move unevenly once they are put in the water. Banana jigs are also referred to as “goofy jigs.” 

You can even attach a feather teaser to it to make it more noticeable to the pompano. Banana jigs come in a range of colors, so you are free to choose which one you want.


You should know quite a few things about pompano rigs for surf fishing. I have already talked about the essential materials in making a pompano rig. These materials include fishing rods, barrel swivels, snap swivels, etc.

Thank you for taking the time to read this! I have informed you about the instructions for using a pompano rig. You have been told about the process, from tying the fishing line to tying the barrel swivel to the dropper knots. 

I have also written about the best kinds of bait and have listed sand fleas, shrimp, and banana jigs as the three best ones.

Zaldy G.

I love feeling the cool ocean spray every time I hit the beach with a rod and a bucket of bait. I love the thrill of feeling bites on my line whenever I hook a big one. And I especially love the pride that comes with cooking a fresh catch and sharing it with my friends and family. Thank you for stopping by. Let's go catch some fish!

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