Thursday, 11 May 2017 10:32

Rig Academy - Two-Boom Boat Bream Rig

We look back at some classic rigs that still work well today!



This rig was a simple development from both the original two-boom shore rig used for general species, but also adapted from the single boom rig used by boat anglers to target black bream over the shallow reefs of Cardigan Bay in Wales during the 1970s.

Originally built with heavy brass and then stainless-steel booms, the introduction of lightweight plastic booms, which are much more sensitive to the fast, aggressive bites of black bream, saw this rig produce huge numbers of bream, as well as general species over varied ground.




TSF May Rig 16 1
Begin with at least 60 inches of 30lb clear mono or ideally fluorocarbon


TSF May Rig 16 2
To one end tie on a Gemini Lead Clip


Slide on a 5mm length of neoprene tubing, pass the line through the tubing, back over on itself and back through the tubing the same way. Now pull the line tight to lock on the tubing. This forms a sliding stop.


Slide on a 3mm rig bead, a SALT Boom or similar brand of boom, and another rig bead.


Slide on another 5mm section of neoprene tubing, then tighten the line to form a second sliding stop.


Slide on a rig crimp, 3mm bead, another SALT boom, another rig bead and a crimp.


TSF MAY RIG 16 7.2
To the free end of 30lb mono tie on a size 6 rolling swivel.


Crimp the top boom in place three inches below the rig connector swivel.


The lower boom requires a hook trace 30 inches long, the top hook trace only 20 inches long, both in 12lb fluorocarbon or 15lb mono. 



Finish the hooklength by tying on a size 6 Kamasan B940 Aberdeen hook or Sakuma equivalent.



The rig is built with the permanently crimped top boom fishing the hook trace up in the water about five feet off the bottom. The reason for this is that bream swim in dense shoals shoulder to shoulder, with several fish manoeuvring above the ones on the seabed. 

This top hook presents a bait at a level where the higher fish are likely to be feeding when the tide flow is slack either side of low and high water when the bream lift up off the sea bed a little. 

The lower boom, trapped between movable neoprene stops, can be slid up and down on the rig body line and is easily adjusted to suit the rise and fall of the fish as they respond to the changing tide flow. 

At slack water, with little tide movement, when the fish rise in the water away from the seabed, slide this boom up the rig body to fish about 20 inches above the Gemini link that takes the lead weight. When the tide is flowing fast, slide the boom down to fish just above the lead link and keep the bait hard on the seabed.

In a strong tide, the long 36in hook trace on the lower boom flows out and presents a bait naturally rising and falling up off the sea bed as it would when rolling along. At slack water, when bites fall away, try shortening the hook trace to just 15 inches or so. This shorter length of hook trace maximises bite detection and can help you continue catching when the fish are difficult to tempt and feel.

The beads separating the boom from the neoprene are important as these ensure the boom can spin freely on the rig body line. This natural movement of the boom minimises any chance of tangles during slack-water periods and ensures the boom turns freely when fighting possibly two highly manoeuvrable fish. Bream are not usually spooked by a red or any other coloured boom, but when fishing in very clear, relatively shallow water tight to the seabed over reef ground, using a permanent marker pen to colour the boom black can help induce a few more bites. 

Another good tip when bites are difficult is to reduce the breaking strain of the hook trace line down to 12lb and lengthen the lower hook trace to up to 40 inches, providing there is enough tide run to flow the trace fully out to eliminate tangles. This increase in movement of the bait gives a natural presentation, but also the extra length of hook trace gets the bait well away from the rig and rig components, minimising visual association.

The use of fluorocarbon hook-trace material is recommended as bream have sharp teeth and can easily cut through soft mono if the fish takes the whole hook inside the mouth. Fluorocarbon is much tougher and far harder for them to chew through. 

Also, with this in mind, long-shank Aberdeen hooks are the best option for all baits as the extra length of shank gives added protection from sharp teeth. Bream have small mouths so stick to smaller size 6 and 4 hooks to maximise the number of fish caught.  

One last tip to help improve catches on this rig is to choose a lead weight just light enough to stay in contact with the seabed, but when the rod tip is lifted, release a couple of feet of line off the reel and let the tidal current swing the lead and baits downtide a few feet further. This lifting and repositioning of the baits covers more ground to find where the fish are but also triggers the bream to bite as the bait flutters, lifts and drops in the tide. 

Two boom boat rig


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