Home Fishing Tips & Advice How to Fish a Sabiki Rig

How to Fish a Sabiki Rig

In terms of artificial bait, many anglers claim that a Sabiki rig may just be the most effective bait rig on the planet. Some even go so far as to claim that it has caught more fish than nearly any other type of artificial bait. While one could never prove such high claims in court, the passion felt by many anglers is a testament to just how well the Sabiki rig works at catching baitfish, trout, bass, panfish, and other predatory species.

So what makes the Sabiki rig so different? A Sabiki rig stands out because it customarily has just one singular line with a weight secured to the belly. Just above the weight, the rig holds anywhere from six to ten hooks. Each of these hooks comes with an attached piece of metal that reflects and shines. The concept of a Sabiki rig rests upon the idea that these attached metal parts sway in the water as the weight keeps the right low. Baitfish and other species of fish can’t resist this setup and tend to flock right to the rig!

Wondering how to fish a Sabiki Rig? We’re here to help. Below, we’ll outline the basics of a Sabiki rig and how to best utilize this beloved method of harnessing baitfish. 

The Sabiki Rig Advantage

Sabiki rigs are a favorite among any angler looking to catch bait or a few other select species of fish. While you’re free to set up a rig on your own, most prefer to purchase a Sabiki rig at a local bait shop or tackle supplier. What can you expect from a rig? Generally, a Sabiki rig is going to come equipped with six little jiggy flies that look similar to a tiny bucktail. Anglers can use them directly from a dock or on a boat by jigging up and down. These rigs prove irresistible to blue fish, perch, and other types of bait fish.

When to Use a Sabiki Rig

You want to use a sabiki rig when you have a rod and reel setup for light tackle. You will need to add some weight when casting into the surf or anything of that sort. Most Sabiki rigs do come readily equipped to attach a sinker using a clip at the bottom of the rig. Our recommendation is to avoid pyramid sinkers. A pyramid sinker will jerk and catch, preventing you from proper jigging execution. Instead, opt for a few casting sinkers between 1 and 3 ounces. Casting sinkers are smooth and will slide quite nicely onto the bottom. 

How to Use a Sabiki Rig

Once you have your rig set up, you’re going to cast out directly into the breakers of the water. While doing so, keep your rod very high as you reel and jig the Sabiki rig along. The idea is to have the presentation as vertical as possible in the actual water column. Once you’re where you need to be, don’t reel in too abruptly. This is a rookie mistake many anglers make with Sabiki Rigs. Instead, jig your rig and then let it settle for a bit. Once settled, reel and then jig it again. Getting the method exactly right takes time and patience. Eventually, you’ll know how to procure the best presentation. Once you get the method down, you’ll be catching several baitfish at one time.

Tips for Using a Sabiki Rig

Bring Along a Friend

Using a Sabiki rig is pretty straightforward. With that said, one key tip we would give to those new to this type of rig is to bring along a friend. The reason? De-hooking bait fish from a Sabiki rig can be a rather tiresome task. That often means it is best suited for two people. Trying to go through the motions along without experience can be meticulous. With this type of rig, there are an abundance of hooks to deal with as very small fish flail about everywhere. 

This can be a recipe for disaster. After all, the last thing you want is injured fish, hooks probing into your hands, or ruining the rig itself. With two people, the job is far simpler. As you and your pal de-hook the fish, make sure to move with care. Start by switching baitfish right from the hook to the livewell. This can help you to avoid any unnecessary injury to yourself or the baitfish. Injuring bait fish isn’t just inhumane, it can keep them from performing their jobs as they should. After all, an injured baitfish isn’t going to swim or move as predator fish would expect them too. 

Look to Chum

One more key tip when fishing with a Sabiki rig is using chum. Let’s say you’re out looking for baitfish and are simply not getting any strikes. Instead of giving up or throwing in the towel with the Sabiki rig, try something simple like adding a piece of chum to the rig. Believe it or not, small pieces of shrimp or other types of baitfish can actually increase your overall odds of making a cash. Additionally, using chum may just increase the size of the fish that end up striking. Schools of baitfish can prove competitive and downright scary. With the right bait, you’ll attract the best of the school right to your rig.

Making the Most of a Sabiki Rig

Using a Sabiki rig is an easy and steadfast way to attract large swaths of baitfish and ensure a successful catch. Unlike similar rigs, you won’t need to put much time and effort into the rig itself. Most of the time, you can find these rigs pre assembled and ready to go. Once you have your rig in hand, it is all about properly executing your rig and using best practices in terms of jigging.  

Avoid rookie mistakes like reeling in too abruptly or going too fast. Using a Sabiki rig involves time and patience. Once you perfect your method, using the rig is second nature. If you’re feeling a bit uncertain of the whole process, bring along a friend to help and look to chum for a boost if you’re still not getting what you need. At the end of the day, using a Sabiki rig is a surefire way to make a big catch!