The art of bottom fishing.

What is Legering?

With legering you basically use a weight to cast out the bait and it drops to the bottom of the river, lake or sea and you catch fish!

Sounds easy doesn’t it?

Well if it is so easy why isn’t everybody doing it and catching lots of fish?

The legering fishing method takes over where freelining ends or not so much ends as starts to lose its effectiveness, how so you may well ask. Freelining is the art of fishing the upper levels of the water, it works well at the surface or just below it. With this in mind what weaknesses can develop?

  • restriction in casting. This is limited due to the lack of weight in the bait.
  • Slackness in the line. The line when freelining can become slack because there is no tension generated between the bait and the rod.
  • Missed bites. The slackness stated above makes it easy to miss a bite.
  • Deep hooking. This is when the fish has the time to swallow the bait. This can arise due to any number of things
    • missed bites
    • slack line
    • the speed of the take
  • Lost fish. This maybe because the fish had the time to take and reject the bait
  • Lost terminal. This can happen when you don’t get the hook set earlier enough and the fish snaps the line

A truer description of legering is that it is the art of fishing on the bottom using some form of bite indication other than a float, with it you use lead weights to get your bait to the bottom but also to help with a number of other things

  • Get longer casting distances
  • Remove slack line.
  • Improve bite detaction.
  • Reduce the chance of deep hooking.

How does legering achieve  these things? In the main it is due to the fact that the line that is out can be tensioned back to the rod. This results you knowing what is going on with your bait.

Legering – What rig Should You use

There are a lot of legering rigs but in its simplest forms you can divide rigs into one of two sections –

This means that the lead is fixed to the main line. In its simplest form all you just need to pinch some shot on to the line about 100mm from the hook and cast it out. (don’t forget the bait!)
Legering - Basic Sliding RigWith a sliding leger rig the lead is fixed to something other than the main line, such as with a simple sliding link rig where some swan shot is fixed to a short length of nylon which is bent in two and has the main line running through the loop, you use a split shot fitted on to the main line to stop the leger sliding all the way down to the hook.

Two advantages that the sliding type of rig has over a fixed rig are –

  1. Quick change of weights if you need to add or reduce it.
  2. In the case of you getting snagged, the shot will slide off the nylon and you will get your terminal back


There are lots of variations and developments to these rigs but the basic principles are the same. The only things that control selection and alterations to these basic rigs are the weather conditions, the target species and the bait being used.

So what variations are there

As we have said the basic legering rigs have been developed and improved over the years and some of the developments have resulted in the following rigs being in common use today.

The Sliding Link

a development of the simple bomb leger, in that the bomb is mounted on a separate link and is able to slide up and down the main line.