In sea fishing pennell hooks simply refers to two hooks being present on the same hooklength, and a pennell rig is any rig which features hooks in this configuration. Pennell hooks offer the advantage of having a hook at either end of a bait, meaning that a fish is more likely to be hooked however it takes the bait. Pennell hooks are often used by anglers using big baits to target larger species, typically cod, but they can also be used when targeting for other species such as big bass, rays or conger eels.
There are a number of different ways to construct pennell hooks. The first and easiest is simply to thread the first hook onto the line and loop the line around its shank a number of times. The second hook can then be tied on as normal. This is a simple and easy way to tie on pennell hooks and the second hook can also be moved forward or back to accommodate different sized baits if this is necessary. However, some anglers prefer to use silicone rig tubing to hold the second hook in place. This is somewhat more difficult and fiddly to create but does mean that the second hook is more secure, although it can still be moved if necessary. Generally rig tubing with a diameter of 2mm is the best choice for making pennell rigs – such as this Trace Builder Rig Tubing from Sea Angling Shop. Tubing with a smaller diameter may prove to be too small to fit both the hook and the line inside.
Some manufacturers make hooks that have a turned-up eye in order to facilitate making pennell rigs. The most common is the Mustad Viking 79510. This hook design has a turned-up eye which allows line to be threaded through without being twisted downwards to fit through the eye. While this pattern of hook is popular with UK sea anglers many are perfectly happy to make pennell rigs with standard hooks with straight eyes. While it makes sense to use larger hooks when making pennell rigs (as the whole point of pennell rigs is to catch larger species) there is debate over whether both hooks should be the same size. Some anglers believe that the pennell rig is more effective if this is the case, while others believe that the second hook (the moveable one which is set further back) should be at least one size smaller than the first hook. Ultimately it is up to the angler which they prefer and both types of pennell rig have been proven to be successful.
Since large baits will generally be used pennell rigs will also work best when the bait is clipped down, as unclipped large baits are likely to flail around and end up tangled during the cast. For these reasons two of the most popular pennell rigs are the pennell pulley rig and the clipped down pennell rig, both of which are pictured below.
The pennell pulley rig is a favourite of anglers fishing for large species from rock marks and other areas where snags are likely to be encountered. The pulley design means that the weight is pulled clear of the seabed when a fish is reeled in, reducing the chances of becoming snagged, while the pennell hooks increase the chances of getting a secure hook hold in the fish. The pennell pulley rig is therefore a classic rig for anglers targeting big winter cod from snaggy rock marks. This rig can be bought from Sea Angling Shop from just £1.35 by clicking here.
The clipped down pennell rig is ideal for anglers needing to cast large baits as far as possible. The clipped down nature of this rig means that it is as streamlined as possible, increasing casting distance, while the pennell hooks increase the chances of large species being hooked when they take the bait. This rig is favoured by anglers fishing from sandy or shingle beaches who need to get large baits out as far as possible to catch species such as big cod, bass or rays. This rig can be bought from Sea Angling Shop from £1.69 by clicking here.