There are a seemingly infinite range of links, clips and similar terminal tackle products available to sea anglers today, and the vast majority of sea fishing rigs will contain a number of these items. This page reviews some of the most popular and commonly used links and clips.
Links: Links are simple items of terminal tackle which are primarily used to attach weights to rigs. Most sea fishing rigs terminate in some kind of link which allows anglers to attach the weight of their choice to the rig, and also easily change weight if needed. Links also play a very important role in safety. If the weight was tied directly to the rig it would become damaged by being dragged over sand and rocks as it was reeled in. The link provides a strong buffer between the weight and the knot and prevents the knot from becoming damaged which would have obvious safety implications. There is a wide range of links on the market such as Cronus Teardrop Links which are available from Sea Angling Shop.
Clips: Clips are similar to links but are somewhat lighter and less robust. They are simpler to use as they have a simple open/close design. They can be very useful for anglers taking part in spinning or other forms of light fishing, as many anglers like to use them to quickly change between spinners, plugs or other lures. However, anglers should be aware that the less robust design means that they should not be used to attach weights to rigs that will be used for beachcasting as they may not be strong enough to stay clipped during a powerful cast, although they can be used with lighter rods for gentle casting. Koike Snap Clips are a popular type of link which is available in three different sizes from Sea Angling Shop from only 99p per pack – click here to view and purchase.
Lead Lifts: While weak links are an effective way of cutting down on tackle loss over rough ground lead lifts offer an alternative way of achieving the same result. They are diamond-shaped plastic fins that are fitted above weights (or integrated into the tail of weights) and are designed to create elevation which raises the weight (and therefore the whole rig) higher into the water and over potential snags when reeling in. Lead lifts work best when being cast over rocky/snaggy ground onto a sandy surface. Here they will prove invaluable to ensuring that the rig is high up in the water and over the potential snags during the retrieve. Some anglers see lead lifts as a gimmick of questionable worth, but in the right situation they are effective in cutting down on the number of times anglers get snagged. While there are a number of different companies making lead lifts the ones produced by Breakaway are the most popular and widely available. Click here to purchase lead lifts from Sea Angling Shop for £1.49 for a packet of two.
Pulley Beads: Pulley rigs are extremely popular with anglers around the UK. This type of rig allows the weight to slide upwards when a fish is hooked, meaning that it is reeled in ahead of a fish which reduces the chance of becoming snagged. Additionally, this rig means than any fish taking the bait feel less resistance when they move away with the bait in their mouth. See exactly how a pulley rig works by clicking here. The pulley bead is a fundamental component of the pulley rig, and although a swivel can be used in its place this should be avoided as it places additional strain on the line and can lead to rigs snapping during a cast – it is always better to use a proper pulley rig rather than a swivel. Cronus Pulley Beads can be purchased by clicking here, with prices starting at just £1.19p for a packet of ten.
Split Rings: Split rings are circular rings which are similar to links. They are generally used to attach hooks to plugs, spinners and other lures, rather than used in rig making. Most anglers have a range of split rings in their terminal tackle collection to replace any split rings which have become worn, damaged or rusted on the lures they are using. A number of standardised sizes have become established for split rings with 5.8mm, 9.5mm and 13mm diameter being the most common sizes in UK sea fishing, and most spinners and lures which are supplied with split rings having these sizes fitted. Cronus split rings can be purchased in the four most popular sizes by clicking here, with prices starting at only 49p for a pack of ten.
Slider Booms: Slider Booms are most commonly used in running ledger rigs. These rigs allow a fish to take the bait into its mouth and then move off without feeling any resistance. A weight is clipped to the boom which is allowed to slide on the mainline. While this type of rig is often used in boat fishing it is only used from the shore when fishing for larger species such as conger eels and some shark species. Click here to purchase WSB slider booms in packets of two or four, and click here to read a more detailed article on the different types of booms used by anglers around the British Isles.
Boxes and Storage: There is a wide range of compartment boxes that anglers can use to store links, clips, hooks and other items of terminal tackle. Many angling shops and online tackle retailers sell large compartment boxes which are specifically designed for fishing, but they can also be purchased from hardware stores and some which are designed to store jewellery in can also be effectively used by anglers. Smaller pocket-sized terminal tackle boxes – such as these from Adjustable Mini Compartment Boxes – can be used to take a smaller selection of terminal tackle items on a fishing session. View the full range of boxes and storage at Sea Angling Shop by clicking here.