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The Grizzly Ghost Rig

Grizzly Ghost Rig

A lot of inexperienced anglers struggle to understand the principles of some of the smaller accessory items and it’s easy to do if you’ve never been shown before.

One such item are the Tubertini Grizzly Connectors. These are basically clear plastic beads that can be instantly added and removed from the rig body, but also allow the hook trace to be attached through the bead without any need for bead trapped swivels.

These were designed in Italy originally and have become a key component for European style shore rigs designed for short and long range fishing with minimal visual components to maximise your chances of catching fish in gin clear water conditions. They’ve also caught on in the UK and Ireland over the past few years, especially on the match circuit, both shore and boat.

The Grizzly beads consist of a tapered slot which you can slide the rig body line in to, up to a certain diameter, and then pull through in to the central round hole to secure it. Size one Grizzlies take line diameters up to 0.45mm and the size 2 up to 0.50 through the slot. This means the Grizzly Connector can be added or removed at will to change the concept of the rig.

Alternatively you can just slide rig body line up to about 0.70mm straight through the central hole of the bead if you want the bead free to turn but permanently in place.

Look carefully at the Grizzly and you’ll see it has two holes, the central one with the slot, but also a smaller hole opposite designed to take the hook trace. Look even closer at the smaller hole and you’ll see at one side that the hole is countersunk, but not at the other. Remember this as its key when building a rig.

The best way to understand the principles behind the Grizzly bead and its uses in ghost or scratch fishing in difficult conditions is to build an actual rig.

We’ll call this rig the Grizzly Ghost Rig, though it has other names in different parts of the UK and Europe.

50-inches of 60lb clear mono
One Gemini Lead Link
Three Tubertini Grizzly Beads size 2
One size 4 Rolling Swivel
Clear 14lb Powergum
Three 14-inch lengths of 15/20lb Fluorocarbon line
Three Kamasan B940 size 6 Aberdeen hooks


1. To one end of the 60lb mono tie on a Gemini lead link

Grizzly Ghost Rig

2. Slide on the three Grizzly beads via the central hole.

Grizzly Ghost Rig

3. To the free end of the rig body line tie on a size 4 rolling swivel.

Grizzly Ghost Rig

4. Using the Powergum tie individual 5-turn Uni-knots around the main rig body line either side of the individual beads to act as sliding stop knots. Cut the tag end of the knot close to minimise contact with the Grizzly bead and allow it to turn freely.

Grizzly Ghost Rig

Grizzly Ghost Rig

Grizzly Ghost Rig

5. At one end of each Fluorocarbon hook length tie in a figure of eight knot and pull it tight. Cut off the tag end tight to the knot. Pass the free end of the hook trace through the small counter sunk hole in the Grizzly bead and pull the trace fully through pulling the knot deep in to the counter sunk hole. Do the same with the two remaining beads and hook lengths.

Grizzly Ghost Rig

6. Finish each hook length with a size 4 to 6 Kamasan B940 Aberdeen hooks or similar Mustad or Sakuma pattern.

Grizzly Ghost Rig

Because the small hook trace hole is countersunk and tapers, once the knot is pulled in to the hole it locks and cannot pull through under normal pressure.

By using clear rig body line, the clear Grizzly beads, clear Powergum stops and the Fluorocarbon hook lengths the completed trace has no obvious visual components near to the bait minimising any potential for fish feeding in shallow gin clear water being put off by light flash from components, or by being frightened visually by adjacent components. This is why we call rigs built with a minimum of components and see through accessories for scratch fishing for smaller species Ghost Rigs.

You can also build the rig body from Fluorocarbon as light as 15 to 20lbs and further reduce the visual impact of the rig, but the Fluorocarbon hook trace is the most important as its minimal visual properties and its length places the baited hook well away from the main rig body limiting the chance of fish being scared off. Remember the Fluorocarbon rig body dodge too though, as it can make a difference in very difficult flat calm conditions in shallow water. That said light Fluorocarbon is only good for casting leads of 1oz and 2ozs at close range only.

Because we’ve used Powergum stop knots, we can also change the position of the beads on the rig body by sliding the knots and beads up and down. For instance, say we have the lowest hook trace just above the link, the middle one in the middle and the top one right at the top, if you notice that all the fish are coming to the bottom hook, then slide the others down as far as is possible, but without the hook traces tangling, to put all three hooks closer to the feeding zone. The same applies if most of the fish are falling to the top hook, move the others up as far as possible to concentrate the hooks where the fish are feeding.

If I was really struggling for bites, I’d choose this same rig design, but one built with size 1 Grizzly beads, longer Fluorocarbon hook traces down to as light as 6lbs and use size 10 carp hooks. Extreme? Not if it catches you fish when otherwise you’d blank!

When using such small diameters of Fluorocarbon such as 6lbs, it’s best, after tying the figure of eight knot in the hook trace, to slide on a micro bead, as small as you can find, to lock between the knot and Grizzly after threading the hook trace through the Grizzly bead. This makes it more secure when using these fine diameter lines.

This is a really effective rig, depending on rig body strength, for short, medium and long range casting and will take flounders, dabs, bass, bream, plaice and many other smaller species when the sea is settled during prolonged high pressure weather periods in summer, and also in winter when fish are semi comatose and more reluctant to feed. It’s a top rig during the late January to early April period when bites are few and far between and most of the fish in front of us are small.