7 of the Best Rigs for Redfish (2021 Fishing Guide)

Kenneth ReavesEdited by: Kenneth Reaves
Michael DarmontReviewed by: Michael Darmont

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best For Most Anglers: Stellar Fishing Egg Sinker Rigs
“You need a reliable rig that can match to a Redfish’s fighting nature and there’s no better choice than the Stellar Fishing Egg Sinker Rig. It’s easy to use, very effective, and ideal not only for Redfish but for any fighting game fish you want to catch.”

Best Leader for Slot Reds: Sea Strike PPR20 Pompano Rig
“If you’re looking for combined flexibility, ease of use, and proven performance, the Sea Strike Pompano Rig absolutely fits the bill. It’s ideal for surf fishing and has been proven to work for a variety of species.”

Best Budget Option: Sea Striker Fireball Rig
“The Sea Striker Fireball Rig combines strength and affordability. It’s strong enough to handle any size Redfish that swims your way. It doesn’t sacrifice quality and performance even with its surprisingly affordable price.”

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Redfish are one of the most accessible and hardest fighting game fish on the East Coast of the United States. Living in shallow coastal waters means any fisherman can go after redfish if they know where to look. If you want to get in on the action, you’ll need the right leaders to get the right presentation. 

A good redfish leader is strong enough to stand up to their fighting nature, hard for the fish to see, or makes plenty of noise to help attract the fish. You’ll want to use the right leader for the size of redfish you’re targeting and the type of bait you plan on using.

We’ve found and reviewed seven of the best premade rigs on the market that will get you ready to start going after some big red drums.

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Product Name
Best for Most Anglers
Best Leader for Slot Reds
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
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Stellar Fishing Egg Sinker Rigs (4 Pack) with Sinker Fishing Swivel and Snap Connector and Egg Weight, Mono 100lb Fishing Line for Trout, Flounder, Redfish, Drum and Bottom Fish (3/4 Ounce, 4 Pack)
Sea Strike PPR20 Pompano 2-Drop Circle Hook Rig, #2/0 E.C. Circle
Sea Striker DT34 Bluefish Fireball Rig, 3/4" Red & Yellow Floats, 40Lb
Our grade
Our Rating 97/100
Our Rating 95/100
Our Rating 94/100
Feature 1
Sliding egg sinker lets the bait move in the current
Snelled hooks and threaded mainline make it nearly invisible
Wire leader protects against other toothy fish
Feature 2
100 lb mono is plenty strong for catching redfish at their biggest
Perfect hook sizes for slot reds with Fish Bites or small cut baits
Floats keep bait off bottom and in travel lanes
Best for Most Anglers
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Stellar Fishing Egg Sinker Rigs (4 Pack) with Sinker Fishing Swivel and Snap Connector and Egg Weight, Mono 100lb Fishing Line for Trout, Flounder, Redfish, Drum and Bottom Fish (3/4 Ounce, 4 Pack)
Our grade
Our Rating 97/100
Feature 1
Sliding egg sinker lets the bait move in the current
Feature 2
100 lb mono is plenty strong for catching redfish at their biggest
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Best Leader for Slot Reds
Our ranking
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Sea Strike PPR20 Pompano 2-Drop Circle Hook Rig, #2/0 E.C. Circle
Our grade
Our Rating 95/100
Feature 1
Snelled hooks and threaded mainline make it nearly invisible
Feature 2
Perfect hook sizes for slot reds with Fish Bites or small cut baits
Buy Now Button
Custom Button
Best Budget Option
Our ranking
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Sea Striker DT34 Bluefish Fireball Rig, 3/4" Red & Yellow Floats, 40Lb
Our grade
Our Rating 94/100
Feature 1
Wire leader protects against other toothy fish
Feature 2
Floats keep bait off bottom and in travel lanes
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Custom Button

Best Rigs for Redfish

Here are the best rigs for Redfish on the market:

1. Stellar Fishing Egg Sinker Rigs

Best For Most Anglers: Easy to use and strong enough for big redfish

Stellar Fishing Egg Sinker Rigs (4 Pack) with Sinker Fishing Swivel and Snap Connector and Egg Weight, Mono 100lb Fishing Line for Trout, Flounder, Redfish, Drum and Bottom Fish (3/4 Ounce, 4 Pack)
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KEY FEATURES

  • Sliding egg sinker lets the bait move in the current
  • 100 lb mono is plenty strong for catching redfish at their biggest
  • Snap hooks allow you to change hook size depending on the size of the target fish

Sometimes simple works best, and this rig’s simplicity makes it a solid choice for any angler. This leader comes ready to tie onto a line and once you snap a hook on it’s ready to use. This leader is great for big redfish because of the line test, but it still works on smaller slot reds. 

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Leader Details

The main leader is made of 100 lb monofilament, which is plenty strong for handling bull reds over 50 lbs. While it may seem like overkill, reds and trout often share the same habitats, and the thicker line will keep a trout’s sharp teeth from fraying your line.

While egg sinkers above the baits can tangle on bigger casts, they allow the bait to slide and move in the current. If you’re using a live baitfish, it gives the fish a little bit of room to swim away from the weight.

Both ends of the leader have swivels, making sure you won’t have to deal with line twists reducing the strength of your line. The three and four-ounce weights give you plenty of weight to cast out and away from shore as well.

How and Where to Use It

This is a rig you can use pretty much anywhere. Casting it from shore or dropping it straight down from a boat both lead to success. 

Choose an appropriate hook size for the redfish in your area. One option that works on most sizes is a 4/0 circle hook since it’s small enough for slot reds but big enough for bulls. Once you have that snapped on, all you need to do is put some cut bait on your hooks like shrimp, squid, or mullet and cast it out.

2. Sea Strike PPR20 Pompano Rig

Best Leader for Slot Reds: Thin monofilament and no clamps make it nearly invisible

Sea Strike PPR20 Pompano 2-Drop Circle Hook Rig, #2/0 E.C. Circle
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KEY FEATURES

  • Snelled hooks and threaded mainline make it nearly invisible
  • Floats keep baiting off the bottom in area fish swim
  • Perfect hook sizes for slot reds with Fish Bites or small cut baits

Pompano rigs are popular thanks to their incredible flexibility. They work well in clear water where fish might avoid wired lines, they catch a variety of species including pompano, redfish, whiting, trout, and seabass. Normally used in the surf, pompano rigs are a great leader to use for catching slot reds on cut bait in any water.

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Leader Details

Each hook line has a small float that gets the bait up off the bottom. While redfish do feed on the bottom, it only holds a couple of inches above the seabed and makes it easier for the fish to find.

Coming with 2/0 circle hooks is great because it makes it easier for the fish to swallow the entire hook and bait when it strikes. Once you reel in, the circle hooks slide right into the corner of the fish’s mouth, avoiding gut hooks and making it safer for you and the fish. 

The snap on the bottom allows you to swap weights based on how strong the current you’re fishing in is to keep the bait on the bottom. It also features a swivel at the tie-on point to keep line twisting to a minimum.

How and Where to Use It

This leader works best for surf fishing when you want to target multiple species, but it works just as well as shore fishing grass flats. You won’t be targeting bull reds with this leader, as it’s only a 20 lb test line and the 2/0 hooks aren’t the best for big fish.

This leader is ready to go out of the package, just snap on a weight and bait the hooks. It works for any fishermen casting from shore and works especially well on line-shy fish.

3. Sea Striker Fireball Rig

Best Budget Option: Wire Double-Drop Rig for easy fishing

Sea Striker DT34 Bluefish Fireball Rig, 3/4' Red & Yellow Floats, 40Lb
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KEY FEATURES

  • Wire leader protects against other toothy fish
  • Floats keep bait off bottom and in travel lanes
  • Heavy line can handle any size redfish

Double drop rigs are popular because they’re effective. Sea Striker Fireball Rig is made of wire, making it able to handle the toothy fish that also prowl the water redfish spend their time. In addition to this, since it has stronger weight lines than other rigs on this list, this leader can handle any size redfish you throw at it. 

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Leader Details

The 60-pound wire leader works fantastic for bull reds but is strong enough to handle any redfish you may encounter. Both branch lines have a large float that both attracts fish and keeps the bait off the bottom in the fish’s travel lanes. Bluefish and trout patrol the same water as redfish, and their sharp teeth won’t be able to fray your leader.

It gives you plenty of customization as well, as you can easily retie the hooks to get a different size or style preference. It has a snap on the bottom for weights, letting you choose the right weight for the current you’re fishing.

How and Where to Use It

Like many of the rigs on this list, you can use this leader anywhere. Once you’ve decided on a weight and baited your hooks it’s ready to go.

For the best results, vast the line out and wait. You’ll need patience fishing from the shore but try out different cut baits until you figure out what the fish are biting. Then stick with that and keep fishing.

4. Strike King Saltwater Flats Jig

Best Rig for Soft-Plastics: Jighead that bounces across the bottom

Strike King Saltwater Flats Jig Head/Chartreuse (FJH14-801)
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KEY FEATURES

  • Reflective 3D eyes for better attraction 
  • Chemically sharpened hook helps with snagging fish on strikes
  • Works with favored redfish food like shrimp and minnow soft plastics

Redfish will also take artificial baits, especially ones that smell like Gulp Shrimp. To best use them though, you’ll want to use a jig head and slowly retrieve the lure, bouncing it across and near the bottom. This jig head from Strike King is perfect for rigging the right soft plastics and is best for anglers wanting to cast to as many probable redfish holes as possible.

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Leader Details

The jig head comes ready to use, just rig a soft-plastic on it and tie it on. You’ll want to use a bait that resembles a minnow, shrimp, or crab in most cases. Make sure whichever bait you choose comes with an innate scent to attract the reds you’re after.

How and Where to Use It

The best places to use this lure is from a boat, casting your baits near grasslands and mangroves. Allow your lure to sink to the bottom and then slowly begin retrieving it in short but sharp jerks. Keep the bait near the bottom, and bounce it, giving it a realistic swimming motion on top of its smell. If you can sight-cast to the redfish then it’s even easier as all you need to do is retrieve the lure across their face until they strike.

5. DOA Deadly Combo

Best Pre-Rigger Topwater: Rattling float with a tempting shrimp

DOA Deadly Combo Oval Float w/Clear Gold Shrimp - DC-OVAL-313
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KEY FEATURES

  • Rattling float gets the attention of the redfish
  • Shrimp trails behind float mimicking a real shrimp
  • Adjustable trail length, and comes in multiple line weights

While redfish are natural bottom feeders, they will still strike baits at and near the surface. Using a rig like this combo can lead to fantastic surface strikes. Plugging these topwaters on grass flats is the best option, as you’ll need to locate the fish for them to be effective.

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Leader Details

The main attraction of this rig is the rattling float at the top. The float acts to attract reds by making noise and keeping baits close to the surface. It also gives extra visual feedback on strikes since they will sink below the surface when hit.

Under the float is a trailer line with an artificial shrimp on the end. The shrimp is the portion the red will strike, likely after being attracted to the area by the rattle and then noticing the easy meal trailing behind. You can swap out the shrimp that comes with it for one with a smell or when it gets worn out.

How and Where to Use It

This rig is meant to cast and retrieve across the surface on grass flats around ten feet deep. You can make your leader and adjust the length of the shrimp trails behind as necessary.

The rattling popper gets the red’s attention and then they’ll look up to see what is trailing behind. Once they recognize the shrimp bait, they tend to strike at the easy meal. This rig is effective for redfish even though they’re bottom feeders and leads to some exciting surface strikes.

6. HURRICANE Surf Fishing Leader Bundle

Best Redfish Rig in the Surf: Double the bait, plenty of strength

HURRICANE Surf Fishing Leader Bundle - 10 Pound Double Drop Surf Leader, 20 Pound Double Drop Surf Leader and 30 Pound Double Drop Surf Leader.
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KEY FEATURES

  • Multiple leaders in a pack
  • Ten, twenty, and thirty pound test to choose from
  • Double drop leaders let you put two baits out at once

Double-drop leaders are staples of surf fishing. If you can’t or don’t want to make them on your own, this one from HURRICANE works great. Fishing for reds though, you’ll want to go for the thirty-pound leaders, as redfish in the surf have the extra strength of the current and tend to be larger. 

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Leader Details

The leaders are simple. They feature a swivel as a tie-on point to avoid line twist, and a snap at the bottom to attach your weight. In between, there are two branch lines with hooks on the end for attaching bait.

How and Where to Use It

This leader is specifically best in the surf. The weight on the bottom end of the leader lends to farther cast distances, with pyramid-shaped sinkers working best to keep the baits in place. The branch lines will float up off the bottom, putting them in the path of fish swimming down the coast.

Using it is simple, you tie it on, attach a weight and baits and cast. Then just wait for a bite. I suggest a light drag on your reel while you wait, as a big red will hammer baits and take off with it, breaking you off if the tension becomes too high.

7. Thkfish Carolina Rig

Most Versatile Rig: Popular Carolina Rig Produces with Many Baits

thkfish Fishing Weights Bullet Weights Carolina Ready Rigs Pre Rigged Carolina Rigs 1/4oz 10pcs
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KEY FEATURES

  • Sliding weight has an edge to dig into the bottom
  • Wire leader isn’t frayed by trout teeth
  • Useable with soft plastics and cut bait

Caroline rigs are popular bottom fishing rigs for redfish, flounder, and many other species. While similar to the other egg sinker rig on this list, Thkfish Carolina Rig stands out because of its wireline and different sinker. Like that rig though, this works great for any fishermen, including beginners.  

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Leader Details

Since you’ll commonly find trout in the same areas as redfish, using wire leader can be helpful. Some fish may be shyer with wire and spit when they touch it, but wire leaders don’t fray due to fish teeth rubbing against it.

The weight on this leader also makes it stand out. Instead of being a rounded egg shape, it has a sharp edge and flat surface. That edge allows the weight to dig into the bottom and help keep your bait in place instead of it rolling around.

How and Where to Use It

You can use this leader everywhere. With cut bait or live bait, you’ll rig it up and cast out and wait. It works great from the shore or beaches. Using artificial baits is also possible with the rig though, as you’ll easily be able to bounce a soft plastic across the bottom thanks to the position of the weight.


Redfish Fishing Basics 

Redfish live in fairly shallow, coastal waters. To best target redfish, try to find large grass flats and shallow areas around river mouths. While not common, you can find big bull reds running in the surf and through shipping lanes from deeper waters to shallow spawning grounds.

Redfish are also bottom feeders with a downwards facing mouth that allows them to suck up food from the seafloor. You’ll want to fish baits primarily on the bottom when targeting redfish.

Redfish can range in size from 12 to well over 40 inches. The largest redfish are old, usually one year per inch of their length, and can easily weigh fifty-plus pounds at their largest. Redfish are incredibly strong, and even the larger ones are hard to bring in even after they’ve gotten their first couple of runs over with.

One great thing about redfish is that they aren’t picky eaters. Fresh bait is always best, but they’ll eat most kinds of cut baits. The best baits you can choose depending on where you’re fishing, but you can’t go wrong trying out mullet, shrimp, squid, and crab.

For live baits, use what’s common to your area. Bull minnows are exceptional live baits because they live longer once you rig them and they’re lively, which means they will attract the redfish you’re after. Small mullet are perfect baits as well since they’re a natural food source for redfish and have a larger range than bull minnows. When using artificial baits, soft plastics are a solid option. After rigging them on a jig head, you’ll want to bounce the shrimp or paddle tail across the bottom and the redfish face if you can spot them. You can sight cast to redfish if you have the height to spot them, or you can blind cast across grass flats, along the edge of marsh grass, or into mangroves.


Questions & Answers

What size hook is best for redfish?

The best hook size generally depends on the size of redfish you’ll be catching. In most circumstances, a 4/0 circle hook will do the job on both slot and bull reds. If you’re fishing live baits for big redfish, you might want to up the hook size to a 6/0, while lighter leaders for slot reds can easily use 2/0 and 3/0 hooks without any issues.

What is the best rod and reel for redfish?

The best rod for redfish can vary quite a bit. For the most part, a seven-foot medium-heavy action rod will work the best. It gives you plenty of strength for pulling in redfish and a good action if you’re trying to use artificials. 

The St. Croix Mojo Inshore rods are perfect for redfish. They have all the strength you need, come in both spinning and baitcasting models, and have incredibly comfortable grips on the rods.

If you’re fishing in the surf it’s an entirely different ball game. While a seven-foot rod works, you want a rod around eleven or twelve feet in length. There are two reasons for this. The height keeps more of your line out of the water and crashing waves which make it easier to see strikes and keeps your bait in place. The second reason is that these longer rods can cast much farther and handle heavier weights than shorter rods, both of which can make a huge difference when trying to reach fish and keep your bait on the bottom in the surf.

Shakespeare Tidewaters are underrated rods. A great budget buy, the twelve-foot rod is perfect for surf fishing and can handle any fish the surf throws at you. They also tend to last longer than their more expensive peers, only having problems with the guide’s eyes breaking over time.

For reels, you want something big enough to hold at least 200 yards of braided line. Big redfish hit baits hard and run off, sometimes running off 100 yards down the shore. You also want one with around twenty pounds of drag for pulling the fish out of the grass and mangroves they commonly hang around.The Penn Spinfisher VI is perfect for pulling in redfish. It’s sealed against saltwater, has a smooth rotation, and has plenty of drag and line capacity.