The best knot to use for hooks and tying the end of your shock leader to a trace is the 5 turn uni or grinner knot shown in Diag (2). Remember to wet the line before pulling the knot tight and trimming the end. You will also need to learn to tie the five turn sliding stop knot shown in Diag (3). This simple knot is tied using a few inches of powergum. One such knot is tied either side of the small bead and swivel arrangement to which each hook link is attached.
As can be seen from the trace diagrams (4) and (5) these small powergum stop knots keep the hook link swivel firmly in position, yet allow each to be moved if necessary. When constructing a single hook trace that is to be clipped down as in Diag (5) for instance, it is virtually impossible to tie a hook link of exactly the right length. So you tie one roughly to length and then simply move the bead and swivel set up either up or down to enable the hook to fit over the clip on the impact shield. Another powergum knot is also tied on this 'clipped down trace', leaving a 1/2 inch gap between the bead and impact shield. So the hook releases on impact with the surface.
For long range casting or for presenting a large worm bait or a two hook pennel rig which keeps a strip of squid or several big worms straight, the single hook clipped down trace is advisable. Add a couple of red sequins/beads onto the hook length. These have a double benefit. They add attraction from their colour, particularly to flat fish species but more importantly they help stop heavy worm baits from sliding up the line during a powerful cast.
If much of your fishing is from sandy beaches then the ideal rod rest is the simple sand spike or mono pod which keeps your rod tip angled up high and the line well above the surf. This type is usually fitted with a tread bar for heeling well into the sand.
For short range casting over rough ground for species like bass its worth collecting your own bait. And while lugworm or ragworm may be readily available at the nearby tackle shops, peeler crabs may not. So visit rocky, weed covered areas of the shoreline at low tide and collect your own peelers by turning over large stones. They are the bass bait par excellence, though most other species take them readily.
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