The Paternoster Rig | AKA The Chicken Rig

In fishing, a rig is a specific setup defining how to connect your fishing gear and terminal tackle to the main fishing line so that you can catch a fish.

What is a Paternoster Rig?

Diagram of a fishing setup showing a blue paternoster rig with two hooks and a weight at the bottom, used for bottom fishing.

A paternoster rig (also known as rosary rigs or chicken rig) is a fishing rig with one or more hooks attached to it.

The paternoster rig has gained popularity with offshore fishing enthusiasts because it allows anglers to catch many different fish species, especially when bottom fishing from an anchored boat. 


When to Use a Running Paternoster Rig?

The rig is also known as a 'bottom fishing' rig, and it will cause your bait to drift naturally with the current. Paternoster rigs are perfect for fishing over structure and ledges with rocks.


Which Species can you Catch?

Paternoster rigs are perfect for catching an extensive range of fish species such as snappers, grouper and jacks plus a wide array of reef fish. 

How to Tie a Paternoster Rig?

The concept of the paternoster rig is very simple; you attach 1-3 hooks with dropper loops onto your mainline. Leave enough space in between each hook so that they don't tangle with your main fishing line once in the water.


Attach a weight at the end of your leader. This will ensure that your bait will sink and stay on bottom near structure.

  • For shallow waters. Choose a lighter weight 2oz
  • For medium depths, choose a 4oz weight 
  • For deeper water, use weights that are over 6oz


Attach a swivel to your main line to attach the paternoster (chicken) rig 


Attach one or more hooks, depending on how many different baits you're planning to use. Tie a dropper loop knot with the leader for each hook. Determine the distances of hooks if you are planning to use more than one hook. 

Father and daughter sitting on a dock fishing with a chicken rig, with a calm lake and blue sky in the background.


You're all set and ready to use your paternoster rig! Reel Coquina hopes these free tips will give you an edge on the water. If you're looking for the ultimate guide to learn how to tie a fishing knot or more tips, check out our other blog posts!

If you are in Florida and looking for a fishing charter in St. Petersburg, look no further, Reel Coquina Fishing will get you the catch of a lifetime!