Tying a Single-Dropper Tautog Rig

When it comes to bottom rigs for tautog, I like to keep it simple by using a single-hook setup coming off a dropper loop tied roughly one foot above the sinker. This rig lets me tap bottom with the sinker while the bait dangles slightly off to one side just above bottom.

All components are tied with 50- to 60-pound monofilament. The hook is a 4/0 or 5/0 offset Octopus snelled to roughly 2 feet of heavy mono leader. My favorite bait is a half or quartered green crab, or whole crab if they are small. I like to make a bunch of snelled hook-and-leader rigs ahead of time so I don’t have to waste time tying them on the water (no fun with chilly fingers).

If snags are a problem, I will sometimes suspend the sinker from the end loop using a piece of lighter line. If the sinker becomes snagged in the rocks or wreck, the light line will break, saving the rest of the rig.