Rigging Cobia Terminal Tackle

Some anglers “over rig” for cobia, and that can cost them fish.

Cobia have no sharp teeth, so wire leaders are unnecessary. But the fish do have small, abrasive, sandpaper-like teeth that can fray even heavy monofilament during a long fight. Also, cobia are a hard-fighting, tough-skin fish, and they have sharp spines along the back – all of which can abrade line. So a well-designed “shock leader” system is needed for cobia.For most cobia fishing it’s smart to double the terminal end of the fishing line with a Bimini Twist or Spider Hitch. Twenty or 30-pound test line (braid preferred) is good for most cobia fishing, and a double line four to six feet long is advised.



Some anglers tie the double line to a top-quality, black, ball bearing barrel swivel, which is advised if a sinker is used to take baits deep, since a swivel keeps a sinker above and away from a bait. Also, for trolling, the use of a swivel is needed to prevent line twist. Some baits, like eels for example, also have an annoying habit of twisting round-and-round while fishing, and that can cause disturbing line twist, so a swivel always should be placed in the terminal rigging with some baits.

A shock tippet of “hard” monofilament or flurocarbon of 50- to 100-pound test, about six-feet long, is good for cobia fishing. It can be tied directly to a barrel swivel, or it can be fastened to the doubled fishing line with a Surgeon’s Knot, Albright Knot or Uni-Knot.

Tie the heavy shock tippet to the bait hook or lure with a Palomar Knot or a 3-wrap Clinch Knot, and the terminal rig is ready for a go at cobia.

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