What differentiates the paternoster from link legers is that, whereas link legers have the lead on the main line above the hook, the paternoster is the opposite. They are weight-forward arrangements, with the hooklink above the lead. An example from modern carp fishing is the helicopter rig, designed for ultra-long casting with heavy leads. In this case, the distance from hooklink swivel to lead is usually shorter than the hooklink, but as it is a weight-forward arrangement it can be classed as belonging to the paternoster family.
When you have the problem of deep bottom weed or silt, the paternoster is a better solution, and far easier to cast than the sliding link. This will be incorporated with a free-running or semi-fixed hooklink several feet above the lead link, which again will be of lighter line than the main line in order to give the “rotten bottom” effect if necessary.
A semi-fixed hooklink can be created by connecting it to a run bead and plugging that to the lead swivel with silicon tubing, or by tying a stop knot and bead above the hooklink, effectively jamming it. A fish pulling hard enough can move the hooklink in both cases, hence the “semi-fixed” label. Semi-fixed links often give more positive bite indication.
As the paternoster is a more aerodynamic rig than the standard link arrangement, it is the one to choose when long casting is required, and as long-range fishing often carries with it extra difficulty in seeing and hooking bites efficiently, the rig usually incorporates fairly short fixed hooklinks of only a few inches, which encourage positive bites. The fixed short hooklink paternoster has become a standard approach for still-water bream and tench anglers. This would normally include a heavy lead of at least 2 oz (50 g), pulling the line as tight as possible and using a heavy butt indicator. For Stillwater bream especially, hooking on this arrangement is 100 per cent successful, most bites being sudden drops back of the indicator as a fish lifting the bait relaxes the tension in the tackle. The fixed hooklinks would normally be tied into the main line using water knots.
How to Make a Fixed Paternoster Rig
1. To make a fixed paternoster you will just require a leger weight or feeder, nylon monofilament and hooks.
2. Tie the hooklink the required distance from the main line, using a water knot.
3. Attach the leger weight, or feeder if you are using one, to the end of the main line.
4. Feeders can be used in a paternoster instead of a leger.
5. The completed rig, as step 3, with a feeder instead of a weight.