Some of you may have already have come across the name of H Cholmondely-Pennell. Pennell was a Victorian angler and naturalist, and in addition to inventing the trout fly that bears his name, he also made a significant contribution to coarse fishing in the form of the Pennell Rig.
This is a very simple and versatile rig, and can be used in all contexts, from river or stillwater to sea fishing. You can tie this rig in almost any size appropriate, from a few inches for river fishing with worms, to almost a foot, with hooks to scale, for Tope fishing with mackerel fillets.
To make this rig, you will need a length of line, ideally lighter than your reel line, two hooks and a swivel link. Begin by tying one hook to the end of your length of line, using a Blood Knot or Improved Cinch Knot. Trim the "tail" of the knot, then thread the second hook onto the line. You may need to thread the hook from below because we need both hooks to be "pointing" the same way. Secure the second hook a few inches above the first. The exact spacing will depend on the bait you want to use. The gap should be no more than two thirds the length of the bait. Tie in the hook, but don't trim the tail this time.
Tie the swivel link in at twice the distance between the hooks. The swivel is a handy way of attaching to your reel line, and prevents your reel line being twisted by any action in the bait.
To use the Pennell Rig, attach a worm to the top hook, near one end, attach the other end to the lower hook, making sure the worm lies in a loop between the two hooks. This shape will cause the worm to spin as it is drawn through the water, attracting more attention from fish.