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(361) 563-TUNA (8862)

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Port Aransas, TX 78373

Email: Scott@fishntexas.com

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GENERAL RIGGING NOTES
By Peter Pakula

HOOK PLACEMENT: To start we'll just check the I.G.F.A. rules that all affiliated game fishing clubs adhere to. These rules maintain that when using two hooks they are at least the distance of the larger hook apart, and that part (not all!) of the trailing hook is within the skirt, i.e. at least the eye of the hook.

These rules exist to make things equal amounts anglers and to make it as sporting as possible for the fish. So for your best chance , rig your hooks as close as possible to each other setting them as far back in the skirt as possible as shown in Fig 1.

SINGLE HOOK RIGS: Recently there has been a major increase in the use of two hook rigs in skirted trolling lures. The decline in the use of single hook rigs has been followed by a general decline in hook-up rates. A lure rigged incorrectly with two hooks is not as effective as the same lure rigged with a single hook.

When a single hook, on a loose loop is pulled through the water it rides point up, bend down with point riding almost level with the eye as in Fig 2. The hook also has a natural wobble, swivelling on its bend.

Unless the hook is accurately aligned in the lure a 'stiff rig' may cause the lure to spin resulting in line twist. To both lessen the chance of lure spin and increase hook ups, rig the hook on a loose loop with the hook positioned well back in the skirt, with its point at least level with the end of the skirts. This also lessens the chance of the hook tangling in the skirt.

The success rate using single hooks, sharpened ones of course, is relatively high. A released fish caught on a single hook has more chance of survival, especially if the hooks are left in the fish. It is also far less dangerous handling a fish caught on a single hook. There are many instances of a getting a flailing hook stuck in one hand while the other is still connected to a sometimes very large and very lively fish  If you're not sure which type of twin hook rig to use in a lure then a single will probably give you a higher success rate. Each type of skirted trolling lure has a optimum system for rigging to, for example the Pakula Shackle Rig was specifically designed for use with Pakula Lures giving the highest success rates. On the same lures a standard 90 degree stiff rig results in a very bad success rate.

All lures have a more active action when using single hooks. The wrong two hook rig results in a far worse catch rate plus other associated problems such as hook and skirt tangles, line twist and impaired lure action. Even the correct twin hook rig results in only marginally better catch rates than using a single hook.

PAKULA SLIP RIG: A quick and effective method of positioning hooks within the skirts is by twisting and tying a rubber band around the leader in between the hooks and the back of the lure. Then by pushing the band up or down the leader you can place the hooks exactly where you want them. This system is effective using both the Pakula Shackle Rig and Single Hook Rigs as shown in Fig 3.

There are many advantages of combining the the Slip Rig with your normal rigging. If a fish bills the lure there is more chance of hooking it in the mouth rather than glancing off a hard bill. If the lure is taken from the side the hooks must pass across the jaws, and if taken from behind the hooks are further down the throat. No matter how the fish attacks there is a greater chance of hooking it securely. The fact that the hook point and bend are totally visible does not in any way disturb the fish.

The use of the rubber band also cushions the back of the lure against the knot or crimp to the hooks. This is a major fatigue area that leads to many failures on both wire and nylon. These failures are normally blamed on toothy fish such as Wahoo and Mackerel.