Capt. John's Top-Secret Hook Setup
Reel Double-Trouble for Mr. Fish!
All images are thumbnails, click for full-size

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Step 1

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Step 2
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Step 3

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Step 4

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Step 5

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Step 6
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Step 7

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Finished Product

Simple Re-Rigging for Ultimate Success!

Solving the problem of getting a hook into a Salmon on a cut-bait rig is not as easy as it sounds. Being a natural food, the fish tend to gum-it like granny without her dentures in. Savage rips do happen on occasion, but soft light Perch taps can be a likely scenario also.

You must carefully bend the eyelet of the VMC 1/0 hook ever so slightly, similar to a turned up eye single Salmon hook that everyone is familiar with.  This allows for the hooks to hang straight and not have an offset bend to the leader.  The bend will allow the line to lay parallel to the shank of the hook.  So, when Mr. Sal Maniod tries to munch your meat, there will be a straight pull driving the hook into it's mouth.  I never was satisfied with snelling trebles until I came up with this idea on 6/22/04. 

One of the biggest problems is the Salmon knocking the bait-head up the line, far away from your treble hook. I've devised a way that will make this a thing of the past and improve you hook-up ratio by at least 50%.  By installing a crimp at the tail section, the fish can no longer push the bait up the line.  The crimp holds the bait head where the hooks are. This manner of a positive fixed position eliminates the need for the rear toothpick which NEVER did the job properly in the first place! 

With any form of fishing, better methodology can be formulated and the double snelled 1/0, or number 1 VMC treble hooks is gonna be your best friend soon. Sure it's a pain in the butt to re-rig existing products, but raising the bar to pro-level is more then worth it! Not missing is important at any time, however when action is skimpy, turning misses into boxed fish can save your day.

Also, I figured out a way to put a replaceable hook setup, once your leader is worn.
Salmon inhale cut-bait....reel-fact! And the deeper they swallow the bait the more chance there is for line abrasion. By installing just a good strong snap swivel at the last attractor fly is gonna save you loads of work redoing the entire rig once line frays show up. When the leader show sign of wear, just replace with a fresh leader and hooks.   Keeping the rotation the way it is, is the secret.  Too much spin is not going to help you one iota.

The beauty of this re-rigging is you use the existing 3 fly deal, you only add a snap swivel to the last attractor fly, then by using a double overhand loop, re-attaching a new leader and double snelled treble will be a whole lot easier then engineering an entire 3 fly trolling rig.

I've spent countless hours trying to solve the existing problems with the cut-bait in hopes to better enhance your chances of success. I hope you like my latest creation that should be the standard of rigging meat holder heads in the next few season. Just remember you seen it here first on the website.

The above is my testimony that I'm not there to mess with the fish.  I want my box full ASAP.  That way the cleaning stations are empty, you'll burn less gas and the boat ramps will be almost vacant when you get back to port.  I've had several say to me, "I like to play around and try goofy methods"  Me?......I'll do my playing around once I reach shore and the fish are cleaned and the boat is put away.


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This page was first published in 2003, and several pieces are parts might have changed.  Constantly updating technology when a better way is found is only natural.  I now tie directly to the swivel, eliminating the loop knot.

Step by Step Instructions

1.  Ever so carefully put a slight bend in the treble hook.

2. Snell on the first hook

3.  Insert thru meat head and install a small crimp in the very tail section of the bait      holder.   

4.  Measure the same original distance to the last fly and tie an overhand loop knot.

5.  Cut off the 3 fly rig and install just a snap in the position of the last fly.

6.  Hook your independent head to the 3 fly leader snap.

7.  The 4" Luhr Jensen hook file is a must.  I have fished on 2 boats this season that didn't have one.  One boat used a rock he picked up off the ground and another vessel carried a filing device that was so dull, you couldn't file your fingernails with it.

8.  If there is a drawback to this hook setup, it's gonna be tough on the meat strips.
With the sliding head, it was pushed out of the way and up from a hooked fish most of the time.  This new method means sure-fire deadly hookups, but in all likelihood more torn up bait then the stock slide up the line system.

9.  Buy a back-brace to cut down on injuries from hoisting the heavy fish boxes, you're sure to have with the ultimate hook setup on a meat rig.

10.  Practice a lot of catch and release, so you won't hurt yourself from hauling 200 pound plus boxes to the cleaning table.

11. Take up golf so you'll have something to do with all the extra time you're gonna
have on your hands once you box out!

12.  Just because you can, does not mean you have too!   Leave some for seed and bragging about limits isn't gonna earn you additional points.


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