• Published:March 17, 2015
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When rigging up lures for big pelagics, it pays to take tips from a pro. Peter Pakula developed this shackle rig specifically for use with his Pakula Lures in 1984, and it has remained a very successful rigging system ever since. This rig has many assets: The lure has total freedom of action, the hook-up rate is excellent, the hooks self align, you can change hooks quickly and only need to carry a few sets of hooks to match up with a variety of offshore lures.

When you're ready to gear up, visit buypakula.com to shop Pakula's full line of trolling lures, rigging gear and tackle.

(See video above for full rigging instruction)

1. Leader: Thinner leaders offer better lure action, and a lighter leader will more easily fool fish.

2. Rubber Washer: This washer protects the leader from fatigue and abrasion against the back of the lure head.

3. Crimp: When crimping nylon, ensure you leave the ends of the crimp flared so the edges do not cut into the leader. When using wire, the full length of the crimp should be crimped. Make sure the crimps are the correct type and size for the nylon you are using.

4. Thimble: The stainless thimble allows the shackle to swing freely. These have a gap when purchased which must be closed prior to inserting snugly into the leader loop. If you don't close this gap the thimble may twist and sever the leader when under pressure.

5. Shackle:
The shackle should be small enough to allow the hooks to swing and align.

6. Stainless Wire:
Use stainless 7 x 7 wire, which is semi-ridged to lay straight and protects the rig against toothy critters. The 60-degree orientation of the hooks is accomplished by twisting the wire to align the hooks.

7. Loose Collar:
By using a loose collar, the hooks are free to swing and move with the lure's action. The collar also restricts the wire from crossing over the hook and fouling.

8. Top Hook: The top hook and trailing hook should be the same size to balance the rig. We prefer hooks with turned in points such as the Southern Tuna Style. Statistics have shown these have a much higher success rate than hooks with a straight point.

9. Shrink Tubing: On the wire and hook the tubing only covers half the loop so the hook remains free to swing, yet the tubing prevents the hooks from swinging all the way around and hanging up on the lure head or each other.

10. Trailing Hook: This hook should be set back in the lure skirt so at least the point is below the skirt. To minimize skirt damage in areas where "toothy critters" are around, set the hook back so only the eye is within the skirt. This second hook and wire should be set at 60 degrees to the forward hook to form a “V.” The positioning of the hooks in the lure determines which way the lure will run as the hooks at this angle will both ride point up when trolled.

Typically you'll run the lures so the dark side is up, so place both hook points in the dark side of the skirt. Great care should be exercised with these rigs, especially when handling hooked fish -- the effectiveness of the Pakula Shackle Rig has been demonstrated by how easily anglers and crew can become “attached” to them!

Find more great rigging tips and shop Pakula's full line of big-game lures at pakula.com.au.