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Rigs & Knots
The Heat Shrink Double Hook-Set
Learn how to make a lure hook-set that can be fished stiff or swinging.
One of the mysteries of lure trolling is that the tail hook of a two-hook rig occasionally disappears. This is not the result of a nefarious wahoo or a barracuda's razor-sharp choppers, but because the wire becomes hardened and brittle after swinging back and forth over and over. The simplest solution is to make a stiff hook-set rig using heat shrink to hold the second hook in place. Story and photos by Glen Booth.
Materials: Hooks to match the chosen lure, heat shrink of a diameter that will slide over the eyes of the hooks, 49-strand cable wire (645-pound) and matching crimps, 500-pound leader and matching crimps, stainless thimble or chafe tubing, crimping tool, heat gun and a sharp knife.
Cut a length of cable the length you want your double-hook rig and crimp a loop at one end. On the other end crimp on what will be the bottom hook.
With the heat shrink lined up below the eye of the top hook, mark the start of the bend of the forward hook and make a small incision in the heat shrink tube just wide enough to slide in the eye of the second hook.
Feed the bottom hook and cable through the heat shrink. Slide the forward hook up through the cut in the heat shrink until the hook is aligned with the wire loop. Quick Tip: Clear heat shrink has a decided advantage over colored or opaque alternatives, as you'll see if rust is attacking the wire cable underneath.
Place the assembled rig over the heat gun, making sure the eye of the forward hook and the cable loop are properly aligned. Begin to melt the heat shrink, rotating it as you go. Watch you fingers though, the rig will get hot!
If you like your rig free-swinging, crimp the cable and forward hook to the leader and you're good to go. In this instance the trailing hook and cable are held in place by a stainless thimble or chafe tube.
If you prefer a fully stiff rig, tape the hook eye in a fixed position with electrical tape and lock the tag end in place with some rigging floss. Run the cable through the lure and use a toothpick to position the hooks into the leader hole or a rubber stopper to hold them in place.
Always check your rigs for signs of fraying strands of wire, but these can be hard to spot when the two hook rig is covered with electrical tape or heat shrink. Securing both hooks with a short wooden skewer or a swizzle stick to stop the rear hook moving around is an alternative, but once they break (especially after a bite), they can be a bit difficult to replace. The work-hardened cable on this double-hook rig was close to letting go, but the damage was caught in time.
The finished rig. If you wish to set your hook sets at zero, 60 or 90 degrees, it's simply a matter of aligning the hooks the preferred way, giving the cable a bit of a twist and making the incision in the heat shrink off to one side.
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