Waterman's Journal

Nov 28, 2012

Pro Team Tips: How to Rig For Billfish

Here's a simple and effective way to rig single, semi-stiff rigs for billfish. Pelagic Pro Team Captain, Josh Temple, and Prime Time Adventures mate, Andrea McQuade, take us through this quick and easy rig from start to finish.

For this set up we used Momoi 530lb leader, Mustad 7732 12/0 hooks, Momoi crimps and chafe gear, our favorite Makaira Pulling Lure, and held it all together with our Sea Striker crimpers and a little elbow grease.

Thread the leader through the head of the lure, next thread on two crimps, and finally a piece of chaffing gear through your Mustad Hook. Allow yourself 6-8 inches of leader to create your twisted single semi stiff rig.

Feed your Momoi leader through your first crimp, snug it down securely to your chaff gear and hook.

Tightly wrap your excess leader around your main line 5-6 times. The tighter you wrap the line, the stiffer your rig will be.

Be sure to measure the length of your stiff rig against the skirt of your lure, allowing enough space for your skirt to fall just shy of the point of the hook. Remove twists of leader as required. Slide your second crimp snugly down onto the second piece of leader.

Crimp the top crimp first, this will allow you to adjust and maintain the twists in your line by turning the hook with your alternate free hand.

Next, crimp the second crimp closest to your lure and chaff gear.

Clip the excess tag line with a blunt cut with a pair of side cutters (to save your deckie's hands when leadering and ensure a proper fit against the back of the lure head.)

This provides you with a clean semi stiff twist rig, your lure resting at the top of the twists and ending perfectly above your hook.

Using color co-ordinated electrical tape to match the skirt colors, begin approximately a 1/2'' down from the hook eye and tape upwards over your chaff gear and first crimp, ensuring that any marlin strikes don't foul the hook during the bite.

Your completed semi stiff rig should look like this.

Finish your rig with the last crimp, creating a loop on the opposing end of the leader where you will connect it to the mainline swivel.

The finished product, guaranteed to catch as many marlin as you can handle! Be sure to check the leader and rig after each fish, and replace if necessary if chafed or milky.

Capt Josh Temple