Building a Ballyhoo Teaser Rig

How to rig a durable ballyhoo that's perfect for bait-and-switch sailfishing.
Steve Kantner
Crews often use bait-and-switch tactics in world-class Pacific sailfish destinations like Costa Rica and Guatemala. You'll find variations when it comes to teasers, but a hookless ballyhoo that's been reinforced with thread to prevent shredding ranks among the favorites, especially when trolled behind a high-speed lure. Mate David Wimberly of Fort Lauderdale shows how to rig this tough bait.
Crimp a length of heavy copper rigging wire into a loop of 300-pound mono. You'll also need heavy waxed line and a rigging needle to complete the rig.
The loop should be sized to snugly fit around the head of the ballyhoo behind the gills.
Slips the bait's head through the loop so that the mono runs under the chin. Then, secure the loop under each of the ballyhoo's gill plates so that the bait, when trolled, pulls from the head. Pierce both jaws with the rigging needle.
Push the rigging wire through the bait's nose and pull up to tightly lodge the crimp under the chin.
Force the wire through the ballyhoo's eye sockets (some mates remove the eyes). Repeat this at least twice, passing the wire beneath the chin and pulling down hard on each turn. Continue wrapping forward and down the bait's bill before trimming off the excess.
Trim the bait's bill close to your last wrap with a pair of sharp scissors.
Attach a length of heavy waxed line to your needle and pass the needle through both of the bait's eye sockets.
Starting just behind the gill plates, sew backwards through the body at regular intervals, making sure that the needle passes underneath the bait's backbone.
Reverse direction as you approach the tail and cross your stitches moving forward, again making sure to pass under the backbone.
Back at the head, draw the waxed line through both eye sockets again.
Use a double overhand knot to tie the line off to the tag where you started, underneath the bait's eyes. Trim tag ends.
The completed rig is shown with a high-speed lure attached. Note the quick-change loop crimped onto the end of the leader.

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