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Rigs & Knots
Light-Tackle Lure Rigging
Learn Capt. Tim Richardson's method for rigging smaller trolling lures.
Capt. Tim Richardson fishes all over the world. He runs a boat in Australia half of the year, targeting giant black marlin and another operation in the Caribbean going after white marlin and blues on light tackle. He knows what works for a range of species and shares two of his favorite light-tackle lure rigs, one with a mono leader and one with cable. Text and photos by Charlie Levine.
When fishing off of the Dominican Republic for white marlin, blue marlin, mahimahi and tuna, Richardson's go-to lure for the long outrigger position is the Pakula Micro Sprocket rigged on a mono leader with an 8/0 hook.
If the razor gang (barracuda and wahoo, or anything with sharp teeth that can cut you off) is harassing the spread, Richardson will use a lure rigged on cable, such as this Pakula Small Sprocket, which is a bit larger than the Micro.
To rig up his Micro Sprocket, Richardson uses a 60-pound monofilament leader and an 8/0 Gamakatsu SL 12 hook. This particular hook is actually meant for saltwater fly-fishing but Richardson says it has performed extremely well when hooking willy white marlin on the troll. This lure will be fished on a 20-pound outfit.
He begins by crimping on the hook, leaving a small loop with a long tag end. The hook is not crimped tightly. Richardson prefers a loop so the hook can move. He wraps the tag end back up the leader and places it into a second, forward crimp.
Before making the final crimp, Richardson places the leader against the lure to decide where exactly he wants the head of the lure to rest. He rigs his light-tackle lures with half of the hook shank inside the skirt. When the hook-set is the length he wants, Richardson makes his crimp. When trolling this lure, Richardson pulls it straight form the clip with a very light 3 to 4 pounds of drag.
Using cable protects you from cut offs and when rigged correctly does not effect your hook-up rates on marlin. "This lure is always on the left long," Richardson says. "I don't move it."
To rig the lure on cable Richardson uses Pakula Dojo Light Hooks, size 25. He prefers a lighter-gauge hook, saying the thinner, stainless hooks penetrate better with less drag.
This lure is rigged on 500-pound cable and will be fished on a 30-pound outfit. Richardson attaches the cable to an 8-foot wind-on using two crimps. He then wraps the crimps with electrical tape. A short piece of chafing tube or heat-shrink is placed over the crimp that is used to attach the lure to the cable.
Not the targeted species, but thanks to the cable rig, the lure will be retrieved and live on to fish another day.
Capt. Tim Richardson recently refurbished this 48 G&S and offers charters in the Dominican Republic from March through mid-July. He's always on the bite and if you're looking to tangle with marlin on light-tackle, fly or go world record hunting, he'll make it happen. For more info visit traditioncharters.com.
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