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Rigging a Marlin Lure Kiwi-Style
Learn how to make a proven marlin rig from a New Zealand pro.
There are many different ways to rig marlin lures, but this method has been extremely successful for us over the years and has accounted for hundreds of billfish here in New Zealand. You will notice the black marker on the hook -- this helps slow down rust after filing off the protective coating on the hook when sharpening.
Materials: 480-pound Momoi Hi-Catch clear leader with appropriate crimps, 35-pound wax thread, Dac-Wax, Mustad 7691 10/0 hook, red insulation (electrical) tape, two 1-inch sections of plastic tubing, crimping tool and a lighter.
Cut a 10-foot length of mono leader. Note: we use 28-foot wind-on leaders, so if you don't use wind-ons you can make this length of mono longer -- up to 40 feet. Crimp a loop on one end and before you pull it tight melt a knob on the tag end with your lighter.
Run the free end of mono leader through the lure and add two crimps, one piece of tube and the hook, in that order. Crimp your first crimp, being sure to leave a long tag end for the next step.
Determine the length of the tag end you'll need to keep the eye of the hook inside the lure skirt with the point of the hook sticking just outside of the skirt. Twist the two lines together and crimp. Tape the connection at the hook, making sure that the point of the hook faces straight ahead, not inwards. This helps to balance the lure and improve the hook-up percentage during the bite.
I tie a wax whipping about 100mm (4 inches) from the top of the leader. Make a small number of half-hitches followed by a loop over the line. Then work your way back down the line, twisting the wax thread over the mono and pull tight. Rub Dac-Wax on the finished whipping to protect it from water intrusion. This will lock the rigging thread in place.
After the bite, the lure will run up the leader and the thread will jam the lure at the top of the leader as the fish takes off. Keeping the lure away from the fish helps the hook take hold in the fish's mouth. Sometimes the hook will loop around the marlin's bill and if the lure is down by the hook, the lure may actually help the marlin shake off the hook.
I don't like to use rubber bands on leaders as they rot over time. I prefer a small piece of plastic cable wrap to keep the rigged lures coiled up neatly.
The finished rig in action demonstrates how the twisted piece of mono offers protection from the fish's bill. Another advantage to this rig proves itself when a shark or wahoo jumps on and takes the hook. You will have a very good chance of keeping your lure as the second crimp will stop the lure from sliding off.
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