Swivel-Linked Gang Hooks

How to use a barrel swivel to build a better gang hook rig.
Charlie Levine
Ganged hooks prevent bite offs when presenting whole baits or large strips, but the rig is a bit stiff when hooking two hooks together through the hook eye. Using a swivel to join the hooks gives the bait more flexibility and the bait floats about more naturally. For this rig you'll need
Mustad 542 Bronze hooks in 3/0 and 4/0 (but other hooks are suitable, depending on bait size and target species), number 10 swivels and pliers or side cutters.
Slide the eye of the swivel over the barb and onto the bend of the first (top) hook. We need to strike a balance between fitting the swivel eye over the barb without flattening it, but not so large that the swivel can drift back off (especially if there's a fish attached). Jiggle the swivel to make sure it can't ride up over the barb and come free.
Open the eye of what will be the bottom hook with the wire cutter attachment on the pliers.
Slide the opened eye of the hook onto the swivel.
Use the pliers to close the eye of the hook.
If the top hook fits a bit loosely, just give the eye of the swivel a slight nip with the pliers to close the gap.
The completed rig. The reason for the smaller top hook is that we don't have to open the eye to attach the swivel. We could do this with the top hook, but you might not get the eye to close as tightly as when it left the factory, leaving behind a sharp edge that could cut through a light leader.
This swivel rig works with all manner of hooks and you can add three or more in a line for long baits. You can even add a swivel at the top of the gang if you wish. Just ensure that the hooks can handle it. Some hooks are quite brittle and the eyes are prone to snap when opened and squeezed shut.
The swivel ganged hooks offer good hook coverage on whole fish baits as well as strips.

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