The Aussie Pin Rig

This dead-bait rig will save the day when you can't score live bait.
Glen Booth
Live bait can be hard to come by at times, especially when the big predators harass it, or the water is dirty or cool. But there's always room in the freezer for dead baits! Using the pin rig, you can make baitfish, such as yellowtail scad swim almost as well as a live bait. The pin rig can also be used with ballyhoo. Story and photos by Glen Booth.
To make a pin rig, you'll need: 150-pound or stronger monofilament, three crimps to fit your leader, two short pieces of single-strand wire bent at 90 degrees, a ball sinker with one end hollowed out slightly, a hook (I prefer the Gamakatsu SL12S), a small rubber band, rigging floss, crimping pliers and a bait knife. Construct a couple of different combinations with various sized hooks and sinkers to accommodate a variety of bait sizes.
Getting the bait preparation right is key to the success of this rig. Remove the fish's intestines by making a slit from the vent to the pelvic fins, and empty the innards with your finger. The eyes can be flicked out with the end of a bait needle. The gills must be carefully removed without breaking the throat latch. If saving baits for a rainy day, sprinkle a little salt in the gut cavity before freezing. Cryovac them and they will look like new when thawed.
Tie an overhand loop in one end of the mono and pull tight. Slide the sinker down the mono so the knot sits tightly in the enlarged hole of the weight as pictured here. The sinker must sit nice and snug so it won't wobble around when trolled.
Slide a crimp onto the leader, then place the leader through the hook eye on the point side, and then back into the crimp. Snug the loop down reasonably tight to the eye of the hook and crimp in place.
Slide a second crimp down the leader, and place the two short pieces of wire in the crimp. Place the crimp in close proximity to the sinker and crimp in place. The two wire spikes coming out the front of the crimp must point up and down. Crimp a loop at the other end of the leader and the terminal part of the rig is complete.
Placing the bait on the hook is easy. Give the bait a bit of a flex without breaking the backbone and then ease the hook in through the gill cavity and out through the belly slot.
Ease the wire pin up through the fish's nose, making sure it runs dead center through the top of the bait's head.
Loop the rubber band around the pins and wrap the rubber band around the bait's nose until the band is tight. Trim off any excess wire.
Finally, go through the eye sockets with the rigging floss two times to pull the gills shut behind the sinker, and the bait is ready to swim.

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