One of the periodic mysteries of lure trolling for marlin is that the tail hook of a two-hook rig occasionally disappears.
This is not the result of a nefarious wahoo or a barracuda’s razor-sharp choppers, but because the wire becomes work-hardened and brittle after swinging back and forth on a tight arc, literally millions of times.
This is mostly just annoying but the worst scenario is when it lets go with a marlin on the other end – not good.
There are many ways to combat this. The most obvious is vigilantly checking your rigs for signs of fraying strands of wire, but these can be hard to spot when the two-hook rig is covered with electrical tape or heat shrink.
Securing both hooks with a short wooden skewer or a swizzle stick to stop the rear hook moving around is an alternative but once they break (especially after a bite), it can be a bit fiddly to replace.
About the simplest solution is to make a fully stiff hook rig, using heat shrink (or glue shrink) to hold the second hook rigidly in place.
Clear heat shrink has a decided advantage over coloured or opaque alternatives because you can see if rust is attacking the wire cable underneath. While it is stainless, it is not immune to the effects of salt water.
Unlike other double-hook rigs, in this instance the trailing hook and wire can’t be connected directly to the top hook eye, but are held in place by a stainless thimble or chafe tube run through the eyelet at the end of the leader.
As this hook set will be used for medium to heavy tackle, we’re using 645lb 49-strand wire, 2.05mm nickel-plated crimps and two Mustad Z steel 7691Z hooks.
Z-Steel is a new direction in the world of game hooks. It provides the corrosion resistance of stainless steel but with the strength of carbon steel. The points and barbs have good shape, hold an edge like stainless and, once sharpened, you’re not knocking off any anti-corrosion plating that will limit the hook’s effective lifespan. The eyes are welded, too.
Heat shrink or glue shrink, of a diameter that will slide over the hook eyes
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