|  First Published: March 2008

Recapping the two recent articles in this series; Firstly I looked at the benefits of using a running weight, which included getting your hook further back in the lure for better hook-ups. In the following article we looked at Texas rigging, which buries the hook inside the plastic so that the rig is less likely to snag up, particularly when fishing near to the bottom.

In this article the topic is rigging big 6” and 7” shads, for open bay and deeper water applications. Two of my favourite options include, rigging unweighted 7” alewife coloured Assassins for surface presentations to longtail tuna, and rigging the new Blurp 7” chook Assassins for snapper with a running weight.

I fish both these presentations from a popular rig that everyone seems to be using – 30-40lb braid over an Egrell S10. With such strong line at full drag, a heavy-duty solid hook is really a necessity.

I started with the Mustad power Bite 38104BLN ‘Z’ bend worm hook and it worked well right from the first cast, which was also the first hook-up. With the instant success, the Mustad HD hook is all I’ve used since for fishing with plastics.

I rig the hook with the point inside the plastic ‘Texas style’ when sending it down deep to bump around the bottom. At other times I have the hook point and barb sticking clear of the plastic lure in a variation of the Texas exposed (texposed) style. In fact, this version of the texposed rigging is my preferred choice for both longtail and big-water snapper fishing.

Going back to last month’s article, and reflecting on earlier articles that aimed to keep the rigs simple, you’ll see that I have two basic rigs; the Egrell Bear S4 and a Reaction Innovations BMF hook (last month); and an Egrell S10 outfit with the HD Mustad hook (this month). I think the S4 and the S10 make the perfect two stick and cover all the bases and combination.


A) Step by step to rig Texasposed with the ‘Z’ bend worm hook.

Out on the water I find myself rigging texposed most of the time. The last two lures on the right hand side show variations in how proud you may choose to have the hook point.

It is commonly accepted that rigging with a little stretch in the plastic between the hook eye and the hook gape will encourage the lure’s tail to hang slightly downwards (when out of the water) which then allows the lure to present straighter in the water. This whole package gives better action on the retrieve.

The completed presentation, using a 7” Assassin shad in mullet colour, is the unweighted longtail or topwater rig that can be used everywhere there is longtail or big fish surface action.


B) From left to right a variety of exposed point soft plastic rigs.

First on the left is a Sizmic 6” Shad, in blue pilchard colour, rigged on a straight-shanked BMF hook. This is the most lightweight snapper or reef rig that we use. The lightweight rig is fished by casting it ahead of a drifting boat. The rig can also be fished as a floater and can be dragged subsurface behind the boat.

Second from the left is another Sizmic shad, in pink squid, rigged slightly different to the previous but also on a BMF hook.

The third and fourth rigs are unweighted Skinny Dipper swim baits rigged on offset work hooks with the points exposed. This semi-weedless option, with just a small amount of hook, the point and barb exposed is very popular offshore.

Far right is the Deepwater Snapper rig, shown with an Ultra Steel egg weight that can be rigged on the leader free running in front of the soft plastic shad. This rig is fished behind the boat to get down deep in medium depth water. It can also be cast in front of the boat’s drift to get down even further in very deep water.


C) Away from the blue

Out on the barra lakes around the weeds is the evolution of the traditional Aussie barra fro. The famous Mister Twister Exude version, rigged on a Z bend hook. I’ve used the translucent chartreuse model here, which is one of the best for barra. The translucent plastic also shows you an “X-Ray” view of the hook inside the plastic. The frog in the middle shows where the hook ideally is located in the plastic. This Mister Twister Frawg has ridges either side of the hook’s barb so the hook point is effectively sitting in a protected pocket. This advanced moulding hedges your bets even more because you have the point exposed, yet almost fully weedless at the same time. No wonder it is such a popular rig around weedy lakes the world over. It can also be used for a variety of species – in Australia you should be thinking Murray cod, saratoga, and barramundi, to name a few.

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