Double Hook Strip Rig
Trolling strip baits for offshore pelagics is one of my favorites. They are durable, easy to rig and will catch everything that swims. I rig belly strips in a variety of ways and this double hook rig is the one of the simplest, yet very effective. I’m using single strand wire leader ranging from #7 to #10 depending on the type of lure head and the tackle size we are using. I use #7 wire for 30-pound class trolling and heavier as you step up in gear size. I also use heavier wire with larger lure heads like Islander lures as the head can kink the lighter wire when it hops out of a wave.
First we have to make the double hook part of the rig. This should be done before the trip at home in the garage.
I use Mustad 3407 super strong hooks from 7/0 to 9/0 depending again on the size of the tackle and target fish. I normally use the 7/0 for most normal situations.
Take a pair of dikes and squeeze the junction of the eye and the shank of the hook. You may need to pry outward on the hook to help open the eye, but don’t go very far.
You only need to open it enough to pass the barb of the other hook.
Put the hook through the eye of the trailing hook. Sometimes you have to give a slight tap to pass. Turn the front hook so that the barb is passing near the opening.
Now close the eye of the back hook with a vise or heavy-duty pliers. Don’t squash it, just close what you opened so that the hooks cannot come apart, but they are still flexible at the junction.
Next attach the wire leader to the hooks with a haywire twist. Slide the desired lure head down the wire and twist a loop on the other end. Check out this tip for more detail on building the rig.
The leading hook will pass through the strip at the end and be the primary pulling point. It is easier to start the hook through the flesh side first exiting on the scaled side.
Now stretch the hooks and strip bait alongside each other and mark where the second hook will need to pass through the strip.
Now pass the second hook through the same way as the first and you are ready.
You now have a very tough and durable bait that will troll for hours without wearing out. They also can withstand multiple attacks from a fish and continue to swim until the hook sticks. I like to run strips on the shotgun (way back) rod and the deep lines, as these you cannot see them. With the strip bait, I can be confident that the bait is intact, unlike ballyhoo, which can blow out after a while. You still should check for weeds occasionally, but strips are the ticket. I run them on the riggers too. You can’t go wrong. This tip was rigged with dorado belly strips, and they are one of the best. On the east coast, I also use the belly from little tunny (bonita) and mullet. Stay tuned for more variations of strip baits.
More strip bait options: