How to

Blue marlin lure rigs

THESE days, game fishing anglers around the world chasing blue marlin with lures have found that the single hook rig is far better for many reasons. The swift bite from a blue will usually see the hook lodge in the corner of the jaw or in the roof of the mouth, providing the hook is set up correctly in the lure. 

Another reason why the single hook is so popular, its far easier and far safer to remove from the marlin’s mouth after tagging. Double hook rigs are usually only successfully for striped marlin and for other game fish species. For the blue and even the black marlin, the double hooks can often get fouled up with each other and are more trouble than they’re worth?


This quick and easy single hook rig is simple to make and you push the trace through the lure head leaving enough length to double over as shown in the photo. Put two sleeves on the end of the trace then put the hook on as well. Push the end of the trace through both sleeves and then measure the length of the lure skirt. Pull the bottom sleeve down to the eye of the hook and crimp it firmly with a crimping tool.

ABOVE: The doubled-up trace showing the 2 sleeves and the hook.

Adjust the top sleeve, remembering it is the stopper behind the head so the point of the hook sits just outside the end of the skirt. Double check the measurement again and make sure the two sections of trace are also nice and even, then crimp the top sleeve tightly. To stiffen up the rig I use a special method using PVC Electrical tape and PVC Glue or you can use heat-shrink plastic.

ABOVE: The 2 sleeves measured out and crimped so the top sleeve acts as a
stopper behind the head.

The beauty of the tape method over the heat-shrink plastic, it can be done anywhere at any time as you don’t need a heat-gun to do it. All you do is stretch the rig out and wrap it firmly with the tape, keeping it as straight as possible. Once the tape has covered the rig from the eye of the hook to the top crimp it can be then painted with the plumbers PVC glue. 

ABOVE: The rig stiffened with PVC tape and painted with PVC glue.

Once again, try to keep the rig straight and I find by putting the hook up on an overhead hand rail or similar and holding the trace makes it easier to paint and keep straight. The glue will dry quickly and the rig is soon ready to use. The next very important step is to set the rig in the lure so the point of the hook is facing upward to the way the lure runs through the water.

ABOVE: This is where to hook needs to sit just outside the skirt.

Most lure heads with the face cut on an angle only run one way and the longer section of the head is the top. This is where the hook point should be facing. The tricky bit with some lures setting the hook so it rides upwards is with the scoop face models. There’s nothing to help steer this type of head. I know some guys that prefer the scooped face heads actually weight the head with lead ingots on one side to help it run better and the hook can be set correctly. 

Once you work out the way the lure is going to run there are a couple of ways to position the hook correctly. Some lures on the market have a little rubber door-stop glued on the back of the head and this makes it easy to pull the top crimp into for the right position of the hook. Another way to do it is to hold the rig the right way and push a couple of tooth pics firmly in between the back of the head and the trace. This is an old Hawaiian method and it’s a bit fiddley, but it works. The reason the hook needs to be set this way it will find the corner of the jaw or the larger area in the roof of the marlins mouth much easier.  

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