How to

Lure Rigging for Lunkers

If you want to land serious fish, then you need to tie serious knots. Inferior connections and rigs just won’t cut it!

IF there’s one form of fishing I know I’ll never tire of it’s heavy tackle lure fishing. There’s nothing that gets the adrenalin pumping through your veins like a heavy weight strike from a big barra, Murray cod or Papuan black bass. The anticipation you feel when casting lures into lunker country like those steamy jungle rivers in PNG is incredible. I remember my first trip to New Britain back in the early 1990s when you’d pull up in the long boat to cast a lure into one of those Johannes River log jams and actually psyche up before making the cast. Why? Because the monster black and spottail bass that ruled that waterway could rip the rod from your hands on the strike if you weren’t ready. We didn’t lose any rods on that trip, but one of my mates did have his thumb totally blistered when he hooked a huge black bass on the first cast of an early morning session. He’d forgotten to lock his reel drag up before making the cast. He fought that huge fish using only thumb pressure on the baitcaster spool. Unbelievably, he lost the fish when his bibbed minnow lure disintegrated with victory in sight. The pressure placed on tackle and terminals in those situations is incredible.

It’s vital when lure casting for heavyweight sportfish that your rigging system is up to the task. Eventually you’ll hook a fish that will require you to apply maximum pressure to have any hope of landing it. It may be that metre plus barra deep amongst the snags in a Queensland impoundment or a monster Murray cod from a deep rocky hole in a New England granite country gorge. The rigging system described here has been tested extensively over many years and literally tens of thousands of casts. It meets the basic requirements of providing good castability, abrasion resistance and maintains the maximum break strength of the mainline even under shock loading. This rigging system is equally effective when using either GSP or monofilament main lines and is relatively easy to tie, so you can get back in the game quickly in any hot bite situations.

On the double
The foundation block for a rigging system that retains the maximum possible break strength begins with a doubled mainline using the ever reliable Bimini twist. I usually employ 30 turns in Biminis tied in mono lines and between 50 and 70 turns in those tied in GSP lines. When using threadline outfits I prefer to use the shortest possible doubled line to reduce the risk of casting problems – longer doubles have a tendency to snag on rod guide frames. The newer guide frame designs available today have alleviated this risk.

Leader to mainline
My preferred knot here is the Ducknose knot. It’s a reliable, easily tied knot that copes well with the wear and tear associated with the repetitive casting that’s part and parcel of heavy tackle lure fishing. The Ducknose knot requires considerable force to fully pull it up, so I use it for hard monofilament leaders in the 10 to 40kg range, which covers the majority of heavy lure casting scenarios. The heavier the leader used with the Ducknose connection, the less turns required in the knot. I usually employ about nine turns, which works well for my usual barra and cod fishing systems. It’s vitally important that the connection is well lubricated with saliva prior to pulling it up to ensure the knot forms fully. A word of warning: I have had slippage issues with the Ducknose knot when using Berkley Vanish fluorocarbon as leader material in rigging demonstrations. Also, if using heavier leaders than 40kg I find the Ducknose becomes a bit bulky so I will then replace it with an Albright knot or use a twisted leader. A how to video demonstration of tying the Ducknose knot is available at   

Lure Casting
I like to use the Lefty’s loop knot to connect my lure to the leader. A loop knot allows your lures to swim to their full potential. However, a hard knot can be employed for lures which feature articulated tow points. Examples of these sort of lures includes cod stalwarts such as the Hellbender and  Storm Hot’n’Tot. Lures which are worked directly off the rod tip, such as surface bloopers and fizzers, can also benefit from the use of a hard knot. You don’t want any slack in the system when you’re trying to manipulate your lure with subtle twitches of the rod tip. My preferred hard knot for connecting lures to leader is the Uni Knot. It’s one of those rare connections that ties well in the heavy leader material used when lure casting for species such as big barra, cod and PNG black bass.

To fish your tackle to its full potential requires total confidence in your rigging. If you put the hours in targeting lunkers, then eventually you will hook the fish of your dreams, which will require you to fish your gear to the hilt to have any hope of landing it.
Good luck!

What's your reaction?

Related Posts

Load More Posts Loading...No More Posts.