How to tie a wire trace for pike fishing

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How to tie a wire trace for pike fishing

Wire trace dead bait rig

Many pike anglers make their own wire trace rigs to suit a method, or size of bait, using their preferred trace wire and hooks. Traditionally trace wire was twisted to attach the hooks and swivels. Today, building rigs using crimps has become very popular.

Pike trace wire is made of several strands of fine stainless steel wire, which are woven into a single strong flexible line. Modern coated Pike wire is ideal for making rigs using crimps. Traditional uncoated, multi strand Pike wire is good for hand tied twisted rigs.

Trace wire is available in various breaking strains, 20 to 24lb is a good all round strength. For a small to medium bait like a whole Smelt or a mackerel tail, use size 6 hooks on a trace wire 18 to 24 inches long.

Tying the rig

Begin with a 30 inch length of trace wire. Slide on a crimp and thread the first hook onto the wire. Push the end back through the crimp forming a loop with the hook inside. Close the loop down by pulling the slack out through the crimp, tighten loosely to the hook eye. Then squeeze down the crimp with crimping pliers. Cut off any excess wire. Afterward, to make the join even tidier you can slide a rig sleeve over the crimp.

The crimps come in different sizes to fit different diameters of trace wire. Therefore,make sure the crimps you are using are the correct size.

Hook crimped on the line

When tying a twisted wire rig, start by threading your uncoated trace wire twice through the eye of the hook. Allow three inches of tail end for twisting. Then clip on a pair of forceps to the tail and twist them around the wire just once. Give the forceps a good pull to tighten the knot down. Put a further eight or ten twists by spinning the forceps around the trace to finish off. Lastly cut the remaining tag end off and cover with a rig sleeve, if you like.

Hook twisted to the line

The second hook

With a crimped rig the second hook can be attached with a separate piece of trace wire. Thread the hook onto a short piece of wire. Hold the hook halfway along and then fold the piece of wire double. Thread both ends into the crimp and squeeze the crimp in place. Lastly Trim the ends close to the crimp and cover with a rig sleeve.

Crimped second hook

To twist on the second hook, begin by threading a hook onto the wire, lay the wire along the shank of the hook, then wrap the wire down and over the bends of the hook. Twist the wire up the shank three or four times and pass the wire back through the eye and then pull tight.

Twisted second hook

The size of the dead bait dictates the distance between the two hooks. Here I intend to use a whole Smelt or half a Mackerel, so I will set the hooks three and a half to four inches apart.

Add a swivel

Tie a swivel to the end of the wire trace to provide a connection to the main line. Use a good quality swivel in size 7 or 9, rated at 60lb plus. Please don’t use a swivel of unknown strength.

Lastly, squash down two of the barbs on each of the hooks. Leave the third barb on each treble untouched. Attach the dead bait to this part of the hook, the barb will help to hold the bait on the hook. The rigs are finished and ready to use.

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