By Alex Julius Mustad has produced some great ready-made rigs, designed for everything from stealthy whiting fishing around the estuaries, to big snapper and pot-bellied ooglies deep down on the edge of the shelf. Here’s a roundup of some of those rigs that will be worth a soak this summer.
The Penetrator Principle Mustad’s Penetrator Flasher Rig range is a great choice for snapper anglers. Interest in snapper flasher rigs has been growing steadily in recent years and the Penetrator rigs incorporate several refinements to make them work better when baited with sweeteners such as squid or fish strips and dropped down on reefs, drifted or lobbed into the surf.
The first is a two-hook design rather than the three-hook mode originally used on most flasher rigs. Partly, this is due to legislation in some states which restricts anglers to two hooks per rig. But also, many anglers have found that two-hook rigs are easier to work with and just as productive. The more streamlined two-hook design helps the rig sink faster, creates less water resistance and makes baiting up easier and quicker.
The other refinement is the use of a pair of super-sharp Mustad Penetrator hooks in the rig. The Penetrator is a great example of a hook that achieves strength without excessive wire thickness, and it’s a hook snapper anglers have been converting to in droves. The chemically-sharpened Ultra Point, fine-gauge forged construction and slick black nickel finish, all combine to maximise penetration. And when full penetration is achieved, the pressure is taken in the bend and the hook is unlikely to open up. Mustad calls this the Penetrator Principle.
The Penetrator Flasher Rig uses 60lb breaking strain monofilament right through its size range. This achieves good durability and enough rigidity to resist tangling on the drop or retrieve, while still being easy to handle. Mustad Penetrator 2-hook Flasher Rigs come in a choice of three flash colours: 2A (blue/green), 2B (purple) and CC (bleeding pilchard). Hook sizes are 3/0 to 9/0 inclusive and all rigs are built on 60lb monofilament. The rigs are mounted on a special foam winder for easy wind-on and re-use.
A Heavyweight Flasher Rig By contrast, Mustad has also produced a snapper flasher rig in the knock-em-down, drag-em-out class. The Snapper Flies Rig is a three-hook snapper flasher that is starting to find favour in locations noted for big fish, like South Australia.
The Snapper Flies Rig comes in three hook sizes: 2/0, 4/0 and 6/0. The hooks are specially-modified, large-eye Mustad Big Guns, chemically-sharpened Ultra Point hooks which give great strength without too much bulk. All three sizes are made with110lb breaking strain monofilament, giving the rig great strength and durability and making the droppers less likely to flap around and tangle when lowered and retrieved. The combination of extra-heavy line and relatively-small hooks is an interesting one, which can work well in many situations, not just snapper fishing. Many kinds of deep reef fishing, including bait fishing tropical reefs, call for this approach.
Down Deep With interest growing fast in deepwater bait fishing for targets like hapuka, blue eye and gemfish, Mustad’s 2-hook Hapuka Rig is ideal for this type of fishing.
This heavy two-hook rig is equipped with Mustad 39965D circle hooks, which hook up on big-mouthed bottom fish and stay hooked on the long haul up to the surface. The rig is a proven performer on hapuka in NZ where it has sold successfully for many years, but it is adaptable to many other species.
The Hapuka Rig includes glow-in-the dark attractor tubing on each dropper and comes in three line/hook sizes: 200lb x 12/0, 400lb x 14/0 and 400lb x 16/0.
Mustad Whiting Rigs As more anglers move away from the do-it-yourself approach and opt for ready-made rigs, it was only a matter of time before Australia’s premier whiting hook was made into a complete rig. The Mustad Bloodworm 2-hook Whiting Rig is based on the famous Mustad Bloodworm long shank hook of the same name, and is sure to be a big hit in whiting country.
The Bloodworm Rig is a bait-fishing rig with two hooks on droppers and a sinker trace. One dropper is located above the sinker and one below. This is based on a popular and proven whiting rig design. It is suitable for fishing in strong currents and for drifting. The rig uses two Mustad Bloodworm Ultra Point chemically-sharpened long shank hooks with pink fluoro tubing and beads. The rig comes ready-to-fish on a foam winder which can be re-used for storage. The angler just clips his sinker of choice onto the snap, and he’s in business.
The Mustad Bloodworm 2-hook whiting rig comes in hook sizes 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10. It is built on 15lb monofilament.
Mustad also offers the Fine Worm 2-hook Whiting Rig, a lighter whiting rig built on 12lb monofilament, using Mustad Fine Worm hooks. The Mustad Fine Worm is an Aberdeen (round bend) style hook in fine-wire gauge with an extended shank and two bait-holder barbs.
The Fine Worm Rig is a paternoster style rig with both droppers above the sinker. It will hold all popular whiting baits, especially the delicate ones. Hook sizes in this rig are 2, 4 and 6. Both the Bloodworm and Fine Worm rigs are packed in special blister boxes containing 2 rigs per pack. Incidentally, the Mustad Fine Worm is now also available as a stand-alone hook. It bears ref no. 328213BLM and comes in sizes 1/0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12. It will interest light tackle anglers using natural baits in both freshwater and saltwater and also lends itself to some soft plastic bait presentations.