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The Safety Pin Rig

This rig can be used when trolling strip baits or when using fillet baits for shark or other toothy fish. If formed correctly, the bait will lie straight and won’t spin, and the hook point will be placed well back in the strip for an improved hook up.

Take a hook of a size suited to the bait. Note that the best hooks for this rig are of the welded eye or needle eye type. If any other type of hook is used special care must be taken to ensure that there is no gap in the eye through which the wire can pull out. Squeeze the eye closed with pliers if there is any gap at all.

Pass the wire through the hook eye and form the Haywire twist as before. However, do not do not break off the tag end after making the Barrel wraps.

Wrap the wire so that the tag end stands up away from the main wire, pointing in the same direction as the hook bend.

Bend the tag end at 90 degrees away from the hook and then bend a small U shape in the wire end to hook around the main wire. This last bend is made easier if you use needle nose pliers.


To attach a bait, open the ‘safety pin’ and push the wire through the end of the fillet. Close the ‘safety pin’ to secure the bait and make a small cut with a sharp knife through which to push the hook point.
Be sure that the hook point moves freely in this cut or the bait will spin in the water. Enlarge the cut as necessary. All the pull should be on the ‘safety pin’ and none on the hook point.

I generally like to add an octopus skirt or a small lure head such as an Ilander to help protect the bait whilst trolling and to make it easier to spot the baits from the cockpit, you may need to thread a rigging bead down the wire to do this.

Always remember to test all knots before fishing

Good Fishing!

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