Rig a Daisy Chain to Bring More Fish to your Trolling Lure!
A daisy chain is simply a string of teasers (hookless lures used as attention-getting decoys) rigged together line-astern for deployment ahead of your trolling lure.
If you're trolling with just one or two lines rather than a full spread, having a daisy chain on one of them - with or without a bird teaser up front - is probably the single most effective thing you can do to improve your strike rate.
This will create visual and sonic disturbance in the water - noise, as it's called - which to a curious predator gives the appearance of a small shoal of baitfish with a straggler (the 'chaser' - your lure) struggling to keep in touch.
It won't take a leap of imagination to guess which one's going to get hit!
How to Rig a Daisy Chain
Putting one together is a straightforward affair. The usual approach is to use three or four? Bulbhead Squid Lures?as the teasers, stopping each one at the appropriate position on the leader by either an overhand knot or by crimping on a sleeve.
A small bead ahead of the knot or crimp will protect the lure from wear.
The chaser, which unlike the decoys - and rather obviously - is rigged with a hook attached at the end of the leader. It can be the same size and pattern as the others, or maybe the next size up.
Remember to position the hook correctly within the chaser's skirt by threading on beads ahead of the hook.
Some of the teasers will occasionally break the surface picking up air and leaving an impressive smoke trail in their wake - a real wake-up call for any predators lurking nearby.
These teaser rigs are particularly suited for use with? trolling handlines?- cruising yachtsmen, take note!
Include a Bird Teaser in the Rig?
For noise of truly orchestral proportions, why not? rig a bird?ahead of your string of teasers?
This is what we do when making an offshore passage aboard our sailboatAlacazam, where one of our trolling lines is deployed from a Penn Senator 12/0 reel bolted directly to the pushpit.
What's a bird? It's just another teaser that's designed to splash around on the surface, pretending to be a shoal of unsuspecting baitfish.
My 'standard' rig for this is a bird attached to a string of resin-headed 'straight runner' type skirted lures with a slightly larger one as the chaser. It gets results!
But you won't be able to use a bird with a heavy string of decoys - steel jetheads for instance - as the drag will pull the bird below the surface.
To be sure this won't happen, you could buy a complete rig, like the Bird-Rigged Daisy Chain?shown here.
Different Types of Teasers
Daisy chains are constructed in one of two ways - either with the line running longitudinally through each of the teasers, or with the teasers attached to short snoods.
Skirted Lure Teasers
These are rigged with the rig line running longitudinally through the teasers.
They're likely to be either plane octopus skirts, resin-headed straight-runners or jetheads.
You don't have to buy them as a made-up rig.
It may be cheaper to buy the individual components and string them up yourself as described above. Whichever approach you take you'll need to replace the skirts?from time to time as they soon get damaged in use.
A string of cedar plugs makes a great daisy chain. Traditional cedar plugs are unpainted like the? Bird Rig?shown here, and some fishermen will tell you that they are at their most effective when left that way.
But painted versions are also available - often resembling small dorado - and of course other anglers will tell you that this is the way to go.
These too are rigged longitudinally on the line.
They are much more durable that skirted lures, and are a great alternative for sailors on long offshore packages.
Tuna in particular really go for them - and so do dorado (mahe-mahe)...
Soft Plastic Teasers
There are many versions of these, but soft plastic squid imitations are one of the most popular.
The chaser doesn't have to be the same pattern of lure as the chaser. In this version,?
The chaser doesn't have to be the same pattern of lure as the chaser. In? this version by Mold Craft Lures?the decoys are squid - rigged on individual snoods - and the chaser is a skirted lure.
Top Tip~ Use a Snap Link!
Whilst all this hardware is no problem on a trolling handline, it's not ideal -particularly if you've got a bird splashing around up front - on a rod and line outfit. But there's an easy solution:~
- Rig your daisy chain on its own separate line
- Remove the chaser and replace it with a snaplink
- Connect your leader a short distance ahead of your lure directly to the snaplink with an elastic band
Now, when a fish hits your lure, the elastic band breaks leaving you clear to fight it without the daisy chain being dragged around all over the ocean. And this would be a good time to get it back aboard before something else eats it!