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Double Rigging

By Billy "Hawkeye" Decoteau

Every time I leave the house to go fishing my sweet wife replies, "Just have Fun!" Over the years I have come to understand exactly what she means. Be it a tournament, scouting practice for an upcoming tournament, field testing new baits or just spending the day on the water fishing with a friend or sharing my knowledge with someone new to the sport. The same objective holds true, be thankful for each opportunity, appreciate the natural environments I'm exploring and of course have 'Fun'... by catching a fish or two.

Thus enters the Double-Rig. I know of no other rigging technique that allows you to enjoy working the entire water column, impart a realistic lifelike action to your bait and when it comes to working the 'Double Rig' on the surface this rig mimics baitfish feeding with a darting and popping action you have to see to believe!

More often than not I will setup the 'Double-Rig' with smaller Z-Man baits in the front and larger Z-Man baits trailing behind. Once you start your retrieve the larger bait looks like it is chasing the smaller bait, mimicking a natural predatory reaction. While, there are several Z-Man Baits that fit this technique perfectly (Including; Trout Trick, ZinkerZ, Floating Worms and Finesse Worms), I am going to concentrate on the Z-Man StreakZ and Scented Jerk ShadZ. The built-in inherent buoyant action of Z-Man ElaZtech soft plastic baits allows Z-Man baits to float up, making Z-Man the perfect Double-Rig bait!

Double Rig Set-up

Terminal Tackle

6th Sense Peg X Stopper... Keeps sliding barrel swivel in place

2 Spro Barrel Swivels with 24" leaders... Eliminates line twist

2 Mustad Grip-Pin Hooks sized to your bait... Mustad Grip-Pin locks bait in place

Z-Man Baits: StreakZ one 3.75" one StreakZ 5" Chose colors to match forage
Scented Jerk ShadZ one 5" and one 7"
Scented Jerk ShadZ two 5" or two 7"

StreakZ 3.75

5" Scented-Jerk-ShadZ

Rod, Reel and Line:
Spinning gear works best with smaller size baits medium action 6' 10" rod or longer, line size 8-10-12 lb. test. Bait-cast gear for larger baits, medium-MH action 6'10" or longer rod, and line size 12-14-16 lb. test. Braid, Fluorocarbon or Monofilament line works fine for your main line. However, all leader line should be fluorocarbon or monofilament. My preference is Seaguar AbrazX Fluorocarbon for both my main line and leaders. Line size varies depending on water clarity, type of cover and average size of fish.

Assembling the Double Rig:
First run your reels main line tag end through the loop of the 6th Sense Peg Stopper and slide the Stopper up your line leaving enough room for the sliding barrel swivel/leader and tying on the second barrel swivel/leader. Slide the open end of a barrel swivel/leader unto your main line, and then tie your main line tag end to the open end of the second barrel swivel/leader. Tie your larger offset Mustad hook to this leader and attach your larger bait on the Mustad hook. Keeping your lines straight tie your smaller offset Mustad hook to the sliding barrel swivel leader, keeping it 6-8 inches in front of the larger rigged baits nose after attaching smaller or leading bait. Complete by sliding down the 6th Sense Peg Stopper so that it still allows for the sliding barrel swivel to rotate.

Presentation and Retrieve: The longer rod length allows for further distance in your cast, while the parabolic action of the rod absorbs sudden runs aiding in playing out a double hook-up. As with all bass rigs keep varying your cadence until you find what entices the bass to eat your Z-Man baits.

Target Areas:

Schooling Fish
Flats and Pockets
Isolated Cover
Docks, and Weed Edges
Submerged Vegetation
Scattered Lilly Pads and Vegetation.
Humps and Shoals

Side Notes:
It has been my experience that youngsters want to cast and reel rather than just sit and watch a floating bobber. The Double Rig allows them to practice casting, watch their Z-Man bait darting and popping on the surface, and when they actually witness a bass inhaling their Z-Man bait there is no better reward! As for the ladies, my wife always wanted a floating bait or a weedless bait. The Double Rig answers both request... And, best of all there is NO incorrect way to retrieve this rig!!!

Smallmouth Anglers: The Double Rig is outstanding when Smallmouths are chasing surface baitfish. The durability of Z-Man ElaZtech pegged with the Mustad Grip-Pin hook allows you to keep casting and catching verses casting and re-rigging. Smallmouths love bright colors. This is the time to rig Chartreuse and Pink color Z-Man baits!

One Word of Caution: Check your local and state fishing rules pertaining to working two baits on the same line. Those competing in tournaments are advised to do the same. A simple way to get around this legally is to utilize a Hitchhiker to hold your leading bait in position without a hook or just cut the bend of the hook. The Mustad Grip Pin will keep your ElaZtech Z-Man bait in place.

Remember 'Just Have Fun'
Billy 'Hawkeye' Decoteau

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