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Securing the Eel to the Tin Squid
(Eel Rigging Instructions - Page 3)
                      by Tim Surgent


Now, flip the rigged eel upside down, and take 1 20" piece of waxed bowstring, and tie on overhand knot behind the hook about way up the hook bend of the eel squid hook, between the eel and the tin squid.  Make this knot tight, leave the tag ends, this is just temporary.

Step 17
securing the eel to the squid
Make sure the rigged eel is resting on the knot of bowstring and the knot is about way up the eel squid hook bend.

Flip the rigged eel right side up. Take the two Dacron tags hanging out of the eels mouth.  The top of the eel should be just about where the hook starts to make the curve to begin the bend of the eel squid hook.

Step 18
securing the rigged eel to the hook eye
Now, pass the tag ends of Dacron in opposite directions through the hook eye protruding from the eel squid....pull them just enough to take the slack out.

Step 19
knots to secure  rigged eel
Pass the tag ends of Dacron in opposite directions behind the hook eye and tie an overhand knot behind the hook eye, making sure the eel is straight, and the two lines from the eels mouth are even in length and both just barely straight, not tight yet. I mean even in length between the eels lips and the overhand knots you are tying...not the tag ends.  Take the tag ends and bring them over the top of the doubled line from the eels mouth and tie an overhand knot on top of the doubled lines.  Pass the lines in opposite directions underneath the lines and repeat.  Pass them on top one more time, tie two overhand knots, and trim carefully.  The eel should be perfectly straight from this hook eye all the way to the tail, and it should now be snug.  If it's not, grab the hook and the squid and pull and try to make the eel straight.  If you followed along it will be straight, if it's not, it's no good, this is very important. Glue the knot on the eye protruding from the squid. 
Flip the rigged eel upside down again, and using the tag ends of bowstring, tie an overhand knot in front of the hook at the same point where you tied the first one.  If the eel is loose or tight, you can slide it up or down the hook bend a little in order to make it tight and straight.  Now tie a double overhand knot behind the hook bend where the first one was tied.  Now pass the tag ends over the eel, in opposite directions, still behind the hook, and tie an overhand knot here on top of the eel, not too tight, just snug.  Pass the tag ends in opposite directions in front of the hook, on top of the eel, and make an overhand knot exactly where the hook exits the eel on the front of the hook and tighten a little more than the last knot.  Pass the tag ends under the eel still in front of the hook in opposite directions.  Tie an overhand knot under the eel, making sure the bowstring coming down both sides of the eel are as close to the groove formed by the bowstring behind the hook as possible.  This is important.  You won't be able to get the bowstring in exactly the same groove as the one behind the eel, but get them close.  Now pass the tag ends behind the eel and tie an overhand knot on top of the very first knots you made with this bowstring.  Tie two more overhand knots here...trim carefully, and glue.  Repeat for the remaining 5 eels.
Step 20
securing the rigged eel to the hook - closeup

Finished Rigged Eel photo

   There you have it, a rigged eel.  Please understand that these instructions are just the way I rig eels, not the way everyone rigs them.  There is a lot of room for invention in something so personal as rigging eels, it's the closest many guys have come to tying flies.  There's really no right or wrong way of doing it, some guys refuse to use glue, some guys store them in brine, some guys freeze them, but most catch LARGE striped bass with their rigged eels.  I freeze mine when not using them, the brine makes them too tough for my liking.  I have added and removed things I've learned from the people that taught me, and it's they that deserve the credit for passing on this very effective, yet not very popular way of catching big striped bass in the summer when nothing else moves them.  Rigged eels are most effective for me from July through the beginning of the mullet run in late September.  They work again after the mullet are gone, but then I'll use rubber rigged eels, not bothering with real eels again till next July.  Rubber rigged eels do work well and last much longer in a hot truck, they have their place in surf fishin for stripers. Weakfish love both rubber and real rigged eels. Next time you suspect there's weakfish around and your normal surf fishing lures aren't catching any fish, try a rigged rubber eel slathered in eel flavored Smelly Jelly - it's a deadly combination from the beach or jetty.

Rigged Rubber Eels: To rig a rubber eel, you'll use all the same materials except you won't need the waxed bowstring. With rigged rubber eels, you can skip any step where the eel is tied to the tail hook or to the bend on the squid hook...and of course you don't have to tie a rubber eel's lips shut either! You'll only need to put the tail hook in the rubber eel with the dacron, stick the rubber eel on the eel squid hook, and then tie the dacron to the squid hook eye. A lot fewer steps...but it's still very important that the eel be straight and the two dacron lines coming out of the eels mouth are both the same length after the rigged rubber eel is "tied down" to the squid hook. I use a lot of Zap-A-Gap in building my rigged eels..both rubber rigged eels and the real rigged eels. But I use lots more Zap-A-Gap while striper fishing with the rubber rigged eels...they can be repaired, tightened up and even glued back together while they are still wet! I've

Good luck, making a rigged eel is a lot of steps, but that's what it takes to make a rigged eel that will last through a bunch of fish. And when you land that LARGE striped bass, you'll know that it was on something you rigged yourself!

Tim Surgent


(You can navigate through the 5 pages of eel rigging instructions through links at the top of each eel rigging page)


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