While traveling in the Dominican Republic, Eight Eights Mate Miguel Santana demonstrated his quick and easy set-up when it comes to rigging his DR ballyhoo.
The first thing you need is a whole bunch of EZ Bait Swivels, which are rubber dipped on one side as you can see from the pictures. The rubber dipping compound primarily prevents the hook from backing out when being trolled and also eliminates the tedious task of using specific barrel swivels with matching hooks. If you have ever rigged baits like this you know what we are talking about.
Miguel prefers a medium ballyhoo, a Mold Craft Chugger Head and 9/0 circle hook. The Chugger Heads can be drilled out with 1/4 inch bit or you can take a section of #19 wire and force the swivel out of the head to accommodate the hook.
The traditional barrel swivel rig is a widely popular method but requires a hook gauge that’s perfectly matched to the specific swivel to be used. Rubber O-rings are an accepted alternative, but they also have drawbacks and can break on the bite. The latest chapter in the evolution of rigging ballyhoo with circle hooks features a swivel with a coated eyelet.
The EZ Bait Rigging swivel allows for the use of multiple size and brand circle hooks when trolling ballyhoo, swapping baits in seconds with no tools needed. Now you can have the convenience of an O-ring with the benefits of a swivel.
It’s important to position the EZ Swivel on the end of the ballyhoo’s bill before you pull it through the lure. A rigging needle is used to pull the o-ring through the lure head.