Say Aloha to the Hawaii Rig
Who knows why several rigging
methods are named after states? Texas, Carolina, Florida. It
is a fine American bass fishing tradition. So I have christened
this new one the Hawaii rig since its principal components
- a hula skirt grub and
- a pineapple sinker.
Do you like to fish a traditional hula grub or spider jig?
Then read on. You'll love the innovative Hawaii rig.
The rod and line I favor for the Hawaii rig are stout. A
heavy action stick such as Yamamoto's backboned Mod IV baitcaster
and 16 lb gray Sugoi fluorocarbon line. Due to the strength of
this specific set-up, whatever you hook with the Hawaii rig will
almost certainly not be making an early escape. Especially in a
tournament or just in a friendly Saturday afternoon brag-athon,
you are likely to land any lunkers you lure on a sturdy Hawaii
The hook must provide the penetrating power to match the
rest of the gear. I favor sturdy offset shank round bend worm
hooks by Daiichi or by Gamakatsu. A 3/0 conceals nicely in the
wide leg juncture of a five-inch double tail Yamamoto Hula grub
(97 series). A 4/0 arms and readies the six-inch double tail
Yamamoto Hula grub (99 series).
The pineapple sinker is made by Mojo.
It features the elongated cylindrical snagless sinker shape made
famous by Mojo. It slips through snags that would eat most other
sinker shapes or jigs. Just like stainless steel is not entirely
stainless, the pineapple sinker is not entirely snag free - but I
am not aware of anything more snagless or easy to use for the
Hawaii rig. On its crown, the pineapple sinker sprouts a grooved
swivel that clips on the line without a knot. Pineapple sinker
sizes for the Hawaii rig are normally 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 oz.
Tie the hook on with a Palomar knot. Then run the tag
end once more through the hook eye dropshot-style so the hook
point stands straight up on the Hawaii rig. Leave the tag
end long to clip the pineapple sinker anywhere from a few to
eighteen inches below the suspended hula grub. With the hook
point buried in the leg juncture, the hula grub is snagless. The
wide hula fronds ahead and wide leg juncture both serve as bumper
points to deflect the free-floating hula grub away from snags
before they happen.
Most other soft plastic bait shapes when used on a Hawaii rig
will spin on the drop down to and retrieve up from the bottom,
and twist the line into nasty knotted coils. Except for the
hula skirt grub, I am not aware of anything more twistless or
more ideal to use on the Hawaii rig.
MegaStrike gel is a must for me. The whole Hawaii rig
gets smeared with MegaStrike. This new fish attractant formula
comes in a tube. I use the nozzle to apply MegaStrike to the hula
skirt grub, the hook, the leader line and the pineapple sinker.
The entire rig gets slimed in MegaStrike.
I suppose there is more I
could tell you about the Hawaii rig, but I will leave the rest up
to you. If you like fishing traditional hula or spider jigs, just
get yourself out this weekend. Go fish the Hawaii rig the same
way you would normally use any hula tactic, except for the stout
gear and the following differences:
- Most other ways you use a hula, Texas, Carolina or on a jig,
they all put the grub on the bottom in the snaggiest layer of
debris, often concealed from view and in a difficult position for
a bass to bite it. A Hawaii rig holds a hula above the debris, in
more constant view and suspended in the easiest possible position
for a bass to grab it effortlessly. The suspended bait above
bottom makes it easier and it is often more likely for a bass to
- The Hawaii rig provides a clean, direct rod-to-hook
connection. There's no heavy sinker ahead as with a Carolina rig.
No jig head or sinker is there for the bass to clamp down on or
pry the mouth open during the hookset. There is less head-shaking
leverage to dislodge the hook on a jump - a chronic heartbreak
when using hulas on jig heads.
- Since a Hawaii rig hula is free-floating and suspended, it
tends to deflect off snags that would catch onto other hula
grubs. The pineapple sinker more easily slips through snags that
would engulf many other weights or jigs. I often hold the rod tip
high (ten to eleven o'clock) but sighted straight down the line,
like an up-pointed rifle. The high tip angle helps me hold the
Hawaii rig up in better alignment for allure, hooksetting and
slinking through snags. Upon bite detection, I reel down to nine,
confirm the bite, then lay into the rod with a powerset. Holding
the rod down or sideways puts the rig out of kilter and snags
more with poorer hooksets.
With the innovative Hawaii rig, about the only way you will be
disappointed is if you fail to try it.
Mahalo means thank you in Hawaiian for reading.
Want Even More Grub
This could easily turn into a diatribe if you try to digest it
all in one mind-meal. So pace yourself. There's a lot of grey
matter about grubs to absorb here. You may even spot some
dichotomy betwixt authors and articles, but that's fishing for
you! Make no mistake, grubs are universal fish-catching tools. If I had to pick only one lure to use the rest of
my life? It would be a grub! - Russ Bassdozer
All grubs shown from Gary
Yamamoto Custom Baits.
Big (really big) grub fishing :
Heavy (really heavy) grub fishing :
Topwater (really, no kidding) grub fishing :
Hula grub fishing :