A Quick Change Haywire Twist
by Steve Hicks
Change the way you make your haywire twists and you can create quick-change rigs for trolling lures. I devised a simple wire-forming tool from a flat metal washer.
The washer forms a narrow eye that passes easily through the leader channel down the center of a lure. The thickness of the washer determines the width of the eye of the haywire. The washer itself aids in forming the haywire by providing leverage and a secure fingerhold.
The match between wire, washer and lure can be critical. I use #9 stainless-steel piano wire of 105-pound test to rig the skirted bullet jigs I troll for yellowfin tuna, wahoo and mahimahi.A-,-washer 1 /16 inch thick creates an eye about 3 /32 inch across (due to the double thickness of the wire). That's slim enough to pass through the 1/8-inch leader hole found on most medium to large bullet-heads. The length of the eye is determined by the diameter of the washer, but eye length isn-. It really critical. Pick a washer big enough to suit your fingers. I use lk-inch washers (sonowI have something to do with the discarded drag washers from my 6/osenator reels). You turn a washer into a haywire twister by hacksawing a slot along one radius. The slot allows you to withdraw the leader - eye after it has been formed.
To form the eye, pass the wire through the center of the washer and bend it back across a radius. Lay the two wire sections next to each other and grasp them firmly with pliers about an inch from the washer. Twist the washer as you maintain a steady pull on the wire. At first your shoulder, muscles might not be quite up to providing enough resistance. To beat this problem, grasp the wire k inch from the washer, allowing you to make the first part of the twist with very little effort. After the first rotation, you can finish the wrap easily by moving the pliers to a new position '-2 inch farther down the leader. Your eyes might not turn out as slot-like at first, but to fix this just give a gental squeeze with your pliers.
I finish my leaders in the traditional way with four or five turns of a barrel wrap. The barrel wrap just locks the twists and finishes the eye neatly. I cut my leaders 5 to 6 feet long. That-Is enough for fish like tuna and wahoo, and you can always snap on an extra length of heavy-duty nylon or fluorocarbon leader when marlin are around. I arm my quick-change rigs with a single, stainless-steel tuna-bend hook. To position the hook within the skirt, I add spacer beads.
With this system, I can keep all of my skirted(bullet jigs in the same tackle drawer unrigged without fear of tangling. I store the rigged leaders separately. To rig a lure, I uncoil a ready-made rig, run the eye through the rear of the lure and snap it to a trolling line.
After a fish is brought aboard and in the chill box, I slide the lure up the leader and off the end. With a new quickchange leader, the lure is right back in action.