Make Your Own Weedguards

By Capt. Steve Chaconas

One of the most popular fishing techniques is the wacky rigged stickworm, also known by brand names Yamamoto Senko, Mann's HardNose Freefall Worm, Yum Dinger, and Mizmo Quiver Stick. The freefalling weightless worms sink into the fish's strike zone. By hooking in the middle of the worm, a slight tug will cause the worm to undulate with the two ends pulling together to create a fish attracting movement.

This is a highly effective and widely used technique for catching bass in a variety of conditions all across the country. When this technique was first used, a hook was impaled into the center of the worm. After a fish or two, or even a few casts, the worm would fall off. It was also difficult to make this rig weedless.

Small rubber O-Rings were introduced to support the hook without tearing the bait. Simply inserting the worm into a special hollow metal tube and then rolling an O-Ring onto the center of the worm and a hook handle was created. Simply sliding the hook under the O-Ring would allow more fish to be caught on one bait!

Photo of wires for making a weedguard
Photo of a weedguard wire

Photo of bending the weedguard wire with pliers

Photo of wrapping the weedguard wire

Photo of cutting the thread

Photo of applying head cement

Hook designers for this technique changed rapidly to the most commonly used Octopus hook style. It is a smaller less conspicuous hook, perfect for wacky rigging with the O-Ring. Very few manufacturers make these hooks with a weedguard, and those who do charge a premium for this feature.

But a simple fly tying vise, a thread bobbin, thread, wire or fiber weedguards, jig head cement and a few minutes of time will create a supply of quality weedless hooks. Experiment with different colored threads. Black is a good all around color.

You don’t have to be an expert at fly tying either! There are plenty of YouTube videos to help you get started and has all of the supplies! Once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy! You might even get into tying other projects as well!

Start with a 2/0 Mustad Ultra Point red Octopus hook affixed to a fly tying vise, with the vise holding the bend of the hook with the point upward and the eye out to the side.

Make a few starting wraps with fly tying thread from the eye about 1/4-inch down the shank of the hook. Wind toward the hook bend then back up to the eye to produce a base for the wire to grip. I use size D, as the thickness is easy to work with.

These first wraps are done over the thread to pin the end of the thread to the shank of the hook.Allow the bobbin to hang, as gravity will keep the thread taught to permit you to prepare the wire weedguard.

Make a 90-degree bend about a 1/4 inch or less in a wire or fiber weedguard. I prefer the wire style! Place the bent end of the wire on the starter wraps opposite to the eye of the hook and hold in place while wrapping a few times until the weedguard is secure. Take care to keep the thread taut and to wrap on either side of the wire.

Wrap toward the hook point and tie a few overhand knots with the other end of the starter thread. Wrap another time or two and tie two more overhand knots.

You can get more professional with a knot tying tool, a whip finisher. Then take the quick drying head cement and paint over the threads. Allow to dry! That's it!

Bend the weedguard toward the hook point, and then trim the weedguard to about a 1/8-inch past the hook point after bending the wire toward the hook point. You now have a high quality weedless wacky rig hook!

This project certainly saves money, but also allows you to use your favorite hook and to use any preferred style of weedguard. End of story hook

— Published: Fall 2014

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