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How to Rig Red Gills and Teasers
by Bob D'Amico
with some expert advice from Frank Daignault

T here are two basic methods to attach teasers to your line, both are straightforward and easy. Both require you to be able to tie decent knots. Neither method is perfect, you will occasionally have to untangle your teaser. In my instructions below you may think the recommended lengths of monofilament line are too long but I'm calculating extra line for gripping with your whole hand when pulling the knots together. I tie thousands of knots each year, that extra length makes the job a whole lot easier and faster. Afterall you will cut off any extra line when the knots are tied.

For the lazy among us, one caveat, DO NOT ever use a 3-way swivel or a 3 way crossline swivel!

Method One: Perfection Loop and Dropper Loop
The advantage of this method is it allows you to change teasers quickly. It is not as strong as the Ball Bearing Swivel method below.

Correct Dropper Loop - Perfection Loop Connection 1: Tie a high quality barrel swivel onto the end of your main line. Use a Palomar or Improved Clinch knot.
2: Cut a piece of mono approximately 7 to 8 feet long for your leader. Yes I know that's too long but trust me!
3: On one end of your leader, approximately 18" in from the end, tie a short Dropper Loop, no more than 2 inches long.
4: Tie this leader (using the end closest to the Dropper Loop) on to the barrel swivel on your main line. You will lose several of those 18" leaving perhaps 12" between the barrel swivel and Dropper Loop. An Improved Clinch Knot is ideal for this connection.
5: You now decide how long you want the total leader to be, three to five feet long depending on your rod length and personal preference but anything less than three feet is dead wrong. You can leave the tag end free to tie a lure directly to the leader or attach a snap. Here again a Palomar knot is the best choice for attaching the snap.

Now for the Teaser:
1: Tie a 24" piece of clear monofilament (60 pound test is ideal) to the Teaser hook's eye using an Improved Clinch knot.
2: Now decide how much of a drop you want between the leader and teaser. More is better however you will also have more tangles. Short, say 4" to 6" is 'okay' but you will get less hook ups simply because the fish will make contact with the leader and shy away. From my experience 12" is ideal.
3: Measure the final length you want and tie a small Perfection Loop. A one half inch to one inch long Perfection Loop is what you want.

Here is an excellent short video on tying the Perfection Loop

Putting it together:
Simple, just be sure the two opposing loops are joined correctly, the image above shows the only correct way to join the loops. You want both loops to cushion themselves together, not cut into eachother!

Method Two: Barrel Swivel (Ball Bearing Barrel Swivels)
This method is superior to the Perfection Loop because it's the simpler and stronger but you may have more tangles with the main leader. One way around that is to use welded ring Ball Bearing Barrel Swivels because they do not "lock up," they always swivel - that reduces "teaser tangles."
100 pound test Ball Bearing Barrel Swivels are the best choice.

1: Drop Line: Tie a 18" to 24" piece of monofilament (60 pound test) to a Ball Bearing Barrel Swivel. Use a Palomar (best) or Improved Clinch knot. Leave the tag end free for now.
2: Leader: Cut a piece of mono and tie it to the same ring that holds the knot of the Drop Line to the teaser. You can use a Palomar knot for this as well since you can pass the (free) tag end of the Drop Line through the Palomar. If that's too difficult to manipulate tie a proper (5 turn) Improved Clich Knot.
3: Teaser Attachment: Decide on the final length of the Drop Line. Measure and tie the tag (free) end of the Drop Line to the Teaser hook's eye using an Improved Clinch knot. You can use a Palomar knot here as well but it's a bit tricky to completely pass the teaser and it's hair cleanly through the Palomar's loop.
4: Tie the free ring of the Barrel Swivel (Teaser/Leader combo) directly to the end of your main fishing line with a proper (5 turn) Improved Clich Knot.
5: You now decide how long you want the total leader to be, three to five feet long depending on your rod length and personal preference. You can leave the tag end free to tie a lure directly to the leader or attach a snap. Here again a Palomar knot is the best choice for attaching a snap.

StriperSurf.com was proud to bring the legendary Red Gill (aka "Striper Candy") back to America in 1999. I hope you find them to be as versatile and effective as their reputation. Red Gills were available from many Bait & Tackle shops in the Northeast for a few years but a shortage of the supply during 2002/3 due to manufacturing problems at the factory in the United Kingdom forced many shops to drop these lures. They can now be purchased online from a few sources.

Rigging up a Red Gill


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Rigging a Red Gill is simple

1: Pull the hook out of the body.

2: Insert the dropper line through the hole in the nose of the Red Gill, down into the body cavity and pull it out of the hook slit.

3: Tie a Palomar or Improved Clinch knot onto the hook, cutting the tag end close to the knot.

4: Pull the hook back into the body and re-seat it.

To fish a Red Gill or any Teaser by itself you have a few options. Put an Egg or Bullet or Crimp On lead on your main line, above the leader. Tie the Red Gill or Teaser directly to the terminal end of your leader - you are all set!

If there are Bluefish around a good way to double score is to eliminate the drop line and tie the Red Gill/Teaser behind the plug about 18 to 24 inches as a trailer. You don’t need a wire line, 60 to 80 pound mono is pretty tough stuff. Two +10 pound Blues on the line is a gas!


* "True, these distances may sound unwieldy, because it is the custom, much to my chagrin, for surfcasters to swing their rods mightly with but 2 feet of line trailing from their tips, failing to put to work for them the laws of physics and centrifugal force, which would so enhance their casting skills. Thus, if people were fishing right in the first place, 5-foot leaders would be no handicap at all." Frank Daignault, Striper Surf, page 195, 1992, Globe Pequot Press, Old Saybrook, CT.