Wahoo rigs and terminal tackle are debated among anglers. Mainline components include wire, monofilament, or braid, with shock cords for shock absorption. Hooks and sets are essential, with wire for short lures and mono for long ones. Leads, shock cords, hook types, and skirts and lures are popular components.
High Speed Wahoo Trolling Rig
When it comes down to wahoo rigs and terminal tackle, there are a lot of opinions. There really are multiple ways to rig for wahoo fishing. You have a way, I have a way and there's the highway. There is no wrong or right way, so long as your wahoo rigs are sound.
Let's take a quick journey through what goes into a wahoo rig. You can use wire, monofilament or braid for your mainline. You will need solid swivels and the right weight leads. The shock comes into play in a big way. It is called shock cord for a reason. Wahoo slam lures at full speed, so there is a lot of instant heat applied to your rigs. Hence the name shock. Hooks and hook sets are next and then you have to almighty wahoo lure. What you use and how you assemble it is your preference. We just try to provide a little guidance.
Wahoo Fishing Techniques
Some guys will fish wire on their short lures and mono on their longs. A lot of guys run all braid. Whatever works is what you should use. Braid is much more low maintenance and easier to deal with. Wire line works great, but it requires more care. Guys that have used it a lot swear by it.
The one constant will be the snap swivels. This you have to get right. Use the heaviest swivels you can get. You cannot have your line twisting in the water or you will be screwed. I cannot recommend enough the need to use the best quality snap swivels available. Wahoo trolling is an expensive proposition. There is no margin for error.
Then you have the leads. The mighty leads. The size to use varies by the angler. I can say that on your top lures, a smaller lead in the 6-16 ounce range is good. The seas will determine how much you need. Top lures tend to be smaller, also. Short lures will be bigger and require bigger leads to keep them down. Wahoo love to eat lead, so using cable on your leads is recommended. Some guys will paint their leads white, so they blend with the wash and don't get bitten as much. Smart fishing is catching.
The shock cord is a big component. You will find guys running cable or monofilament. Mono seems to be more ubiquitous. This is going to absorb the shock the slams your line when a wahoo nails your bait. How long should it be and what pound test. Anywhere from 30 to 60 feet is good. Something in the 150 lb test range is well suited for high speed trolling for wahoo.
Attached to the shock cord is the line to the hook. This can be wire or cable. You should not use mono for this or you will have a lot of lures at the bottom of the sea. The type of hook to use is another wide open debate. In our video, link below, we go into great detail on hooks. Single hook rigs and double hook rigs are both widely used. You will find top pros using double hook rigs on their short position bigger lures and single hooks on the long smaller lures. The norm is more in line with using single hooks on all the lures.
Skirts and lures are the last hotly debated component of the wahoo rig and one that is so cool. There are so many skirt choices and color choices. You can rig for days and never do the same combo. But, what you will find at the commercial and tournament level is that the best guy have very specific preferences. The actual lures used in the wahoo rig is what people really see. This is the dress that sells the fisherman. Ilanders, jet heads and bullet lures are all great options. Shiny or not shiny. It is all on the table.
Learn more about Wahoo Rigs and Terminal Tackle in our video. We offer a load of insight and context about which item is used in wahoo rigs. The interesting aspect is the differing perspectives shared in the video.