Whenever you are fishing for pike or zander you simply must use a wire trace, and here we show you how to make your own wire traces for lure fishing and bait fishing in easy to follow steps...
Using a wire trace when either lure or bait fishing shows that you care about the fish you are trying to catch. If you simply tied your treble hooks or lure directly on to your monofilament mainline, you are taking a big risk as both pike and zander have such sharp teeth they will cut straight through it. And what will happen next?
The fish won’t be able to shed the hooks, the fish will suffer as a result and possibly even die as it may not be able to continue feeding due to the obstruction in its mouth or throat. So please, always use a wire trace when tackling those toothed predators.
You can buy ready-tied traces for lure fishing and snap tackle for bait fishing – and reliable they are too – but there’s nothing like catching a fish on a trace you have made yourself, plus DIY trace making is the cheaper option in the long term. Here’s how to make both, using a variety of methods, plus detailed info on common mistakes…
Tying a wire trace for lure fishing
This method involves twisting the wire around itself to lock the swivels directly onto the trace wire.
Tying a wire trace for live and dead bait fishing
You don't have to use crimps to create a wire trace for your dead or live baits - you could use the twisted wire technique shown above to lock your swivel and bottom-most treble onto your wire.
Top tips for trace making
Cut the wire cleanly
It’s worth investing in sharp wire cutters as the end of the wire you are working with must be cut cleanly. A frayed section of wire can damage your main line and also prove extremely difficult to tie or crimp.
When to replace your trace
If the wire of your trace becomes twisted or kinked cut it off and discard it at home - not on the bank. Tie on another fresh one. If you do make your own traces and snap tackle remember to cut off the swivels and hooks. If they are still in good condition you will be able to use them again.
The crimped trace pictured is a disaster waiting to happen! Firstly the crimp is too close to the hook therefore the hook has no freedom of movement. The wire tag end protrudes from the crimp and this could cause tangles or it may cut your main line. The crimp has been squeezed only twice – it should be crimped three times. And finally the crimp has been squeezed too close to the
edge and too hard (the wire can be seen through it). If any of these faults occur when you crimp your traces throw it away and do it again or you’re asking for trouble!
How far apart should the hooks be?
The distance between the treble hooks depends upon the bait you are fishing. The larger the bait the further apart the hooks need to be. Take a half mackerel for example. This bait may be 6in or 7in long and ideally the second treble should be positioned midway along the bait, therefore the trebles should be positioned about three inches apart. When fishing small baits like sprats or eel sections, the trebles can be 2in apart.