Reviewed by Scott Cushman
Black Magic strayline rigs arrived in my mail box just before I headed to the Far North so it was a very timely test in one of NZ’s premier fishing locations.
Looking at the product itself, they come in individual packs of three strayline rigs with C-point hooks, 60lb leader and a lumo bead on the 1.6m leader. This bead can be removed if necessary but can also be illuminated at the change of light to help attract fish to your bait.
They come in different hook styles and sizes. I had a 6/0 and 7/0 strayline packet with the 7/0 hook being the lead hook and the 6/0 hook trailing in the tail. This matches the set-up with a whole fish bait where the head is secured with a slightly larger hook and smaller hook near the tail; but of course they suit all kinds of baits, including strip baits and whole squid. The rigs come in circle hook style options as well, so there is something to suit everyone.
The hooks are snelled onto the line (the snell is a very strong knot) to minimise the breakage of gear and maximise the strength of the rig.
I think the leader strength is a good choice, durable enough to take a bit of punishment but not heavy enough to scare fish. I managed to land snapper of up to about 8kg on these rigs, and I also landed a grand-daddy hapuka and a moray eel – which scuffed the trace with its fangs. However the next fish was an 8kg snapper and the line held just fine, despite the eel’s obvious toothy impressions on it.
Having fished the strayline multiple times, I decided I wanted to just fish one hook so I snipped the second one off and used the rig with just one hook which also worked well. It landed me a nice 6kg fish before a mako shark decided it wanted my bait and a five minute tussle ended in the mako’s favour.
Overall I like the set-up of the strayline rigs; they’re well produced and should be a valuable asset to the fisherman’s kit. They’d be especially useful if you aren’t a skilled knot tier or want a double hook leader in a hurry because you’ve just seen a huge fish glide into view.