Work Bench: Make Your Own Sand Eel Bait Ball Daisy Chain

Fool those hard to hook tuna keyed in on sand eels with this rig!

When there is an abundance of sand eels, tuna can be extremely difficult to catch as they are gulping through bait balls with there mouths open. They are almost blind to all else around them Consequently it’s hard to catch tuna with isolated lures, even if they are great sand eel imitations. The whole idea with this rig is to simulate a bait ball effect on sand eels.

No, this rig is not cheap! But it works!

Buy Them Here

Key items:

Hogy® 7″ Sand Eel
Hogy® XXL Bait Keeper Screws
200lb Test Mono Leader
1.8MM Crimp Sleeves
2oz Egg Sinker
(Spreader Bar, if Making One)


Rigging Instructions:

Step 1: Make your sand eel droppers. Cut 5” of 200lb test mono. Close the eye of the keeper and crimp it on one end. Repeat as necessary for how many teasers you are adding to your daisy chain or flank line.

Step 2:  Crimp on your hook with chafing gear, slide on egg sinker and then crimps for teasers and chrip on your rigging eye with chafing gear.

Step 3: Decide placement. I like to start with traditional daisy chain placement of (6) sand eels up from the hook eye down, spaced every 4” or so. I then leave about three feet of leader before making my mini bait ball on the end,

Step 4: Crimp your mini bait ball. Stack them closers, about 1/2” apart. This way, they will cluster into a ball surrounding the stinger and also hiding the egg sinker.


Rigging Video:


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Posted in Custom Work Bench, Hogy Sand-eels, Offshore, Rigging: How-To, Tuna
4 comments on “Work Bench: Make Your Own Sand Eel Bait Ball Daisy Chain
  1. I’m going to try this during the central jersey “ghost run” in oct,nov,dec.

    • Ross says:


      We recently had confirmed reports of tuna caught on the Sand Eel Bait Ball on Cape Cod. Let us know how the NJ “Ghost Run” turns out!

  2. Eric Nordyk says:

    I fish off the Jersey surf with replica sand eels and trying new bait ball ideas. Is there a chance I could use this same technique in the surf and instead of having 200 lb test mono, can I use 30-40 lb test instead?
    If so, do you sell crimp sleeves for that lb test range?

    • Ross says:

      Something similar could be used for shore casting. Crimping light line isn’t practical, so a series of dropper lines would need to be tied individually to bait keepers screws for the same effect.

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