by Andy Nabreski
Modifying a Hogy® soft bait into a squid is relatively simple. Here are some step-by-step directions for how I’ve been rigging them.
Tools You’ll Need
An X-acto knife or box cutter, a Hogy eye-rattle kit, a few permanent Magic Markers (Sharpies) and a Hogy of your choice. I prefer 10- or 14-inch amber colored Hogys®. The amber color is very similar to that of a live squid in distress. Bone and bubblegum are also good bets for colors. The 10-inch Double Wide Hogys® also work well.
- Using the tool that comes with the eye-rattles, punch a hole through the Hogy® about 2/3 of the way to the tail. The baits don’t have to be pre-rigged, but it does help to aid in the proper placement of the eye-rattle.
- Take a Magic Marker (I prefer red for this step) and insert the tip into the hole created by the punch tool. Do this on both sides. Over time, this ink will seep into the plastic and spread out quite a bit.
- Now insert the eye rattle into the hole. I’ve found that it helps to wet the rattle before doing this; it will make it slide through a bit easier. It takes a bit of force to get the rattle through. Once it’s in place I recommend adding a drop of glue to both sides of the rattle.
- Take a dark colored marker and trace around the perimeter of the rattle. This will enhance the illusion of a squid eyeball. It helps to press a paper towel on it afterward to absorb the excess ink.
- Set the Hogy® with its flat side (the top) facing the cutting table. Use the X-Acto knife to cut the bait lengthwise, starting close to the eyeball. This is the first step to making tentacles.
- Now rotate the Hogy 90-degrees, and proceed to cut each “leg” into thirds. Leave the middle section longer to simulate the graspers on squid, which are longer than their arms. This will leave you with 6 lifelike tentacles.
The Finished Product
The finished product, shown here using a 14-inch amber Hogy. The bait casts surprisingly well, and looks amazingly lifelike in the water. The tandem hook rig results in solid hookups, but if you’re faced with weedy conditions a Texas-rigged version with the Hogy® 10/0 Swim Bait Hook works just as well. Over time the coloration from the marker will slowly be absorbed into the plastic, adding to the realistic look of this bait. Add a few drops of Hogy Fresh Flavor scent, and even the seals will be chasing it to your boat. But huge stripers like it even better. Don’t be afraid to experiment!