I have received many letters and calls from customers that have inquired about an alternate to the “cat’s paw” connection (single strand wire) for the stinger hook on the Chin Weight. Some of the emails have been from novice anglers who are frustrated with trying to twist the single strand wire tight enough on the main hook so that it prevents it from coming over the barb, make the “cat’s paw connection tighten down properly, and/or getting the stinger hook to line up 180 degrees off the point of the main hook, etc… Other calls and emails have come from some seasoned anglers, who’s fingers just don’t work “as good as they used to.”
Even though the calls and emails have had some negative comments regarding the complexity of the cat’s paw connection in single strand wire, I have received the ultimate compliments in the effectiveness of fishing a whole squid, and how nice a ballyhoo swims on the Chin Weight. Many anglers have admitted they were raised on fishing a ballyhoo in the stream for tuna, dolphin and wahoo, and have never fished a whole squid, but admitted that it made perfect sense, and that everything in the ocean from blue marlin to blackfin tuna inhaled the squid.
Back on topic—yes, there is an alternate way to accomplish this same stinger hook with seven-strand cable and some crimps. To assist the techniques contained in this column, I would recommend watching the video “Crimped Cable Stinger” in the “how to” section on my website.
Here is a list of the things you will need to make this (cable) stinger:
• First, make sure you have a good pair of cable cutters that will cut the cable clean, so that it has no frayed ends .
• Second, a good pair of crimping pliers, so you make consistent crimps every time, one you can rely on.
• Third, some (black) 1.0 or 1.3 double sleeve crimps (or 1.6 for the 400# cable if you choose to go that large).
• Fourth, (SHARP) black nickel hooks that match the quarry
• And last, but certainly not least, match the (soft strand) cable size to the bait and the species of fish being targeted. For kingfish, dolphin and blackfin, you can get away with 90# cable. For wahoo, you might want to go with as large as 275# soft strand. I say soft strand not only as a name brand (American Fishing Wire), but also as a texture of the cable to be able to make the bends around the stinger hook (using the cat’s paw connection) and the small diameter bend around the main hook of the Chin Weight.
I can write about this all day long, but if you are a visual learner (like I am), just watch the video, it will be self explanatory. Let me put it this way, regardless of your abilities, you can make this stinger hook out of cable with a little practice.