I spotted this gizmo on a banner advert on the PAC website and one look was all I needed to know I had to try one out. Wobbling for pike is great fun and on the right day very productive, but it can also be frustrating due to the number of lost and destroyed baits from simply casting and retrieving. I’ve experimented with different methods of attaching baits to make them stay on longer but the best I’ve ever come up with involved threading a wire loop in through the mouth, out through the gill flap, straight through the flank and then back through the gills on out through the mouth. It worked but it was as long-winded, fiddly and time consuming as it sounds to rig up! So when I saw the concept of the Peak Pike Wobbler Rig, it seemed so intuitive that I couldn’t help but think the old cliché, “Why didn’t I think of that?”!
The wobbler rig comes complete with everything needed for a snag-proof, effective method of wobbling deadbaits. The only thing you need to add is a treble hook on a stinger wire, to your own requirements.
The rig comprises a couple of well made wire sections with crimp covers, a strong quick-change link and two remarkably well thought-out components which solve the two most common problems inherent with wobbling baits; securely attaching the bait to the rig without it breaking up after a few casts and weighing the bait down without making it snag-prone.
Firstly, the painted two diameters of balsa sticks which slide inside the bait are ingeniously designed to not only pop-up the bait to keep it off bottom, but the semi-stiff bristles are angled backwards so that they also grip inside the bait and hold it in place. Believe it or not, they really work too! This design means that absolutely no tension is put onto the hook-hold in the bait, so the hook stays put and doesn’t tear holes in the bait during the cast or retrieve.
Secondly, the casting weight hangs from a stiff boom and the combination of this and the buoyant bait creates a very effective paternoster effect, keeping bait and weight apart and vastly reducing tangles. The supplied weight is a small roll of lead which seems to skip over rocks and snags really well. This weight could have a bit nipped off the end to lighten it, or of course be easily swapped for a heavier weight as conditions require. The top of the boom has a section of foam at the top which lifts the rig and keeps the mainline out of harms way.
It would be great to see a version of this rig with a longer boom section for fishing higher in the water, though I think this may be more prone to tangles. I would also like to see a version made with a clear weight boom, rather than the blue one. The stiffness of the boom comes from its diameter, which is easily thicker than 200lb line, so it is highly visible. I doubt that the blue boom would put off most pike, but it could be the difference in clear water or on heavily pressured waters.
Unfortunately on the day I tested out the Wobbler Rig I didn’t hook any fish, but I also tried lures and static deads and blanked on all three! I have absolutely no doubts that this will catch pike though. It performs simply brilliantly; each bait lasts for ages and hangs tantalisingly just off bottom. It’s possible to impart some action into the bait and by twitching and jerking the rod tip you can make the bait glide and hang, which is such a devastating action in some jerk baits. I managed to get at least 40 casts out of each roach I mounted and the baits stayed firmly in place for the duration, all I had to do was occasionally reposition the hook in the flank because it had worked loose. Even when a few wayward casts landed on rocks on the far bank, the bait stayed put. In fact the bait eventually got smashed to tatters (which gave it a really enticing action on the retrieve), but still I had to forcedly remove the balsa stick from the inside of the bait.
The complete wobbling rig is priced at £10.99 for the standard kit and £13.50 for the titanium wire version, and spare balsa pop-up sticks – including extra-large 5 inch sticks – can be purchased separately. For more info, see http://www.peakpike.co.uk/