For a circle hook to be most efficient, the hook should be as exposed as possible. One way to do this is the use of small rubber bands to "bridle" a bait. When bridling a bait, you’re creating a small space between the bait and hook, so the entire circle hook is in the open to ensure a quality hook-set.
Bridling is normally used when fishing with live baits, but can be just as effective when using dead baits when drifting whole fish or slabs or chunks for sharks, snook, tarpon, cobia or large bottom fishes, such as groupers. “Bridling unquestionably improves hookup-to-catch ratios.”- saltwatersportsman.com
Orthodontic-type rubber bands work extremely well on both small and large live baits, such as herring, pilchards or goggle-eyes. To learn how to bridle a live bait properly, follow the steps listed below, or checkout the saltwatersportsman.com article on their site.
- Slide the rubber band onto the rigging needle, and loop it over the hook.
- Pass the rigging needle through the bait, and pull the rubber band through behind it.
- Pass the hook point through the loop of the rubber band, and remove the rigging needle.
- Spin the hook a few times to consolidate the four strands of the rubber band.
- Pass the hook point between the tight space between the bait and the twisted bridle, making sure you don’t miss a loop, or the bridle will unravel. That’s all there is to it!
Photos from www.saltwatersportsman.com