How to Make Dead Bait Pike Fishing Traces

Items required to make a pike fishing snap tackle wire trace

There comes a time in many predator angler’s lives when they will “Google” ‘how to make dead bait Pike fishing traces’. It is not about saving fortunes but more about the satisfaction of catching on your own homemade tackle. I make my own pike floats and traces and there is no better feeling than catching on your own tackle.

Twin hook snap tackles have been the go to rig for predator anglers. Any angler using dead bait will have a collection of these in their box.


Making them is pretty straight forward and doesn’t take long to master the technique. You will need; Treble hooks size 6 or 4’s, 5mm 0.8mm bore crimps, trace wire minimum 20lb, 3or 4mm shrink tube, size 4 swivels, crimping tool and your kettle.

Attaching the point hook.

To start off, cut a length of trace wire to 25inches or 64cm.  The trace will shorten to around 20″ after you have made the trace. Take one of your crimps and thread it on the trace and then thread an treble hook. Tread the wire back through the trace like below.

Treble hook

Then thread the wire back on itself.

Attaching a treble hook to a wire trace

Slowly pull the two ends until the top loop has been pulled close to the crimp. The hook end should be pulled so the hook can freely move.

Treble Hook with crimp pulled down

Trim off the excess wire at the end of the hook using the cutters on the crimper tool. Next, place the wire with the crimp into the crimper.

Crimping trace wire to make snap tackle

Squeeze the tool hard, squashing the crimp around the wire leaving some obvious markings on the crimp.

Treble Hook with Crimp

Cut a 25mm piece of shrink tube and feed it down the trace and over the hook. Make sure the crimp and hook eye are concealed.

Shrink tube on hook

Boil your kettle and carefully hold the tube over the steam from the kettle.  It must be steaming for the tube to shrink.

Kettle steaming for dead bait traces

Once the tube has shrunk it should be nice and neatly concealed like this.

How make dead bait trace

Second treble hook

Next, thread the second treble hook on to the trace and place it approximately 80mm apart or whatever distance you require. Distance between the hooks will depend on the dead bait you will be using.  If you are fishing sprats then 70 to 90mm is fine.  But if your choice of dead bait is a whole trout then you will need to widen the gap to 130mm.  Remember this is just a guide. The beauty about making your own pike fishing traces is that you can tailor each trace to the bait you use.

Holding the hook and trace firmly at the hook shank, make 6 tight turns towards the bend of the hook.  Then make six turns back, overlapping the wire trace.  Feed the wire back through the eye of the hook and tighten.

Pike trace dead bait make own

Thread another length of shrink tube onto the shank of the hook hiding the twisted trace wire and shrink over the kettle as before.

How to make own trace for pike 

attatching swivels to your traces

To attach you swivel to the end of the trace you must first feed a length of shrink tube on to the wire followed by a crimp. As with the hook, feed the wire back through the crimp and then back through again. Crimp the wire together using your crimping tool.

Fishing tackle swivel crimped for pike trace

Place the shrink tube half way up the swivel body making sure the whole crimp is concealed and steam shrink over the kettle.  Make sure you give your trace a frim pull to check its strength.  And there’s how to make own dead bait pike traces.

Pike trace with swivel covered by shrink tube

If you want to learn more about types of pike traces why not have a look at the article “SIMPLE  GUIDE TO PIKE TRACES”