How to Use Deadbait Casting Clips

fishing image by Julie Balderston from

Originally developed for surf fishing, dead-bait casting clips have become popular for freshwater species such as northern pike. The clips are small plastic hooks that attach to the fishing line swivel with a split-ring. The bait fish is then hooked lightly, just under the skin, with the fishhook. This makes the hook much more sensitive to strikes and quicker to set than the traditional method of setting the hook deeper into the flesh of the bait fish. The end of the fishing line (the leader) is then wrapped around the tail section of the bait and over the hook on the bait clip. This provides additional purchase to hold the bait during casting, keeping it from tearing free from the fishhook.

Tie the end of the fishing line to the eye of a snap-swivel.

Separate one end of the split-ring with your fingernail and thread it through the eye of the bait clip. Using your fingers, work the split-ring around until it is completely seated in the eye of the bait clip.

Open the snap-swivel on the fishing line by pinching it with your fingers. Attach the split-ring on the bait clip and the leader of the fishhook to the snap-swivel. Pinch the snap-swivel closed.

Lay the fishhook flat against the skin of the bait fish and pierce the skin with the tip of the hook. Continue working the fishhook with your fingers until it is barely hidden, just beneath the skin of the bait fish.

Loop the leader around the tail of the bait and then over the hook on the bait clip. Pull the line taut and cast the bait.

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