Ian Welch shows how he sets up his own DIY pike traces…

Make Your Own Pike Trace
There are as many different ways to make pike traces as there are types of wire. Ian is a fan of twisted rather than crimped traces and finds them far more simple and bombproof!

At the sharp end he has a 45cm trace formed from Drennan seven-strand wire in 28lb breaking strain. There are many different grades and types of wire in the shops and he’ll sometimes look for something lighter or more supple if he’s zander fishing or chasing finicky pike.

But for day-to-day use the seven-strand 28lb has never let him down. Armed with a pair of size 8 semi-barbed carbon trebles it’s tough as old boots.

He admits though that his method of creating twisted traces is a little off-the-wall and he thinks it’s possibly unique in the pike fishing world! But they are very quick to make, neat, simple and very strong!

1 To get a tight and even twist that beds beautifully and will never slip, Ian uses a cigarette lighter to heat the end 3cm of the trace wire until it glows red-hot.
2 He then slides the bottom treble hook on, doubles over the heated section of wire and, holding the loose end tight to the main run of wire, twists rapidly with a hooked ET ‘Twiddlin’ Stick.
3 The result, due to the heat briefly making the wire more supple, is a perfectly tightly wound finish.
4 To tidy up he sheaths the bottom treble with a short length of silicone tube before positioning the upper hook in relation to the size of bait he’s using.
5 Ian’s using small roach in the 10-12 cm range, so sets the top hook 6cm above the lower, allowing him to nick one in the pectoral fin and the other in the dorsal.
6 To lock the upper double hook in place he uses a single turn of the wire trace around the length of the shank.
7 Next Ian wraps six turns tightly around the shank and once back up through the eye to lock the hook in position.
8 To hold the wrapped trace in place a Fox treble sheath over the top gives a nice, neat finish.
9 Use the lighter at the other end of the wire, twist your swivel on and sheath it with a silicone tube to complete the trace.

10 The finished trace, plus rattle, is perfect for fishing the small livebaits he’s using for today’s session.