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The Tokyo rig alternative

Move over Tokyo rig, there’s a new piece of terminal tackle in town. It seems as though there’s a new product being birthed into the bass fishing world sooner than later. Some are truly innovative and catch on, others can be more of a gimmick and a select few fly under the radar. 

The latter is likely the case when it comes to Bassmaster Opens EQ angler Tom Frink’s new favorite piece of terminal tackle, the Ryugi Glide Hanger

Giving anglers the ability to attach a vertically hung weight to the front of a weedless rigged soft plastic, the Glide Hanger has a lot in common with a Tokyo rig. Frink has found this new technique improves upon the former in a few key ways. 

“One thing that’s nice,” said Frink, “is that the weight usually ends up sliding up your line when you catch a fish, so you don’t have the extra weight down near the bait.”

The more a lure weighs, the more leverage a fish has when it tries to throw the bait on the jump. So being able to get the majority of the weight of this rig away from the fight is a big deal. 

“The way you attach the weight is also so much more efficient than something like a Tokyo rig.”

With a Tokyo rig, Frink points out that you have to slide a bullet weight onto the wire, and then bend it to keep the weight from sliding back off. Then, if you want to swap to a heavier or lighter weight, you have to straighten the wire back out, or even cut it. 

“You can bend it back, but it’s a pain and time consuming,” said Frink. “You may spend five minutes getting the weight off and a new one back on. Or you end up having to clip it off and it gets shorter and shorter.”

With this new technique, Frink slips a ringed weight onto the Glide Hanger, then twists the smaller end of the Glide Hanger onto his line, and clips the larger end onto the shaft of his hook.

“A lot of times I’ll keep different weights in my pocket, and depending on how deep I’m fishing or what I’m fishing, it takes me five seconds to change the weight out.”

Frink’s weight of choice for the Glide Hanger is Ryugi’s Heavy Delta Dropshot Weight. The ring at the top of this weight is a must have feature, so that it can be slid onto the Glide Hanger. But the shape of the weight is also very important. 

“It’s kind of like a tall, skinny triangle,” said Frink. “You want something that comes through rock and wood, and this one does.” 

Frink pointed out that this rigging system could work with a wide variety of soft plastics, and he’s landed on a couple favorites in particular. Those are a swimbait and creature bait.

“You can fish a swimbait weedless with it, which is great for brush and grass,” said Frink. “You can get away with a lighter weight too, than if you were fishing with a wobble head or a swimbait head. Since the weight is hinged and hangs down, it just stays down better with less weight.”

Having a hinged weight system like this, as opposed to a fixed and rigid jighead, also allows the swimbait to fall much more vertically on a slack line. This makes a big difference, especially with forward-facing sonar. The benefit is eliminating the need to cast far beyond a fish to let a traditionally rigged swimbait pendulum down. 

“I like to throw a beaver style bait on it too,” said Frink. “Typically, that’s all I throw now in brush, instead of a Texas rig. It just seems to come through brush way better. And once that weight comes over a limb, as long as it’s on slack line, it’ll fall straight back down and stay in the brush longer.”

One last differentiator between the Glide Hanger and its closest relative, the Tokyo rig, is this new way of rigging can be used with nearly any type of hook. 

“If you want to use a heavier gauge straight shank for whatever reason, you can,” said Frink. “Or, you can use any size of offset shank or EWG hook. Whether you want a light-wire hook, or a medium- or heavy-wire hook, it’s really up to you.”

Glide Hangers come in three different sizes, so you should be cognizant of which size you need, based on the preferred hook size. 

Will this new rig be a flash in the pan, or an overnight sensation after an angler claims an Open or Elite Series win? We will have to collectively wait to see. But after what Frink’s seen so far, it’s safe to say it will be on his deck from now on.