A lot of boats targeting marlin like to pull a daisy chain of bowling-pin teasers in the prop wash. These wildly bucking and gyrating teasers mimic a school of small tunas feeding in your wake – a perfect enticement for any blue marlin lurking nearby.
While rigging my bowling-pin teaser chain on heavy mono, I’ve encountered problems with the trailing end of the bowling pins chafing through the heavy mono on the main line. After losing several sets of pins to this problem, I started looking for a solution.
After a bit of trial and error, I found that adding a simple rubber rod butt cap to the trailing end of each bowling pin keeps the pins from chafing the main line. I permanently affix the butt cap to the bowling pin with super glue or epoxy.
Another problem you’ll run into with trolling pins is the tendency for the ring eye in the front to unscrew itself over time. Bowling pins usually come with a 2-inch ring-eye screw, and at higher speeds, these little screws just don’t hack it for very long. To eliminate this problem, I replace all of the screws with 4- to 6-inch stainless-steel ring eyes. You can find the longer ring eyes at most marine hardware stores. For an added bit of insurance, I add a dab of epoxy or super glue to make sure they won’t back out. As an added bonus, the larger ring eye also adds to the side-to-side swimming action of the bowling pin.
Making these simple modifications will help you spend more time fishing and less time searching the ocean for a lost string of expensive bowling pins.
_Capt. Jason “Tiny” Walcott
West Palm Beach, Florida