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Exploding ragworms

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Being new to using ragworms (the look of them & the fact they "are biters" put me off for a good while!) is there a method of threading them onto a hook that avoids their stomach popping & squriting all over you ?


I hook into the mouth & thread onto the hook all way up the the eye of the hook


Having now used ragworms I realise what deadly bait they are - just wondering if I can avoid the odd "pop" ?


[ 30. October 2004, 02:19 AM: Message edited by: FearTheHands ]


Knowing my luck if I were a buddhist I'd come back as myself ...

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I just hook them through about an inch below the head and then loop round and hook again.

This leaves the head squirming around and a fat tail hanging free.

They nip a bit and the green slimey juices are a bit on the yuck side.

Hard backed shore crabs are the best nippers in the bait game!

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By the way depending on where you buy your rag, watch out for the juices... Especialy if sensative skin, In england this year when i had to use them peaty ragworms for 5 days solid after the 3 and 4th day my hands wer red raw, The juices had literaly eaten at my skin on my hand, And castiong was a total nightmare, So i got my hand all superglued up to give me an extra layer of skin for casting (ouch)


The peaty ragworm are apparently noutorious for this, Anyone else had there skin burnt off from rag juices??

Tight Lines



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Back in the 70s when we dug our own ragworm they were massive compared to what you see these days, when you got a nip from them you knew about it.

Go through the mouth thread along hook till head goes over the eye and knot of hook then leave point of hook showing, watch for it stll nipping you when its on the hook, you cant blame it nipping you when you consider what we,re doing to it.

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Back in the 70s when we dug our own ragworm

You Young Softies


Back in the 50/60s. When I was a lad. We would dig up Ragworm, from the low tide mud slecks of the River Blyth, Cambois, Northumberland. They were as long as a yard, thick as a bicycle inner tube and have nippers like bolt croppers. It didn't bother us to put them on a hook. :D:D:D:D


Wish ladz had yor gobs al tel yha al ah storee

Cheers 4 Now

John E

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I think the main irritant from the worms is some form of ammonia excreted by the worms. The problem is much worse with the worm sold in Iberian climes as "Americanos". I felt as if my skin was being desquamated as I threaded them on the bait needle! Worm damage to skin certainly comes into play when fishing prolonged competitions of 3 to 5 days, when it becomes important to take care of your fingers on a daily basis and try and avoid small cuts which can turn into septic hacks. Using non-scented emulsifying ointment prior to fishing also helps in this type of situation, it simply acts as a barrier cream. Though some would say this taints the bait. I remember one poor chap who had all those problems and reached to take a 'goby' off his hook, only it was a weever, and the resultant infected sting on top of macerated hands nearly totally curtailed his fishing. Do the freshwater matchmen get the same problems with maggots? These creatures copiously produce ammonia to the extent that the local tackle shop will not put farmed rag in the same cooler as their stock of maggots as the ammonia produced kills the rag.

Re Spur-Hound's point about the peat, that stuff is fairly acidic I think and can only add to the corrosive effect of the worms secretions, which probably have other properties like a bad taste and tunnel wall stabilisation? Any marine biologist out there with the answers?

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Rocking, I never get this with maggots, but if you think about maggots come in sawdust or maize to keep them dry also the way we hook them means no juice goes anywhere.


As for rag and lug,i use a pair of rubber gloves, i got athertitis anyway but the gloves make the worms stretch out longer as they react to the rubber, this also stops therag from nipping you and gives you a better grip. Got to bear in mind that you are no fashion statement night fishing with a piar of bright yellow marigolds on

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blimey rubber gloves stop them biting you some of the ones i`v used in the past needed a chair and whip

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