Article - How to make the "rag" lure
Rags are an effective and inexpensive way to catch steelhead. Everyone has their recipe but I think that this one is the best in that the rags don't have to be threaded on with a needle either before going fishing or on the bank. The big difference lies in the hole that is made for the leader down the length of the rag.
The rag has several advantages in that it floats high, has extra attraction from the refraction off of the bubbles it has inside of it and the yarn can stick in the steelhead's mouth making it more likely that a pickup will turn into a hookup.
The only tools you need are scissors, a candle, needles, and wire. The materials you need are yarn, foam backer rod, sequins, hooks, and leader material
Start by cutting the foam rods into rag length pieces between 3/8 and 1/2 inch.
Thread the yarn through the needle. This part is tricky. Do it by putting the loop of some 8-10 lb monofilament through the eye of your needle. Put the end of your yarn in the loop of monofilament and pull the loop back through the eye of the needle. This forces the yarn through the eye.
Thread the yarn through several pieces of foam rod. Space the foam so that the length of yarn on each side when cut will equal the width of the diameter of the foam pieces. Then cut the yarn. You will probably want to do this with two different colors. When you add a second color pass the needle through at about a right angle to the first yarn clearing the first yarn completely. If you try to pass the yarn through the path of the first the yarns will become tangled.
Now take a four inch length of stainless steel wire and pass it through the length of the rag. Heat one end of the wire over a candle, the pull the hot end back through the foam. This heat will melt the foam in contact with the wire leaving a clean skinned hole that you can pass a leader through.
You should use either a bead or a sequin between the rag and the hook to keep the rag from slipping back onto the hook. You are now read to fish with rags!